revere at Effect Measure doesn’t think the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are really that bad: MPAA: not as bad as Kissinger or Bush.
There are a lot of things, organizations and people worse than MPAA and RIAA. They aren’t war criminals or in charge of Bush administration foreign policy. But that’s about the best I can say about them.
February 21st, 2007
Monday brought news of a Sunni Iraqi woman taking the unusual step of going public with her accusation that she wa raped by Iraqi security forces. This accusation created outrage among the Iraqi Sunni community, as can be seen in this post by Riverbend: The Rape of Sabrine…:
As I write this, Oprah is on Channel 4 (one of the MBC channels we get on Nilesat), showing Americans how to get out of debt. Her guest speaker is telling a studio full of American women who seem to have over-shopped that they could probably do with fewer designer products. As they talk about increasing incomes and fortunes, Sabrine Al-Janabi, a young Iraqi woman, is on Al Jazeera telling how Iraqi security forces abducted her from her home and raped her. You can only see her eyes, her voice is hoarse and it keeps breaking as she speaks. In the end she tells the reporter that she can’t talk about it anymore and she covers her eyes with shame.
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.
I wonder what excuse they used when they took her. It’s most likely she’s one of the thousands of people they round up under the general headline of ‘terrorist suspect’. She might have been one of those subtitles you read on CNN or BBC or Arabiya, “13 insurgents captured by Iraqi security forces.” The men who raped her are those same security forces Bush and Condi are so proud of- you know- the ones the Americans trained. It’s a chapter right out of the book that documents American occupation in Iraq: the chapter that will tell the story of 14-year-old Abeer who was raped, killed and burned with her little sister and parents….
I look at this woman and I can’t feel anything but rage. What did we gain? I know that looking at her, foreigners will never be able to relate. They’ll feel pity and maybe some anger, but she’s one of us. She’s not a girl in jeans and a t-shirt so there will only be a vague sort of sympathy. Poor third-world countries- that is what their womenfolk tolerate. Just know that we never had to tolerate this before. There was a time when Iraqis were safe in the streets. That time is long gone. We consoled ourselves after the war with the fact that we at least had a modicum of safety in our homes. Homes are sacred, aren’t they? That is gone too.
As usual, the Iraqi government took decisive action. The “Prime Minister” announced an investigation. He obviously was vying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for Fastest Investigation. A few hours later the PM announced the results of the investigation:
Hours later, Maliki reversed course, issuing another statement calling the woman an impostor and a criminal with three outstanding warrants.
“After confirming the falsehood of these claims,” it said, Maliki “has ordered that these distinguished officers be honored.” It did not identify the officers or explain why the accolades were justified.
Presumably, in the interests of “justice,” the woman will now be hunted down and turned over to these distinguished officers for the “punishment she deserves.” At this point, she’s either in hiding or dead.
Every Sunni woman is now a target for the Shiite militias. By tomorrow, Shia women will be targets for the Sunni insurgents. Thus is democracy built, rape by rape. Another great victory for Iraqi justice and democracy. And another myth of injustice added to Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, and the Death Squads.
UPDATE: Riverbend on Maliki’s exoneration:
No Iraqi woman under the circumstances- under any circumstances- would publicly, falsely claim she was raped. There are just too many risks. There is the risk of being shunned socially. There is the risk of beginning an endless chain of retaliations and revenge killings between tribes. There is the shame of coming out publicly and talking about a subject so taboo, she and her husband are not only risking their reputations by telling this story, they are risking their lives….
This is meant to discourage other prisoners, especially women, from coming forward and making claims against Iraqi and American forces. Maliki is the stupidest man alive (well, after Bush of course…) if he believes his arrogance and callous handling of the situation will work to dismiss it from the minds of Iraqis. By doing what he is doing, he’s making it more clear than ever that under his rule, under his government, vigilante justice is the only way to go. Why leave it to the security forces and police? Simply hire a militia or gang to get revenge. If he doesn’t get some justice for her, her tribe will be forced to… And the Janabat (the Al Janabis) are a force to be reckoned with.
Maliki could at least pretend the rape of a young Iraqi woman is still an outrage in todays Iraq…
February 21st, 2007