As if Kalashnakovs and improvised explosive devices in the hands of the Taliban weren’t enough, now it appears that fresh dangers await our boys as they shore up Operation Enduring Heroin Trade in Afghanistan’s dusty south. Not only is Kandahar City the heart of the Pashtun insurgency, it turns out it is the gay capital of South Asia as well.
There is nothing new about this. British troops whispered about it a century ago as they marched to their doom at the hands of the Pathan horde, giving a whole new meaning to the notion of the “Great Game” in the Hindu Kush. It seems that every male Pashtun has had at hand a catamite – known locally as an ashna – pretty well forever. And some of them, it appears, like the looks of our pale Western soldier boys. Oh dear!
But somehow this awful fact seems to have slipped the minds of our Canadian Forces trainers as they prepared our lads to, as it were, go up against the Taliban. Surely men wearing mascara, holding hands with each other and going about in women’s clothing (just like me dear old Dad) wasn’t what they emphasized in boot camp as they taught the frightened recruits how to get a mirror-like sheen on their marching boots through the brisk application of discarded pantyhose.
But there you have it! First deadly roadside bombs, homicidal Pashtuns and a strictly enforced ban on beer (except on Christmas Day). Now the flower of Canadian manhood must face another peril as they fight to ensure the flow of opiates to downtown Canada proceeds unimpeded.
British troops who were in the area earlier in this decade recall the terror they felt upon realizing what they were up against: “One bloke who had painted toenails was offering to paint ours,” reported a horrified Royal Marine. “They go about hand in hand, mincing around the village,” he told a Scottish newspaper in a report widely circulated in some of the more unsavoury corners of the Internet. Said another: “Every village we went into we got a group of men wearing make-up coming up, stroking our hair and cheeks and making kissing noises.”
Naturally, this is not news to the Afghans, who have a saying: “Over Kandahar the birds fly with only one wing! They need the other to protect their bottoms!” (Maybe it’s a good thing, the risk of friendly fire notwithstanding, that our boys have to rely on the U.S. Air Force for cover!)
Perhaps Tooryalai Wesa, Kandahar’s new Canadian governor, can advise our doughty troopers on how best to win over the locals to the side of Freedom, Peace and Timbits. After all, as a resident of the delightful city of Coquitlam, he is presumably a man who is familiar with both Afghanistan and the aptly named West End of Vancouver. Maybe ending the terror threat to Canada is as simple as making available a pipe band and a detachment of Princess Patricia’s Evocatively Named Canadian Light Infantry to march in the next Kandahar Pride Parade?
Rig-a-dam-doo indeed! Condoms all round!