Monday, August 23, 2004

The Two Paradigms: The Child Soldier & Army Soldier

Sometime back I had made a posting on this blog, how the current global conflicts (from "Civilized World" vs. Al-Qaida to RIAA vs. P2P) are all manifestations of a clash of two competing paradigms.

Today, while reading this news-item in Telegraph, this idea of "the clash of paradigms" became more visible:

Struggling to lift a Kalashnikov, a 12-year-old with the Mahdi army militia said he could do anything in battle except fly a helicopter.

"Last night I fired a rocket-propelled grenade against a tank," he said. "The Americans are weak. They fight for money and status and squeal like pigs when they die.

"But we will kill the unbelievers because faith is the most powerful weapon."

The boy called himself Moqtada, styled after the rebel cleric whose ranks he joined a month ago having travelled to Najaf from the Shia slum of Sadr City in Baghdad. He said that he hopes for a glorious death.

Compare this belief-driven warrier to those who opt for a career as a soldier. If one reads monetary benefits, educational facilties, healthcare and timeoff, which The site describes to attract "job applicants", it becomes so easy to understand the two different worlds - each with its own motivations, expectations, understanding of what the war is all about, etc. - from which the two sides of Iraq-War III are coming from (I used the term "Iraq-War III" because the last one got over a year back!)

One can also see parallels in the two "worlds" in which warring parties (e.g., Windows vs. Linux; World Economic Forum vs. the grass-root movements, etc.) live...

No comments: