~ General Norman Schwarzkopf
What does it say about the leaders of a nation when they intentionally turn a blind eye to vile and perverted acts perpetrated on children? Our society is in a dangerous mess where good is evil and evil is good and those who try and help the weakest among us are vilified.
This sickness has infected our military chain of command, which isn't surprising considering that the bucks stop everywhere–except at the Commander in Chief's desk.
Something is severely wrong when men who live and die to defend the freedoms of people around the world are being reprimanded, forced out, or charged for defending a child because in some twisted sick freakish society it's a common occurrence for men to rape little boys and girls. Not only can they not defend children from rape, they are there to train Afghan forces, some of whom are the offenders.
CNN recently reported about Sergeant 1st Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces soldier being booted involuntarily from the US Army for assaulting an Afghan police commander he describes as a "brutal child rapist."
This is the latest to a serious situation which only recently has been slowly coming out. And like cockroaches they are, the leaders are scrambling to get away from the light which exposes it.
Pedophilia is common in Afghanistan culture and in a vile practice called bacha bazi, which means "boy play boys", little boys between the ages of 9 and 15 are kept as sex slaves. It is common among rich and powerful Afghani men to have little boys as slaves. It shows off their power. As a result, armed Afghan authority figures are free to wield their power over locals and continuously abuse and rape children. And because American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban, American soldiers and Marines have been told not to interfere in "cultural differences".
As former Special Forces Captain Dan Quinn ironically observed:
"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.... But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did..."
Quinn was with Sgt. Martland when the American-backed Afghan commander was assaulted for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave and beating his mother for daring to help her son. Captain Quinn has been relieved of duty in Afghanistan and is since retired.
When Afghans raped boys on US military bases, nothing was done by Afghanistan's government or ours other than to punish any American who dared to do something or speak out about it. There was a case in which Marine Reserve Major Jason Brezler used his personal email to warn fellow Marines on their base that an Afghan police chief, with ties to the Taliban, was back at their base. Major Brezler's warning was ignored and the pedophile police chief's ‘tea boy' shot to death 3 Marines and wounded another. Had the base leadership taken the warnings seriously those three Marines could still be alive. That story first broke over three years ago, and Major Brezler still faces prosecution, discharge, and separation from the Marines because he warned his fellow Marines. And the document he emailed? It was technically classified–so it doesn't matter that he had warned his commander earlier because he had sent potentially classified material from his personal server.
In an article by the New York Times, it is mentioned that Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr., who was one of the Marines shot to death, told his father that he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base as he tried to sleep in his bunk at night.
According to the article, his father remembered him saying, "At night we can hear them screaming, but we're not allowed to do anything about it." When he told his son to tell his superiors, he replied, "My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it's their culture."
Soldiers and Marines have been understandably disturbed at the thought of the American military training, arming, and in some cases and placing child rapists' as commanders of villages, and not being allowed to do anything about it when they abuse children.
According to the CNN article, Sgt. Martland and former Captain Daniel Quinn were disciplined by the Army after they beat a local police official who they concluded had been raping a small boy. They had been told that there was nothing to do about such disgusting practices and that these were Afghan problems for the Afghan authorities to work out. The only problem is that the Afghan authorities wouldn't do anything about it either.
From a statement by Sgt. Martland:
"Afghan Local Police (ALP) were committing atrocities and we were quickly losing the support of the local populace... The severity of the rapes and the lack of action by the Afghan Government caused many of the locals to view our ALP as worse than the Taliban."
Other common cases involve young girls. When one of the militia commanders raped a teenage girl, he "suffered punishment" of a day in jail–and the girl was later forced to marry him.
Village elders grew more upset at the predatory behavior of American-backed commanders. After each case, Captain Quinn would gather the Afghan commanders and lecture them on human rights but nothing was ever done and the rapes continued.
Because of rules, both stated and unstated, that US troops must ignore the vile practice of child rape, villages whose children were victims have understandably become cynical and mistrusting of American Forces, which can be detrimental to our troops.
Cpt. Quinn and Sgt.Martland were told, through an Afghan interpreter, that a young boy had been tied to a post at the home of a local Afghan Police commander and raped repeatedly for up to two weeks. When his mother tried to stop the attacks, she was beaten. According to Quinn the story was verified with other ALP commanders from neighboring villages. Soon after, Quinn and Martland beat the rapist.
In a written statement by Marland, he warned the rapist that"if he ever went near that boy or his mother again, there was going to be hell to pay... While I understand that a military lawyer can say that I was legally wrong, we felt a moral obligation to act."
Thucydides once said, "The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
Our warriors are not fools, but our so-called scholars who command them are cowards.
Back in 2007, Obama promised to bring the war in Iraq to a "responsible end". We've since seen how that worked out. Besides the Middle East being overrun by his JV teams which we armed, draining Gitmo of terrorists, his transformation of our military, our most loyal and honorable troops are being pushed and punished for doing their jobs and living by their creeds and sworn oaths.
Not only has our transformed military under the Obama administration been detrimental and deadly to forces on the ground in various places, many of our troops have no confidence that the upper command supports them, and our Special Forces are being stretched thin and used way beyond what their missions were intended for.
In an article from The Washington Times last year, it was reported that as the war in Afghanistan was "winding down" our Special Forces have been "run into the ground". During the draw down in Iraq, it was thought there'd be fewer deployments, as Special Forces had been sent in some cases on as many as ten 9-10 month long deployments over the twelve years of fighting.
Since then, Special Forces have still faced multiple deployments as things have become worse in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many of these guys have seen hard combat for over 14 years and are still in hell holes having to deal with things we will never imagine–all while wondering if they will be forced out without any support from their commanders should they dare stick up for the defenseless.
Afghan forces are being trained by the best of our best and while diplomacy is needed, it's deplorable that our troops have to defer to or ignore child rape and other vile "cultural" practices or risk punishment.
Where are leaders with any kind of integrity, decency or morality who will back up our troops instead of leaving them to the wolves in our own government? Will no General or Commander speak up and blow this wide open, in defense of our troops? Not likely, as all those who had trust of their troops were forced out or removed from duty.
A recent report said General John Campbell, Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, denied the existence of a policy directing US troops to ignore allegations of sexual abuse of boys at the hands of Afghan forces, and stated that he expects US forces to report any suspicions regarding such sexual abuse to their superiors.
How can our troops trust Gen. Campbell when so far it's been reported that US Marines in pre-deployment training are offered practically no guidance on what to do if they witness rape and other sexual abuses by "local nationals" in other countries, including Afghanistan?
Meanwhile, the Pentagon denies that they told troops to look the other way.
Defense spokesman Captain Jeff Davis recently said,
"We have never had a policy in place that directs any military member, or any government personnel overseas to ignore human rights abuses..."
Spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email:
"Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law... There would be no express requirement that US military personnel in Afghanistan report it."
Congressman Duncan Hunter was a Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Rep. Duncan has been one of the very few who is trying to save Sgt. Martland's career. He says,
"The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way... There isn't an explicit, top-level policy that requires soldiers to look the other way, but the fact that there have been such extraordinary implications for a group of service members that attempted to stop sex abuse says it all... Someone with half a brain can look at the circumstances of these cases and make the proper determination that the service member had good reason to step in and do something."
This is a disgrace and one of the most vile things I've ever read about, but it needs to be exposed more than it has. If there were any commanders left with an ounce of moral courage, they'd be speaking publicly by now and standing by their soldiers.