They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest To Eradicate The Use Of Child Soldiers de Romeo Dallaire

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest To Eradicate The Use Of Child Soldiers

deRomeo Dallaire

Couverture rigide | 17 octobre 2016 | anglais

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"The ultimate focus of the rest of my life is to eradicate the use of child soldiers and to eliminate even the thought of the use of children as instruments of war." —Roméo Dallaire

In conflicts around the world, there is an increasingly popular weapon system that requires negligible technology, is simple to sustain, has unlimited versatility and incredible capacity for both loyalty and barbarism. In fact, there is no more complete end-to-end weapon system in the inventory of war-machines. What are these cheap, renewable, plentiful, sophisticated and expendable weapons? Children.

Roméo Dallaire was first confronted with child soldiers in unnamed villages on the tops of the thousand hills of Rwanda during the genocide of 1994. The dilemma of the adult soldier who faced them is beautifully expressed in his book''s title: when children are shooting at you, they are soldiers, but as soon as they are wounded or killed they are children once again.

Believing that not one of us should tolerate a child being used in this fashion, Dallaire has made it his mission to end the use of child soldiers. In this book, he provides an intellectually daring and enlightening introduction to the child soldier phenomenon, as well as inspiring and concrete solutions to eradicate it.
LGEN THE HON. ROMÉO DALLAIRE (Ret) served thirty-five years with the Canadian Armed Forces and now sits in the Canadian Senate. His Governor General''s Literary Award-winning book, Shake Hands with the Devil, exposed the failures of the international community to stop the worst genocide in the twentieth century. It has been turn...
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Titre :They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest To Eradicate The Use Of Child So...Format :Couverture rigideDimensions de l'article :320 pages, 9.42 X 6.28 X 1.13 poDimensions à l'expédition :320 pages, 9.42 X 6.28 X 1.13 poPublié le :17 octobre 2016Langue :anglais

Les ISBN ci-dessous sont associés à ce titre :

ISBN - 10 :0307355772

ISBN - 13 :9780307355775

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1.WARRIOR BOY  When I was a child, my father set out to build a cabin in the bush in the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec. The site was on a small cliff overlooking a violin-shaped lake, with virgin bush for tens of kilometres in nearly all directions around it. In the late fall and winter, the local farmers would go into the woods with their enormous horses and chains and tackles and sleighs to cut and then haul out spruce and cedar, and even the odd oak, to the provincial road where the logs would be piled sky-high until spring. I would marvel at these weather-beaten and muscle-bound farmers and their sons, who seemed to effortlessly wield enormous axes and bucksaws a hundred feet long. My father was a staff-sergeant serving in the Canadian Army, with three children and a wife to support and no money to spare on any kind of a dream cabin. And so he brought down some of the huge trees around the site (he’d been a lumberjack before he joined the army in 1928), had them sawn into lumber at the village sawmill, and over the course of several years scrounged the rest of what he needed to complete what we not-so-affectionately dubbed the Slave Camp. Nothing really fit, be it window, plumbing or stairs. The dock regularly went astray, as the battle between man and beast (the beavers) kept the water levels in constant flux. A trip to the cabin meant steady work. Beyond the need to constantly tweak the make-do materials of our shelter in the woods, there were other reasons for the unending labour. Dad was a huge man with a very powerful chest, heavily tattooed arms, and hands that could smother a pineapple. He was a veteran of the Second World War, and like many veterans was haunted by that experience, sometimes to the point of allowing that destructive world to invade our home life. When the brain injury we now call post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) took hold of him, he was reliving, not remembering, the carnage he had witnessed, and perhaps caused. Sometimes he could damp down the horrors with alcohol, but often that didn’t work. The cottage turned into a therapeutic instrument that provided him with a healthier outlet for his demons. He essentially lived for the summer weekends and the two weeks of vacation each year when he could escape to the bush and work on “his” cabin. Dad really needed to keep busy, and he expected his only son to act as his gofer. How I despised that job. Go get this, and that, and the other, for hours on end when the lake was beckoning me to swim, to fish. But no, that was play and there was no time for that when he was at the lake. I lived for the summer days when Dad had to be in town, leaving my mother, my two sisters and me at the cabin. Although he’d pile enough chores on me to keep two men busy all week, I now had the lake to swim in without having to guiltily avoid him, and the nearby sandpits to disappear into, where I built grand fortresses and fought the greatest battles of all time on its plains using small plastic soldiers and Dinky Toy tanks. And I had the endless bush to discover. The forest was dense and totally enveloping. I would roam at will, stopping often to idle, to listen for birdsong and animal rustling, and to dream in unadulterated freedom. I forded creeks and swamps, and climbed high cliffs to bask on large exposed rocks where the sun would soon cover me with sweat. Alone in my humanity, I shed all constraints, rules, hypocrisy, pain and sorrow, escaping from that intense childhood stress of living according to other people’s demands. At a swamp’s edge between small lakes, birds fluttered, ducks and wild geese swam, and bugs skated on the surface of the water. There was abundance for all and no sign of calamity or friction. Life buzzed along in a sort of symphony of small sounds that soothed rather than worried or excited me. I would daydream in the stillness, experiencing pure joy. I would tear my T-shirt into two pieces, mark it up with crayon and dirt, then string the pieces, front and back, like a loincloth. In that moment I had transformed into a Huron, an Iroquois, a Cree, a Montagnais. I was a warrior. I was a brave, skilled in the ways of the forest and free to move by instinct, by need. The forest protected me. The canopy far above shaded me from rain and wind, and the soft forest floor cushioned my steps. I learned how to run swiftly and stealthily, without the rustle of a branch or the snap of a twig. Among the trees I had no boundaries except what I could see and smell and touch and sense. I was alive and I was without limits. I would observe the chipmunks and marvel at the speed and adroitness of their skirmishing, neither hurting their opponent nor injuring themselves in their leaps and bounds from the forest floor to the ends of hanging limbs. I would listen to birds and wonder at so many disparate songs and screeches, and their mastery of communication. The rare deer I spotted would remain motionless to blend into the brush, but its big eyes would always give it away, for they sparkled. With a wave of its tail, it would eventually relax and move on, nibbling at vegetation as it went. And then there were the bugs and bugs and more bugs: scurrying around old fallen dead trees and in the trunks still standing, or scuttling away from me in the mud when I lifted a mat of fallen leaves, or gliding on the surfaces and diving in the depths of the little streams. The rat-a-tat-tat of the occasional woodpecker punching holes in rotting trees and feasting on their tiny but abundant prey led me to imagine how it must have been for soldiers at the front facing murderous machine-gun fire. It seemed an unfair match. The ants were busy and impatient, as were bumblebees, whereas friendly ladybugs would stop for a rest on my arm and look up as if to say something important before flying away. Butterflies were like that, too. They seemed to take the time to show off their magnificent wings, as if they were gracing me with a visit rather than working to survive. One majestic insect stood out from all the others. The dragonfly did not seem particularly interested in me; it remained aloof even when lighting briefly on my arm, as if it didn’t matter that I was watching. By name alone, the dragonfly evoked images of a place that existed within and beyond my childish imagination: a magic world of castles and wizards, knights and fair damsels, dark forests and the evil that lurked therein. The other insects had their own exciting roles to fill. I was fascinated with their passion for survival. My forest friends, without exception, were obsessed with building, carrying, protecting. Their lives were perfect examples of Thomas Hobbes’s view of existence in the state of nature—“nasty, brutish and short”—and yet I saw a magic in their existence that I did not see in my own. To me, the dragonfly was the leader of the insect world, superior in strength, beauty and skills but, I imagined, compassionate also. The dragonfly led me into a world I created for myself, far away from civilization with its pain and hardships. I built that world not from fantasies, but from the realities of my life. I would play out an experience that had frustrated me with my cast of insect characters, reworking it to my satisfaction. In my forest world, I could correct injustices and stand up for myself and other small, weak and young creatures. In this world of freedom and play, I was unconsciously creating my character as a human, and becoming a man. At the end of a day of such play, when I stumbled back to civilization, with all its harsh realities and limitations, I carried my imaginary world in the recesses of my mind. It was there whenever I needed to escape. It was my refuge, my place to enjoy and learn, my place to settle my emotions and work out my inner battles to understand the confusing and difficult adult world around me. No matter how I clung to it, however, I could never use it to resolve the anxious pain in my stomach I felt when I had to emerge from the freedom of the forest and return to the confines of the adult world with its clothes, chores and rules. At times, of course, the real world contained people who offered me genuine love and respect, but they were few and far between. I felt as if the adult world was a place where there was no time to play, too much work, and zillions of restrictions on how and why to do things designed to mould me to its will. This indoctrination was conducted without consent on the part of the child. Au contraire, it was done “for your own good.” How I would come to dread the appearance of the long shadows made by the enormous maples of the forest, announcing that the day was coming to an end. As the sun made a fast getaway behind the hills, I would be plunged into semi-darkness. It often caught me by surprise, this darkness that brought me back to the adult world each night. And, as the summer drew to a close, the shadows signalled a complete return to the adult world over the long winter months, without the respite of the forest. With the hangover from the Labour Day weekend’s grand fete resolved with a last swim, we joined the great procession of city dwellers heading back home—into lives of opulence for some and into urban swamps for others. We lived in one of the swamps: east-end Montreal. I dreaded the stench of the petrochemical plants around which the government had built cheap and “temporary” wartime housing for veterans and their families. You could smell my part of town from the other side of the city if the wind was blowing in

Table des matières

Foreword by Ishmael Beah
 
Introduction
 
1. Warrior Boy
2. Little Soldiers, Little Killers
3. Kidom
4. Kidom Lost
5. How a Child Soldier Is Made
6. How a Child Soldier Is Trained and Used
7. How to Unmake a Child Soldier
8. The Moment: Killing a Child Soldier
9. The Child Soldiers Initiative
10. What You Can Do
 
Appendix: International Action on Child Protection and Child Soldiers
 
Recommended Reading
Recommended Websites
Acknowledgements
Index

Critiques

NATIONAL BESTSELLERA Globe and Mail Best Book “A compelling, moving and insightful book that exposes the problem of child soldiers in all its dimensions. . . . The book is emblematic of Dallaire’s resolve, compassion and abiding commitment to justice. . . . Refreshingly sincere.”  — Samantha Nutt, The Globe and Mail (Best Book) “Gripping.”  — Calgary Herald “Discover for yourself the compassion that shines through in this book. . . . Heartbreaking and informative. . . . After all the horrors Dallaire has seen, his enthusiasm and optimism is a wonder. But it’s also infectious and refreshing.”  — The Gazette “Painful but beautifully rendered.”  — The Vancouver Sun “As a documentation of the changing face of modern global warfare it is a must-read.”   — Telegraph-Journal