KILLING AND PILLAGING
The U.S. and Israel Pursue Their 'New World Order'
MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 7 July: The
Americans are busy covering up and excusing the realities of their
miserable occupation of Iraq, in which the Israelis are so very much
co-complicitous. And the Israelis are busy covering up and excusing
the realities of their miserable occupation of the Palestinians, in
which the Americans are so very much co-complicitous. Meanwhile here
in Washington that grand coalition of crusading Christian evangelicals,
of which the President himself is a part, and the Neocon Jewish gang
that works ever-so-closely with the Israelis, of which many key
Administration officials are a part, continues to dominate as never
before. Now in the target sights are Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and all
others who dare stand in the way of the neo-imperial U.S.-Israeli 'New
World Order' for the greater Middle East region. This letter from
occupied Iraq helps put things in perspective.
All Iraq is Abu Ghraib
By Haifa Zangana
"The Iraqi puppet regime's
promises and US investigations of the
"personality disorders" of their
soldiers and the "few bad apples"
are irrelevant for Iraqis: for them,
the Anglo-American occupation
means destruction, rape and pillage."
July 5, 2006
Our streets are prison corridors and our homes cells
as the occupiers go about their strategic humiliation and intimidation.
al-Janaby, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, was with her family in Mahmudiyah,
20 miles south of Baghdad, when US troops raided the house. A group of
soldiers have been charged with her rape and the murder of her father,
mother, and nine-year-old sister. They are also accused of setting
A'beer's body on fire.
The al-Janaby family lived near
a US checkpoint, and the killings happened at 2pm on March 11. As
usual, a US spokesman ascribed the killings to "Sunni Arab insurgents
active in the area", contrary to local eyewitnesses.
A'beer's rape and murder is neither incidental nor the product of a US soldier's "personality disorder": it is part of a pattern
that includes Abu Ghraib, as well as the Haditha, Ishaqi and Qaiem
massacres. And we see this pattern as serving a strategic function
beyond indiscriminate revenge: to couple collective humiliation with
intimidation and terror.
Today, four years into the
Anglo-American occupation, the whole of Iraq has become Abu Ghraib,
with our streets as prison corridors and homes as cells. Iraqis are
attacked in detention, on the streets and in their homes.
It took almost a year, and
published photographs of horrific torture in Abu Ghraib, before the
world began to heed the voices of the detainees and those trying to
defend them. The same is happening to women victims.
Abuses, torture and the rape of
Iraqi women have been reported for three years now by independent Iraqi
organisations. But the racist logic of occupation means that occupied
people are not to be trusted, and truth is the private ownership of the
Families of the abused, raped,
and killed Iraqi civilians have to wait for months, if not years, until
a US soldier comes forward to admit responsibility and the US military
begins an investigation. (For the US military to investigate a US
soldier's crime has been seen by Iraqis as the killers investigating
their own technical skills.)
On the October 19 2005, Freedom
Voice, an Iraqi Human Rights society, reported the rape of three women
from the "Saad Bin Abi Waqqas neighbourhood" in Tell Afar after a US
The alleged rape took place by
soldiers inside the women's own house after the arrest of their male
relatives. Medical sources in the town said one of the women died. A US
commander ordered some soldiers detained, and no more was heard of
Immunity from prosecution under
Iraqi or international law is the main fact of the occupation and
renders laughable any claims of sovereignty. It is based on UN security
council resolution 1546 and the accompanying exchange of letters
between Iraqi and American authorities. This immunity applies equally
to the marine units accused of roaming
our streets high on drugs and to advisers running ministries, to prison
guards, security guards, multinational forces and corporate contractors
of all kinds.
The Iraqi women's ordeal began
the moment occupation forces descended upon them. Most arrests and
raids take place after midnight. In some neighborhoods, women now sleep
fully dressed so as not to be caught in their nightgowns. Armoured cars
and helicopters are sometimes deployed in raids, in a variant on "shock
and awe". Troops force women and children to watch as they deliberately
humiliate their husbands, sons or fathers, and sometimes order them to
take pictures with US soldiers' cameras. Money and jewellery are taken. Are these "terrorist assets confiscated" or spoils of war?
Random arrests, rapes and
killings by the occupation forces continue under the so-called
"national unity government", which renewed their mandate and immunity
while at the same time talking of a "national reconciliation
Despite all the rhetoric, a
female minister for human rights and dozens of US-funded Iraqi women's
organisations, the only outcry we have heard condemning the rape of A'
beer and the plight of Iraqi women under occupation is from the
anti-occupation Islamist movement.
Occupation authorities and their
puppet regime share the denial of violence against women. After the
sexual abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, the authorities talked about
respecting local traditions, and the need to avoid provoking anger and
give the Iraqi people the sense that the occupation recognises the
sensitive status of women.
On occasion, Iraqi collaborators
joined in. On April 18 2004, the ministry of interior chief, Ahmed
Youssef, issued a statement denying maltreatment of female detainees.
He said: "We are Muslims. We know very well how to treat our female
detainees." As if violence against women were not a universal crime.
The abuses continue also in the
puppet regime's prisons. On October 20 2005, officials of the Kazemiya
women's prison reported an instance of rape. The UN was refused
permission to investigate. According to a report of the UN assistance
mission to Iraq, Iraqi police tortured a woman who had been detained in
Diwaniya police station since March 2005. The victim recounted that
electric shocks were applied to her heels. She was reportedly told her
teenage daughter would be raped if she did not supply the information
her interrogators wanted.
A report published
by the Iraqi National Association for Human Rights on October 29 2005
found that women held in interior ministry detention centres are
subject to numerous human rights violations, including "systematic rape
by the investigators and ... 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.
The wall of denial is cracking.
On June 12, al-Jazeera showed footage of Mohammed al-Diaeny, a member
of parliament, going to a prison in Baquba, near Baghdad, where men
showed evidence of torture and talked of being raped. Seven women
detainees were shown but refused to talk. "Too ashamed", whispered one
of them. In response, Jawad al-Bolani, minister of the interior,
promised investigation. He later vowed to release all women prisoners
and negotiate with the multinational forces to release theirs.
There will be no end to these
violations as long as Iraq remains occupied by forces that enjoy
immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law and as long as the occupation
authorities continue to treat Iraqi citizens with racist contempt in
order to feel better about plundering the nation's wealth and depriving
its people of their most fundamental rights under international law and
human rights conventions.
The Iraqi puppet regime's
promises and US investigations of the "personality disorders" of their
soldiers and the "few bad apples" are irrelevant for Iraqis: for them,
the Anglo-American occupation means destruction, rape and pillage.