It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dancingboys/?utm_campaign=homepage&utm_medium=bigimage&utm_source=bigimageI was hungry, and early on in Frontline’s “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan” I realized that if I was going to eat I’d better do it now. I paused the show, ate a couple pieces of toast, and managed to keep it down for the rest of the hour. Every few minutes my stomach would turn over.
I had just finished a biography of Hadrian, the Roman Emporer from about 100 to 130 A.D. It was commonplace for him, and men of power like him, to find a young boy to be a sexual partner until the boy lost his childish beauty. Both Hadrian, and his mentor and predecessor, Trajan, were exclusively homosexual. They maintained marriages blanc (sexless, childless unions), but for formal purposes they did get married. The practice of handing hapless boys over to powerful men has not been unprecedented — but even in Roman times there was less cruelty.
I’d known the Afghan mujahideen we’d supported with weapons in the 80s had a practice of sodomizing the youngest of the Russian soldiers they managed to capture. It struck me as odd that these self-righteously anti-sexual (and anti-homosexual) muslim fundamentalists were so eager for same-sex cornholing. Men had absolute power over women, young and old, yet they chose boys. The practice in American prisons, of course, is commonplace, but women are not an option. The inmate tops have most likely been heterosexuals fantasizing their partners were females.
In Afghanistan, the practice has continued. Russia’s doomed young men are just memories for the rapacious Afghan military commanders who are now buggering the boys of today.
Businessmen, warlords, and police officials seem to be the biggest consumers of Bachi Bazi, or boyplay. The prominent and successful men are introduced to the boys at Bachi Bazi parties. The men sit cross-legged and watch the boys, dressed as young women, do their elaborate dances. Afterwards, they are given out to the highest bidders for sex. The government is so corrupt that all attempts to stop the practice have proved to be half-hearted — even less.
Reporter Najibullah Quraishi bravely dogged Northern Alliance Commander, Dastager, following this notorious sodomizer as he met young men he wished to have in his harem. “How many boys have you had?” asked Quraishi. (The had clearly meant sexually). “About 2,000 or 3,000,” said Dastager, who appears to be about 40.
Things are no different where the Taliban holds sway. In John Krakauer’s book about Pat Tillman (the man who chose service to his country over a $3.6 million football contract), it’s reported that each Taliban fighting group maintained a cook’s boy — a field kitchen helper of 12 or 13, who’s duties went beyond cuisine.
Afghanistan is hopeless. The corruption is too widespread. It would be wonderful if our adventures there could end well. They can’t. They can only end. Please, Mr. President, bring this mess to an end.
Click on the link at the top to see the show. It’s a reminder that no matter how bad things are in America, they are worse elsewhere.