Violating Iraqi Women – a Courtesy from the U.S.A.

This is one of the most disturbing posts I have done. So hard that I don’t even know where to start. Wait, yes I do:

According to Iraqi human rights advocate and writer Haifa Zangana, the first question asked of female detainees in Iraq is, “Are you Sunni or Shia?” The second is, “Are you a virgin?”

Are you Sunni or Shia? Are you a virgin?? In other words, do you remember the first time you got raped? I can’t find this any more appalling.

The mainstream media has ignored Iraq, but the whole fucking world has ignored the plight of Iraqi women under U.S. occupation. Beaten, humilliated and ignored, Iraqi women are among many of the “collaterals” of the U.S. “war on terror”.

The above is from a story from MADRE, an excellent international women’s rights organization. The article is entitled “Iraqi Police Commit Rape—Armed, Trained, and Funded by the US” and you can pretty much see why I’m so outraged by this.

The international news media is flooded with images of a woman in a pink headscarf recounting a shattering experience of rape by members of the Iraqi National Police. Most of the media coverage has focused on her taboo-breaking decision to speak publicly about the assault, but has missed two crucial points for understanding—and combating—sexual violence by Iraqi police recruits.

As Iraqi women’s organizations have documented, sexualized torture is a routine horror in Iraqi jails. While this woman may be the first Iraqi rape survivor to appear on television, she is hardly the first to accuse the Iraqi National Police of sexual assault. At least nine Iraqi organizations as well as Amnesty International, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq and the Brussels Tribunal have documented the sexualized torture of Iraqi women while in police custody. These include Women’s Will, Occupation Watch, the Women’s Rights Association, the Iraqi League, the Iraqi National Association of Human Rights, the Human Rights’ Voice of Freedom, the Association of Muslim Scholars, the Iraqi Islamic Party and the Iraqi National Media and Culture Organization. […] And the United Nations special investigator on torture is reporting that torture in Iraq is worse now than under Saddam Hussein

Where is the outrage? It is not like these abuses have not been documented. They have been extensively documented – click on any of the links above and you will find plenty of references and eye-witness accounts. Why is the U.S. mainstream media ignoring this whole issue? I know it is kind of touchy, but that is why you are in the news business – to discuss and highlight serious issues, and bring to light those that need attention, not to “discuss the ramifications” of Britney Spears shaving her head.

Take this horrowing account from June 2006. All emphasis is mine:

MALTREATMENT AND PROOF: On 20 April 2004, Abdul-Bassat Turki, the first Iraqi minister of human rights, gave an interview to The Guardian on the condition of female prisoners in Iraq. Turki had recently resigned from his post in protest against the human rights violations committed by American forces and Paul Bremer’s determination to ignore his reports and to refuse him permission to visit Abu Ghraib.

Turki told the Guardian that he had warned Bremer repeatedly of the abuses of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, but that Bremer had consistently ignored all warnings. In December 2003, a month before the US military mounted its own secret investigation into Abu Ghraib, Turki phoned Bremer to complain of the treatment of female detainees. “They had been denied medical treatment. They had no proper toilet. They had only been given one blanket, even though it was winter,” the former minister said.

[…]One of the rare occasions in which Anne Clwyd, the British human rights envoy to Iraq, was moved to speak out about human rights violations after the invasion was when she learned of the arrest and subsequent torture of a 70-year-old woman, whose torturers forced her into a makeshift bridle and then mounted her like a donkey.

[…]Hoda Al-Ezawi relates that she was kept in solitary confinement for 156 days. Then her sister was arrested and thrown into the cell with her, along with the corpse of their dead brother. Among the other types of torture inflicted upon her was to be kept standing for more than 12 hours straight while subject to continual threat and intimidation. US forces and the Iraqi National Guard arrested Al-Ezawi along with her two daughters, Nora, 15, and Sara, 20, on 17 February 2005 on the charge of supporting the resistance.

Ali Al-Qeisi, the man whose torturers thrust a bag over his head, forced to stand on a crate as they coiled wires around him and then photographed producing the picture that has become a worldwide symbol of the occupation and the horror of Abu Ghraib, recalls his anguish at hearing the screams and cries of female detainees. “Their food was brought into their cells by naked men,” he relates, adding, “we felt helpless as we listened to their screams, unable to do anything but pray to God Almighty.”

[…]Suheib Baz, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera, told The Independent that he had personally seen a 12-year-old girl being tortured: “She was naked, and crying out to me for help while being beaten.” He also relates that prison wardens would photograph these horrors.

[…]This is the tip of the iceberg. A report published by the Iraqi National Association for Human Rights on 29 October 2005 found that women held in Interior Ministry detention centres are subject to numerous human rights violations, including “systematic rape by the investigators and to other forms of bodily harm in order to coerce them into making confessions”. The report added that prisons fail to meet even the most basic standards of hygiene and that the women were deprived of facilities as fundamental as toilets. The Ministry of Justice has confirmed the accuracy of the report.

In such circumstances, it is insult to injury that female detainees are often forced to sign a paper prior to their release in which they testify to being properly treated. The purpose of this affidavit is to silence them and deprive them of recourse to litigation in the future.

It should be noted, here, that the first question that is put to female detainees is: “Are you Sunni or Shia?” The second is, “Are you a virgin?”

Of course, this is all the work of a “few bad apples”. Basically, the U.S. has turned a blind eye towards everything that is going on in Iraq. It is not only causing these atrocities, it is fomenting, paying for them, and then ignoring them. Does the Bush administration think people are stupid, that we can’t fact-check what the say, and especially, what they don’t say?

It’s no surprise that we’re hearing allegations of rape against the Iraqi National Police, considering who trained them. DynCorp, the private contractor that the Bush Administration hired to prepare Iraq’s new police force for duty, has an ugly record of violence against women. The company was contracted by the federal government in the 1990s to train police in the Balkans. DynCorp employees were found to have systematically committed sex crimes against women, including “owning” young women as slaves. One DynCorp site supervisor videotaped himself raping two women. Despite strong evidence against them, the contractors never faced criminal charges and are back on the federal payroll.

Owing young women as slaves. A videotape by a supervisor raping two women. Giving them a blank check so they can continue to do whatever it is they do. Aren’t these war crimes? Again, where is the outrage? Why isn’t ABC news, CBS, NBC, Fox News (yeah, right), or CNN covering this?

I’m not overly religious, but do believe we eventually have to pay up what we do on Earth. I can’t even fathom how many lifetimes we are going to need to “repay” these atrocities. Then again, hell is too good for some evil bastards.

Hell is too good for some evil bastards

19 Responses to Violating Iraqi Women – a Courtesy from the U.S.A.

  1. Layla says:

    Are you in the habit of believing EVERYTHING you read. These are blatent lies that need to be confirmed before one passes judgment. The only crime is the unbiased hate of President Bush? What did he ever do to you–in fact he has made the life of many poor Puerto Ricans better. But then that is asking someone to acknowledge truth and your prefer the MSM–considering the news agencies above that you rely on for information—opps I mean lies and hype!

  2. truly.equal says:

    Did you click on any of the links by the human rights organizations I provided? Everything is extensively documented – did you mean the Abu Ghraib pictures? They have already been confirmed by the U.S. government, even by president Bush himself. It is the taking responsibility part that gets me. If the prisons are run with your soldiers and your contractors, then you are in the (best) position of stopping it.

    I’m not in the habit, nor business, of believing everything I read – that’s why I don’t trust the Bush administration one bit. Most, if not all, of the claims asserted to invade Iraq have been utterly discredited. Not “oopsies”, but major fucking lies. There is a difference. I’m not a Republican, but I believed Bush once, like most did. Not anymore.

    Bush has made the life of Puerto Ricans better? Really? That is news to me! Bush is disliked in Puerto Rico like you can’t imagine. We don’t watch Fox News, so we’re not wrapped up in this “you’re either with us or with the terrorists” nonsense.

    The agencies noted above are not MSM. There is not a New York Times, Washington Times, or a New York Post link in there. There is Guardian link, but that is a newspaper in London. The abuses have been verified, recorded and documented. There’s even pictures for crying out loud! What, you gonna tell me everything is one big lie, that there has been no torture going on, everything is squeaky clean in there. You have got to be kidding. It is embarassing that people still live in denial, but I guess it must be a happy place.

  3. mjau says:

    These things happen in all wars, that’s why I actually got off my ass for once and protested against it in 2003 (a lot of good it did…). It’s appalling that the atrocities are not discussed in the media, if people knew more about all the violations of human rights that go on in this war they would not sit back and trust Bush, I hope… I guess there’s always the awful possibility they don’t care, or are too afraid of the abstract threat of terrorism to protest against this government…
    Keep writing!
    /mjau

  4. 2jay says:

    I agreed with mjau. All these happen in all wars. In my country, Singapore, my grandparents had never got over with the Japanese occupation during world war II. The killings were ruthless and the ordeal was too much that the terror of war cannot be simply forgotten. The terror of killings and tortures done by the Japanese soldiers stayed in their memory until they died.

    It sadden me very much to watch Al-Jazeera News……children and women being detained, tortured and killed in Iraq. It scares me to receive the news from Kuwait’s media that US military will strike on Iran before April 2007……. more sleepless nights for me. I am truely helpless. Why can’t these selfish leaders stop fightings and focus in making this world a better place to live for everyone, instead!

  5. truly.equal says:

    At least to me, just because these things “happen in all wars” does not mean I should not be any less pissed about it! I taught that’s why we had the Geneva Conventions, so atrocities like this would not happen. Note the women are not being raped on the streets, but in jail under U.S. detention!

    That’s what ticks me off (besides the gross human rights violations I mean) – it is happening under their prisons but they don’t “know anything about it” and are not responsible. Yeah right, go tell another one.

    We went from “being greeted as liberators” to having 1 billion Arabs hating us.

  6. mjau says:

    Of course it’s possible the people who are responsible (ultimately Bush et.al.) use the idea “these things happen in wars” as an excuse for ignoring the plight of civilians, women, children… Because the signal we (consumers of media coverage from a safe distance) are receiving is that they consider these human rights violations not so important. And that’s frightening.

    If you compare with the Abu Ghraib-incident, the uproar in the media was huge! But when women are being raped, that’s just like… natural or something… (I’m being sarcastic). It happens so often, the women become a mass of victims with no faces. It also makes me very angry (angry is too mild of a word) that there have been people who could have stopped these things from happening, and they did not. Why not?

  7. mjau says:

    By the way I used that phrase (happens in wars) as an answer to Laylas comment, because it seemed very naive to think that this war is some sort of exception just because the great and good US is leading it…

  8. “Note the women are not being raped on the streets, but in jail under U.S. detention!”

    Your “sources” seemed to say it was the Iraqi police and the terrorists that were commiting these acts.

    Furthermore, you make it sound like you believe that, because a police officer commits a crime, the entire force must be criminals…

    That is pretty flawed thinking. Using you’re logic, that would be like saying, “because most terrorists are Islamic, all people of the islamic faith are terrorists…”

  9. truly.equal says:

    The sources I’m citing – bonafide human rights sources, not right-wing nut-case websites – actually claim there is systematic rape in Iraq’s jails. In other words, rape is used both as “method” to extract information from someone and as punishment if said person doesn’t say what the officers want to hear.

    Again, it is systematic corruption, not the work of “a few bad apples”. And the Iraqi force has been trained mostly by the U.S. and this is one of the troublesome aspects. If taxpayer money is going into Iraq, what and how it is being used? What, all these stories of rape and sodomy are made up, right? All part of the evil “liberal media”. Give me a break.

    Using you’re logic, that would be like saying, “because most terrorists are Islamic, all people of the islamic faith are terrorists…”

    Er, no, that is not my logic, but coincidentally that is the logic that some prominent U.S. politician and commentators have. I said, and quoted, “systematic rape by the investigators and to other forms of bodily harm in order to coerce them into making confessions”. Nowhere above it is mentioned that terrorists are raping Iraqi women.

  10. 2jay says:

    oh my god! this is beyond cruel. This is not even the work of animals but devilish demonic beasts in the form of humans! I can’t imagine the ordeal of these prisoners have to face every day. May God have mercy on them and help to free their sorrows. The Arabs have the very right to hate the Americans! One can never be proud to live under the American flag not to mention to be its citizen. Very ugly and smelly!

  11. 2jay,

    I think it is awful too, assuming it is even true…

    But before you cry a river, and damn the Americans, why don’t you question why they are in a PRISON in the first place?

  12. 2jay says:

    knighthospitaller,

    Ouch! It hurts just to be pinched. Imagine the hurts one would receive in such Prison.

    Replying your question….Yes I did. Prisoners are human too you know….they have the right NOT TO BE TREATED worst than animals or toys that have no emotions and feelings. Where are the Human Rights?

    So you think it is awful. Assuming it is true, why don’t you question…”Should prisoners in America and all over the world deserve to be treated in this manner?” Agreeing, supporting such act is the same as the one who did it. Anyway aren’t the Army who trained the Iraqi soldiers are working under the American flag?

  13. 2jay,

    “Anyway aren’t the Army who trained the Iraqi soldiers are working under the American flag?”

    That is flawed logic… I’ll explain why.

    It’s a slippery slope, The Iraqi’s are trained by American soilders, who are trained at bases in the US by instructors, who have been educated by universities, who have professors who when to other universities, that have professors… ect…

    Using your logic, you could make the claim that all universities are to blame for the poor treatment of prisoners…

    You also said, ”Should prisoners in America and all over the world deserve to be treated in this manner?”

    You imply that ALL prisoners of the United States are treated the same. WRONG… The United States is one of the worlds larges advocate of Human rights. If news gets out at any prison, the ACLU abd other civil rights groups pounce instantly.

    Pardon the “pun”, but you sould NEVER say, “NEVER or ALLways”
    Things in this world are complex, and cannot be simplified using that flawed logic…

  14. 2jay says:

    knighthospitaller

    I think you are a negative, unfair and very confused person.

  15. As an American, I believe you are entitled to your own opinion. And I completely respect you opinion. I just wanted to offer another prospective.

  16. truly.equal says:

    Buddy, it is not an opinion. These are facts. There is a difference.

  17. “These are facts.”

    Funny that both sides say that, when the “facts” support their argument. Even if the “facts” are completely polar.

  18. wkyqyjno says:

    My sister wanted to get off the bottom of lightburst hayden panettiere nip slip through the guys looked.

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