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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Why does standing up to child rape in the Army get you discharged?

Almost everyone comes to a point in their life when their personal morals conflict with a job at hand. Whether it’s lying to people to get them to buy a good, using inadequate supplies to make a finished product, or complying with an employer’s questionable orders, there eventually comes a day when some people say enough is enough and take a stand against what they believe is wrong.

Whether we are right or wrong in our decision is questionable; the case of Sergeant 1st class Charles Martland, though, seems clearer. Standing up to child rape is the right decision, even if it puts you out of a job.

According to CNN, Martland, a former Green Beret, was involuntarily separated from the U.S. Army last month after he physically assaulted Abdul Rahman in 2011. According to Martland, Rahman, a powerful Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander, was raping a child tied to a bed post for nearly two weeks.

Many, including myself, consider child rapists to be a part of the absolute scum of society. They are the lowest of the low on the totem pole, and there is no way that one can legitimately defend this heinous action. But apparently nothing could have been done about it since the Army and the local authorities did not want to undermine the authority of the local government and Rahman, which is why Martland took action.

It is sickening to think that people would allow this to go on in the name of politics; because the United States did not want to intervene and “undermine the credibility” of a local government (which, of course, they built up in the first place), they allowed for some poor child to be traumatized by some coward who rightfully had the snot beaten out of him.

Even though Martland may have been in the wrong from a military lawyer’s point of view, this is a clear case of moral obligation beating out legal authority. In no way shape or form should children ever be subjected to being sexual slaves to some slob that is the head of some petty local militia.

And what’s even more depressing is that this child rape is probably not an isolated incident; a story published in the New York Times recently highlighted that U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are told to not intervene in cases where Afghan men are raping and molesting children, even when it is happening on military bases.

The reasoning behind this abhorrent procedure is twofold. One is that the U.S. government does not want to impose cultural values on a different society half a world away. The other is that the U.S. wants to maintain good relations with the ALP and militias who are fighting the Taliban, a terrorist group and a common enemy.

When did it become acceptable to turn a blind eye to the violation of human rights for the sake of political policy? That soldiers like Martland and Captain Dan Quinn, the Special Forces soldier who carried out the beating with Martland, were forced out of the military because they chose to stand up for something that is right in this world is downright sickening. When human rights are violated, people need to step up and make sure that they are maintained, not be reprimanded and fired because they do not agree with the twisted agenda that suits corrupt molesters.

Martland and Quinn were right to beat this man, and it is a shame that Rahman survived the whole ordeal so that he may potentially go and rape more defenseless children. These men were vilified for being heroes, and it is a shame that there are probably more cases where nothing has been said or done for the sake of appeasement.

This backwards policy of silence needs to stop before we see more people like Martland losing their careers over fighting an act that should never be defended in the first place.



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