Is the U.S. okay with child rape?
It’s called bacha bazi (“boy play”). Afghans have been raping young boys aged 9 to 15 for centuries. In Afghanistan, wives are for having families and boys are for pleasure. Despite the thousands of boys being violated, the American government line is that this sickening practice is something the Afghans must work out.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland is being forced out of the army after receiving a black mark on his record for intervening in a child rape case. This week the New York Times reported Martland and a Special Forces captain, Dan Quinn, beat up an Afghan commander who kept a boy chained to a bed. Why is he being forced out? Why hasn’t he gotten a medal and promotion?
The Pentagon says they have no policy telling soldiers to ignore child rape. But soldiers tell a different story. Some say they were told by superiors to look the other way because it was a part of their culture. Child rape culture.
I love diversity. This is just evil.
Why have we been over there since 2001? Why have we been taking tax dollars from American workers and handing it to that regime? Are we willing to trade the shattered psyches and physical violation of children for safety?
Don’t we ever get tired of looking away? We pretend to not notice the surge in opium production, the rape of women and the systemic discrimination and subjugation of women in Afghanistan. We close our eyes when homosexuals are buried alive in Afghanistan. While we’re in 2015 with our iPhones, Xboxes and lattes this basket case of a country lives in 900 A.D. with our money and apparently our blessing.
A report earlier this year found that $45 billion couldn’t be accounted for in Afghanistan. My son-in-law, who has worked in Afghanistan for years, has told me stories of Afghans who have stolen American goods and shipments and opened their own shops with them. Our money and investment of personnel should never come with no strings attached.
Even as I condemn the practice, keep in mind that many Afghans find the practice abhorrent as well.
It’s a lot to ask our men and women in uniform to go thousands of miles away and risk their lives. They’ve signed up for it and are prepared to make that noble ultimate sacrifice. What no one is prepared to do is listen to little boys scream as Afghan commanders rape them in the next room. How can anyone ever unhear that evil sound?
I’m not Pollyanna. I know that often nations have to deal with the allies they have and not the allies they want. We have a long history of partnering with unsavory leaders mostly because we had little choice. But our investment must come with strings. Cultures are certainly different and often we have significant differences and we respect that. Child rape isn’t something we can compromise on.
This issue was addressed in the past and surprisingly; it hasn’t seemed to gain traction with the American public. The 2010 documentary, The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan investigates the phenomenon of young boys dressed like women who must dance and cater to wealthy Afghans who bid on them. In 2013, CBS’ “60 Minutes” touched on the issue on a report about groups of boys fleeing Afghanistan.
The first I’d heard of the subject was a 2010 opinion column by Joel Brinkley in the San Francisco Chronicle. The last line of the article haunts me to this day: “As one boy, in tow of a man he called ‘my lord,’ told the Reuters reporter: ‘Once I grow up, I will be an owner, and I will have my own boys.’”
Are we really doing this? Are we really telling soldiers to look away while children are raped? Even the Taliban banned bacha bazi! What are we doing?