AC: Killing children

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Length: 2:54

ANDERSON COOPER: In Iraq -- in this case we're talking about terrorists using children. There was an attack in the capital over the weekend. CNN's Michael Ware has been investigating this troubling new twist. He joins me now from Baghdad -- Michael.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, what we have is an American general claims that U.S. troops allowed a car bomb through a checkpoint because they saw kids in the backseat.

Now, of course, there's been no confirmation of this and it's very hard for anyone to know exactly what went on here. But the use of children as decoys for a suicide bomber, if that in fact has happened, obviously is an incredibly heinous thing.

But I mean, we've been seeing children as part of this war from the beginning. All sides in the fight here in Iraq have been killing children, either by dropping bombs on their houses, blowing them up as part of indiscriminate bombings or now literally targeting them in the sectarian civil war.

And kids have been part of the insurgency since the beginning. They're used as spotters, they're used to do reconnaissance, they're used to plant roadside bombs, they're used to trigger the bombs.

Indeed, I remember spending time with an 8-year-old who used to sit there pushing the buttons, trying to blow up U.S. troops.

So, this is just a nightmare for children from beginning to end. And this would be just a particularly heinous, new development to that -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yeah, the idea that insurgents would put children in a vehicle, ladened with explosives as a way of getting it through a U.S. checkpoint, it's a tough thing. How do you fight against that if you're a soldier, if you're a Marine, what do you do?

WARE: Well, it is. It's almost impossible to fight against. I mean, it's like the whole concept of suicide bombing. As many U.S. commanders will say, the most -- one of the most powerful weapons on a battlefield is a man willing to die.

Here, they're prepared to sacrifice children up on the altar of warfare. Now, bear in mind, those behind these suicide bombings are al Qaeda. This is in particular al Qaeda in Iraq. And it's hard-line vision. Much more hard line even than that of Osama bin Laden.

Now, to these men, anyone involved in the suicide bombings or any innocents killed in their suicide bombings are ushered quickly to heaven. They're being rushed to heaven. So in their kind of perspective for what it is, they think that they're doing these people a favor by sending them to God much quicker, honoring them as martyrs. But to everyone else, there's absolutely no justification for any kind of tactic like this whatsoever.
COOPER: I guess people come up with anything to justify their actions.

Michael Ware, appreciate the reporting.