Our guide insisted that before leaving we should all climb into a very old plane parked outside the museum. Once inside, we realized that the plane’s cabin had been converted into a classroom where children visiting the museum were shown films about land mines – how villages could go about clearing them, and how children could avoid them. They were encouraged never to touch a land mine, to identify partially exposed mines on sight, and to understand how terrible these weapons are. With shock I remembered visiting the Intrepid Museum years before, a converted U.S. aircraft carrier that is still moored at its pier in Manhattan, and feeling outraged that the school teachers who had brought their students there would allow the children to climb into the tiny coin-operated facsimile bomber aircraft that let them aim bombs, using a joystick, not even at individual humans but at whole countries, at maps of Iraq and Central Asia, allowing them to imagine bombing whole peoples, for fun, without seeing a single human face.
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