You think I’m joking? Some people need to have their skin peeled from their bodies, have salt poured all over them, allowed to blister in the hot sun then be placed on top of an ant hill and covered with honey. Even then that’s too good a punishment for some people.
The ANA allowed a 14 year old boy enlist in the Army? What were they thinking? Granted, here, the kids grow up much faster than at home. My terp was telling me that his cousin grew a full, thick beard at the age of 16. Nevertheless, allowing a 14 year old to join the Army is a recipe for disaster. He joined because his father died and he felt obligated to support his sister and mother.
Sure enough, this boy became prey for an older man. I don’t think I’ve said anything about the practices of the ANA here so let me digress.
It’s very customary to see men holding hands. It’s not a homosexual thing, it’s just something close friends do. I’ve had my hand held for pictures and while my first inclination was to pull my hand away, I gritted my teeth and held on. Also, you see men all the time do the “press your cheek” together in a pseudo kiss. Again, it’s not sexual in nature. Finally, you see lots of hugging. I’m now the recipient of hugs from one of the SJA’s I work with. None of it is sexual and I don’t take it as sexual. I still have space issues but deal with it.
However there are certain events that take place in the barracks at night. We joke that it takes place on Thursday, we call it “Man Love Thursday” but it can happen any time. I’ll let you imagine what you want but wherever you let your imagination take you, it happens. Some of our US soldiers have unfortunately walked in on various events that take place between soldiers. None of it is very pretty or acceptable in my realm of experience. I don’t understand the religious thing behind it, but the soldiers will do their thing on Thursday night in time to repent or something for Friday, which is their holy day. I later confirmed with my terp that there is nothing in their religious teachings that condones this, it’s just a perversion that has been allowed to take place.
I’m not sure how they justify such behavior religiously. It must be somewhere along the road of it’s OK to kill innocent civilians in the name of god. Notice I didn’t capitalize “god.” Somehow I don’t think they really understand who God is or what He has taught us.
Anyway, some of this behavior is consensual. Some of it is forced. That’s what happened to this 14 year old. He was sexually assaulted by two older men. It just sickens me to think of what he went through.
An investigation was done, but it wasn’t complete. We needed to get an additional statement from him to go along with his preliminary statement and the pictures. When our MP’s went back to finish up they discovered that the Commander and the evil Garrison Commander had given him some money and sent him home. Apparently under some religious thing, paying money is the “cure all” to crimes and offenses committed against the person.
Well just go to his house and interview him you say? That’s what I’m going to try to have happen but the problem is, where he lives there’s no such thing as an address. We know what village he lives in and fortunately we have soldiers there, but it will be hard to find him, especially if he’s afraid and in hiding.
One of the things that makes me mad is that we told the ANA NOT to release him but to place him in protective custody. So what do they do, they send him home with a fist full of Afghani, and I’m sure it wasn’t all that much. Certainly not enough to pay for the trauma he was forced to endure.
So tomorrow I get to go over and have it out with the commander. I’ll be telling him that if he doesn’t throw this guy into pre-trial custody and initiate an investigation that there will be hell to pay, literally. Our commanding General and his Commanding General are very interested in this and will be keeping a very close eye on what happens. What that means is that they will be keeping a very close eye on me as I’ll be the primary US mentor, at least on the legal side.
Sometimes I really hate these people. Their customs sicken me. Their complete disregard for a persons safety and rights sickens me. I was just about to say something about the way certain people interpret their religion but don’t want to burn a bridge. But you get the picture.
It’s so frustrating. I think we’re making good progress then we have something like this happen. Sometimes I wish…
I didn’t get this posted before I went over to investigate. Here’s the latest fact and even a little rumor.
The commander I was thinking that had jurisdiction over these dirtbags doesn’t. It’s a general at the Ministry of Defense because it happened, not on the base I thought, but on the immediately adjacent base. I went to meet with him to have a “little talk” and of course he wasn’t there. Turns out he doesn’t maintain an officer there, he just shows up once a week or so for an hour at a time. I went to meet with his deputy, who of course was not there. What that means for me is that I will no longer have primary responsibility to get these dirtbags thrown into pre-trial custody. I was actually looking forward to it. It would be second time to get someone thrown into jail and I was looking forward to it, especially with these guys.
Also found out that the kid may have been sexually assaulted twice. The second time is what I was aware of. When he was being assaulted the second time, his friends tried to protect him. The “protection” ultimately ended in a riot. It got large enough that the ANA fired shots into the air to try and get things under control. When the US mentors showed up to investigate, “evil” garrison commander and another ANA were quite upset about the US involvement. We all know it was because they were simply going to sweep this under the rug and did not want us involved. Oh how little do they understand us.
My terp was telling me that if a man/boy is raped here, he is shamed for the rest of his life. How sad. Just because you’re victimized you have to become a second class citizen for the rest of your life. I asked what happened if a man raped a woman. He said that if the woman’s family doesn’t kill you first, you have to marry her. I thought that was strange and unfortunate for the woman but he told me that a woman who was not a virgin would not be able to get married here. What a great country. We punish and victimize victims of sexual assault.
Well with that said, here’s the rumor, the dirtbag was going to give his daughter to the 14-year old boy to marry to make everything alright. Now I don’t know that that’s what actually happened, but can you imagine having as a father-in-law, the man who raped you? Can you imagine telling your kids why you married their mother? Can you imagine taking your kids over to Grandpa’s house to visit knowing what he does to young boys? Makes my skin crawl.
My terp had a suggestion on how to deal with him, he made a cutting motion below the belt line, you know what I mean, and then said that the dirtbag should have to pay the 14-year old half his salary until the boy became a man and was able to get a real job. Not a bad idea.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.