The word is bacha bazi, which means “boy play.” In Afghanistan, it is the sexual abuse and rape of young boys, it is widespread, and a United Nations official described like this: “What I found was nobody talks about it; everyone says ‘Well, you know, it’s been there for 1,000 years so why do we want to raise this now?’”
Reading David Pugliese’s article in the Ottawa Citizen this weekend, I was shocked to learn that Canadian troops may have been ordered to not intervene when young boys are being raped by Afghan troops and other officials, so viciously that in one case the victim was disemboweled.
This abuse is not an aberration, but is reportedly a regular pastime “every Thursday night” for some of these monsters we call allies.
Both the Canadian Forces and the military police have launched investigations after receiving a complaint from NDP defence critic Dawn Black, who had heard the stories of abuse from a military chaplain.
According to Pugliese’s report, “In response, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said in the Commons that he had told senior military leaders that soldiers should report any allegation of unlawful activity they see.”
So let me get this straight: Canadian troops are armed with tanks, missiles, and billions of dollars of state of the art equipment, ready to respond at a moment’s notice to any attack by enemy Taliban throughout the region. Yet, when a young boy is brutally raped by our Afghan National Army allies within earshot of our soldiers, they are ordered to standby, let it happen, and take notes for a report later?
Prime Minister Harper famously declared that our troops will defend human rights and will not “cut and run” from the enemy. But have they been order to “look the other way” from atrocities by our Afghan allies?
This may be another cover-up of rampant abuse in Afghanistan, just like the prisoners who were being tortured by their Afghan dungeon keepers after being originally captured and handed over by Canadian troops. I hope that the NDP will continue to force Prime Minister Harper address this disgrace during the election. Someone needs to be held accountable.