Ghazi, who has said he and his followers will fight to the end, now says the 1,800 children he holds have been divided into two groups and will join his fighters against any assault. [...]
"The boys are the first line of defense, then the girls," he said. "They have all sworn an oath on the Koran that they will fight to the death."
All Ghazi needed was eight weeks:
Khan, the desperate father and shopkeeper, succeeded Friday in getting his two daughters to leave the compound with a ruse.
Reaching them once again by cell phone, he told them their mother was ill and lay unconscious on the pavement outside. The two girls left the compound and were taken by their father.
Saima, Khan's 10-year-old daughter, denounced the trick.
"The teachers taught us about martyrdom and that it is a great achievement," she told the Times. "I could see the fighting was in front of me and I could understand that we would die. I felt real anger about what my father did. He tricked me."
"I'm taking them back to our village," Khan said. "They were ready for martyrdom and they're very angry with me. I'm just happy I've got my daughters back, and sorry for those whose daughters are still in there."
According to Khan, Saima's transformation had taken only eight weeks.
At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11-years-old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.Politicians make much of their passion for The Children, passing bans on everything from smoking to dodge ball out of concern for their well-being. Meanwhile, House Speaker Speaker Nancy Pelosi is promising a "month of action" to "end the war," thereby ensuring stories like those above become only more frequent. Too bad Iraqi/Pakistani parents don't vote in Democratic primaries.