The sidelining of justice by the Afghan government and its international backers is fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan and presents a serious strategic risk, claims a new report from a British international security think-tank.

The report which was published just ahead of President Barack Obama’s statement on the review of the US war strategy in Afghanistan, argues that any strategy to create long-term stability in Afghanistan must place justice at its core.

No Shortcut to Stability: Justice, Politics and Insurgency in Afghanistan documents how illegal land grabs, the “political marginalizing of tribal and factional rivals and arbitrary detention” have motivated Afghans to join or support the Taliban. Other factors — money, drugs and foreign interference — also drive the insurgency but case studies of Helmand, Kandahar and Badghis provinces demonstrate the central role of injustice in the growth of the insurgency.

The report shows how justice issues are also implicated in the insurgency’s spread outside its southern Pashtun base.

Carter and Clark found that the Afghan government continues to disregard accountability — passing an amnesty law for war criminals, issuing presidential pardons for well-connected drug smugglers, criminals and Taliban commanders and undermining key anti-corruption bodies and electoral monitoring bodies. The international response is almost invariably weak. Talks with the Taliban at the table, putting justice at the heart of policy is more crucial than ever.

For example, recently the Public Safety Examiner reported on rampant pedophilia in a country that is considered overly repressive due to its adherence to the precepts contained in the Muslim religion’s Koran, it’s difficult for American service members and diplomats to understand the fact that a large portion of the Afghan male population are pedophiles (adults who enjoy sexual contact with prepubescent children) or pederasts (adults who enjoy sexual relations with pubescent or post-pubescent children).

The report’s co-author, Stephen Carter, says: “The insurgency’s rise over the last nine years, fueled in large part by injustice and abuse of power, requires the Afghan government and its international partners to address these issues as essential to long-term stability. Justice and rule of law cannot be dismissed as just matters of morality and human rights. They are critical issues of strategic self-interest.”

The Taliban have exploited the justice deficit of the Karzai administration and its foreign backers to the full – a clear indicator of the strategic importance of the issue to insurgents. Justice features heavily in the insurgents’ campaign both in propaganda condemning the current government and the foreign occupation as corrupt and oppressive, and in the provision of courts as the first and often only service to populations under their control.

“The Taliban have played on the deep desire of Afghans for security and rule of law, and nostalgia in some quarters for the ‘harsh, but just’ period of Taliban rule – a nostalgia which exists despite the Taliban’s many abuses,” said Kate Clark, the report’s co-author.

The report examines how short-term fixes have repeatedly trumped justice, playing into the hands of insurgents and fostering the development of a ‘mafia’ state in Afghanistan. NATO’s close cooperation with local strongmen, the build-up of the Afghan police as a paramilitary rather than civilian force and weak judicial reform efforts coupled with unchecked corruption have undermined any counter-insurgency strategy based on building an effective, legitimate and accountable government.


“We are making progress on all fronts” in Afghanistan, although “more in some areas than others,” and remain on track to begin the U.S. troop withdrawal in July, Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“We’re starting it in July of 2011, and we’re going to be totally out of there, come hell or high water, by 2014,” Biden said. He offered assurance that the initial withdrawal “will not be a token amount” of troops, and likely will follow the model used to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq.

Citing the Afghanistan strategy review issued this week, Biden reported “great progress” in the counterterrorism effort that has significantly degraded al-Qaeda and the Taliban, particularly their leadership. Lagging behind, he said, is progress on the counterinsurgency front – eliminating terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and building a stable Afghan government. However, not once did Biden mention Afghanistan’s dirty secret.

When U.S. officials such as President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates discuss the war in Afghanistan and make claims of success in that fledgling democracy, one issue that’s avoided is the widespread sexual intercourse between Afghan men and young boys. In non- diplomatic terms, Afghanistan is a haven for child rape, according to several American military officers just returning from the frontlines of the Global War on Terrorism.

In a country that is considered overly repressive due to its adherence to the precepts contained in the Muslim religion’s Koran, it’s difficult for American servicemembers and diplomats to understand the fact that a large portion of the Afghan male population are pedophiles (adults who enjoy sexual contact with prepubescent children) or pederasts (adults who enjoy sexual relations with pubescent or post-pubescent children).

While Muslims in Iraq have on several occasions stoned homosexuals for their sexual activities, not all Muslims believe pedophilia is a violation of Sharia law. Those who believe in the sacredness and infallibility of the Koran adhere to the teaching that women are sub-human and quasi-slaves, and therefore Muslim men will look for relationships — even sexual relationships — with others of their own gender.

According to Reuters, there is a lot of homosexuality going on in Afghanistan, but those engaging in it don’t think of themselves as gay, so that makes it okay since Islam officially disapproves of the gay and lesbian lifestyle.

“They regard themselves as non-gay because they don’t “love” the sex object so Allah is happy. These are the men who avoid their wives as unclean. Apparently there is very little love of any kind in Afghanistan, which explains a lot,” according to Reuters.

“Having a boy has become a custom for us,” Ena Yatullah, a 42-year-old in Baghlan province, told a Reuters reporter. “Whoever wants to show off should have a boy.” [. . .]

Sociologists and anthropologists say the problem results from a perverse interpretation of Islamic law. Women are simply unapproachable. Afghans cannot talk to an unrelated woman until after proposing marriage. Before then, they can’t even look at a woman, except perhaps her feet. Otherwise she is covered, head to ankle, according to columnist Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, and a former Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times.

In Kandahar, a city with a population of about 500,000, and other towns, dance parties are a popular — often weekly — pastime. Young boys dress up as females, wearing makeup and bells on their feet, and dance for a dozen or more leering middle-aged men who throw money at them and then take them home. A recent State Department report called “dancing boys” a “widespread, culturally sanctioned form of male rape.” If women dressed and behaved in such a way, they would surely be punished by Muslim men.

Even after marriage, many men keep their boy-lovers, according to former U.S. military personnel who served in Afghanistan. That helps explain why women are compelled to wear clothing that hides their faces and bodies and if they “sin” they are stoned to death in accordance with Islamic law. That same law also forbids homosexuality, but the pedophiles explain that it’s not homosexuality since they aren’t in love with their boys only fulfilling a bodily need.

Paradoxically, the Taliban frown on sexual relations between men and boys and enforce Sharia law to the letter. Are the followers of Islam, who adopt a more “liberal” approach to practicing their religion, perhaps responsible for the widespread rape of male children in Afghanistan?

So, why are American military forces fighting and dying to protect pedophiles and pederasts in a country considered by many to be the pedophilia capital of Asia?

Why is there hesitation on the part of Obama, Clinton, Gates and others to discuss the widespread sexual assault of male children in Afghanistan? Could it be that it is politically incorrect to discuss any immoral and unlawful behavior on the part of Muslims? It’s quite evident that U.S. politicians may bash Christians without fear of adverse effects on their political careers. But these same leaders will behave as if they are walking on egg shells to avoid even the hint of criticizing Muslims.

In addition, there is always a hesitation to discuss man-on-boy sexual relationship for fear of mentioning the obvious: such a relationship is homosexual in nature.

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