April 19, 2006
One for another
There is a disparaging contrast between the latest Islamic suicide bomber, barely old enough to grow facial hair, and the Kamikaze pilots from WWII. I draw attention to the two because they are similar in design in that they both die for their cause or belief system.
What struck me right away was the young Palestinian suicide bomber, Sami Omar. Clad in ceremonial garb in front of the word “god” written behind him, he has a lost and soulless look defined not only by his face but reinforced by his eyes. He has the look of someone that has been told what he is doing is right but still has some reservation in completing the task. More talk of virgins and everlasting life had to have followed this photo. He just doesn’t look convinced that strapping bombs to himself and dying in the name of his god is that great of an idea.
Compare and contrast the video of the Palestinian suicide bomber with the Japanese suicide bombers of WWII. These pilots didn’t have to be suckered in with promises of never ending virgin sex; they volunteered to give their lives in the name of honor. Look at the pilots in the picture and look at their expressions. They are ready to die for their cause and even had their picture taken with a puppy. No doubts on their faces. I am not implying that all tokkotai were jumping around with glee as they got into their airplanes. They just didn’t look like they’d been tricked into doing so.
In both instances, the suicide bombers reveal a desperation for victory. It is the last play in a playbook of a reckless strategist that resorts to using one human life to take out another. As a military member, I have more respect for the Kamikaze trained to suicidally take out military targets than for a lunatic who strolls into a populated area and kills civilians.