Monday, March 05, 2007

An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth, Thirty-Two Murders...

... for a rape?

On February 20, it was reported that Iraqi security forces had gang-raped a 20 year old Sunni woman that was in their custody. Sabreen al-Janabi's account was shown on al-Jazeera. After a short investigation, Maliki cleared the officers reportedly involved and even "rewarded" them. The US also weighed in, as did the world press, international bloggers, and Iraqi bloggers.

In her post The Rape of Sabrine... , Riverbend gives an emotional commentary on the subject that mixes a translation of the testimony with her own commentary. An example of her opinion is this:
"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."
She goes on to remind us the ISF are trained by Americans, some of which also are accused of raping a 14 year-old Iraqi girl and murdering her family. Her post ends with a wide and broad condemnation of the invasion and a declaration that it's over:
"Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost."
Her followup post, Maliki's Reaction... continues along the same lines, but adds specific condemnation for Maliki's quick rejection of the charges as well as the sectarian spin on the story:
"I hate the media and I hate the Iraqi government for turning this atrocity into another Sunni-Shia debacle- like it matters whether Sabrine is Sunni or Shia or Arab or Kurd (the Al Janabi tribe is composed of both Sunnis and Shia)."
Iraqi Konfused Kid offered a contrasting take on the case. He was also the source for the translated subtitles on the YouTube video above (which you can also see from his post). Kid's take is that the allegations themselves were fishy, and he is suspicious about several details and nuances of Sabrine's story:
"It is not unlikely for Iraqi soldiers to commit such acts, It is my own personal belief that Iraqi soldiers are usually worse than US soldiers, and it would be a typical and quite in-character act if they broke into a house and found a woman alone to rape her. The woman's story was detailed and it had emotion in it, when I first saw her, I found her convincing. Nothing much to add above that. But as I sat down to translate it, which makes me in direct contact with every sentence and every nuance, all the fishiness came in the way."
The detail Kid provides to support his suspicions is worth looking at on its own. He concludes with this:
"and as usual the Arab nation did the usual uproar, Adnan al-Dulaymi trembled like a teapot, Mish'aan al-Juboori re-broadcast the clip 25/7, and the media war rages on and on."
Speaking of predictability, Truth About Iraqis concluded his first of three posts on the subject, Iraqi girl gang-raped by US-supported Iraqi soldiers with this:
"Let us hope the occupier and his dogs pay for this. We know the will = )"
Well, wouldn't ya know it? The Islamic State of Iraq captured 18 "Iraqi government employees" the other day. After a 24 deadline to turn over the accused ISF and release female detainees elapsed, the ISI announced that they had killed the 18 men and posted video soon after.

About the same time, it was announced that 14 Iraqi police had been kidnapped and found murdered a few hours later. The picture accompanying this article shows 18 men, however, and the text of the article is not clear about whether the 14 murdered IP are the same as the 18 captured "Iraqi governemt employees". Several articles I've seen make me think they are two separate abductions/mass murders. For example, the IraqSlogger article which shows the snuff film concludes with this:
"Also, the Islamic State of Iraq issued a statement today indicating that fourteen other employees of the Ministry of Interior were captured on Thursday, March 1, and “Allah’s Orders” were also executed upon them."
The MNF-I released its own statement about the incident:
"“These Iraqi Police officers were murdered in cold blood, and they had absolutely
nothing to do with any incidents of rape, as alleged by these deceitful terrorists,” said
[Major General Benjamin R. Mixon, commander of Task Force Lightning in Multinational Division-North].

Responsibility for the murders has been claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq,
according to this group’s web site, and cited in numerous open source media reports. Mixon called for public outcry condemning these murders."
Condemn the murders? How 'bout it, Riverbend and TAI? I seem to recall those two were pretty upset that one (later, two more) death sentence was carried out for 148 murders with 300,000 or so more murders that could've been aired in court. Is 32 murders a fair price to pay for one rape? Or would they simply project this one case onto the entire ISF as they do for isolated cases of incidents involving the US troops?

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