a bird and a bottle

…And This is Why
February 21, 2007, 6:24 pm
Filed under: criminal justice, feminism/s & gender, news, war

I wrote earlier today about the dwindling coalition in Iraq. It’s not to hard to imagine why other countries are withdrawing. It’s certainly not because we’re winning this war so they can now pack up, wash their hands of the mess, and go home.

The U.K. pulled out at least in part because of ugly events like the gang rape by American trained Iraqi security forces of an Iraqi woman, Sabine Al-Janabi. Ms. Al-Janabi’s story is one of many ugly stories of violence, rape, murder, and torture from Iraq. But she is the first woman to appear under her own name to tell her story. River has a full report of the gory details of the rape – including the woman’s pleas that they stop – and the her subsequent appearance on TV to tell her story.

For those of you who don’t read other feminist or progressive blogs and so hadn’t heard about this story (hi dad), here’s a quick summary, in River’s words:

She might just be the bravest Iraqi woman ever. Everyone knows American forces and Iraqi security forces are raping women (and men), but this is possibly the first woman who publicly comes out and tells about it using her actual name. Hearing her tell her story physically makes my heart ache. Some people will call her a liar. Others (including pro-war Iraqis) will call her a prostitute- shame on you in advance. […]

They abducted her from her house in an area in southern Baghdad called Hai Al Amil. No- it wasn’t a gang. It was Iraqi peace keeping or security forces- the ones trained by Americans? You know them. She was brutally gang-raped and is now telling the story. Half her face is covered for security reasons or reasons of privacy. I translated what she said below.

“I told him, ‘I don’t have anything [I did not do anything].’ He said, ‘You don’t have anything?’ One of them threw me on the ground and my head hit the tiles. He did what he did- I mean he raped me. The second one came and raped me. The third one also raped me. [Pause- sobbing] I begged them and cried, and one of them covered my mouth. [Unclear, crying] Another one of them came and said, ‘Are you finished? We also want our turn.’ So they answered, ‘No, an American committee came.’ They took me to the judge.

Those American trained Iraqi security forces Bush et al. are so proud of? This was them. And we were supposed to be making things better? Today, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki claimed that in the 14 hours since the rape was reported he had ruled out that the rape occurred, despite a rape kit at the hospital that backs up Al-Janabi’s claims. THis is the man who is going to lead a new independent, democratic, and corruption free Iraq? River – in Iraq and witnessing the bloodshed firsthand – is unequivocal that any rosy prognoses are dead wrong:

Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile.

This is why the American coalition of the willing is dwindling to only one. And why that one — the U.S. electorate — is not so willing anymore.

(Thanks to Tanya for motivating me to write about this).


3 Comments so far
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It’s not only the American trained Iraqis…
This first-hand account of the brutal rape and murder of a 14 year-old Iraqi girl and her family by American soldiers is simply devastating:


Comment by professorplum

For sure – the American trained forces are just repeating what they have seen the Americans do.

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