From the New York Times, Joseph Goldstein
"Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan,
particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural
landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha
bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been
instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan
allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and
The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized
Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers
and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out
pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and
placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they
began abusing children.
“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the
Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,”
said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an
American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed
as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do
things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village
elders voiced to me.”
The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their
Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges
that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even
career ruin, for disobeying it."
Forgive me, but my first thought is "WTF".
This is unbelievable. Child molestation in Afghanistan is OK because it's a cultural thing? We should leave them alone? Look the other way?
First, I do not know how this kind of behavior becomes cultural or pervasive in a given society and I do not care. If there are worse things than say abortion in this world, then this has to be it. Our troops have to be the closest thing to law and order in that country right now and they are not even allowed to help the helpless? There will be literal hell to pay for this kind of moral failure on judgement day and I am not talking about the molesters (though it won't be so good for them either). We are in a position to stop and even change this behavior and we do nothing. We let it happen. We can save the Afghans from the Taliban, but we cannot save their children from their adults.
This is incredible to me. I do not know how the Afghans can live this way, allowing this sort of thing to happen, but neither do I understand how the US military can let it go on. Looking the other way is the same as approval in my book. Y'all are going to hell. I hope you know that.
I hate our government. Go read the entire article.