Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sabrine Al-Janabi

That is the name of an Iraqi woman who was raped by Iraqi security forces. The New York Times delicately leaves her name out of it's story on the incident, but Baghdad Burning (by Riverbend) includes it. The story is a little microcosm of how badly we have messed up Iraq.
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.
The New York Times frames this story as part of the ongoing feud between Sunnis and Shi'ites. And there might well be some truth to that. Certainly the President of Iraq has condemned her as a liar and criminal and rewarded the officers accused of raping her. Riverbend on the other hand notes that no woman should be raped, regardless of which side in this conflict they are on.

She ends her first piece on this story with these words which ring depressingly true.
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.
It's a depressing world we live in.

However, for those of you concerned that this sort of incident might hurt America's self esteem, the woman had the bad luck to appear on al-Jazeera, so most American's will naturally assume it's propaganda and put it out of their pretty little heads.

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