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The Evil That Men Think, Then Do

Naturally curious, children are likely to pick up strange objects, such as the infamous toy-like 'butterfly' mines that Soviet forces spread by the millions in Afghanistan.

Operative Sugar introduced me to butterfly mines today. In the course of my investigations I've read too much about the horrific and heinous things our species does to each other, for whatever inane and unjustifiable reasons. But this one has deeply disturbed me — my insides are shaking in ways I've seldom felt before.

The butterfly mine:

Butterfly mines are one of the deadliest form of anti-personnel landmine, a device designed to explode on contact with a human being.

Brightly coloured and made of plastic, butterfly mines do not specifically target children, according to their manufacturers. But the fact remains they hold an often-fatal attraction.

But they do target children. Someone, somewhere, had an idea to create an anti-personnel device specifically targeted at children.

The targets:

They were called butterfly mines because when scattered from a helicopter, they fall from the air like butterflies. Because they are colorful and look interesting, children pick them up and while they are playing with them, the blasting caps blow off the children's fingers. After this, a nitric acid-like liquid inside the mines blinds them. The Soviet Union used these mines to show the Afghan resistance forces the consequences of their resistance.


Millions of these small green mines were scattered from helicopters or launched from artillery throughout the war in Afghanistan. They became so familiar that children began to call them "green parrots". One 'wing' contains liquid explosive.

When pressure is applied the explosive is forced into contact with the fuse. The amount of explosive is small, but it can still take a child's hand off.

Some 4 year old, being naturally inquisitive, picks it up, turns it over a few times in his hands, bends it back and fortBOOM! blasts his face off.

I don't have much more to say about this. I'm just thoroughly sad and disgusted at our species, and wonder if maybe we deserve whatever is going to happen to us once Bush is re-selected next week.

Brown Butterfly MineGreen Butterfly Mine w Doll

Think for a moment about the concept of the flamethrower. Okay? The flamethrower. Because we have them. Well, *we* don't have them, the army has them. That's right. We don't have any flamethrowers. I'd say we're fucked if we have to go up against the army, wouldn't you? But we have flamethrowers. And what this indicates to me, it means that at some point, some person said to himself, "Gee, I sure would like to set those people on fire over there. But I'm way to far away to get the job done. If only I had something that would throw flame on them." Well, it might have ended right there, but he mentioned it to his friend. His friend who was good with tools. And about a month later, he was back. "Hey, quite a concept!" WHHOOOOOOOOSSHHH! And of course the army heard about it, and they came around. "We'd like to buy about five hundred-thousand of them please. We have some people we'd like to throw flame on. Give us five hundred thousand and paint them dark brown. We don't want anyone to see them.
    -George Carlin

[On a related note, here in the Toronto area lately there have been a string of heinous pranks involving hidden razors and glass shards on beaches and in playgrounds. Sometimes I really wish there was such as thing as Justice and Hell...]