Saturday, August 13, 2011

Love, Afghan Style

From a comment at HitCoffee:

Don't know about Africa, but last spring I got tagged to do escort duty for some NGO-types visiting ISAF HQ. I wasn't involved in the substance of their visit, they just needed a warm body to stand out by the front gate to shepherd them in. We wound up waiting a long time because the NGOs got hung up at one of the more outer layers of security. Which surprised me, since whenever I drove through those same checkpoints I had never had to so much as roll down my window. (Which was convenient, since our bullet-resistant windows didn't actually roll down.)

But I digress . . . I don't remember the names of most of the NGOs whose reps visited us, which is too bad, since I would happily rub their names in the mud if I could. But we did have a rep from Save the Children. At some point after the introductions, I said to him, "So, 'Save the Children'. What are you guys doing to keep the Afghans from buggering little boys?"

To my surprise, the answer wasn't dumb looks. StC did in fact have programs of engaging people, and especially community and religious leaders, on this problem. The rep even told me something that I didn't know: some 60% of boys in Afghanistan are raped. We got to talk quite a while about this, but in keeping with the point of your post, what got me was the reaction to my question by the other reps present. It wasn't just that they didn't seem to know anything about pederasty in the country they were supposed to be servicing, let alone have any programs to fight it. It was that, confronted with the facts of the matter, their first reaction was . . .

. . . to laugh.

And the reaction didn't really get any better. They were kind of captive to our conversation (most of it took place in line at the ISAF security check) but mostly stood there in embarrassed silence. But when the StC guy mentioned the 60% number, a woman rep said, "Well, that's an interesting factoid," in a tone of voice that said, no, it really wasn't.

B@stards. Come the revolution, when we put these NGO internationalists against a wall, this will be one of the reasons.

But . . . Save the Children. They do good work.

As an aside:  (possibly) related post at iSteve.

3 comments:

Elusive Wapiti said...

Were these guys up north, say in Kabul? If so, that may explain their ignorance.

A bro of mine that has spent 4 tours in Helmand related to me that dudes down south are functional homosexuals. And they're not very closeted about it either.

PS captcha == "geday"

Φ said...

Our meeting was held in Kabul, although the Afghan Hands working in the capitol were well acquainted with bacha baz.

One of the many incongruities about Afghanistan (and our presence there) is that even though both the Taliban and pederasty are expressions of Pashtun culture, the Taliban zealously suppressed it during their rule. It didn't make its comeback until American forces showed up.

Tell me who the good guys are again?

Justin said...

re: the laughter reaction

Part of our brainwashing. The inability to speak seriously of anything of substance is quite common in today's generation. People have been trained by "infotainment" shows to be habitual "point and laughers".

and, oddly: captcha: "hailing"