Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Deprogramming child soldiers

My friend in Zimbabwe worked with the gov't there with the insurgents when that war was done, helping them complete their education and get reintegrated into society.

Many of the simple things we took for granted had been forgotten (or never learned) because they lost that part of their life. And part of the integration was to learn social roles: Not acting out violently, being polite, how to act with others.

Let's face it: It's fun for a teenager to join an insurgency, get a gun, and use the gun to get things you want: Booze, drugs, women/sex and the power to push around weaker people. That is why so many lands have a criminal subset that recruits the very young, but it is also why if these gangs live long enough they outgrow these things and want to come home again.

This is true for FARC, or ISIS, or the "Mukomana" of Zimbabwe, or our NPA,-- or of the Crips and Bloods and street gangs of the US inner city.

One of my relatives was involved in reintegrating Saddam Hussein's men into Iraqi society by deprogramming their cult like ideas, and then slowly adding positive ideas to replace the programming.

I even read years ago that Syria had a similar program that did this to detoxify their returning terrorists, partly by arranging their terrorists to get married to a good girl... hmm... Beauty and the Beast?

But what about women? That is even more complicated.

So I found this post about the halfway house helping a FARC female insurgent to return to normal society.

Don't know who "FARC" is?

 for 52 years the Marxist FARC rebels have clashed with the government. The conflict left 260,000 dead, terrorizing Colombians for years with forced displacements, kidnappings, gruesome torture and disappearances.

many joined the group to fight for peasants rights, but like other Marxists, they became enmeshed in the communist ideas that made everyone else a target for violence, including innocent civilians. ...

there were several amnesties and alas government hit squads against those who tried to clean up their act (and I suspect, like here, some of those who retired were offed by their former comrads but the murder blamed on government hit squads). A relative in Colombia lost her common law husband this way after he quit, killed by people unknown.

the woman in the story joined for adventure and equality, but found she had to sleep with those who she didn't want to, abort her children and take contraception that made her sick.

after returning home after being sick, the government picked her up and enrolled her in a halfway house to retrain her how to live in society... and trying to reintegrate into the female role in a very traditional society.

But now she is infertile and can never be a full mother....

a sad story on many levels.

No comments: