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Friday, November 12, 2021 

How the US government/military refused to stop child rape in Afghanistan

While the botched retreat from Afghanistan under Joe Biden is definitely atrocious and has led to some of the worst results in the aftermath, even before that, the US totally failed some of the most vulnerable members of Afghan society and stymied efforts to mend damage:
There’s nothing wrong with highlighting a tragedy, and America should act with foreign governments to stop the abuse of children. Thus, the following is explicitly not a criticism of persons like Nauert, who are simply raising awareness about a problematic issue. Child marriage is all too common in the Islamic world, and to the extent America has leverage over foreign governments we should make ending this practice a priority.

Yet what is extremely dishonest is the implication — stated explicitly by Haidare and surely implied by others, including Cheney and CNN — that child marriage like this, and child abuse generally, wasn’t widespread during America’s two-decade occupation of Afghanistan.

The Big Lie about Human Rights in Afghanistan

Not only did child marriage of girls occur during the U.S. occupation — where laws passed to garner foreign approval were not enforced on the ground — but U.S. “allies” practiced widespread abuse of young boys.

Afghanistan’s awful tradition of bacha bazi or “boy play” — the sexual abuse of young boys by powerful men — has not received sufficient attention. A significant reason the Taliban came to power in the 1990s, with public support, was their fight against bacha bazi and the warlords who practiced it. Under the Taliban, bacha bazi was punishable by death. Yet bacha bazi returned with the U.S.-backed government.

In the words of a U.K. human rights group: “Whilst the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by the US improved the prospects of certain oppressed groups in Afghanistan, for example women, it actually increased the prevalence of bacha bazi. The Taliban’s harsh punishments for those accused of participating in the practice were no longer enforced due to the vacuum of power left by the war.”

But we would go farther. The abuses were concentrated among the warlords and police forces, who were empowered by America and fought alongside American soldiers. A heartbreaking PBS documentary from 2010 shows widespread bacha bazi in the police forces and among local warlords. The problem is not isolated, although it was more openly practiced by powerful men in the countryside.

Boys were kidnapped from their families in broad daylight. Parents were often powerless to fight back because the kidnappers were the police or had the backing of the police
. An excerpt from one account of a man whose son was kidnapped reads: “Sardarwali was desperate to reach out to his son, to hold him — but did not dare approach the bevy of policemen that surrounded him.”
This is abominable, and one of the hugest stains on US historical records. It gets worse:
America’s leaders hardly lifted a finger, and excused the abuses as “their culture.” Idiots, fools, and worse in our government and military leadership justified ignoring the problem by judging the child-abusing warlords and police as the “lesser of two evils” in the fight against the Taliban. So American soldiers were ordered not to intervene.

The scandal made news in 2015, after an American soldier, Gregory Buckley Jr., was killed when a group of abused boys grabbed guns and shot up a base. Weeks before Buckley lost his life, he told his father: “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it.” Another U.S. soldier, Dan Quinn, was fired after he had a fight with a U.S.-backed militia leader because the warlord had a boy chained to his bed.

In response, Congress passed a bipartisan law sponsored by Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont that was intended to stop funding Afghan military and police who abused young boys. The Pentagon didn’t enforce the law, because doing so would likely have meant cutting funding for most if not all warlords and Afghan military units, especially in areas where competition with the Taliban was heavy.

Congress called for an independent report, but the Pentagon stonewalled that and did their own, glossed-over report, much of which is classified. The problem was never fixed. Only in the final years of the corrupt Afghan government did they make bacha bazi illegal (though enforcement was still likely nonexistent).

Let all this sink in and disgust you to high heaven. Washington fought a war in the name of human rights, yet many of our allies were serial child rapists.
Even promotion of feminism didn't impress women in Afghanistan, and this news only compounds what a farce the whole quest to combat Islamic terrorism really was all these years. The war against terrorism will not be won by excusing barbarism as mere "cultural differences". Now, even that much has been reduced to asphalt, as Biden's bunch withdrew troops from Afghanistan, and it could be an epoch until this is ever fixed, if at all.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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