Jonah Goldberg

Well, this is the new peer pressure in the Middle East. And, it seems to me, bullying a kid into self-vaporization and murder is worse than teasing a girl into an eating disorder. Call me crazy.

But because of the romanticization of terrorism - at least terrorism aimed at Israel - there's a widespread reluctance to see this stuff for what it is. Indeed, young Hussam is far from the first or the youngest of the kids to be "recruited" - i.e. brainwashed - into vaporizing themselves. And yet, the outrage has always been tempered by declarations about how this is what happens when Israel does X, Y or Z.

But even if you go by the weak-tea morality of modern culture - even if you firmly believe that Israel is the most fraudulent nation in the universe - there's no way you can make this kid into a "freedom fighter," and there's no way you can make into noble warriors the sick bastards who told him his highest use as a human was to be a grenade.

These kids aren't doing this because of the "occupation." They're doing it to be cool or to get (otherwordly) chicks. By all accounts, the terror masters in these various groups send their own kids to boarding schools. It's only other peoples' kids who they think are worth sending to "paradise," often by having them kill other kids.

This is all worth pondering in the wake of the assassination of Ahmed Yassin. The founder of Hamas, Yassin was also a founding father of suicide bombing. A significant segment of elite world opinion holds it was somehow wrong to kill Yassin because he was old, popular and in a wheelchair.

If you want to make the case that the killing wasn't a smart move, fine, that's debatable. But the morality was crystal clear. Yassin chose to be a pied-piper of kiddy-murder with his eyes wide open. That's more than you can say about Hussam Abdu, those like him, or their intended victims.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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