December 17th, 2010
11:04 AM ET

U.S. must draw the line at pedophilia in Afghanistan

Editor's note: Amitai Etzioni is a sociologist and professor of international relations at George Washington University and the author of several books, including "Security First" and "New Common Ground." He was a senior adviser to the Carter administration and has taught at Columbia and Harvard universities and the University of California, Berkeley.

President Obama is reviewing, again, what we are doing in Afghanistan. He should order our diplomats and generals to stop turning a blind eye to the widespread sexual abuse of children.

At the time our troops helped liberate Afghanistan in 2001, pedophilia had been largely curbed by the Taliban. However, since then, some Pashtun men have have been abusing the new freedoms for which our young men and women are dying - to molest young boys.

This vile practice has been recently documented by an Afghan journalist who returned to his native country for public television's "Frontline."

The program starts with a flat statement: "In an Afghanistan ravaged by war and poverty, an ancient tradition has been secretly revived: Young boys sold by their families to wealthy merchants and warlords, taught to dance and entertain, and used for sex."

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Filed under: Obama • Opinion • Understanding Afghanistan
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Dindy.....

    Thanks Susan M. It is better to know the truth. This war has taken a long time. Afghan Armies should take care of their own country and nation must stand against the rude rulers.

    December 19, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Susan M.

    I have worked throughout afghanistan, this new polci of our government to have a minority of the country rule over the Majority(the pASHTUNS) of Afghanistan will backfire...These articles are part of a scheme to defame the majority who have refused to accept occupation and the glorify those who have. I have worked in Norhern Afghanistan, and I have witnessed the miseries of molested yound dancing boys of Northern warlords, who are not Pashtuns, and that the situation in North Afghanistan seemed much worse to me as opposed to the South were fear of Taliban have slowed the molesting of boys. So lets cut the bull and be honest with Americans, Afghans are witty and non-conquerable..wether we use women rights, democracy or molested boys as an excuse, will not succeed as long we fool Americans and lie to Afghans because we lack sincerity in helping Afghanistan rebuild.

    December 19, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      What we need to do is get out and let the Afghans rebuild their own country just like Vietnam did. That's the only way,Susan.

      December 19, 2010 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Is that your way of telling me I'm a Jew? I'm not.

        December 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dindy.....

    Professor is right here. This is one important matter that many forget in the dark smoke of war. Children need freedom from slavery and abuse.

    December 17, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Just try telling that to Bledsoe(Pfunnie boy) who tho thinks that pedophilia is nothing but a big fat joke like eveything else!!!!

      December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Am I,Pfunnie boy??? You already proved otherwise in your statement above! You're such a sicko.

        December 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Hey Pfunnie boy(Bledsoe),what's with this thing you have against the Jews? Since you seem to have an answer for everything,tell us about it.

        December 19, 2010 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe


        December 19, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Will O'Neill

    It is absoloutely correct that all possible,pressure be brought to bear on any nation that condones child slavery, or any slavery. Cultural differences aside, this a litmus test of international covenants. A rarther dismal fact of most empires is that they over-reach in their bounderies or can not police such far-flung lands. It is the death knoll for our nation to be the " democracy cop " on the planet. This just another chapter in the "Great Game" and I fear it will destroy our economics, our will to help other countries when appropriate, render the fabric of domestic politics uncivil and foster more lies of how we are making progress in AfPak. News outlets from around the world disagree with this premise. Sure it may be better in an area where we have tens of thousands of troops; but do these fine young people deserve to be thrown to the war machines and industries as fodder for lucrative contracts and billions in profit. Are we ignoring our own " heroic slavery " as the politicians lie to the armed forces and accept their deaths as the cost of spreading democracy? Lies, damn lies!

    December 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Well said,Will. Thank you.

      December 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dindy.....

      great post will O'Neill. well written

      December 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |


      December 18, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joseph McCarthy

    I want to thank Dr.Etzione for backing up my argument that the Communists should have won back in the 1980's. Under them,there would be no human tracking as they would never have stood for it.

    December 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Lubin

      You nailed it,Joe. Thank you.

      December 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Tell me one thing. What's so funny about human traficking,Pfunnie boy? Now I know you're sick somewhere!!!

        December 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jesse Cook

        There's nothing funny about traficking children,Bledsoe or whoever you are. You're disgusting.

        December 18, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        You're sure right about that creep,Jesse. Thank you. He should be barred from blogging in here,once and for all!!!

        December 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andrew Lubin

    Last month Dr Etzione wrote a piece calling for US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the futility of our efforts there. Has he changed his mind? Or how does he expect us to influence Afghan society if we pull the troops out; by sending editorials like his via the internet?

    This is the classic case of a distinguished academic confusing the ivory tower world with those unpleasant facts on the ground.

    December 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kerry

      Here we go again!

      December 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |