It’s a common enough human experience.
That doesn’t make it any easier to handle.
A broken heart.
How does it happen?
Usually there is someone or something that you love and then you hear the news.
Maybe there were hints but you didn’t believe them. Only now it can’t be denied and your heart is broken.
That happened to me yesterday.
I love my country.
Many times I’ve thanked God for allowing me to be born and raised in the United States of America. I’ve studied and taught the history of my country. I volunteered for service in my country’s military. I’ve been impressed with the many examples of people in my country’s history willing to struggle and fight for freedom and justice.
But yesterday my heart was broken.
I’d heard rumors but they were from those right-wing talk show hosts and websites like the Drudge Report so surely they couldn’t be true. Since when did God-fearing, America-loving people tell the truth?
Yesterday, however, the New York Times confirmed the rumors.
The United States military in Afghanistan has ordered our troops to ignore the practice of many (as in MANY) American trained and American supported Afghan militia who practice pedophilia. One Marine shared with his father that his fellow soldiers could hear the screams of boys being sexually abused by Afghan police officers but were told to “look the other way” by his own (American) officers. The people committing the crimes were our allies so we shouldn’t interfere. It is just their custom.
In another case, a Special Forces captain heard that a woman had been beaten by an Afghan military commander when she tried to rescue her son from that commander. The captain and a sergeant visited the commander, whom they had trained for the job, and found a young boy chained to the commander’s bed for use as a sex slave. They pushed the commander to the floor and made it clear that he should never engage in that practice again.
What was the Army’s response?
The Army — our Army — relieved the captain of his command, pulled both men from the theater of operations, and sent them back to the states. The captain has since resigned from the military. The sergeant is currently being considered for removal from the Army despite a stellar 11 year career as a Special Forces soldier.
Like I said, my heart is broken.
My country is a willing accomplice to empowering sexual abusers to terrify the populations of small villages in Afghanistan. That’s not something the country I love would ever tolerate. And yet … that is what is happening today. When you go to bed tonight, think about the children being sexually abused by people we have trained, we have armed, and we have placed in power.
My country is ordering our military personnel to violate even minimal standards of common decency by ignoring or “looking the other way” when such evil practices occur. What would you do if you saw children being abused daily? Ignore it? Pretend it wasn’t happening? What if you were ordered not to say or do anything?
We’re not talking about a few rogue soldiers doing some bad things. We’re talking about our civilian leadership ordering our soldiers to shut their eyes to evil. What a terrible situation to put the men and women of our armed forces in. Soldiers who are willing to risk their lives for our safety are being placed in morally untenable situations.
I’ve linked to several articles about this situation at the bottom of this post. Please read the articles.
Then I hope your heart will break too.
What can we do to heal this broken heart?
Ask God to forgive our country for what we are doing in Afghanistan today. Ask God to give our soldiers wisdom and courage as they seek to carry out their missions with honor. Ask God to open the eyes and minds of our political leaders and give them the courage to choose good and to oppose evil.
This is not a time for hashtags and a few tweets. This is not a time to focus on Donald Trump’s hair style or the newly started NFL season. Our very country is at stake.
Ask God to show you what you should do and who you should contact to heal this stain on our land. This is a time for repentance. Encourage people to pursue good.
Perhaps He will forgive us and allow us to heal our broken hearts and our broken country.
“U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies” by Joseph Goldstein. The New York Times, January 20, 2015.
“Afghans Plan to Stop Recruiting Children as Police” by Rod Nordland. The New York Times, January 29, 2011.
“Army kicking out decorated Green Beret who stood up for Afghan rape victim” by Lucas Tomlinson. Fox News, August 21, 2015.