In the course of researching and keeping up with news about the rape of ‘Abir Hamzah, I have come across information and photos about, and which appear to be of, U.S. soldiers in uniform raping Iraqi women. From what information I have been able to glean and gather, some of these photos were at one point posted on an internet porn site called “Iraqbabes,” where they were described as actual photos of Iraqi women being raped by U.S. soldiers. U.S. pro-war, patriotic websites and commentators then said the photos were staged and fake because they appeared on a porn site. The porn site no longer exists. But the photos are still out there, and some appear on, in my opinion, reputable sites, including the Universal Society of Friends site, a non-profit neo-Quaker site “dedicated to social and environmental justice, the prevention of war, and the advancement of human rights for all people everywhere.” This site posts the photos and asks us to decide for ourselves whether the photos are real.
We know that pornography has been made of actual rapes during war time; most recently, this happened in the the war in the former Yugoslavia. Not so long ago the U.S. military launched an investigation into reports that U.S. troops were exchanging gory photos of Iraqis who had been killed for access to a porn site featuring, again, what purported to be photos of U.S. troops raping Iraqi women. The military investigators reported they found “no evidence a felony” had been committed.
Following are a couple of photos taken from the Universal Society of Friends site. With the USF, I ask you to decide for yourself whether these photos are real or staged.
This is one of the many horrors of our porn culture: all that has to be done in order to make a rape not “real,” not “actual,” is turn it into porn. If it is pornography, then it must be harmless “fantasy.”
I am posting these photos not only to invite readers to decide for yourselves, but also to challenge this idea that what that 21-year-old soldier has confessed to is an anomaly, is a result of his personality disorder, is an isolated instance. Having made myself a student of the atrocities and rapes for genocide in Croatia, in Bosnia Hercogovina, I will never, so help me goddess, be any part of any erasure of the rapes of any women, anywhere, including during wartime. If I hear of them, learn of them, if women speak of them, then I will speak of them, no matter who is trying to shut them up, defend those who have violated them, cover up what has happened to them.
Haifa Zangana, a writer and former prisoner of Saddam Hussein’s regime, wrote in an article this week entitled All Iraq is Abu Ghraib. It was published in the Guardian. She said:
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 initiative”.
…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.
…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.
…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.
I believe Haifa Zangana. And I think the photos below, from the Universal Society of Friends site and before that, from the “Iraqbabes” site, depict actual rapes. I am posting them not only because I think they speak for themselves and speak the truth about whether or not rape by U.S. troops is an anomaly in Iraq, but also because I worry that sites which have posted these photos may disappear, and with them, the evidence of these crimes against women and against all humanity. Goddess help you and deal justice to you, and quickly, should you view these photos with anything other than horror, revulsion, grief, and outrage. Goddess help you, and get help, you are a dangerous person.
Heart, devastated and heartsick