15 July 2006

Middle East Burning

First, this excerpt from Baghdad Burning, that left me numb:
Rape. The latest of American atrocities. Though it's not really the latest- it's just the one that's being publicized the most. The poor girl Abeer was neither the first to be raped by American troops, nor will she be the last. The only reason this rape was brought to light and publicized is that her whole immediate family were killed along with her. Rape is a taboo subject in Iraq. Families don't report rapes here, they avenge them. We've been hearing whisperings about rapes in American-controlled prisons and during sieges of towns like Haditha and Samarra for the last three years. The naiveté of Americans who can't believe their 'heroes' are committing such atrocities is ridiculous. Who ever heard of an occupying army committing rape??? You raped the country, why not the people?

In the news they're estimating her age to be around 24, but Iraqis from the area say she was only 14. Fourteen. Imagine your 14-year-old sister or your 14-year-old daughter. Imagine her being gang-raped by a group of psychopaths and then the girl was killed and her body burned to cover up the rape. Finally, her parents and her five-year-old sister were also killed. Hail the American heroes... Raise your heads high supporters of the 'liberation' - your troops have made you proud today. I don't believe the troops should be tried in American courts. I believe they should be handed over to the people in the area and only then will justice be properly served. And our ass of a PM, Nouri Al-Maliki, is requesting an 'independent investigation', ensconced safely in his American guarded compound because it wasn't his daughter or sister who was raped, probably tortured and killed. His family is abroad safe from the hands of furious Iraqis and psychotic American troops.

It fills me with rage to hear about it and read about it. The pity I once had for foreign troops in Iraq is gone. It's been eradicated by the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings. I look at them in their armored vehicles and to be honest- I can't bring myself to care whether they are 19 or 39. I can't bring myself to care if they make it back home alive. I can't bring myself to care anymore about the wife or parents or children they left behind. I can't bring myself to care because it's difficult to see beyond the horrors. I look at them and wonder just how many innocents they killed and how many more they'll kill before they go home. How many more young Iraqi girls will they rape?

Why don't the Americans just go home? They've done enough damage and we hear talk of how things will fall apart in Iraq if they 'cut and run', but the fact is that they aren't doing anything right now. How much worse can it get? People are being killed in the streets and in their own homes- what's being done about it? Nothing. It's convenient for them- Iraqis can kill each other and they can sit by and watch the bloodshed- unless they want to join in with murder and rape.
Such brutality and inhuman monstrosity that seems to be a too-common occurrence among American soldiers - is it born of frustration? Anger? Futility? Hopelessness? Helplessness? Is the continual frustration of America's nominal objectives for a well-running, functional democracy in Iraq legible to other factions in the region that might want to, say, take advantage of the overwhelming distraction, not to mention complete incompetence of the leadership, that the debacle in Iraq represents?

It is not beyond the realm of comprehension to read the recent aggressions that have emerged almost simultaneously from Pyongyang, Beirut, and Gaza City (and I would include Damascus and Tehran as well), as the actions of those who have little to lose and much to gain, taking advantage of the "world's policeman" being otherwise occupied (a deliberate choice of wording, by the way, in which the principle of reversal kicks in - the occupier becomes the occupied). Given that the bright lights in the White House tragically underestimated the effects and consequences of their Iraq (mis)adventure, they would not possibly have anticipated the degree to which they have jeopardized millions throughout the entire Middle East, not to mention the stability of the global economy. Would Hamas and Hezbollah have been equally bold if the Americans were at the top of their military game? Theodore Roosevelt had it right.

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