Saturday, October 16, 2010

Afghanistan's Dirty Little Secret

"How can you fall in love if you can't see her face," 29-year-old Mohammed Daud told reporters. "We can see the boys, so we can tell which are beautiful."

Western forces fighting in southern Afghanistan had a problem. Too often, soldiers on patrol passed an older man walking hand-in-hand with a pretty young boy. Their behavior suggested he was not the boy's father. Then, British soldiers found that young Afghan men were actually trying to "touch and fondle them," military investigator AnnaMaria Cardinalli told me. "The soldiers didn't understand."

All of this was so disconcerting that the Defense Department hired Cardinalli, a social scientist, to examine this mystery. Her report, "Pashtun Sexuality," startled not even one Afghan. But Western forces were shocked - and repulsed.

For centuries, Afghan men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a boy lover. Literally it means "boy player." The men like to boast about it.

"Having a boy has become a custom for us," Enayatullah, a 42-year-old in Baghlan province, told a Reuters reporter. "Whoever wants to show off should have a boy."

Baghlan province is in the northeast, but Afghans say pedophilia is most prevalent among Pashtun men in the south. The Pashtun are Afghanistan's most important tribe. For centuries, the nation's leaders have been Pashtun.

President Hamid Karzai is Pashtun, from a village near Kandahar, and he has six brothers. So the natural question arises: Has anyone in the Karzai family been bacha baz? Two Afghans with close connections to the Karzai family told me they know that at least one family member and perhaps two were bacha baz. Afraid of retribution, both declined to be identified and would not be more specific for publication.

As for Karzai, an American who worked in and around his palace in an official capacity for many months told me that homosexual behavior "was rampant" among "soldiers and guys on the security detail. They talked about boys all the time."

He added, "I didn't see Karzai with anyone. He was in his palace most of the time." He, too, declined to be identified.

In Kandahar, population about 500,000, and other towns, dance parties are a popular, often weekly, pastime. Young boys dress up as girls, wearing makeup and bells on their feet, and dance for a dozen or more leering middle-aged men who throw money at them and then take them home. A recent State Department report called "dancing boys" a "widespread, culturally sanctioned form of male rape."

So, why are American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud pedophiles, certainly more per capita than any other place on Earth? And how did Afghanistan become the pedophilia capital of Asia?

© 2010 Joel Brinkley

37 comments:

  1. kidn of puts shit in perspective...the taliban finds this wrong and fights against it then we come in and kill the taliban...i can see how we look to them. disgusting.

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  2. Holy shit, this is... wow. The world is messed up like that I guess, to answer your question.

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  3. interesting, I like this... keep up the good work

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  4. Its really sad to see these kind of things going on in the world. It just seems so unfair.

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  5. Its saddens me a bit how shitty some of these kids in third world, even developing countries have it

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  6. i know its the wrong response but, lol

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  7. that's super creeeeeeepy! omgeee

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  8. Wow, that's really eye opening... Didn't know that and it sounds really bad actually...

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  9. OK, that is weird. Talk about cultural differences :D

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  10. I wonder why as well =/ Theres always more than meets the surface..

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  11. Thats pretty messed up according to norms over here...

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  12. I completely stand for the rights of homosexuals and such. But this Pedo bullshit in Afghanistan is wrong. I don't care about their traditions or cultures, rape is rape. This stuff pisses me off.

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  13. dont like stuff like this but isnt bad story at all

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  14. this made me feel gross inside

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  15. wtf...How is this pedophilia allowed to go on!? sick...

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  16. That is awful, never knew this was going on.

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  17. Couldn't help but laugh at the very first, bolded, line.

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  18. I'd heard about this, and in an interesting context, too. It was ina discussion about right and wrong - like, do we have any right to stop them from taking boys as lovers, when it's part of their culture?

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  19. The starter line is so true - how can u love a woman ifu cant see her face

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  20. Wow, that's pretty gross, but really funny. That will teach them to degrade women into those hideous outfits.

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  21. ugh...reading that made me feel sick

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  22. So true...
    I'm not agree at all... but it's true

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  23. Bummer. :\

    That's really all there is to say.

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