Quotes / Child Soldiers

We are talking about innocent children! You would really leave these children on the street knowing what you do about Juma? Dammit Frank, they will be used as cannon fodder! Or slaughtered in the soccer stadium for entertainment!

I consider their existence our greatest failure.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Or maybe it was because of something that impressed me in Carton's Army of the Potomac: that the soldiers were all so young and innocent... Even though it was a deadly game, and the suffering and fear were terrible and real, it was still a game played by children...

I can't hold a glass of wine yet
But they think it's fine to
Have me hold a gun
Kill a man or kill his son
Company of Thieves, "Quiet on the Front"

On Shiloh's dark and bloody ground,
The dead and wounded lay;
Amongst them was a drummer boy,
Who beat the drums that day.
A wounded soldier held him up
His drum was by his side;
He clasped his hands, then raised his eyes,
And prayed before he died.

We fight this battle not for ourselves, but for our children, and our children's children, which is why I'm forming a Children's Brigade.

Duck faces and death threats should never be paired (doesn't one cancel out the other?). Yes, these are teenagers, but they're also tomorrow's soldiers and while it's easy to write these photos off as the stupid antics of kids who don't know better, it's hard to ignore the blitheness with which they pair bikini shots with the words "death to all Arabs."

Andre: I can see what you are thinking. But we need every man we can get.
Yuri: Even if they're not men?
Andre: A bullet from a fourteen-year-old is just as effective as one from a forty-year-old. Often more effective.

Think you gangsta, popped a few rounds?
These kids'll come through and murder a whole town
Then sit back and smoke and watch it burn down
The graves get deeper the further we go down
Lupe Fiasco, "Little Weapon"

Let no child be without a sword. We will all fight, for if we fail, we will certainly all die.

To arms, oh citizens!
Form up in serried ranks!
March on, march on!
And drench our fields
With their tainted blood!
— "La Marseillaise," the French national anthem

Shepard: You've been killing since you were six?
Thane: Of course not. I did not make my first kill until I was twelve.

She walked side by side with her master down the hall of the hotel. The rugs were sodden, the walls were smeared, and the bodies separated.
She wasn't sure where to look anymore.
"M-Master... I... feel sick... why... why did we... these people...?"
He knelt down, grasping her by the shoulders while she shook from adrenaline and horror.
"We did this because these people deserved it. They pack us into boxes and work us until we die, and then write us off as resources. Expenses. We're just data to them that they pore through while they sat in this hotel, drinking wine and sleeping with women. We taught them a lesson tonight. Tonight, we reminded them we're living people, who can't be taken lightly."
He held her close, pressing her face into his jacket, and he whispered close as he picked her up and walked.
"We're knights killing dragons. Farmers killing giants. Our fight to be freed from these ruthless human rules... is a page in a story of history. We're making history, Blake."
In the folds of the master's clothes, smelling the scent of living people again, the child felt secure once more. Guided by the red of her master, she knew that, no matter what happened, at the end of the day, they were fighting evil. Enacting justice.
Making the world a better place.
She had the power to make the world a better place.

We too shall enlist
When our elders' time has come
To add to the list of deeds
Inscribed upon their tombs
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Some are eight or nine or ten
And they die like a fly, and no one knows
Who they are, they're smaller than the gun they load''
U.D.O., "They Want War"

Children, you call them? They can pull a trigger just as well as veterans, and they have the spirit of a bull narthax. Call them children if you wish. I call them troops. Good troops.
Colonel Marus Cullen, Warhammer 40,000

Do you know how they make [Space Marines], Threlnan? No, of course you don't. They find some barbaric planet where children fight before they can walk, and they hunt down the most bloodthirsty killers. They recruit them when they're twelve, thirteen, fourteen, with all that hate and that arrogance, just at the age when you think you're bulletproof and nothing can kill you. Then they keep them like that, give them a gun and some armour, and point them at the nearest enemy. They're not soldiers, colonel, they're maniacs.
Lord General Xarius, Warhammer 40,000

Fight the good fight, soldier-boy.
Colonel Glenn Stern, The Drowned Cities

It is often said that there is nothing more frightening than a teenager with an automatic weapon; this is even truer when the teen is a brainwashed madman.

Misato: You know, as much as everyone seems to want to blame Asuka, we really are all responsible. Keiko should have never been out there. Sending her was a crime.
Ritsuko: Spoken like someone who doesn't realize that what she does for a living is send children to war. Meanwhile, have you even been to see her?

You are asking a fourteen year old child to put his life on the line, going into combat against things that tear through divisions of crack troops.

If it sounds fantastic to imagine German soldiers behaving so childishly in the days before the last stand of Hitler's Reich, consider their age: many of these 'men' were indeed children, who laughed at the things children laughed at. They were adult only in their candidacy for death.
— From Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-45 by Max Hastings