Last week two events broke through the American malaise regarding affairs not involving popular culture. The first was to most citizens, otherwise largely indifferent to foreign policy, a shocking account of Bacha Bazi (“Dancing Boys”) abuse by Afghani warlords amid collusion with the United States military.
Yet almost immediately this horrific news was pushed off the front page by a similarly vile act wherein a young man shot numerous students at an Oregon community college. Among the many expressions of grief there were also a surprising number of those who questioned the official account of that slaughter.
While the second incident is rightly revolting, the first is more significant as this is the stuff of which widespread populist protest movements are made. Mainstream media had finally reported on what the dissident press was pointing out years ago, antiwar activists noted not long afterward, and public television highlighted a decade later: widespread child sex slavery is rampant across Afghanistan and valiant United States forces (with few but noble exceptions) are complicit by allowing the trafficking.
For antiwar activists, engaging citizens has been difficult enough these past years. People are simply tired of hearing about the seemingly endless conflict as well as seeing advertisements for the “Wounded Warrior Project” every time they turn on the news. At this point many largely realize the war was a terrible mistake, but like most people they don’t want to admit they were part of making that mistake.
Most rather not think about it, and argument more doctrinaire such as mentioning after the American invasion Afghani opium production rose from less than 100 metric tons to annual crops of more than 7,000 metric tons is met with blank stares. The last thing anyone wants to know is not only are our own soldiers worse off, and Afghanistan as a nation worse off, but global drug addiction worse off as well.
Distressingly, however one feels about our involvement, there has been a steady mission un-creep occurring by which anything positive achieved is rapidly devolving to the regional mean. A major city, Kunduz, is currently surrounded by Taliban according to some reports. Recently the United States killed several physicians by allegedly bombing a hospital by mistake. The attack continued more than thirty minutes, despite repeated pleas radioed from recipients Doctors Without Borders.
Likewise if one tries relating to a casual listener the enormity of pedophilia which is happening every day in Afghanistan on American bases, protected by American armaments, and tacitly condoned by American personnel the claim sounds ludicrous, even insane. It is reminiscent of what Director J. Edgar Hoover said of Communism, “The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst.”
It is difficult to envisage a more despicable state of immorality. War is hell, and should be opposed in nearly all cases. Still even in war there are some standards of conduct no matter how barbaric. Back when Native Americans slaughtered entire villages (and vice versa) in almost every instance children were protected within the victorious system. There were many so-called “White Indians” as well as many “Civilized Savages” throughout the Nineteenth Century. No matter how barbarous either side behaved, some decency prevailed. And this is but one example of a generalized global practice.
No more. Now the First World (the supposedly “Free World”) engages and collaborates with what any humane person would call primitive animalism. Whether such conduct is allowed out of naked militaristic self-interest, complete capitalistic indifference or a Post-Modern bastardized notion of “tolerance” is unclear. What is apparent is if the United States military is permitting organized pedophilia among its allies then there is nothing it will not do. As for the politicians who enable it or refuse to halt it, they are nothing less than tacit co-conspirators.
Which returns us to the crux of the matter; those “lunatics” who claim recent domestic shootings are fakery perpetrated in order to manipulate the population into supporting gun control legislation or other authoritarian policies. There are a myriad of reasons why such theories are difficult to fathom. The numbers of people involved, the lack of any participants revealing the hoax, the tremendous risk any government would run if discovered perpetrating such a colossal ruse.
At the same time it is becoming increasingly difficult to fault adherents for their obsession with such bizarre claims. The American government literally acts as a protection racket for organized pedophiles. It may be in Afghanistan, but they are still children and the U.S. still allows them to be raped. Can anyone born before the turn of the millennium honestly say they would have believed such a thing possible in our lifetimes? Had any of us been encouraged to credit such a thing would we not have dismissed it as madness? As mentioned before war is one thing, but this is something worse. It’s monstrous.
When discussing actions taken abroad that proverbial thin line between “us” and “them” has been fading for generations. Still until relatively recently even the most cynical citizen could take solace in believing there was some slight distinction. Given acknowledgment of the latest revelations is it any wonder a rapidly expanding number of Americans question whether any division is left at all; and grow wary their own nation regards them as potential enemies?
As of this moment a government which acts in our name in Afghanistan is encouraging drug production, murdering doctors and guarding child molesters. Given these realities have now been publicly admitted by leaders there is little wonder the “conspiracy theorists” look askance with paranoia at every tragedy.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America. He is a lawyer by profession.