"Liberal Democracy" and Bacha Bazi: How America Defended Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Troops Were Punished for Defending Children
While Jeffrey Epstein garners the most attention when it comes to the Deep State's association with pedophiles,1 one must remember that it is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, it was as horrific as it was extensive, with everyone from Bill Gates2 to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak3 involved. But it was far from the only way the Regime got involved in defending pedophilia.
One of the others is what the Regime tolerated, if not defended, in Afghanistan. There, sickeningly, it allowed a pedophilic practice called bacha bazi returned. Though the Taliban did its best to stamp out that horrible system of child sexual abuse, America and its allies not only allowed it to return, but punished those soldiers who tried to defend children from it. This is the story of the American Regime’s pro-pedophilia policy in Afghanistan and the brave few American soldiers who stood up to it.
NOTE: This is our sixth article on American foreign policy. Check out our articles on America’s promotion of white genocide in Rhodesia, the crisis in South Africa, Obama’s attempts to wipe out Syria’s Christians, America’s lies to Russia about Ukraine and NATO expansion at the end of the Cold War, and how NATO murdered Gaddafi to reopen the migrant pipeline into Europe.
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Background to the Bacha Bazi Brutality
What Bacha Bazi Is
Bacha Bazi is an old practice in Afghanistan and historic Turkestan and translates as “boy play.” Under the practice, warlords and other men of power abduct or are given young boys whom they force into sexual slavery. Geopolitical Monitor, describing the practice, notes (emphasis added)4:
Young boys between the ages of ten to eighteen are forced to sell their bodies and their dancing skills to meet their families’ financial needs. These young boys are called Bacha Bareesh, or beardless boys, and the practice itself is called Bacha Bazi (play boy). Powerful men target handsome boys, make them dress up as females, wear makeup, and dance in men’s parties. Some of these boys are taken from their families in promise of work, education or a better life. Mostly their families are not aware of the fact that they are being sexually exploited as sex slaves.
These boys were passed around after parties among powerful men for their sexual gratification. Bacha Bazi exists as a sexual companionship between powerful men and their conscripts (young boys). The power imbalance between young boys and powerful men put these young boys in a very vulnerable position.
When these boys reach at the age of nineteen or when their beard begins to show, they are released by their owners and are simply expected to carry on with their lives. However, the psychological damage caused by years of sexual abuse and social isolation makes it difficult to reintegrate with society.
Who Perpetrates This Great Evil?
Bacha Bazi as a practice existed before the Taliban, as it is an old one, but it had a resurgence in the modern day with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As that war led to widespread anarchy and the rise of powerful warlords that dominated much of the country, powerful men could take their “beardless boys” with relative impunity.5
Except, that is, in areas the Taliban controlled. Though many aspects of their rule were horrific, the Taliban did manage to stamp out bacha bazi.6 In fact, a groundbreaking Times of London report indicated that one of the main reasons for the Taliban’s rise and success was popular outrage over bacha bazi and those warlords indulging in it.7 Describing the pre-Taliban state of things among the Pashtun warlords (the very warlords who later became our Northern Alliance allies), the Times of London reported (emphasis added):8
Kandahar’s Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naive young boys. Before the Taleban arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationship.
It is called the homosexual capital of south Asia. Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy — locals tell you that birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior — that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key factors in Mullah Omar mobilising the Taliban.
In the summer of 1994, a few months before the Taleban took control of the city, two commanders confronted each other over a young boy whom they both wanted to sodomise.
“In the days of the Mujahidin, there were men with their ashna everywhere, at every corner, in shops, on the streets, in hotels: it was completely open, a part of life,” said Torjan, 38, one of the soldiers loyal to Kandahar’s new governor, Gul Agha Sherzai.
Then, that open celebration of pedophilic sex slavery was wiped away. Despite its many faults, the Taliban did find the sexual exploitation of children entirely unacceptable, and so attempted to put an end to it: “But in the later Mujahidin years, more and more soldiers would take boys by force, and keep them for as long as they wished. But when the Taleban came, they were very strict about the ban. Of course, it still happened — the Taleban could not enter every house — but one could not see it.”9
But then, after the US-led invasion, bacha bazi resurged. And who are the perpetrators? The post-Taliban warlords whom America empowered. Again according to Geopolitical Monitor (emphasis added)10:
The former Mujahidin commanders are greatly involved in this practice, particularly in the post-Taliban era. Today, many of these Mujahidin/warlords serve in important positions, as governors, line ministers, police chiefs, and military commanders. Owning and having more than one boy is seen as a display of both power and wealth among some Afghan warlords. According to doctor Sobh Rang, warlords may keep up to 10 boys. Perpetrators have been protected by the police because these warlords have extensive influence. Some evidence shows that even police attend these types of gatherings.
Similarly, Foreign Policy directly connected the resurgence of the horrifying practice to the US-led invasion, noting (emphasis added):11
Since its post-2001 revival, bacha bazi has evolved, and its practice varies across Afghanistan. According to military experts I talked to in Afghanistan, the lawlessness that followed the deposing of the Taliban’s in rural Pashtunistan and northern Afghanistan gave rise to violent expressions of pedophilia. Boys were raped, kidnapped, and trafficked as sexual predators regained their positions of regional power. As rule of law mechanisms and general order returned to the Afghan countryside, bacha bazi became a normalized, structured practice in many areas.
And it was the Northern Alliance “allies” of the invading coalition that were involved in the practice, as even the UN admitted in a report, noting:12
A former commander in the Northern Alliance, opposed to the then Taliban government, who did not wish to be identified, told IRIN he had kept a 14-year-old bacha for two years. He had not given the boy a salary but paid all of his expenses, which amounted to US$300-400 a month. "There are two types of boys: those who can dance well and are kept for entertainment, and those who can't and are kept only for sexual purposes. I kept my boy for sex," he said.
So, in summary, the Taliban rose to power and stamped out a vicious, violent pedophilic practice that had resurged after the Soviet-Afghan War. But then the US invaded to punish al-Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks, and in our haste to make allies, we armed and empowered those pedophilic warlords whom the Taliban had largely stopped.
While that might be understandable as a short-term expedient, had we quickly cut ties with and fought against those demons once we realized they were trading in child sex slaves, that isn’t what happened. Instead, under the Obama Administration, America not only kept empowering those pedophiles, but directed soldiers to allow the sexual exploitation of children to continue! Yet worse, it punished soldiers who intervened in an attempt to stop the bacha bazi horrors!
US Involvement in the Horrible Practice
Though the American invasion of Afghanistan happened under George W. Bush, it wasn’t until the Obama Administration that reports on the horrible practice’s resurrection began to emerge. Among those, a few reports were particularly salient in drawing attention to the issue, showing the public what ill effects the ouster of the Taliban and replacement of it with pedophilic thugs were wreaking.
The New York Times Bombshell
Among those reports that were most important13 in drawing the public’s attention to the matter was, somewhat surprisingly, the New York Times’s bombshell claim in 2015 that “U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies.” That report claimed (emphasis added):14
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 militias 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.
Wow, so the same regime that tolerated Epstein was not just tolerating, but advancing the careers of pedophile warlords in Afghanistan? Yes. And it gets far worse. When two soldiers attempted to intervene and stop an “allied” pedophile from chaining a young boy sex slave to his bed, they were punished by the Army for trying to rescue the boy. Again according to the New York Times (emphasis added):15
“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 child sexual abuse 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.
Giving more details on the case of Captain Quinn, the New York Times further added (emphasis added):16
In September 2011, an Afghan woman, visibly bruised, showed up at an American base with her son, who was limping. One of the Afghan police commanders in the area, Abdul Rahman, had abducted the boy and forced him to become a sex slave, chained to his bed, the woman explained. When she sought her son’s return, she herself was beaten. Her son had eventually been released, but she was afraid it would happen again, she told the Americans on the base.
She explained that because “her son was such a good-looking kid, he was a status symbol” coveted by local commanders, recalled Mr. Quinn, who did not speak to the woman directly but was told about her visit when he returned to the base from a mission later that day.
So Captain Quinn summoned Abdul Rahman and confronted him about what he had done. The police commander acknowledged that it was true, but brushed it off. When the American officer began to lecture about “how you are held to a higher standard if you are working with U.S. forces, and people expect more of you,” the commander began to laugh.
“I picked him up and threw him onto the ground,” Mr. Quinn said. Sergeant Martland joined in, he said. “I did this to make sure the message was understood that if he went back to the boy, that it was not going to be tolerated,” Mr. Quinn recalled.
The commander was only slightly injured by Captain Quinn. However, he later got his just deserts from the Taliban, which slew him in an ambush.17
The San Francisco Chronicle: “Why are American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud pedophiles?”
Similarly important in exposing the situation and what it meant, the San Fransisco Chronicle dropped a bombshell report on the situation in 2010, exposing what it called “Afghanistan’s dirty little secret” and asking the all-important question: “why are American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud pedophiles?”18
That San Francisco Chronicle report began by describing the practice in much the same terms as the other, previously cited sources, then went on to note that President Karzai of Afghanistan, the nominal leader America appointed, might have even been involved in the perverted practice:19
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.
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.
Continuing, the report noted that the practice was extremely widespread and that NATO forces, in defending those warlords practicing bacha bazi, seemed to be spilling the blood of its troops to defend vicious pedophiles:20
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?
The report then ended by noting that the invasion coalition was intent on spreading a Western understanding of women's rights in Afghanistan, but was shockingly and suspiciously unconcerned by the “haunting” scenes of bacha bazi:21
Addressing the loathsome mistreatment of Afghan women remains a primary goal for coalition governments, as it should be.
But what about the boys, thousands upon thousands of little boys who are victims of serial rape over many years, destroying their lives - and Afghan society.
"There's no issue more horrifying and more deserving of our attention than this," Cardinalli said. "I'm continually haunted by what I saw."
As one boy, in tow of a man he called "my lord," told the Reuters reporter: "Once I grow up, I will be an owner, and I will have my own boys."
Utter Moral and Temporal Defeat: The Consequence of Tolerating Evil
When the Trump Administration came into power, the government of Afghanistan finally took legal action in an attempt to stamp out the process. As Geopolitical Monitor noted22:
The Afghan government finally moved to stamp out Bacha Bazi and revised the country’s criminal code to define it as a crime. Afghanistan’s revised penal code, which entered into force in February 2018, not only criminalized the recruitment and use of children in military units but also outlawed Bacha Bazi. Chapter Five of the criminal code of Afghanistan consists of 15 Articles that not only criminalize the practice of Bacha Bazi, but also target those who are indirectly involved or participate in such gatherings. The Child Protection Law was debated in Afghanistan’s Parliament and many parliament members were against the law and consider it against Islamic values. Recently this law has been passed and right now is in force. Chapter 15, Article 99 of Child Protection Law also prohibits the practice of Bacha Bazi.
So, at least the practice was finally outlawed instead of being tolerated with a wink and a nod like under the Obama Administration.
But it was too little, too late for the US-backed government and US-led coalition defending it. Entirely normal and predictable outrage over the US-led coalition’s support for child rapists led to widespread support for the Taliban. It then campaigned to victory, partially on the back of that outrage. Such is what the Vancouver Sun noted in a 2022 report, saying (emphasis added):23
[W]hile we might not see women and girls in Afghanistan, we at least we hear about them. But there’s something we neither see nor hear, something that played a critical role in the Taliban’s abuse of women and, as detailed in a report from the Newlines Institute, in the ascendency of the Taliban itself: the sexual abuse and enslavement of boys.
Although many powerful Afghan men willingly participate in bacha bazi — and some even use it as a means of improving their social standing — most Afghan people deplore the abuse. And it is for that reason that bacha bazi played a critical role in the Taliban’s eventual triumph in Afghanistan.
In contrast to the attitude of many powerful Afghan men, the Taliban have always maintained that bacha bazi is a violation of Islamic law. Taliban founder Mullah Muhammad Omar and his small cadre of supporters began rescuing the boys and exacting summary justice on those who engaged in bacha bazi.
And while the Taliban might have succeeded in rising to power irrespective of bacha bazi, there’s no question their hostility to the practice aided in their popularity. Consequently, had the world taken the abuse of boys seriously, the Taliban might never have had the opportunity to abuse girls and women.
And now, they’re doing it all over again. Ever mindful of the lessons of the past, the Taliban are seeking to curry favour with the Afghan people by touting their vaunted reputations as upholders of the faith and defenders of abused boys.
The war in Afghanistan would have been hard to win regardless of the bacha bazi issue, and there are numerous reasons why we lost. But it is irrefutable that the Afghan people and our troops were disgusted by the powers that be demanding they turn a blind eye to “allied” forces sexually abusing young boys.
Troops like Capt. Quinn left with disgust in their hearts, and the Afghan people decided to support the Dark Ages-minded Taliban over “liberal democracy.” Why? Because at least the Dark Ages crowd, however evil it might otherwise be, stopped warlords from having sex slaves chained to their beds…unlike Team Obama’s “liberal democracy.”
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Noting that the NYT article drew thousands of comments and spawned Congressional questioning of military officials, https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-green-beret-sexual-abuse-afghanistan-2015oct17-story.html