U.S. soldiers told to ignore Afghan allies’ paedophilia “because it’s their culture”

What are we in Afghanistan for, if not to stand for our own values and the principles of human rights?

“Those are the ones brought near in the Gardens of Pleasure, a company of the former peoples and a few of the later peoples, on thrones woven, reclining on them, facing each other. There will circulate among them young boys made eternal with vessels, pitchers and a cup from a flowing spring.” — Quran 56:11-18

“And they will be given to drink a cup whose mixture is of ginger, a fountain within Paradise named Salsabeel. There will circulate among them young boys made eternal. When you see them, you would think them scattered pearls. And when you look there, you will see pleasure and great dominion.” — Quran 76:17-20

“Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old.” (About Muhammed’s paedophile relationship to the child girl Aisha, Sahih Bukhari 3:48:829).

My question: How can you expect that Muslims see rape as something wrong when they grow up in a culture where it is expected that men and women are forced to marry and have a life long sexual relationship?

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“In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

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 court records.

The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militia 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.
Gregory Buckley Sr. believes the policy of looking away from sexual abuse was a factor in his son’s death.

“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 pedophilia 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.

After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.

Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander. …

Still, the former lance corporal, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid offending fellow Marines, recalled feeling sickened the day he entered a room on a base and saw three or four men lying on the floor with children between them. “I’m not a hundred percent sure what was happening under the sheet, but I have a pretty good idea of what was going on,” he said.

But the American policy of treating pedophilia as a cultural issue has often alienated the villages whose children were being preyed upon. The pitfalls of the policy emerged clearly as American Special Forces soldiers began to form Afghan Local Police militias to hold villages that American forces had retaken from the Taliban in 2010 and 2011.

By the summer of 2011, Captain Quinn and Sergeant Martland, both Green Berets on their second tour in northern Kunduz Province, began to receive dire complaints about the Afghan Local Police units they were training and supporting.

First, one of the militia commanders raped a 14- or 15-year-old girl whom he had spotted working in the fields. Captain Quinn informed the provincial police chief, who soon levied punishment. “He got one day in jail, and then she was forced to marry him,” Mr. Quinn said. …

Village elders grew more upset at the predatory behavior of American-backed commanders. After each incident, Captain Quinn would gather the Afghan commanders and lecture them on human rights.

Soon another commander absconded with his men’s wages. Mr. Quinn said he later heard the commander had spent the money on dancing boys. Another commander murdered his 12-year-old daughter in a so-called “honor killing” for having kissed a boy. “There were no repercussions,” Mr. Quinn recalled.”

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