celebrate diversity

A Green Beret and his allies say the fact that he “stood up to a child rapist” while serving in Afghanistan with an elite Joint Base Lewis-McChord unit shouldn’t be grounds for kicking him out of the Army.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland says he beat up an Afghan police commander he was supposed to be mentoring because he was fed up with the commander’s “brutal” sexual abuse of a village boy…

…Martland and his detachment commander, Capt. Daniel Quinn, lost their tempers when one leader near their base kidnapped a boy for more than a week, chained him to a bed, raped the child and then assaulted the boy’s mother

…The case sheds light on the tensions that can build when U.S. soldiers are told to tolerate foreign customs


  1. Paladin
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 6:43 am |

    “You cannot try to impose American values and American norms onto the Afghan culture because they’re completely different,” Johnson said. “We can report and we can encourage them. We do not have any power or the ability to use our hands to compel them to be what we see as morally better.”

    Quinn said he understood that training, but could not look the other way when the mother of the rape victim came to him.
    “I’d rather stand up and do what we felt was the right thing than be praised for restraint,” Quinn said.

    Shorter Johnson argument: Because chaining a kid to a bed and repeatedly raping him over a week is just a cultural difference. Who are we to say that it’s morally wrong?

    Shorter Johnson argument: My moral values condemn you for having moral values.

  2. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 7:23 am |

    *running cupcakes*

    PS of TEH WEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *moar running cupcakes*

  3. DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this)
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 2:31 pm |

    chaining-up the police commander and raping him would’a been culturally sensitive way to handle it?

    Gonna be harder and harder to get good men to volunteer to go into bad situations. But mebbe that’s the goal.

  4. Ironic in Denver
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 3:12 pm |

    U.S. soldiers are told to tolerate foreign customs…

    Obviously, the U.S. soldiers who discovered those Nazi death camps lacked instruction in cultural sensitivity, and should have been drummed out of the army. Perhaps their honorable discharges can be retroactively revoked in the cause of social justice and as an object lessons to others.

    PS: In my view, Sgt. Martland was inexcusably nice to the Afghan police commander. I would have put two or three in his head. (“Accidental discharge” y’know.)

  5. Fawkes News (#FearTheVotingDead)
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm |

    Cognitive Dissonance, anyone?

  6. OldFert
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 5:06 pm |

    Wasn’t there a thing about a custom in India about putting a local’s wife on his funeral pyre. When the British area commander told the local indigenous bigwig to stop it, he was told “but it’s our custom.” To which the Brit responded, “OK then, we’ll put up a gibbet next to the pyre. And when you burn the wife, we will hang those who put her to death. You have your customs, we have ours.”

  7. OldFert
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm |

    Or maybe the new custom by our guys should be shoot, shovel and shut up.

  8. ZZMike
    Posted September 1, 2015 at 7:28 pm |

    OldFert: Two bonus points for bringing up the British General. Your update to modern times is simpler.

    “Commander? What commander? We think he left to join ISIS.”

  9. Leroy Gardner
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:59 am |

    “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

    General Sir Charles James Napier