Author Topic: Afghan Rapes & Canadian Soldiers' Duty  (Read 90865 times)

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Afghan Rapes & Canadian Soldiers' Duty
« on: June 16, 2008, 11:35:00 »
Shared with the usual disclaimer - remember, none of this proven through the courts at this point.  More on the issue elsewhere in AFG below....

Don't look, don't tell, troops told
Civilian sex assaults by Afghan soldiers ignored

Rick Westhead, Toronto Star, 16 Jun 08
Article link

Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been ordered by commanding officers "to ignore" incidents of sexual assault among the civilian population, says a military chaplain who counsels troops returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The chaplain, Jean Johns, says she recently counselled a Canadian soldier who said he witnessed a boy being raped by an Afghan soldier, then wrote a report on the allegation for her brigade chaplain.

In her March report, which she says should have been advanced "up the chain of command," Johns says the corporal told her that Canadian troops have been ordered by commanding officers "to ignore" incidents of sexual assault. Johns hasn't received a reply to the report.

While several Canadian Forces chaplains say other soldiers have made similar claims, Department of National Defence lawyers have argued Canada isn't obliged to investigate because none of the soldiers has made a formal complaint, says a senior Canadian officer familiar with the matter.

"It's ridiculous," the officer says. "We have an ethical and moral responsibility to pursue this, not to shut our eyes to it because it would make it more difficult to work with the Afghan government.

"We're supposed to be in Afghanistan to help people who are being victimized."

The independent claims bolster the credibility of an account provided by Cpl. Travis Schouten, a Canadian soldier who served in Afghanistan from September 2006 through early 2007 and now suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder .....



AFGHANISTAN: Little support for victims of child sexual abuse
UN news service, 16 Jun 08
Article link

Ten-year-old Sweeta still remembers the most painful moments of her life when a bulky 35-year-old man raped her in his office in the town of Sheberghan, Jowzjan Province, in northern Afghanistan.

At around 10am on 31 January 2008 a vehicle with the markings and number plate of the Afghan National Army (ANA) stopped near a water-point where Sweeta was filling her buckets, according to the Afghanistan Human Right Organisation (AHRO).

“The three men in the car grabbed her and drove to an army barracks where the commander raped her in his office,” said Lal Gul Lal, chairman of AHRO, who has provided legal support to the victim’s family.

The child was semi-conscious when the rapist dropped her home with some gifts, lying to her elder sister that she was hit by a car and was experiencing abdominal bleeding.

“She [Sweeta] was threatened that if she told anyone about the incident they would kill her parents,” Lal told IRIN in Kabul.

But it soon became clear that the girl had been raped, and this was later confirmed by local doctors.

For a whole week after the incident Sweeta’s father knocked on various government doors, trying to obtain justice, but only received verbal sympathy.

The situation changed when he approached AHRO and local and national media got wind of the story. Despite strong opposition from some influential figures, the rapist was arrested and brought to court in Kabul ....

- edited to fix links -
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 13:14:47 by milnewstbay »
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Offline ivan the tolerable

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 12:07:35 »
I know I've been out for about eight years now, but what the heck has changed recently?

When I went through Cornwallis, we were specifically taught about legal orders and illegal orders, the differences between them and given some suggestions of what to do if we were ever given illegal orders.  It was all rather clear - and I'm not that particularly bright, so I don't think it's a difficult idea to understand.  For the record, I was never given an illegal order, so I've not had to face this particular dilemma.

If, and I emphasize IF, soldiers were ordered to ignore violent crimes like this, that would constitute an illegal order would it not?  Basically, one cannot be ordered to commit what would be a crime in Canada (acts of war notwithstanding).  Not reporting a witnessed rape is making yourself party to the crime, and therefore a crime in and of itself.  No soldier would be bound by the NDA, or any other regulation, to obey such an order.

I'm just saying that I can't see a Canadian soldier not reporting something like this;  nor can I see a Canadian commander of any level ordering stuff like this to not be reported.

Then again, I couldn't have imagined one of us torturing to death someone who broke into the compound either...
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 12:24:26 »


Then again, I couldn't have imagined one of us torturing to death someone who broke into the compound either...

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Summary - xena     Picture/Text
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 ;D


RE the article. Probably easier said than done (changing their views on sex, abuse and what's generally accepted by their people)

I figure all soldiers should report everything they see, doing their part, and then it's up to the higher ups to deal with it at their level.

It's like the whole drug thing. We're saying drugs are bad mmm kay?  Their saying we've been doing this stuff since before your country existed.  Tricky thing to bring about change.
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 12:37:05 »
Yeah, cultural differences are a given.

But I'd just be flabbergasted if I was ever ordered to NOT report something like this.  It's different if I reported it and it went nowhere.  That happens everyday.

I was wondering if the distinction between legal and illegal orders was still being taught.
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Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 12:48:04 »
While I won't comment on current ROE, ROE in other theatres (and I'm thinking Bosnia here) specifically included the obligation and authority to intervene when soldiers witnessed "major criminal activity"...

And why are padres sharing the results of their counselling sessions with the media?

Just sayin'...
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 13:40:21 »
And why are padres sharing the results of their counselling sessions with the media?

Since the parde didn't release a name (only a rank), it appears the parents, as well as what appears to be the boss of a peer-to-peer counselling pgm, have spilled more beans.... 

That said, it appears the right things are in motion:

Quote
Maj. Paul Doucette, a Canadian Forces spokesperson, says the military is aware only (one) allegation and intends to investigate. Doucette didn't say why an investigation hasn't already taken place.  (The individual) last month described the assault while testifying to the parliamentary subcommittee on national defence.  The testimony was given behind closed doors during a meeting in camera.  Doucette said in an emailed statement that "specific additional information would be required before any such issue could be raised with Afghan officials. However, allegations of this type of behaviour would be an issue for Afghan authorities to address under Afghan law."  Asked if Canadian Forces personnel are prevented from intervening in cases of abuse because of rules of engagement, Doucette wrote, "the general purpose of ROEs is to control the use of force by military forces in conducting their operations.  "All Canadian Forces members, whatever their rank and trade, are trained to inform their chain of command of significant incidents, especially when an incident clearly calls for decisions beyond their level of authority."
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 14:32:25 »
I've been told there is no word for pedophelia in Pashto..as only men have rights(the father would have to claim the crime was against him and his chattel) and his status determines the level of  his believability and quite often blood/hush money is seen as the remedy whether the true victim agrees or not.SLOWLY WE CAN CHANGE A THOUSAND YEAR OLD WAY OF THINKING BUT IF ENLIGHTENMENT(CHANGE ) COMES IN A BRILLIANT FLASH ,THEY WILL TURN AWAY FROM IT .we can only note the slow change in their mores and customs and these changes are happening slowly ie. female parlimentarian ,acceptance of our female soldiers in command positions ,even accepting med aid from a female.We have to tread carefully so as not to be too overbearing as we are guests in their country.
Our presence and influenence are needed to help guide this nation toward modern standards.
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 14:44:58 »
Nowhere in this story do I find that Canadian soldiers witnessed the rape, but simply were brought the accusation that it happened.

Is it then not an Afghan Police matter, as they are the civil authorities in the area? Why is the expectation such that Canadian soldiers should pursue the issue?
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 15:11:26 »
and before we get all high and mighty,do the names Clinton, Kobe and Barnardo ring a bell -only one got what was coming ; guess who wasn't a celebrity...SO how different are we on this side of the pond ?
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2008, 15:32:20 »
Are you actually comparing an affair with both parties concenting (culminating in oral sex) with what Paul Bernado did??
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2008, 16:59:57 »
pull pin and throw-
sex abuse in all its forms is not about the sex ;it is a crime of power and violence ,and 'the blue dress 'was the least of bill's transgressions and mrs. bryants $2 million dollar ring wasn't ashura to his wife.....trying to stay relatively close to topic
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 13:43:07 »
A bit more grist for the mill - shared with the usual disclaimer.  My question - why wasn't this column written last summer?

Defending freedom to abuse
Police rape of Afghan boys ignored

Don Martin, National Post,  17 Jun 08
Article link

Canadian soldiers in the main guard tower at forward operating base Wilson last summer winced when I asked about the sudden lineup of teenage boys along the mud walls of the neighbouring Afghan market.

"Wait a few minutes. You'll see," said one, his lip curling. "It's disgusting."

Sure enough, a handful of uniformed Afghan police officers emerged from their rundown detachment, walked through the barricades and started chatting up the dozen or so teens, some looking decidedly pre-teen.

A few minutes after they returned, the selected kids were waved through the main gates and went straight inside the police station. An hour later, when I left the observation post, the boys were still inside.

This evening ritual is often derided by soldiers as man-love Thursdays.

Afghan officials insist the notion of men and boys getting together the night before the Muslim holy day for sex is a myth. And, sure, it's theoretically possible the cops were merely good-deed-doers giving these teens reading lessons.

But Canadian soldiers insisted we had just witnessed the regular Thursday evening negotiation for sex between Afghan men and boys, apparently for gifts or money.

It raises the disquieting question of how much responsibility Canadian soldiers shoulder, being military guests and all, to stop Afghan activity that would result in rape or child prostitution charges back home.

It should be stressed that the activity at FOB Wilson does not mean Afghan police and army officers are engaged in an epidemic of juvenile sodomy.

But the issue was given fresh legs last week by a military chaplain named Jean Johns, who reported that soldiers under treatment for posttraumatic stress syndrome had been told to "ignore" any assaults or rapes on Afghan civilians they had seen.

The Toronto Star also reports a Canadian soldier overheard an Afghan soldier abusing a young boy in late 2006 and later saw the victim with signs of rape trauma, specifically protrusions of his bowels and lower intestine.

There's not much doubt that while the Canadian military may jackboot the Taliban at will, soldiers have to tiptoe around Islamic justice that clashes with our version of the law and the consequences for breaking it.

If Canadian soldiers had intervened between Afghan police and boys clearly selling themselves for sex, for example, an important partnership would quickly sour. Now that several years'

worth of Taliban prisoners have been freed during the Kandahar prison breakout, we arguably need what passes for an Afghan police force more than ever.

Still, Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the Commons he'd met with military leaders yesterday and insisted soldiers "report any allegation of unlawful activity they see."

That's easy for him to say, as Canadian soldiers rumble LAVs through marijuana crops or swaths of opium-producing poppies so vast, a single field would net Canadian law enforcement its annual seizure.

There's not much even top military brass or diplomats can do to prevent marriages forced on pre-teen Afghan girls or women who have been raped from being charged with adultery for failing to convince male justice that the intercourse wasn't consensual. Global pressure barely prevented an Afghan student from being executed for downloading a report on women's rights from the Internet.

Yet Canadians have a right to question the sort of Afghan freedom our troops are being sacrificed to defend if police can molest young boys without fear of our intervention.

No wonder Canadian soldiers come home confiding that killing Taliban insurgents isn't as stressful as knowing an innocent kid might be regularly raped by an Afghan cop inside a Canadian military base.

Man-boy homosexuality has flourished anew in the aftermath of Taliban zero-tolerance laws, albeit a selectively punished offence in that era. Warlords again parade cities with teenage boys known as an "ashna" by their side.

The strict social separation and severe consequences for premarital sex with women have given rise to the cultural wrinkle of men used for sexual recreation and women reserved for reproduction.

But that hardly makes it right when Afghan boys are police rape victims.

And it's a wrong that Canadian soldiers should be encouraged to report so that Afghan officers being trained in law enforcement can be pressured to stop it themselves.


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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 14:47:31 »
A little more about the Afghab Culture of Perderasts and Homosexuality;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Afghanistan

Article from 2002,

Kandahar Men Return to Original Love: Teenage Boys
Sunday , January 27, 2002

By Tim Reid


ADVERTISEMENT
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan —

Now that Taliban rule is over in Mullah Omar's former southern stronghold, it is not only televisions, kites and razors which have begun to emerge.

Visible again, too, are men with their ashna, or beloveds: young boys they have groomed for sex.

Kandahar's Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naïve young boys. Before the Taliban arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationships.

Kandahar is called the homosexual capital of south Asia. Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy — locals tell you that birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior — that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key factors in Mullah Omar mobilising the Taliban.

In the summer of 1994, a few months before the Taliban took control of the city, two commanders confronted each other over a young boy whom they both wanted to sodomize.

In the ensuing fight civilians were killed. Omar's group freed the boy and appeals began flooding in for Omar to help in other disputes.

By November, Omar and his Taliban were Kandahar's new rulers. Despite the Taliban disdain for women, and the bizarre penchant of many for eyeliner, Omar immediately suppressed homosexuality.

Men accused of sodomy faced the punishment of having a wall toppled on to them, usually resulting in death. In February 1998 three men sentenced to death for sodomy in Kandahar were taken to the base of a huge mud and brick wall, which was pushed over by tank. Two of them died, but one managed to survive.

"In the days of the Mujahedeen [the pre-Taliban victors against the Communist government], there were men with their ashna everywhere, at every corner, in shops, on the streets, in hotels: it was completely open, a part of life," said Torjan, 38, one of the soldiers loyal to Kandahar's new governor, Gul Agha Sherzai.

"But in the later Mujahedeen years, more and more soldiers would take boys by force, and keep them for as long as they wished," Torjan said. "But when the Taliban came, they were very strict about the ban. Of course, it still happened — the Taliban could not enter every house — but one could not see it."

But for the first time since the Taliban fled, in the past few weeks, one can see the pairs returning: usually a heavily bearded man, seated next to, or walking with, a clean-shaven, fresh-faced youth. There appears to be no shame or furtiveness about them, although when approached, they refuse to talk to a Western journalist.

"They are just emerging again," Torjan said. "The fighters too now have the boys in their barracks. This was brought to the attention of Gul Agha, who ordered the boys to be expelled, but it continues. The boys live with the fighters very openly. In a short time, and certainly within a year, it will be like pre-Taliban: they will be everywhere."

This Pashtun tradition is even reflected in Pashtun poetry, odes written to the beauty and complexion of an ashna, but it is usually a terrible fate for the boys concerned. It is practiced at all levels of Pashtun society, but for the poorer men, having an ashna can raise his status.

"When a man sees a boy he likes — the age they like is 15 or 16 — they will approach him in the street and start talking to him, offering him tea," said Muhammad Shah, a shop owner. "Sometimes they go looking in the football stadium, or in the cinema" (which has yet to reopen).

"He then starts to give him presents, hashish, or a watch, a ring, or even a motorbike," Shah continued. "One of the most valued presents is a fighting pigeon, which can be worth up to $400. These boys are nearly always innocent, but such is the poverty here, they cannot refuse."

Once the boy falls into the man's clutches — nearly always a man with a wife and family — he is marked for life, although the Kandaharis accept these relationships as part of their culture.

When driven around, ashna sit in the front passenger seat. The back seat is simply for his friends. Even the parents of the boys know in their hearts the nature of the relationship, but will tell people that their son is working for the man. They, like everyone else, will know this is a lie.

"They say birds flew with both wings with the Taliban," Muhammad said. "But not any more."

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We are in a country, that we have tried to stop the Drug Harvest, the ill treatment of women, and the unjusts of the Taliban.  This shoul also be at a forefront.  Just because it is a part of the culture, does not justify the allowing of it.

There, had to get that off of my chest.  Please note I am Not saying that anyone here is disagreeing with my view, just had to blow off some steam.

dileas

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Offline GAP

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2008, 15:24:53 »
I don't much give a damn what they practise, as long as it is not forced on the boys.....(although, personally I find the whole concept distasteful).....

That said, is the West going to bring some of the Victorian Era morals to the area? Hmmm.....I can just see it now........ :)
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Offline X-mo-1979

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2008, 15:42:10 »
I could really care less.
This is something to sort out many years down the road with reforms.Along with the Opiate problem.

Vagina mutilation wasnt a issue in when we were in Somalia.

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2008, 16:04:02 »
As regards a Canadian soldier being guilty of a crime if he does not report an act that would be a crime in Canada. Consider the following things that are illegal in Canada but accepted there:

  • polygamy (my, but that's been a hot-button issue around N America lately!)
  • cultivation of drugs such as opium and marijuana.Yep, it's technically illegal there, too, but half the country grows it.
  • 'mild' spousal abuse.    Ick, but the reality is that a soldier stopping such is only going to cause her to get it three times worse once the maple leaf is gone.
  • child labour
  • driving without a licence.  Without a what?
The point is that it's a different world there.  We are guests, invitees.  Which is not to say that we should or should not ignore rape, but trying to apply Canadian laws to Afghans in Afghanistan is going to be... interesting.
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2008, 16:22:54 »
Is this practice not considered a War crime or Crime against Humanity, specifically when forced?

War Crimes

Crimes against humanity

To turn a blind eye, becasue it is accepted, does not include the forcing of someone into the act.

dileas

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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2008, 16:27:37 »
I'm not a lefty about a lot of things, but this one is tugging at the sandal-wearer in me.....  ;)

I don't much give a damn what they practise, as long as it is not forced on the boys.....(although, personally I find the whole concept distasteful).....

It's distasteful to me, too - the main element of distaste comes from this coming from a situation where someone in authority (don't matter if it's a cop or a soldier) is taking advantage of their position of power over a vulnerable person (it's not forced if the kids have a reasonable chance to say, "No, thanks" - do they?).  Part of Canada's mission is, according to the latest list of priorities, to "maintain a more secure environment and establish law and order".  I think dealing with chickenhawking among the security services, even if it's gone on for a long time, would help make this happen.   If we're there to help build a police force or military the public can trust, I can't see too many Western cops or soldiers believing in their heart of hearts that this is OK. That said....

I could really care less.  This is something to sort out many years down the road with reforms.Along with the Opiate problem.

The point is that it's a different world there.  We are guests, invitees.  Which is not to say that we should or should not ignore rape, but trying to apply Canadian laws to Afghans in Afghanistan is going to be... interesting.

Agreed it won't be quick, it won't be easy, and there are political and cultural sensibilities to be considered.  But if we're trying to improve the lot of Afghans, I think working somehow on this abuse of power and position is something that needs to happen.

- edited to fix dopey editing mistake and add a detail -
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 16:31:31 by milnewstbay »
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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2008, 16:31:09 »
Further information, from the Government of Canada;

http://www.international.gc.ca/foreign_policy/icc/warCrimes-en.asp#juris

Offences of Breach of Command/Superior Responsibility

Under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, breach of command/superior responsibility is a criminal offence. This means that military commanders and superiors are obliged to take measures to prevent or repress genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. In the event that such a crime is committed by one of their subordinates, military commanders and superiors are responsible for submitting the matter to the competent authorities for investigation.


We are not ther just to fight armed combatants, but to enforce dignity of humanity, and international law.

dileas

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Offline X-mo-1979

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2008, 16:38:45 »
Agreed it won't be quick, it won't be easy, and there are political and cultural sensibilities to be considered.  But if we're trying to improve the lot of Afghans, I think working somehow on this abuse of power and position is something that needs to happen.

I agree 100%.This is something I have heard about the locals I.E "Man love Thursdays" however it never really did come up in any ROE briefs.

I am not a person who is against homosexuality when it comes to consenting people (I am hetero myself...just throwing that out there.)however the rape of children is wrong.Is it wrong enough to kill a Platoon of ANA/ANP?As they are involved in a hanus crime against humanity?

This is a really good topic for discussion.If the for or against homosexuality stays out of it,defiantly worth a discussion in regards to ROE however.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2008, 17:27:20 »
It's disgusting and it's wrong.

What happened to leading through example? In my opinion when we Canadians turn a blind eye to this crap inside our own FOBs we're giving them the signal that it's okay.
Silence is consent in this case.

We should put a stop to it even if it's only our little area of control. Don't let it go on in the FOBs for starters.  Just because we're "guests" in their country doesn't mean we should leave our morales and ethics at the door. It's the price of our help (and sacrifice)
If they don't like it they can always complain to the Taliban.
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Offline X-mo-1979

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2008, 17:31:25 »
We should put a stop to it even if it's only our little area of control. Don't let it go on in the FOBs for starters.  Just because we're "guests" in their country doesn't mean we should leave our morales and ethics at the door. It's the price of our help (and sacrifice)
If they don't like it they can always complain to the Taliban.

this is happening in the FOB's?

think you may have become part of the investigation!

I heard it was a civi problem...not in the fobs.

Offline GAP

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2008, 17:37:24 »
It's disgusting and it's wrong.

What happened to leading through example? In my opinion when we Canadians turn a blind eye to this crap inside our own FOBs we're giving them the signal that it's okay.
Silence is consent in this case.

We should put a stop to it even if it's only our little area of control. Don't let it go on in the FOBs for starters.  Just because we're "guests" in their country doesn't mean we should leave our morales and ethics at the door. It's the price of our help (and sacrifice)
If they don't like it they can always complain to the Taliban.

If it is consensual, what is the difference between that and the guys going on leave and picking up young bar girls, etc?

If it is forced rape, charge his ***!! But before we go off on a tangent about saving the young lads, we need a whole lot more information as to whether this actually rape or a chickenhawk searching out a sugar daddy.....
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2008, 17:47:26 »
I have a feeling if I pick up a 10 or 13 year old girl on leave even if I charm her with my wad of cash and Han Solo roguish looks I'm spending some time in jail.

Let's say the kid doesn't mind the abuse in exchange for money or whatever, we shouldn't let it happen near us period.

Would we turn our back on a 35 year old Sgt in the CF having sex with a 16 year old recruit even if it was consensual? I think the answer would be no for a number of reasons.

The legality of the issue, cultural acceptance and cooperation between Canada and Afghanistan issues can be argued about  quite in depth. I still think saying "Hey not around us you don't" is a good start.

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Re: Afghanistani Rapes and Canadian Soldiers Duty
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2008, 20:21:28 »
Here's where the Big Cod stands on this one - highlights mine, shared with the usual disclaimer....

Soldiers ordered to report abuse: Hillier
Janice Tibbetts ,  Canwest News Service, 17 Jun 08
Article link

Quote
Gen. Rick Hillier said he reaffirmed orders Tuesday "through the entire chain of command" in Afghanistan that Canadian soldiers are not to permitted to turn a blind eye if they witness sexual abuse of Afghan civilians.

The top soldier was responding to news reports that Canadian troops have been ordered by commanding officers to ignore assaults against boys by Afghan soldiers.

"If somebody is being seriously abused, we are not going to stand by and see that continue. I expect young men and young women to have their actions mirror their values that they bring with them from Canada," Hillier said when questioned by the House of Commons Defence committee.

"I don't want any ambiguity on that whatsoever."


(....)

Hillier also said he intends to conduct an investigation to determine whether there is merit to reports that soldiers have stood by while they witnessed rapes.
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