Home Opinions Cultural Divide: American military forced to enable child predators

Cultural Divide: American military forced to enable child predators

Illustration by: Rachel Bostick | Staff Illustrator

In Afghanistan, it is considered a sign of prominence to have a “bacha bazi,” which is a little boy sex slave.

The “beardless boys” generally have an age range of 12 to 15 years, which is basically around the time puberty starts. The boys are often from some small villages and are kidnapped primarily by warlords and police, but anyone can obtain one should they choose.

Although most cases are nonconsensual, some men actually do court these pre-adolescent boys. The men attempt to entice them with gifts such as money and sweets for a few months until the boy ends up willingly agreeing to a sexual relationship.

This horrific practice has been around for centuries and likely has a lot to do with the fact that women are absolutely unattainable. Men rarely see anything other than ankles and eyes on any woman outside of family.

So when pent-up sexual frustration arises, pre-adolescent boys and occasional girls tend to be the answer. One might never know whether it is based on homosexuality or because girls are subjected rather frequently to honor killings for even a kiss.

However, an even bigger problem has risen between Afghani police and the United States soldiers who have been stationed there for the last several years.

Afghani police and militia are bringing these bacha bazis into the camps with the soldiers. Due to the close proximity between both groups, the soldiers often hear the cries of these innocent boys.

How can this get any worse? Per strict military orders, the soldiers are not allowed to interfere with these pedophilic practices. Many soldiers are have had military careers ruined or received severe punishment for intervening on behalf of these children.

According to reports from soldiers, they are in living hell.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” said one serviceman to his father during was the last call the Marine made to his father before he was killed days later.

Many intervene anyway. Dan Quinn, former Special Forces captain, was relieved of service after assaulting an Afghani militia commander who had a little boy chained to his bed.

According to Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesperson for the U.S. military, “Allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.”

Right, so let the authorities known to indulge in bacha bazi practices themselves handle issues regarding child sex slaves. Good job, U.S. military.

For those wondering how this could go on, the answer is quite simple—the military is choosing not to get involved in order to maintain good relations with Afghani servicemen. It is considered to be a part of their culture. So basically, soldiers who went to fight a war based on immoral practices by the Taliban are now being forced to quell and go against their own morals.

Here’s the kicker—the Taliban are actually fighting bacha bazi practices. If a man is found to be practicing homosexuality with a pre-adolescent boy, he is tied down while they use a tank to knock over a wall on him.

It is difficult to justify the United States military’s position on this subject. American troops should not be forced to defend these monsters.

We cannot be the great country that prides itself on doing what is just, while simultaneously enabling immoral practices.


  1. This may be one of the stupidest things I have ever read. For starters you have completely neglected the cultural aspect of this. This is not an American country. This is a culture that has existed as such for many years. What they are doing is absolutely wrong but to destroy the culture of these people would completely eliminate anything that we as a country have established in their political system. Is it wrong? Absolutely. Is there anything we can realistically do? Absolutely not. That goes without saying a single thing about all the “cultural awareness/acceptance” bs that is pushing every day on this campus. You said yourself in this article that their militia and police forces are working to eliminate this. So my question to you is why is this a relevant article. You list a sickening problem that nobody on this campus will have to deal with unless they choose to enlist in the military and fight it, you do not list any form of solution through all of your pathetic sarcastic undertones which to me implies you have done little research, and on top of that, for whatever reason you have pushed this under a “sexuality” section in the newspaper.

    I would go even further with your lack of research into this religion by looking into your justification of why this happens. You state its because women are “unobtainable.” Did you stop to look at why they have their cultural beliefs that women should remain covered? Did you do any form of research into how things like marriage occur in this religion? Or possibly how the women there share many less rights than American women do?

    Do some research and write a better article. This is a disgusting representation of a disgusting problem that is not and cannot be solved with your poor explanations.

    Sgt. Wood

  2. Furthermore, this is why we cannot do anything. We as a country and we as a military do not have the ability to do anything.


    A soldier in the Army stood up to this following his moral judgment and made a judgment against this filth and is now being dishonorably discharged. You cannot change that which does not and cannot be changed.

  3. A response to the above ignoramus, self-titled Sgt. Wood.

    Firstly, I must pay my respect to you, Sgt., for the service that you provide our nation. I do not intend to demean your service or your experiences. However, you’re critique of Ms. King’s column (not an article) is rather pathetic. Your condescending tone betrays you and makes you sound like a troll. Her column is relevant because she has an opinion about it, and this is an OPINIONS COLUMN…. Furthermore, I was pretty unaware of this, as I’m sure lots of readers are, so columns like these, even if you think they’re factually in error, serve the purpose of shining light on the issue in the first place, which might inspire people do so some research of their own.

    You say, “[Afghanistan] is not an American country.” You’re correct in the simple fact that Afghanistan does not equal America. But our presence there is to help their people adapt into the modern world. We are there to help autocratic government fight against theocratic fascists, and you would be believing a lie to think that we’re not importing our culture there as well. Educate yourself homie on this one example of many: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/years-after-invasion-the-us-leaves-a-cultural-imprint-on-afghanistan/2015/06/28/fd521cb4-e518-11e4-ae0f-f8c46aa8c3a4_story.html

    We cannot abandon the principles that define our culture when trying to help other cultures become more like ours.

    Now, when you say “Is it wrong? Absolutely. Is there anything we can realistically do? Absolutely not.” You’re wrong.

    The only hope for our civilization is that people are willing to change their culture, so that medieval and primitive methods of human interactions are left behind, and we move on together under banners of tolerance and personal liberties. This especially includes cultures where rape is still considered as an okay thing to do. Oh, but it’s just their culture, why should we step in and try to change these immoral things, I mean, it’s their tradition and wouldn’t we be coming off as “moral superiors?” YES! The point is there exist morally superior ways to think than that rape is OKAY, or that murder is OKAY, or that stealing is OKAY, etc………………. Our culture is morally superior to cultures based on medievalism, which includes Afghani and South African cultures, and any other culture that treats such heinous acts as permissible (I hope you agree with that at least…). Ms. King’s point is that since these actions are seen as culturally acceptable in Afghanistan, then it is almost as evil if not more so to depend on the Afghan authorities to solve these problems (if this is not clear to you now, it never will be).

    We are already intervening in their culture!!!!!! You have to be an idiot to think that our culture doesn’t get imported along with our military. And we’re only being hypocrites if we do not intervene into the most offensive and as you said disgusting components of the culture we are attempting to change. What we can realistically do is allow our soldiers to interfere with these actions that violate basic human rights OF CHILDREN, and if the Afghani people don’t like it then we should not help them in their fight against religious fundamentalism, because we cannot be tolerant of barbarism while trying to fight it: that’s the definition of hypocrisy, which you seem to be endorsing, Sgt. Wood.

    I understand that you are critiquing her column without offering any explanations of your own for this issue, which I guess is okay, but let me ask you a question: should we also not advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan so that we do not disrespect their culture, considering how they “share many less rights than American women do?” It’s the same god damned reason why we interfere with the Taliban throwing acid in the faces of women for showing too much skin. Such actions, like child sex slavery of regular Afghan culture, go against our principles and we cannot treat one immoral action as less immoral than others simply because of who committed the action.

    And you just added, “You cannot change that which does not and cannot be changed.” That is such a defeatist attitude, and a tautology that is logically meaningless: “cats are cats because they are cats.” The difference between me and you, is that I refuse to accept that anything is unchangeable. Everything can be changed, but it’s small minded people like you who are holding us back. We decide how the military operates, the citizens of this country, therefore if we want it to change then WE HAVE TO CHANGE IT DEMOCRATICALLY.

    You have not retorted any of Ms. King’s points with reason, but rather with nonsense. By posting that video you are literally making Ms. King’s point solidified: that we need to change the rules. Soldiers should not be court marshaled for protecting the rights of humans, regardless whether it’s their cultural customs or not.

    It’s despicable that you would rather us “respect” their culture than stop children from being raped.

    • You are correct however you are missing my point. We as a civilized society see and fix these things because they are wrong. In every since. However due to the fact that the country of Afghanistan is not quite as “modern” as you think means that as soon as we are not there literally or metaphorically watching over them, they will revert right back to the ways that they were. You want local examples lets look at ghettos in America. Same countries, same funding, same laws. However every day there are violent crimes, rapes, murders what have you.

      You are correct in thinking that our military being engaged in their culture will also affect their cultural outlook. However; our military is NOT there to instill values and ideals while handing out hugs. We are there to hunt and defeat a militia that has oppressed this culture for (insert years for any given regime). I like your counter argument as it is actually well thought out and intelligent, however you are looking at these people as modern people seeking a change. Many of these people still live in tents. And while it is great and wonderful to picture a democratic government overseeing as ours does, this country sadly does not have this. This country lives on the constant fear of either violence while trying to survive. Many of these people actually do not want us there as we are doing little more than creating conflict in their villages and towns.

      On the topic of women, I would love to see some of these protesters “against female oppression” actually go to some of these countries and…. do something. Make a change. There is very very little in this country that actually repress women in a real sense. Go to these countries and make a change. Their views of women alone as being inferior shows that they are a sub-developed culture that does not live in the modern world we are surrounded by.

      For the record I would not rather “respect” their culture. However; short of eliminating them completely, how do you turn around and rebuild a widespread culture with many peoples who actively hate you and the “good” you are trying to bring to them. You may think I come across as ignorant, but this article does not accomplish anything to your average person other than to rile up the sheeple. It doesnt motivate anyone to change a thing and it definitely doesnt help to solve any problems. It lacks details that make it relevant and does not prove any points. From a third party in reading this gives me no further information about the topic and frankly means little more than a buzzfeed click bait article. And for the record in the physical paper this is printed under the sexuality section and not the opinions section.

  4. Is sexing up a little boy wrong? Yeah dude. Obviously. But do we want our military to be the ones enforcing this? Should the Army/Navy/Chair Force be the ones to interfere past military engagements? If so, then were do we stop? Should we put boots on ground in Columbia because they have a lot of drug cartels? Should we bomb South-East Asia cause there is a lot of sex trafficking there? Should we turn Iceland into a glass parking lot cause fermented shark is disgusting? I’m not saying that bacha bazi is cool by any means or that its just their way of life and we should let it be. But intervening by way of might makes right lends itself to a police state/invading force. We are not the world’s police force. This is a matter left to civilian hands and U.S soldiers should not act upon this. Obviously it’s heart wrenching and nearly impossible to resist intervening, but we cannot let some 18 year old with a gun acting as a social justice warrior.

    Petty Officer 2nd Class Swift (Not my real name of course, but the rank is something I once held)(Petty Officer 2nd Class is equivalent to a Seargent…sargiant….seargentry…..ah f spelling that word!)

  5. Let me ask you then, what is the 18 year old with a gun “acting as?” We didn’t get invaded, we are not being occupied, rather we are doing the occupying. To Johnny Swift who said, “…lends itself to a police state/invading force” you should go check out this group called the Taliban who do already have a theocratic state/force in Afghanistan, ya know the people we’re fighting. Our soldiers, by the very nature of the conflict we’re involved in, are social justice warriors – and we admittedly walk a very fine (far too fine for my taste) line between that and imperialism (a conversation for another day). Nevertheless the 18 year old with a gun, and every other service person involved, are fighting for the liberation of Afghani’s from theocratic fascists. You’re both making a distinction without a difference: what I’m saying is that since we’ve already made a commitment to change their culture, we are being hypocrites and heartless if we stop our cultural intervention at rape culture. Of course I am not advocating that we send soldiers world wide to stop rape, rather we should allow soldiers to stop rape and other human rights abuses where we send them for social justice causes already..

    Indeed we are not the world’s police – we shouldn’t have troops in over 150 countries to begin with. We’re the world’s current empire state. Alas, we have to play with the shit pile we’re born into, eh?

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