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Pre-2008 Posts

The Rape of Iraq, Part 2 (Warning– May Trigger)

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





114 thoughts on “The Rape of Iraq, Part 2 (Warning– May Trigger)

  1. Heart,

    I saw the ‘may trigger’ warning, so I scrolled past this post, but the pictures flashed past. It’s too late, I’ve seen them.

    Men hate us. They have nothing but utter contempt for us.

    Those pictures. That’s what they do. They rape us. They take pictures and they sell them and masturbate to them. They call it freedom of speech.

    Posted by Ylva | July 8, 2006, 10:39 pm
  2. We are less than nothing to men, they hate us. They look at us and see *SEX* not human beings. There is a war on, and i am angry and afraid. I’m a firm believer in what goes around, comes around, and men are in for some lessons in karmic law.

    Posted by LB | July 9, 2006, 9:11 am
  3. The photos are real.

    Posted by Professor Zero | July 9, 2006, 9:28 am
  4. Thankyou for posting this. I too am heartsick. Pippa x

    Posted by Pippa | July 9, 2006, 11:42 am
  5. I linked to this post from my blog. I should have asked but I thought you wouldn’t mind. Cheers, Pippa x

    Posted by Pippa | July 9, 2006, 11:55 am
  6. I think the tape is a fake. Their outfits don’t look like US uniforms and the gun looks wrong too (although soldiers have been known to take the enemy’s weapons, but it isn’t an AK-47). Compare what they are wearing to the photo of Steven Green. It doesn’t match.

    Of course I don’t mean to say that the atrocities aren’t real, just that this one is staged.

    Posted by sister of a soldier | July 10, 2006, 7:31 pm
  7. Sister of a soldier, you know, most of us are connected with soldiers. I am the daughter of a man who volunteered for the Army at 17 and served in Japan the year World War II ended. I have twice married veterans; my first ex-husband was an Army paratrooper in the Vietnam War era. My second ex served eight years in the Air Force. My niece is a Navy veteran. She served on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, including when it was stationed in the Gulf but before the war on Iraq. She was raped on the ship by two soldiers, became pregnant, bore her child, the men were prosecuted and imprisoned for 6 and 9 months. She has disabling post-traumatic stress disorder and via persistent attorneys, she sued, and settled with the Navy, but not until after they tried to discharge her a month early, not until after she was demoted (because she was pregnant, traumatized and could not function; yes, she reported the rapes and was told to take Tylenol. She was not believed), not until after the Navy tried to shut her up and cut her off without any of the benefits she enlisted to get in the first place. Now she is unable to work at all and is a single mom, raising a child who is the spitten image of one of her rapists.

    Anyway. That is all to say that I, and most women, are related to someone in the military. A young man who is a friend of my daughters, went to high school with them, black kid, sweet, joined the Reserve to get that enticing $12K he was promised. Well, on the 12th he ships out to New York. A month after that he ships out to Iraq. I am making him a protection bottle to wear around his neck, a tiny, corked bottle with sand and bits of shell from the rural Peninsula he grew up on, alongside my daughters. I will pray over this bottle for his safe return, for his protection, and that he comes home able to resume a normal life. Several of my daughters’ friends and acquaintances have served in Iraq. When they get home, they are not okay. I think the best way for us to support the men and women in Iraq is to bring them all the hell home, right now, and get them whatever help they may need.

    This is also to say that not only are Iraqi women being raped in Iraq, American women are being raped there, soldiers, as women soldiers are being and have been raped and sexually assaulted and abused in large numbers for decades now.

    I think the photos are real. I’ve read all over the internet where pro-war people say what you say, “those aren’t the right uniforms,” “the gun is wrong.” No. Those are Americans. They aren’t Iraqis. And the uniforms are just fine. I know there are two kinds of camoflage, desert and another kind, and both have been and are used in Iraq. It doesn’t matter that what the rapists are wearing doesn’t “match” what Green is wearing– that isn’t relevant.

    But you know, even if the photos were not “real.” Even if we suspended all decency, integrity, honesty and intelligence and said those were staged, and the women “consented” — those photos, in and of themselves, constitute a kind of rape, a version of rape. All we have to know is these are photos our troops wanted to see in Iraq, because the website — and it’s one of several, since closed down by the military — is one in which troops exchanged photos of murder and carnage for the chance to see Iraqi women being raped. That’s a kind of rape, all its own. Goddess protect and help any woman, American, Iraqi, any, who had to, or has to, deal with soldiers, or any men, who get off on this kind of degradation.


    Posted by womensspace | July 10, 2006, 11:18 pm
  8. 😥

    Posted by Z | July 11, 2006, 1:21 am
  9. Even if the uniforms are “wrong” (I know nothing about such things, so I will not attempt to confirm or deny) how does that equate to the pictures being “staged” rather than a real rape? Why does the “wrong kind of gun” mean that these women consented?

    I don’t care what they’re wearing or who they are, we have nothing on which to base a statement that those men are not raping those women.

    Heart, despite the horrible feeling in my stomach, I thank you for posting this.

    Posted by hexyhex | July 12, 2006, 5:58 am
  10. Right on, hexyhex. What kind of culture do we live in that the first thing most people think when they look at photos of women being raped is, “It’s not real.” I think we live in a pornified world where the bodies and lives of women mean absolutely nothing.

    Which I aim to change. I will change it. I have changed it. And so have you, hexyhex, and so will we all, just watch and see.


    Posted by womensspace | July 12, 2006, 3:35 pm
  11. I also think that the very creation of those photos equals rape.


    Posted by womensspace | July 12, 2006, 3:38 pm
  12. I also think that the very creation of those photos equals rape, no matter what the circumstances.


    Posted by womensspace | July 12, 2006, 3:39 pm
  13. Note to misogynists: it is impossible for those photos to be “fake.” They are real. Those are real women and real men.


    Posted by womensspace | July 12, 2006, 10:17 pm
  14. disgusting, sickening, maddening. who justifies this kind of crime!! i am to the point where i want the same kind of punishment for rapists here as they do in the middle east – hang the fucking bastards.

    raping women has NOTHING to do with war. it is a personal choice. i am so angry right now…jesus, i am so angry at the abuse of power, of size, at the dehumanization of others bc of sex, race…i am so sick and ANGRY. what can we do to stop this!!!!!


    what must we do to stop this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i swing from fury to depression – what can we do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dammit, dammit, dammit…..

    enough!!!!!!!! gdammit, what is wrong with these men!!!!!!! what is wrong with a culture that supports men that rape children and women in the name of war>???? these men are on camera – you gonna tell me someone can’t id these men – turn over to the iraqi govt. period. we are there, supposedly to bring freedom and foster independence and democracy – let’s start by letting them deal with child rapists and rapists however they see fit. their country – their rules.

    i cannot begin to describe my disgust at the male establishments that have been created, with walls so high and thick that rape is part of the (our) culture with NO consequences no matter how evil the deed – as long as its done to a woman. i am disgusted with these military men and the abuses that have been encouraged, covered up and underreported. disgusted. some moral high ground. we are all facade, under the surface, the US is sick. our “leaders” are repressed, fearful, spoiled, violent, arrogant, ignorant, cruel children…

    jesus. i’ve been raped adn i just cannot, whatever fear i had is gone, all that is left is molten fury when i see images of rape – sold, shared – as pornography – gdammit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these men deserve whatever they get. no pity.

    rape is inexcusable – PERIOD – there is never a reason, an excuse, a justification, an accident, a “misunderstanding” there is only the rapist and his victim. period.

    and what makes me saddest, men are the only ones who can stop the majority of all rapes. and the male culture doesn’t want to take it on. too many priveleges built in…and that’s the most depressing thing of all – that this system which paralyzes women – works, really works, for most men. we are told to stay inside and stop provoking the poor dears while they roam the streets free of both fear and consequence. never once askign why we ask women to stay inside instead of removing dangerous rapists from our communities.

    love save us all. humanity, shared respect for all things breathing, CONSENT, basic gdamn respect as a human being – isn’t that what any one wants…just to be able to live as you are without fear that bc you have a p***y you are now a walking target, a game, prey…idk what we can do about this. i am sickened and saddened. thank you for bringing this to the table. the first step in stopping these atrocities is to highlight them, bring them into the open and DEAL with them. we must stop allowing people to pretend – to fool themselves – in to believeing this is not real, that rape is not an epidemic. women know the truth, bc we live the reality of a rape culture.

    Posted by effersallofthem | July 13, 2006, 9:44 pm
  15. Well, actually, those aren’t American soldiers. I can’t even identify the uniform; it resembles nothing in that theatre of operation. I don’t know how to put into words what I think. I’m no longer capable of being shocked, seeing what is happening in Iraq these days.

    Posted by ginmar | July 18, 2006, 1:12 pm
  16. Ginmar I respect what are saying, and your knowledge above mine in this matter. But ‘theatre of operation?” How about ‘location of the massacre’?

    Posted by Pony | July 18, 2006, 5:44 pm
  17. You hvae to remember that there are good, decent soldiers there, too, and that they are heartsick. i know that fourteen thousand Iraqis have died since the beginning of this year alone. I konw that it’s very likely that some people I met are amongst them. I know that when I close my eyes I see those faces, those trusting faces, and feel that I betrayed them. I know that I am not alone amongst the soldiers I served with who feel this way. Rememeber please that people who are honorable cannot concieve of dishonor in others, that people who tell the truth are the most likely to believe lies, because they trust. There are many, many soldiers, sailors and Marines who are desperate to help the Iraqi people, not the least of wihch is the Marine who helped save my life, whose mother is a sunni. Who does she pray for? Everyone. Who do I grieve for? Everyone. This is not a war that can be won, it can only be recovered from.

    There are many, many soldiers on the ground who hate this war, young and old, male and female, Xtian, pagan, Muslim, what have you. Please don’t judge us by our silence. Some things are too horrible to put into words.

    Posted by ginmar | July 21, 2006, 12:54 am
  18. My friend,

    On one hand, I am glad that you posted these photos because it should be known the truth. I wonder tho, is there a way for you to block out the women’s faces? I don’t think they deserve to have what happened to them plastered over the internet, you know what I mean? Please, if you can, blur out their faces. Perhaps you can make enlargements of the mens faces though.

    Posted by A friend of humanity | July 25, 2006, 8:05 am
  19. Ginmar I believe what you say, and do not mean any disrespect for you here; but knowing what you now know, and assuming you went into this thinking something else, have you now fully retired and resigned (or whatever it’s called) from the military?

    Posted by Pony | July 26, 2006, 2:45 pm
  20. What is everyone in so angry about? Freedom is on the March(we know it for a fact because genious Bush says so), shouldn’t we be celebrating? The ungreatful Iraqis are mad over a few porn sites(our brave hero men and women in uniform would never do anything like that) they should be cheering for the removal through extreme violence(over 100,000 murdered and counting) of Saddam Hussein by the same people who put him in power. Unfortunately, this bullshit has happened a thousand times before, in the Phillipines, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Haiti, The Balkans and a million other places where sexually repressed racist trailer trash take their anger out on innocent third world women. Lynne England came from a shit town with an active KKK presence in W Virginia, and the bitch Monica Lynch from the same W Virginia claimed she hated the very Iraqi doctors that saved her life and had the gall to claim they raped her. The only reason this fourteen year old girl is headline news now is because her whole family was murdered in cold blood. Rape is taboo in Iraq, it isn’t discussed, its avenged. These soldiers deserve Iraqi justice, a gallows, and so do all their idiot enabelers who keep crowing about brave men and women in uniform and call those who don’t support a bunch of sick perverts “unpatriotic”. Fuck all of you, yes it is more than a few bad apples

    Posted by pissed | August 8, 2006, 4:26 pm
  21. thats wat the US Military is doing in Iraq , bloody bastards .

    Posted by jojo | August 9, 2006, 5:47 am
  22. oh my god. this is just sick. Im ashamed of our troops. These soldiers should be severly punished.

    Posted by Lisa | August 9, 2006, 6:16 am
  23. Yes, I agree, blur the faces of these women. It only compounds the humiliation of what was done to them. Men have been taught to hate women, they have been taught it is ok to act like animals. Rape happens because society allows it. Women and men alike hardly ever believe another woman when it comes to rape even if they see if replayed on film. It speaks to the decay in our society, and the negative corrosive affects pornography has on our morality. People are not shocked by violence in any form these days. These photos are disgusting and disgraceful. These monsters that portray themselves as American soldiers are a disgrace and should be punished.

    Posted by jade | August 16, 2006, 2:41 am
  24. I find it unethical and misleading for these pictures to be posted in reference to American soldiers. Asking people to “decide for themselves” whether these photos are real is INTENTIONALLY DECEIVING those who do not have the military knowledge or experience to realize that they are pornographic fakes.

    THESE ARE NOT AMERICAN SOLDIERS: The uniforms resemble halloween costumes from walmart, not the attire worn by U.S. soldiers. Notice the shoes (notably in the 2nd picture) are black tennis or dress shoes, a far cry from military boots. If these were “real” one “rapist” could be identified as ‘the only U.S. soldier in Iraq wearing a blue baseball cap.’ There is also a obvious lack of gear that is standard on U.S. servicemembers.

    Please, do a google image search for “soldiers in iraq” to see what a REAL U.S. servicemember looks like.

    Rape is wrong. Rape is also a problem in the military. A large number of female servicemembers report being raped. However, please do not let these obviously offensive and extremely emotional “set-up” photos decieve you into hating U.S. soldiers. The vast vast majority of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq are honorable, disciplined young men and women who endure the hells of war, and risk their lives, in order to serve their country and its citizens.

    Thank you, to anyone and everyone who took the time to read and consider my comments.

    Posted by Will | August 26, 2006, 7:50 am
  25. I stumbled by this while researching something else. The photos certainly look fake as Will’s points above indicate. The fact that the two guys in the second photo are not wearing any pants but have shoes on seems somewhat odd. The fact that the guy with the gun has a coat (which is about 3 sizes to large) but does not have a shirt is odd as well. The scenario that would indicate if these were not staged photos would be that the assailants stopped, took off their clothes, and then put their shoes/boots back on before the photo was taken. That just doesn’t seem plausible.

    Of course, none of that matters.

    First, if the photos are real it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. We already know that there are rapes being committed by the military in Iraq. Where there is war or oppression there is unchecked power. That may be in the form of two guys with a gun in the middle of a desert or it could be in the form of a dictator and his sons with a prison. So where there is war or oppression there is unchecked power and where there is unchecked power there is rape.

    Secondly – and far more importantly – what really matters here is that there’s a commercial market for this kind of stuff. Oddly enough, I would be less concerned for our world if those actually were legitimate photos. That’s not to discount the obvious horror of a real sexual assault, but it’s less scary to attribute the action in those photos as the depravity of 5 or 6 animals. Because the alternative if those photos are staged is the realization that there are enough people out there who derive some sort of sexual satisfaction from that fantasy that someone would set the whole thing up.

    Posted by RnR | September 18, 2006, 4:11 pm
  26. Pony, I’m still in. You have to be inside to change things.

    Posted by ginmar | October 10, 2006, 10:19 pm
  27. I don’t know if the photos actually depict a rape or not, but they don’t depict American soldiers in Iraq. The uniforms are wrong, especially the footwear. The camouflage pattern looks close, but the their cut doesn’t quite match the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) woodland design; which is the U.S. uniform they most closely resemble.

    The footwear is just way off, though. Those aren’t anything close to any style U.S. combat boot I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all.

    I do like the attitude that it doesn’t matter if this bit of evidence is true or not, because we all know U.S. soldiers are raping women in Iraq…

    Posted by balmer_ravens | October 20, 2006, 2:02 am
  28. That’s not reassuring Ginmar. It’s bad enough to know young people are in the military, but worse to *know* a young person who is.

    Posted by Pony | October 20, 2006, 3:33 am
  29. It occurred to not one of the people passing along these photos to cover these women’s faces? (I am speaking of the photos linked to in the Society of Friends site) I don’t see anywhere here or on the linked page (with even more photo’s that anyone made an effort to find these women and ask them for consent to use them. They are women, not anti-war posters, they might object to having a picture of their rape used and posted for ANY purpose, but do so with no effort to obscure their identity seems pretty monstrous to me. I don’t care where they were made, that’s pretty clearly rape in those photo’s, so why is it ok to violate these women a SECOND time by putting there rape up there for the world to see? Is making a political/ideological point so important that real human beings can be used and objectified and nobody will say anything? Those who are posting these to bolster the anti-war movement are using these women’s suffering for their own agenda, as surely as the sick fucks that are jacking off to them. I’m writing the Society of Friends to tell them exactly what I think of people who use women’s bodies and suffering this way. Please think about what I’m saying for a minute before dismissing it. Because the people who need to see pictures to believe that rape is occurring will find a reason not to believe anyway, or justify it some how, the people you will reach with these photo’s already know that rape is ubiquitous during any war, so these women are being stripped of privacy, dignity and choice for a second time to preach to the converted. I just want to be clear that I really don’t want to attack you, my ire is directed at the original (porn) and secondary (anti-war religious organization) using these women as objects to jack-off to or as objects just to make a point. You are free to think I’m being a jerk or uptight or whatever; feel free to tell me so, I just wanted to share my perspective with you.

    Posted by R | October 22, 2006, 9:43 pm
  30. R, actually I think you’re right. I did have those same thoughts when I came across these photos, and felt disturbed by the same issues you raise.

    The only point of disagreement I would have would be here:

    the people you will reach with these photo’s already know that rape is ubiquitous during any war,

    I think that far and away most Americans, the vast majority, do not believe that American troops rape women during wartime. I think most Americans are totally in denial about what American troops are capable of; hence, the shock around the rape of A’bir Hasam, the 14 year old girl who was raped and murdered, hence the disbelief around Abu Ghraib. I think most Americans think American troops are beyond reproach while enemy troops are capable of every vile behavior imaginable. I think most Americans think our troops are “protecting” women and children, as opposed to raping and killing them.

    My decision was to post these photos in the hopes of chipping away at American denial about our own soldiers’ war crimes and brutalities, complicity in war crimes and brutality, and about the way American troops rape and make pornography out of their rapes. It’s true, some hold on to their denial and dispute the authenticity of these photos. My hope is that some might face up to what our country’s military is capable of.

    I don’t care where they were made, that’s pretty clearly rape in those photo’s,

    Yes, it is. No matter where the photos were made and by whomever, those are real rapes, I believe. On the one hand, I think it’s true that posting violates the victims a second time. On the other hand, I hope that saying precisely what you have said there, and I and other women have said here, is a heads up and a wake up call to everyone who reads here, including those who have dismissed those photos as not authentic. 

    How long will Americans and colonialists of every and any stripe pretend that what American troops do in wartime is not brutality? How long will we pretend we do not rape, steal and murder? My hope is that posting those photos is a confrontation to all whose denial, pretending, lies make photos like those possible.


    Posted by womensspace | October 22, 2006, 11:51 pm
  31. I wanted to say, too, that the reason the Friends site posted these photos is that the U.S. military closed the sites which originally posted them down. These were sites operated by American soldiers. In some instances, soldiers traded photos of dead Iraqis for photos like this.

    If nobody posts these photos and the sites they were originally posted on are closed down, then once again, the military, and just ordinary people, can say this never happened, it was all a rumor, it’s an urban legend, our troops don’t do this. And then it just continues on and on, people telling lies, people believing lies.


    Posted by womensspace | October 22, 2006, 11:57 pm
  32. My reaction is emotional, and not entirely logical, maybe some higher purpose will be served by this display, and maybe these women would volunteer to serve that higher purpose by being displayed I don’t know. Whatever the reason for posting, some human garbage is going to see this and get turned on, and then tell themselves those women are acting, so it’s ok, I wonder how many people have ended up here or at the host site by googling for “rape porn”- the mind boggles truly, or people who aren’t arroused but think it’s weird or funny or interesting like museum specimens their senses so dulled to violence, or the Iraqi people so fully othered in their minds they feel nothing but curiousity. Those women may be Iraqi, or trafficked women from Central Asia, or the Balkans, or American women in San Fernando who knows, but they are being raped, and the men raping them will never see the inside of jail cell, and some monster is getting off on their pain, probably as I write this. They blurred the penis, hiding the men’s nakedness, protecting us from seeing the weapons they used on these women, but not even a little black bar over the eyes for the women, the one I’ve seen so often on men who were abused. I want to throw a blanket around them, take them somewhere safe and tell them they will be ok again someday, but I can’t, all I can do is write the site-owner and plead with those men; that these are people not animals at the zoo to be gawked at, to please give them back their anonymity, and with that a little of their dignity. I hope that a higher purpose will be served, I really do, and that somehow posting these pictures will be worth it, but the cynic in me fears that people’s capacity for self delusion is far greater than their empathy the vast majority of the time.

    Posted by R | October 23, 2006, 4:23 am
  33. I believe these photos are real and although I can understand the need to distance oneself from the reality of these photos I think it is incredibly callous to try to discredit their authenticity based on how the men are dressed. There’s an incredible variety of uniforms throughout the US military and I know that no one, regardless of their background with the military, can know what they all are and where they are used at any time.

    My first impression is that these guys were all off duty when these photos were taken. Normally there’s no way that this much laxness would be tolerated during duty hours but in a combat theatre a lot of rules fall by the wayside.

    There’s also the fact that many military units are having to make do with what they’re given and that many are having to scrounge up their own uniforms and equipment because they aren’t getting what they need. This can be especially true in national guard units.

    The guy with the ‘improper shoes’ may simply have a medical excuse to not be wearing boots at the time of these photos or again he’s off-duty & dressing as he wants. The Navy and the Air Force both have regulation low-top boots that are common issue but are not used by the Army. I would suspect that these guys are either Navy or Air Force because their pant legs are ‘unbloused’ (not tucked into their boot tops) and again this would be because they commonly don’t use the the combat boot standard to the Army & Marines. The blue cap may also be a Navy issue flight deck cap, it may be an informal ‘unit’ cap or it may just be a common baseball cap brought from home. Flight deck crews all wear different & brightly colored shirts & hats for easy identification while on duty. The jacket that seems ‘three times too large’ is actually a very good fit on the man’s shoulders & arms, it just seems larger (or longer) because of the way he is bending over the woman.

    Posted by Amazonnight | October 31, 2006, 6:46 pm
  34. i am a 31 year old black woman. I just want to say that the most nicest women i have met in the usa are muslim and from the middle east. they are there for you when you need a friend. The longer this war goes on the more respect i lose for george bush. the more i here about the rapes, the more ashamed I become of being American. Those soldiers participating in war crimes such as rape should be castrated. An eye for eye! White men are still devils of this earth. they have raped us all during the black halocost, jewish holocost, vietnam war and now this. I think we all should stand together against him. I apologize to anyone offended by this comment but it is a historical fact that white men have been evil from the beginning.

    Posted by tns | November 17, 2006, 3:10 am
  35. I don’t know if the photo is real or not; but this stuff happens and what the hell do you think it would like like if it were real? Nicer? It doesn’t matter here what you think about Iraq, the military, white men, this is an evil disease that is part of male culture(??????????) worldwide. Its despicable and should be unspeakable, but we must speak about it, we must do everything we can to root it out and destroy it.
    No personal disrespect to tns; but while whitemen have a lot to answer for, unfortunately, they are not alone in this.

    Posted by Andrew | December 7, 2006, 6:02 am
  36. AmazonNight, thank you for that amazing post, which I just read for the first time tonight. I’m going to have to upload my blog to my own server –Wordpress is great, but I end up missing posts because it only shows the most recent five on the sidebar.

    tns, I hear you, and I hate to say it, but I agree. Andrew, you and men like you give me hope. Take the message and run with it, speak about it, do everything you can to make revolution. It is so desperately needed.


    Posted by womensspace | December 7, 2006, 6:11 am
  37. All right, I’m getting a whole bunch of comments to this thread which are identical from enlisted men insisting that those rape photos are not of American military men. I think Amazon Night and others have already responded adequately to every point these (again, identical, this is some sort of organized campaign) letters raise. I will paste this comment once in the event Amazon Night or anyone else wants to respond further.


    I am an active duty soldier in the U.S Army Rangers.

    These are my reasons for questioning the intent, and integrity of these photos.

    1.) The N.B.C “Nuclear, Biological, Chemical” gas masks are not military issued. “The masks shown have a camouflage pattern; military issued gas masks are plain O.D green.”

    2.) The weapon shown is a 12 gauge riot shotgun, a weapon that is not military issued. “The 12 gauge riot shotgun is exclusively used by law enforcement officials, not military personnel. This is due to its lack of practicality in the modern combat arena.”

    3.) The soldiers’ hair cuts are not regulation length. “The military has very strict guide lines on hair length for male soldiers. The guide lines are as follows: 3 inches on top with a fade on the sides starting with a ½ inch attachment or less. Side burns are not to exceed the base of the ear lobe.”
    These are just some of the inaccuracies I found with these photos. To non-military personnel these photos would appear to be accurate and shocking. But to a trained military professional these photos are a crude hoax, no doubt perpetuated by deviant individuals with contempt for those in uniform.”

    If you would like to contact me I can be reached at [no e-mail included].


    Obviously, all future comments identical to the above will be spammed.



    Posted by womensspace | December 10, 2006, 7:13 pm
  38. Can’t comment on uniforms etc., could they be private mercenaries? They are the second biggest contingent in Iraq, and don’t have standard military regular uniforms, haircuts or weapons.

    The simplest explanation for these photos is that the abused women are Iraqi. I can’t believe anyone would go to the trouble of staging this outside Iraq in order to get photos of dead Iraqis.

    Oh yes. forgot to mention: Sick bastards.

    Posted by Ian | December 12, 2006, 11:13 pm
  39. I don’t know how I missed this blog when it was originally posted. But I had the extreme misfortune of stumbling across it at work; I feel so sick to my stomach. I’m trying really hard to keep a normal expression on, so nobody asks me anything, because if they do… I’m screwed.

    Maybe it’s a major difference in priorities, but I feel that the plea to blur out the faces of the women being abused in these photos is a misdirection, intentional or not. I’ve heard it a million times before, and in general, agree. But in this case – I have to agree with Heart’s decision to keep them as-is.

    1.) Because their faces are so contorted with pain and what’s being done to them that there is nothing recognizable there. And,

    2.) It ties in with number one, because I think the pain in those faces are the most illuminating point of those hideous photos. If blurred, those pictures could easily pass for the multitude of rape porn; “Just cover up that discomforting, unsexy-as-hell grimace on her face, and hey, I’m all ready to go!”

    If you cover up the horror of their faces, then they will be dismissed, as even in their current state people are still trying to do. I say they cannot be allowed to do so.

    Am I arrogant in my opinion? Sure. It’s arrogant of me to believe that the higher good is better served at the cost of potential pain of these women should they ever be recognized due to these photos (refer to 1. above). But not as arrogant, and not as sick, as the fucks that sat there and analysed those photos with such fucking relish and immunity to the pain they were scrutinizing that they offered a fucking break-down of their CLOTHING and their weapons.

    Who could look at those photos and come up with THAT as their initial reaction? Sick. Fucks. You just proved the point, you freaks.

    Posted by Pramiti | December 13, 2006, 12:46 am
  40. I think that, with exception, such horror is a common thread in the underlying methods of too many men when given the liberty to do so. Too, too, many men participate in sadistic ritual when placed in circumstances of diminion over people; whether it be war, or the mean-spirited patriarch with his whipping belt and private little shack, inflicting sexual perversion upon family, often without gender preference, in isolated rural settings, or, the autocratic force behind a woman’s paycheck, women have been used, abused and debased by such menacing criminals with arrogance and delight. Just look at those pictures to see the laughs.
    Women need to target practice with a pistol and a rifle, carry a gun safely, with respect to children and others, practice self defense, have a pet pitbull trotting by her side who would die for her out of love and last, but not least, become educated and empowered by her knowledge of human rights. Women being preyed upon in war situations need the support of other women around the world in bringing an end to the violations.
    And finally, any male who engages in such acts, as depicted in the photos above, needs his cock severed, along with his testicles and stuffed down his throat. And I would like to invite all women to join me in sending out a universal curse upon any and all rapists. Burn a candle if you like, but, after reading this, spend five minutes sending a curse on them, out into the universe, that a most horrendous fate will befall the perpetrators of such heinous behavior. End it with a prayer asking God to Bless all the fine women of the world.

    Posted by minny mouse | December 13, 2006, 10:40 pm
  41. shame an you USA ARE YOU HAPPPYYY

    Posted by georgia | January 7, 2007, 4:20 pm
  42. the devil (usa) and the other super force and their dog play whıt poor and alone people

    Posted by georgia | January 7, 2007, 4:25 pm
  43. USA you must be ashamed on yourself, God will never forgive you
    and also shame on those who publish this kinda pics

    Posted by khurram | March 16, 2007, 12:26 pm
  44. omg…. Heart. Those pictures hurt… the words hurt.. the accusations that it is forged based on FASHION!!!!!! HURT. I don’t knopw what to say…

    Khurram HOW DARE YOU!!! Rape is not a USA phenomenon! Rape happens and it is boarderless!!! Do not interpret this as some sorry ass proud to be an american speech either. I am saying that rape is an attrocity that happens to women at the hands of MEN. Not just american men (The women in the congo and in darfur are being raped by african men) but by all men!!!


    Posted by Divine Purpose | March 16, 2007, 3:19 pm
  45. THEY SESERVE IT! AUGUST 31 2004 !! remember ?

    WHAT GOES AROUN” COMES AROUN’ .. its just karma.. so sit back and enjoy those irqis droping dead
    I am a Nepalese! I Live with muslims around my neighbourhood whom cops bust them for drugs..crooks which makes me feel like theY are nothing but TERRORISTS! So should I make a video clip and slit all those coffin prayers and torture them ?? NO WONDER YOU GUYS ARE SO DEAD FROM THE INSIDE TOO! If you are not sure then you should not ASSUME cuz, u would only be making an ass out of yourself! You get what you deserve fucked up IRAQIS. I support WAR IN IRAQ. They should experience the same pain and torture my people went through! Those amry or should I say MURDERERS should be tracked down and be beheaded VERY SLOWLY. 1cm by 1cm, let them feel the love of the knife!Not only that but, Their whole generation.. relatives and everyone whom they consider their family should be beheaded the same way too. Funny how they CAN FACE THEIR FAMILY LET ALONE HOW THEY WILL FACE THEIR ALLAH!I have muslim friends too. Even them, the muslim people said THEY ARE A DISGRACE TO THE MUSLIMS!!! To all those iranian bastards.. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT FIRST BEFORE DISEMBARKING ANYONE! Those nepalese were not SOLDIERS nor were they supporting the christians/jewish!! THE ONLY PERSON THE 12 NEPALESE WERE SUPPORTING WERE THEIR BELOVED FAMILY. NEPAL IS A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY SO PEOPLE ARE IN NEED OF A JOB. THEY TRY SO HARD O GET A JOB AND WHEN THEY FINALLY GET IT U FUCKING ALLAH BASTARDS TAKE AWAY THE FAMILIES SOLE BREADWINNER ??? MAY U BE DAMNED TO HELL AND NEVER BE ABLE TO LIVE YOUR FIN PEACE. THOSE 12 NEPALESE WERE WORKING AS COOKS, CLEANERS AND ALL THOSE SMALL WORKS WHICH COULD EARN THEM SOME MONEY. ALTHOUGH THE PAY IS LITTLE, IT AT LEAST HELPS THEIR FAMILY TO HAVE FOOD ON THE TABLE! SOMETHING IS BETTER THEN NOTHING! THERFORE I RULE THIS INCIDENT AS A COLD BLOODED 1ST DEGREE MURDER AND THIS PIECE OF VIDEO CLIP AS AN EVIDENCE. THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE. NEVER KNOW WHEN THESE BASTARDS WILL KILL YOUR PEOPLE TOO DUE TO UNCERTAINITY! I AM REAL DISAPPOINTED IN THE GOVERNMENT. NO ONE DID ANYTHING, ALTHOUGH THEY SAID THEY DID TRY BUT WHAT ABOUT AFTERMATH ??? BTW YOUR TRYING AINT ENOUGH! DO THE PEOPLE IN NEPAL JUSTICE… ESPECIALLY THOSE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS! HOPE TO SEE SOME ACTIONS FROM THE GOVERNMENT!

    To the victims:

    Posted by abby | March 17, 2007, 9:44 pm
  46. After all that …I think all the American are savages……….

    Posted by nour | April 6, 2007, 7:00 pm
  47. savages…………….

    Posted by nour | April 6, 2007, 7:03 pm
  48. God Bless Canada and the Freedom we have, We can only read about the cruelty of the rest of the World……….. and may we only read about it……….. May the Rest of the World “Give Peace a Chance” Shame on the bad people!!!

    Posted by canadian peacemaker | April 7, 2007, 6:50 am
  49. Rape happens EVERYWHERE!! Not just in the USA, and not just by Americans. It can also happen to ANYONE!! Not just women, I know a MALE who was raped by 2 FEMALES!! Scrutinizing the photos is not necessarily the immediate reaction. They probably had some time to process the information and calm down. Yes the photos are disgusting. Even if they are staged, it is revolting that anyone would even want to stage that. The mere dipiction of rape is appalling.
    You cannot lump all Americans together when making comments about the war and the things that happen during it. There are many many many Americans that oppose war and violence. You cannot lump all men together when commenting on the atrocities. Not all men participate in war, violence and other abominable events. You also cannot say “it is a historical fact that white men have been evil from the beginning.” How is this a fact? And by saying this, you have just lowered yourself to their level. You are now sexist and racist. I hope name calling makes you feel better about yourself.
    I applaud the soldiers who voluntarily join the forces. This isn’t to say that I agree with the war, nor is it to say that they agree with the war. But they signed up for what ever reason they did. They simply cannot not go because they don’t feel like it. There are severe severe consequences for going AWOL. I also would like to thank those men and women who volunteer to go. Because without them, there would be no soldiers. And if there were no soldiers Georgie Porgie would decide on a draft. And then all American would be fucked equally, and we don’t need or want that. Because the alternatives are pretty grim.
    I understand that these things are sickening and angering, but calling names and making judgments and stereotypes doesn’t accomplish anything.
    So when we see something that causes an emotional reaction or have a very strong opinion on a matter; lets stop, breathe, think and the react. And remember we’re all adults, so lets behave accordingly.
    And Canadian Peacemaker – I’m a Canadian and I am fully aware of the fact that cruelty is not a concern only in the rest of the World. It happens in Canada too, all the time. And Canadians are in that war as well. And they are dying every day.
    We don’t like our men and women being there, but we don’t always get what we want. So lets show them our love and support, hope and pray that they come home safe. And next election VOTE wisely!! We can’t do anything about anything if we don’t try, and maybe someone else has a better solution. Lets give a woman or a black man a chance!:D
    My heart goes out to all who have been affected by violence at home and in the war and its shananigans.
    Peace be with us all.

    Posted by Peace be with us all | April 15, 2007, 11:33 pm
  50. You bloody American troops have a fucking lot to answer for! Love to put you all in a cell with some fucked off meth-addict dom woman with her own weapons of mass destruction – they’d be easier to find than some bloody obscure missiles in Iraq! (New Zealand)

    Posted by Jacquie | May 10, 2007, 3:38 am
  51. Have they no shame?
    This is what I believe the US soldiers in Iraq are doing int he first place, to fight for their country? I don’t think so, but rather to take advantage of the natural resources, available or not available. With this I mean the blood for oil campaign or raping of many women. I would suspect these pigs would be raping children too, just did not find themselves as manly if they had put it on a website!
    These pictures make me angry, yes, angry as the hell those people will plunge into. Mother nature will swallow them whole! What I feel about what I see and read I cannot describe, but the war is bad enough without these gruesome acts against human rights. I have even heard of UN workers who rape women, totally against what they have come to work for. As a woman I do compromise the fact that they are human and they have volunteered, nonetheless those soldiers were not always given a choice but to fight in Iraq. Despite this, my compromise only goes so far, and whether it was a hoax on a pornsite or not, people should not be chastizing an already very sensitive situation. (Cambodia)

    Posted by Girly | May 22, 2007, 3:54 pm
  52. Actually, from what I understand, there was an investigation done in Iraq over this very subject material. And the findings of that investigation could actually lend credibility to these photos. The investigation found that of the rapes that have been reported to have been committed by military personnel, only a handful (18%) could be traced back to actual U.S. troops. Another 23% was attributed to other foreign forces. 11% went unsolved, and a whopping 48% were found to have been committed by mercenary groups. Why? Because mercs generally don’t have any higher authority to answer to. Mercenaries have been known to take whatever they want from the people that they are supposed to be protecting. They rape, they steal, and worst of all they get rich off of murder. Just because the uniforms aren’t anything used by any armed service currently deployed in Iraq it doesn’t disprove the validity of these photos as the men pictured may be privateers with self-supplied clothing and weapons.

    Posted by Billy | June 14, 2007, 6:00 am
  53. Just wanted to say,

    due to working with the anti-war movement and womyn’s rights worldwide, etc.,

    and knowing hundreds of cases like this World Wide, by American troops, Guerrilla troops [including many who the anti-war men stay silent on],

    having dealt with the confronting of tons of porn on a MAJOR ANTI-WAR POLITICAL PARTY,


    because take it from someone who knows these groups,



    while i concur that there is this disblief in Amerikkka that Amerikkkan troops rape, or, its not that they dont’ believe, its that they say, and i’ve read these comments by female relatives of soldiers ‘oh my boy wasn’t like that before he went over there’,


    EVERY R.E.L.I.G.I.O.N.












    Posted by Tasha | June 14, 2007, 3:53 pm
  54. Like most of the people of the world, even I think Americans are not human being. They must be caged.

    Posted by Areeba | June 14, 2007, 4:40 pm
  55. Not ALL men see women as just sex objects. I abhore any sort of mental or physical abuse. Rape is the lowest a man can stoop, its even lower than hitting a woman. The U.S government NEED to look into any and all allegations made against their troops, NATO should look into any and all allegations made against ANY of the world’s armed forces serving anywhere in the world especially those of abuse of the people their ment to be protecting. As long as no action is taken then soldiers/sailors/airmen are going to think they can get away with anything.

    Posted by Tarantino | June 19, 2007, 10:05 pm
  56. another reason this image infuriates me [as far as the use of by this anti-war group]

    is two years ago, well a year and a half, there was a case, gang rape, in Philliphines,

    it was posted all over the Indymedia in SF/CA, the womyn, 22 year old,

    was demonized and the Marines acquitted, charges dropped…

    there was outrage in the Phillipino community,

    but when several of us presented it to the anti-war groups [those controlled by the patriarchial men] they wanted nothing to hear of it,

    because it wasn’t like a ‘spotlight issue’ that could be used for ‘their’ agenda…

    but its militarization all the same, and with militarized zones there are always rapes that go unchecked with impunity–

    just as in ALL SOCIETIES.

    its not the reporting of the rapes, its how they re-rape by not shadowing the faces…Thats what pisses me off,

    just think if it was you, you know or me,

    and not only that, those in anti-war, human rights, any knowledge of these countries KNOW that womyn are punished for being raped, ostracized, disowned by community, etc., and that stigma of shame is put on them, which is a travesty in itself,

    so to post the pics with faces exposed, by the anti-war group,

    is the worst insensitivity not only to womyn, but to Islam, to the people suffering in Iraq,

    makes you wonder sometimes if the men in these groups and yes, some of the womyn,

    have any sense at all.

    Fight the war, but be sensitive to the womyn and children and families, civilians in Iraq, please [to the anti-war groups],

    put yourself in their shoes…

    would you want your picture/face plastered everywhere, in a situ like that, that the whole world could see?

    doubt it…doubt it seriously, so anti-war groups,



    Posted by Tasha | June 19, 2007, 10:37 pm
  57. Areeba,

    it isn’t just Amerikkkan militaries though, its militaries worldwide,

    everywhere…where its about misogyny and patriarchy [which is all part of militarization and the violence that is a part of] and its not just rape its the use of torture and use of terror,
    and in every region of the world,

    rape, torture and violence/terror are sadly accepted by too many as a just means to ‘control the masses or to stamp down on dissent’.

    and rape is the tool, to terrorize womyn into submission, because it creates FEAR,

    and that FEAR IS IN EVERY WOMAN EVERYWHERE…thats the agenda of why rape is used, esp when its used as a tool for warfare/ethnic cleansing, etc.

    even the ‘condoning of rape or the trivializing of rape’ is an act of terror AGAINST ALL WOMYN, EVERYWHERE.

    blaming the womyn, for rape, IS AN ACT OF TERROR AGAINST ALL WOMYN, EVERYWHERE…

    but rapes are committed by every single military out there, in Afghanistan to Indonesia-East Timor to Congo to Nepal to Columbia to Peru to Chile to Rwanda to Ghana to Somalia to Kashmir to Tibet to Greece to Cyprus to Israel to Syria…

    on and on and there are no worse men and good men or worse cultures as far as rape is concerned…esp military rape,

    why anti-US actions alone or anti-Israel actions alone WON’T END RAPES AND WON’T END MILITARY RAPES, ABUSES, TORTURE AND HUMAN RIGHT ABUSES….







    Posted by Tasha | June 19, 2007, 10:51 pm
  58. These photos are sick. Not sick because they are posted but sick because those creeps need to be shot. Not all men hate women. I am an equal opportunity jerk. Hate me because of your assumtions about what is in my mind then you garner a spot of equal hatred. but what I hate most is creeps like those in the picture doing such a disgusting act of true hatred of women countries cultures and of themselves. i dont really agree with radical feminine or masculine views but i think we can all agree that something of this lowlife nature could be hated by anyone.
    How do we get to our children especially the males to stop this from occuring again?

    Posted by robert | July 17, 2007, 4:05 pm
  59. Get real, these images are from rape fantasy porn videos. Any fool can see that those are not real army issue uniforms. Rape is a sick nasty twisted trait of mankind, but let us focus on what is really happening, rather than crying over some woman making a living out of rape fantasy movies!

    Posted by Emily | July 20, 2007, 1:54 am
  60. 1) It doesn’t matter of the photos are “staged” or “real”–and, incidentally, even “real photos” are “staged.” The photographer has to decided what should be “in” the frame, who/what should be the subject of framing–the real question, which some feminists are asking, is what (sexual and racial fantasies, desires) is being moblized and trafficked through the images. This, of course, is the question that many radical feminists have been asking for a very long time with respect to pornography, or at the very least, those who have attempted to engaged with feminist psychoanalysis.

    2) By displaying the images of women of colour being raped and abused, you are perpetuating the rendering of their suffering into a spectacle. This is a line of criticism that Western feminists consistently fail to address, that insofar as women in the “third world” are displayed, theorized about, analyzed, and subjected to scrutiny in your writings, they are only ever useful as ammunitions in a different kind of war, one which postcolonial feminists have tried to highlight for a very long time (that liberal and radical feminists continue to gloss over).

    3) Fetish with the spectacle: There has been a lot of talk on the internet about “visual (il)literacy.” As a culture, we have become dependent on visuality and visual representations, which has come to displace our actual relationship with out others. The fact that photographs need to be taken and circulated on the internet for mass consumption by Westerners in order to “prove” that violence against women and men in Iraq is being perpetrated by Coalition soldiers, simply confirms that. What is it that we saw when the U.S. military flexed its phallus to the medium by showcasing the infrared/nightsight foortages of arial bombings of Bagdad, if not “war porn”? If an Iraqi falls in a building, and no reporters are there to photograph it, then did the Iraqi “make a noise”?

    Posted by visitor 101 | July 20, 2007, 2:41 am
  61. These images are plain sick. The individuals behind this act of hatred and disrespect should be shot dead. Please do not “hate” all men because of the actions of a few twisted individuals.

    Posted by Lee | July 20, 2007, 2:42 am
  62. I do support our troops, but not ALL of them (blindly).

    This is sad…

    Posted by AmWoman | August 13, 2007, 7:56 am

    Posted by Kashif | September 18, 2007, 5:03 pm
  64. As a woman who survived a viscious rape at gunpoint nearly 11 years ago, I of course had internal reactions to the the idea that these photos would be uploaded for the “pleasure” of some incredibly sick men; however, as a woman married to a Marine, who spent 3 tours in Iraq with “special forces” duties, I am acutely aware that although it is not the norm, nor is it condoned or looked favorably upon by ANY soldiers…these kinds of atrocities do take place. It both saddens and sickens me that the men and women in our military have been shipped out to countries and cultures which we have very little understanding, and they have had to see things unlike anything our soldiers have ever had to see previously. Vietnam was bad; but until you, on a daily basis, see humans blow themselves into pieces right before you eyes and are required to secure that area for investigation…seeing heads with one shoulder and only skin for an arm…other body parts which grotesque when blown to bits and YOU have to clean the mess up…putting those body parts in bags for disposal…until you know what it is to see that day after day after day…it is unrealistic to understand the level of desensitization these soldiers and Marines have developed. Do I condone any of the abhorrent behaviors that have been reported? I give you a resounding NO!! However, the cause of these kinds of behaviors are far more complex than anyone has yet to examine. We will see rapes and murders skyrocket when these men and women return; with increasing levels of stress and more severe PTSD than was ever predicted and the stress of re-entry to “normal” life…OUR war here at home has yet to even get started.

    Posted by sniperbride | September 26, 2007, 10:17 pm
  65. Yeah, sniperbride, I sure hear you. You are *so so right*.

    I have been watching the Ken Burns PBS special on World War II, and honestly, although of course, I’ve thought many times about, as you say, the way soldiers are traumatized and desensitized in war, somehow it is hitting me at the moment in a way it never did before, and it has to do with watching this series, watching black and white film of young men standing in muddy ditches for days on end, watching them sent on missions in which they were doomed to die, especially horrifying, listening as the narrator read the letters they were writing home to their families, “I hope this letter finds you well. I am in good health and doing fine. ….” No mention of watching their friends blown up, shot to smithereens, no mention of standing in muddy ditches for days and not being able to sleep, to sit, no mention of hauling bodies of their buddies for miles only to learn they had died, no mention of holding their buddies hands as they died.

    I knew all of this. But it is just… hitting me so deeply now. I have young sons, five of them, one is 12, the rest are 24, 29, 33, 35. None has served in the military. To even think of them sent off and told to kill at 18, 19– honestly, it is unthinkable to me.

    I will have much more to say about this Ken Burns special when I’ve watched all the installments.

    Thank you for commenting. My heart goes out to you in having persevered through your husband’s tours of duty and having moved on with your life despite your having been raped.

    Stay strong.


    Posted by womensspace | September 26, 2007, 10:30 pm
  66. I would never deny it must be highly traumatic, but I can only repeat what a female soldier wrote (somewhere…) and that is; the women soldiers are being traumatized too, and with one possible exception we know about, are not behaving like this; they are not raping and murdering the civilian female population. Rather, they are being raped and abused themselves, by their fellow male soldiers. Male soldiers. Why do we continually make excuses for men? We search so hard to make do anything but say it: these acts are done by men.

    Posted by Sis | September 27, 2007, 12:56 am
  67. And it bears repeating, even as an afterthought, that there will be (primarily) men reading this who will say MAN HATER! MAN HATER! just for my pointing this out, not killing any of them but just…pointing it out that men do this.

    But they will never acknowledge the deep deep women hating practiced by men who abuse, rape and murder women, in and out of formal war.

    Posted by Sis | September 27, 2007, 1:02 am
  68. Right on, Sis, everything you say.

    I wasn’t making a connection between what men do and go through in wartime with rape, i.e., that their raping is understandable because of what they do and go through, and I don’t know that sniperbride was either.

    I am thinking about the way we send youngmen off to kill, on orders. I am thinking about our little boys growing up knowing they are the ones expected to go out and kill, on orders. I’m thinking about the way we revere and honor our young men who kill and who have been uselessly killed. I’m thinking about all of the ramifications of all of that. If a young man can kill on orders, of course he can rape. He can do pretty much anything. What does knowing this is what manhood is do to little boys?

    There were women in all of the theatres of war during World War II– the nurses. They saw it all. They experienced everything the men experienced. I wonder how many might have been raped and never told.

    Ken Burns had also better, in one of these nine segments of this series, cover the “comfort women.”

    Posted by womensspace | September 27, 2007, 3:18 am
  69. It wasn’t so long ago that the veterens at some Remembrance Day service, somewhere in Canada, booed the women who came bearing witness to the women who suffered during war, whether civilian or nursing sisters. They booed them. Wrote letters to the editor, spoke out at Legions, were interviewed; they did not want those women there, it trivialized what they had experienced. War. The women had not experienced war. Said they. The women representing all those women during war persisted, and someone made a proclamation, and some man said it was ok and now it happens. Puke. On. Them. I do not wear a poppy.

    Posted by Sis | September 27, 2007, 3:29 am
  70. ((( Sis! )))

    Neither do I.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | September 27, 2007, 12:58 pm
  71. unfortunately it happens in our country too. I was raped by two US soldiers. Yet, these are the men serving our country. What happen to chivalry and protecting rights.

    Posted by Sue | October 1, 2007, 6:41 pm
  72. true picture of americans is they rape murder and torture and than they act like that they are victims.Reality is america must mind its business within the boundries of united states and do not interfare in the politics, religion,economy and culture of islamic countries just like norway , switzerland ………

    Posted by saddam | October 4, 2007, 2:02 am
  73. I saw many posts saying that these are not US soldiers, that may be true, I would bet my money that these are “Civilian Contractors” aka Mercenaries.

    Does that mean that the US military and government are not responsible, NO. These “civilian contractors” would not be there if it werent for the Defense and State Department.

    We should be ashamed of our government.

    Posted by Raju | October 4, 2007, 5:01 am
  74. I am saddened by rape, I am saddened by the war and I am saddened by the pushing of hope onto defunct none-existent deities of any gender.

    We deny our human responsibilities too easily, we sit back and say ‘How evil this all is!’ And after expressing our opinions the greater majority sit back and do nothing, maybe tossing up an idle prayer to a person in the sky. It is certainly shameful but I fear there is no hope, we have not come far for tend of thousands of years. Our technology alone changes but we do not and our uses for technologies stay the same. No gender is innocent for all genders are complicit through inaction and resistance to escaping dogma and egocentricity.

    Even this blog only preaches to the converted, promoting only pre-existing homogeneity of views without compelling others to change their own. Communication is redundant unless the target audience are those to whom the ideas shared are new. Affirmative action cannot be achieved through such inert methodology. Nevertheless it is worth it so as to see the truth not consigned to the junk heap again.

    Posted by Meme | October 7, 2007, 11:44 pm
  75. I have to say that those uniforms are not U.S. army uniforms, but they are government contracter uniforms, and the weapons are a special type of weapons that contractors were using in iraq. these are probly the same contractors that tried using hollow tipped bullets, and caused several problems before the government finally decided to get rid of them. It doesn’t justify their actions, but don’t blame us soldiers, i know that soldiers do bad things all the time, rape included, but don’t try to blame everything on us.

    Posted by Wicca&soldier | October 20, 2007, 3:31 pm
  76. I have no point of views on it. I do not wish to write anything diplomatic here.

    I have been reading on couple of website about this brutal inhuman rape cases as well some other story in Iraq.

    To my Knowledge Apart from good soldier – There was stain in the uniform of US army left behind in the Darkness of Iraq.

    We are able to see few cases but There is high probability of huge number of rapes, Child rapes and Even murder after Rape and gang rape. To misuse Of someone’s innocents and Fear is not a humanistic approach.

    Soldiers, here have find Opportunity to do the worst thing with the helpless – and help seeker women in Iraq.

    I do not More on political side but I see the women being raped by soldiers could be anyone. I mean If I consider my Sister and Mother Mine so then Why should I discriminate those women on the basis of moral.

    I feel Shame not only for the incident in which men ruin a innocent-helpless women but also a So Called UN human rights were not there to protect them with prior presence in Iraq.

    Posted by Dr.karnav shah | October 27, 2007, 12:29 pm
  77. Who would fake photos like these? How about newspaper reporters trying to get their story published. That’s just what one English paper did. They staged photos of an Iraqi man being beaten in the back of a lorry, by 2 guys dressed as Briitsh soldiers. Only problem was that the pictures looked real until you took the trouble to question the uniforms, weapons and the way the ‘Irqui’ was dressed. The big thing here folks is that the paper admitted they faked the photos, in court, in front of a judge.

    Or these photos could have been faked by an Iraqi out to cause just the sort of outrage that is happening now.

    While I would never condone rape, and would join in the stoning if we ‘civilised’ westeners were allowed to do so I would like to caution you all. You are being manipulated by someone for their own purposes.

    I can personally vouch for the inaccuracy of some newspaper stories and still cannot trust anything I read in a paper.

    Please support all the good people in Iraq, whatever nationality they are and pray for an early resolution to the problems out there so that the country can be left alone to govern itself.

    Posted by England | December 16, 2007, 3:32 pm
  78. These are not photos of fake people in a fake act. These photos are clearly of women being gang raped. They may not be soldiers, but that doesn’t matter. These memn have been let loose by the invasioni of Iraq and the invaders bear responsibility for what has happened.

    Some of the photos show enough of the faces of the rapists that, with enhancement and circulation on the internet, they may be identified. Has anyone forwarded the photos to a group that is documenting war crimes in Iraq?

    Posted by believer | December 23, 2007, 4:31 am
  79. While I agree with you ladies that the pictures described here are quite disgusting and wrong in more ways than even contemplatable, I do not agree that ALL men hate women and look at them and see only sex. I will give you that most or almost all do, but I think it is unfair to say that we all do. I am one of the few young people of today, it seems, that views sex as a sacred act that should be performed between two consenting persons who are deeply in love, and preferably married. I have been with my amazing girlfriend for about seven months now, and I have never once asked or suggested sex. I realize, of course, that this is a feminist website, and I can only hope that my views are not despised here. To be honest, I openly support the feminist movement, and I do agree that women are still discriminated against and taken advantage of in many instances. That does not mean though, that there aren’t still a few of us young men who view people by the actions of their heart and the way they think before sex or race.

    That having been said, I sincerely hope that the US military does something, or has done something about this, especially since these pictures are on the internet. And if they indeed have not, I am openly offering my help and support towards any movement or action taken to alert them to it, and pressure them to take action about it.

    Posted by John | January 20, 2008, 5:00 pm
  80. Hey, John, thanks for your sincere words. I believe you and hope many more men will eventually work alongside of us women to heal the earth. That will take a massive effort, and people of good will, compassion, love, will have to work together.


    Posted by womensspace | January 20, 2008, 5:25 pm
  81. I do as well.

    Posted by John | January 20, 2008, 5:59 pm
  82. I believe that these pictures are horrible indeed but you cannot blame all men for using women just as sexual objects. In the military they break your original mind set and build it back up to their specifications, I mean overall u.s. troops have been doing things like this since the vietnam war.

    Posted by Antonio Strife | January 21, 2008, 10:28 am
  83. Um, yes we CAN blame all men for using women as sexual objects. Because you know what? If those of you who say you are horrified or against it or whatever platitudes you want to expound actually DID something about it, well, guess what – it wouldn’t be an issue!

    Troops (American or otherwise) have been doing this long before Vietnam. It wasn’t right long ago and it’s even more atrocious when you consider that we’re supposed to be an “enlightened” society.

    I guess you’ll do anything to somehow justify it in your own head, won’t you. Most men do. What a load of bullshit. YOU are part of the problem. Asshole.


    Posted by JJ | January 21, 2008, 4:58 pm
  84. What amazes me is that men say they are against pornography and violence against women on this site, but I have never heard a man say he was against this in front of a group of men. I have never heard a man get angry in a 7-11 that sold pornographic magazines like Hustler and Playboy, and I have never heard men call into radio talk shows to read the riot act against woman hating broadcasters like Tom Leykis.

    That’s what I’d really like to see and hear guys! So get to work. You are the ones who must combat pornography and the objectification of women.

    American military men have been raping and brutalizing women in every war this nation has been in. The U.S. government financed houses of prostitution in Vietnam for the “boys away from home” — that’s right Johson authorized this, and public T.V. even had a documenatary about it.

    I do believe there is something inherently wrong with a species that thinks it ok to use pornography and advocate sex crimes against women.

    As I said before, I have never seen or heard a man stand up against this in front of other men. Men will secretly agree on this website, but where are they out in the world. Where is their public anger at other men for making all men look like mindless sex obsessed animals? Because that’s what I think men are really, otherwise we wouldn’t have this war against women and the bodies of women in the first place!

    That’s what the problem really is. Men will get outraged over racism, but will they get outraged at corporate support of pornography videos and DVDs in hotel rooms? Marriott, the mormon owned company does this for goddess sake!

    If you stand up to men who pornogrify women, you will suffer social ostrascism, and men are so afraid of having other men call them “less than” men for not wanting to view or support a pornographic world, that they will remain silent and let it go on.

    When was the last time you heard a man really yell at another man IN PUBLIC for calling women “b——“? Would a white man call another white man out for using the N word?

    Hope this helps, and I’ll be waiting for men nationwide to call in to Tom Leykis and stand up to this woman hating rape promoting creep. Let’s get those phone calls going into the show today guys!

    Posted by Satsuma | January 21, 2008, 6:07 pm
  85. Oh give me a home where the spam roam alone… :=)

    Posted by Satsuma | January 21, 2008, 6:07 pm
  86. Satsuma,

    Huzzah to both of your posts! And for the second one:

    😀 😀 😀

    I love to laugh.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | January 21, 2008, 6:56 pm
  87. Indeed. A big problem with men who are against women’s degradation, are usually afraid to say it in front of other men, and therein lies one of the core problems. I wish I could provide you ladies some insight into why men are like that, but I’m not, so in this case, I’m afraid I can’t help. The only thing I can think of would be that men have such low self-esteem and sexual-identity issues that they fear they will be viewed as feminine or gay if they voice those issues, which, incidentally, is also why many straight men don’t voice their opinions supporting gay marriage as well.

    Of course, I cannot think of a solution to this problem currently, but I do find that, when I bring the subject up, some men do voice similar opinions since they are not alone on the conversation, but I cannot speak to the truth or sincerity of these opinions. Of course, advertising and popular culture feed into the degradation of women, and we can be damn sure that they are mainly designed by men to target men, but I suppose those are a few of the problems that come along with the privilege of free speech and advertising.

    I hope to hear your thoughts on a solution on how to get other men to speak up, and also, why popular culture, rap for example, degrade women.

    Posted by John | January 29, 2008, 7:59 am
  88. Ah, and as for the question “Whens the last time you heard a man yell at another man in public for calling a woman a b—-“, my answer is about three days ago, via myself on a subway, when a young man told an older woman to “move b—-” so he could take her seat. I told him (certainly not anywhere near this politely) that unless he wanted a problem with me he needed to shut his mouth and find somewhere else to sit. But, as you have said, I am in the vast minority, and I can only hope other men can soon do similarly.

    Posted by John | January 29, 2008, 8:03 am
  89. And, Satsuma, thank you for bringing Tom Leykis to my attention. I do plan to call into his show, now that I have read about it.

    Posted by John | January 29, 2008, 8:09 am
  90. A friend of mine linked me to this article and i have to say i’m disgusted by what i saw in the pictures. (i’m male by the way) This has all at once opened my eyes to some of the horrible misdeeds committed by men against women and the ongoing struggle for equality. For what little it’s worth i’m sorry for my gender and this has been responsible for a complete change in the way i view people, as presently i’m trying to look at my friends as friends rather than boys and girls which i think way too many men do. As for Satsuma’s comments, i wish i could call into Tom Leykis’ show unfortunately i live half a globe away and it may be a problem to get in touch. I’ve also steadfastedly, throughout my life, tried to maintain a sense of honour that allows me to look in the mirror and not avoid eye contact which has compelled me to never allow someone who’s said N—– or B— to say it again twice and the same thing goes with any degrading name said to man or woman.

    Just wanted to add to these comments and try to assure everyone here that i will do all i can to fulfill the task some of you have handed out.

    Good luck in the future and i hope that through concerted efforts we can make this world a better place for all.

    (I apologise if i sound arrogant or pretentious or anything like that, this has just touched me deeply and i feel like solemnity is appropriate. I also apologise for the big block of text and incorrect grammar, outside of work my typing seems to suffer.)

    Posted by Morgan | February 11, 2008, 4:03 am
  91. Abby, have you no shame? I am extremely disgusted by your post. If ancistors of a race or something have made such a horrible act, their decendents should not be punished. Think of millions of Jewish people that died from the Holocaust or the slaves from Africa that were torn from their homes. Did African-Americans walk around and hang white men, or abuse them, kill them? No they haven’t because the sin that someone of your own blood commits should not be put on you. I am a proud Muslim from Somalia.

    Posted by Jason | February 20, 2008, 5:29 am
  92. John says:
    “Indeed. A big problem with men who are against women’s degradation, are usually afraid to say it in front of other men, and therein lies one of the core problems.”

    Morgan says:
    “A friend of mine linked me to this article and i have to say i’m disgusted by what i saw in the pictures. (i’m male by the way) This has all at once opened my eyes to some of the horrible misdeeds committed by men against women and the ongoing struggle for equality.”

    I think this sort of thing is usually made invisible, and that even men are in denial about the harm other men are doing in the world.

    This idea of people being afraid to speak up or call out their friends for the horrible things men just say to other men about women is instructive. Women are often scared into silence, and men mistake silence for agreement most of the time.

    We live in a world filled with “power over” and it is pervasive in the workplace, pervasive in military training and pervasive in how men relate to women. I don’t think men or women have been in situations where equality really flourishes.

    We live in a world where the real attrocities that men routinely commit against women are simply labeled “sexual assault”– that’s RAPE, or “a man murdered his family” = a man killed his wife. Then there is rape as a tactic in war — only in 2000 or so did the U.N. declare this a war crime! Imagine that!!

    For men to stand up to other men who degrade women is quite a challenge. You’ll lose your lives, your honor and your sacred fortune for doing this. You will actually lose friends over this, and that’s a scary thing.

    Both men and women are silent and don’t know what to do in the daily racist and sexist situations we always find ourselves in. But one thing I do know, when you stand up for yourself, and others out of conviction, this is the real test of being human.

    White people who stood up against racism in the south were killed and ostracized. I’ve even seen black people get yelled at for being kind to white people.

    Men are supposedly the courageous ones — the guys who fought the British and stormed Iwo Jima, the real men are marines… etc. We have this view of warlike masculinity and it’s odd that fighting on corporate or social territories is considered more terrifying to men than killing enemies in a war.

    So you have to practice courage. Nothing changes at all if we don’t see the daily violence and abuse men heap on women– think of the millions of dollars corporations paid in sexual harrassment suites over the past 16 years, for example. Think of how much better a lot of work places are now that Playboy pictures aren’t allowed in lockers, and verbal harrassment is often punished with law suites.

    I can now go into corporate settings where men (the vast majority in my industry) now say nothing at all. Well they still talk about sports, but that’s about it. They have learned to not speak their minds publicaly, but you can hear male anger all the time over being forced to be “politically correct.” Men hate this, because what it means is that men no longer have the “right” to say anything they want to in public. Wow, their first ammendment rights to degrade women are ending.

    But do they get what P.C. really means? “Plain courtesy”

    I would really like to know what goes on in the minds of men as they degrade women or sit in silence while women are being degraded and harrassed.

    Recently a school in Tennessee (I think) decided to separate boys and girls for classes. The school was so bad that they had nothing to lose. Lots of people were upset and called this segregation, but if you think about it, girls need spaces where they don’t have to deal with teenage boys, who are usually over a decade behind the social development of girls.

    The main thing for me is for men to do the hard work and actually educate themselves on equality and to learn the benefits of it. Equality in human interactions is very very powerful. It is far more socially interesting than domination, command, and control — the male code of corporate conduct.

    I know in the 21st century that women getting close to retirement age are the feminist generation. You can even see this in the voting statistics in the Clinton / Obama campaign. Women of my generation were the first women to get jobs in these horrifying male dominated work environments, and we succeeded.

    All I know is, I want an end to the toxic woman hatred that men actually think is entertainment. Imagine that? Going to strip clubs for entertainment? Buying pornography for entertainment? Raping women in wartime for the sheer fun of it. Men the world over should be ashamed of their behavior, ashamed of the fact that they are so unable to get the idea of what equality and justice are really about from women’s point of view.

    After over 30 years of feminist activism and law changes and debates, this should be self-evident. And yet it isn’t.

    I think it is time for the innocent men to get angry at the evil men for giving men a bad name. I know I just don’t trust men ever to do the right thing. I assume after over 30 years of conflict with them that they are incapable of learning anything.
    It’s too late for me, I’ve been too angry for too long, but I am assuming a younger generation will get serious about where us radical feminists left off. We’ll see.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 20, 2008, 9:17 pm
  93. Here’s to let concerned readers know there is an exception in the male populus:

    I’m disgusted by the stereotypes and don’t understand where that kind of bloodlust domination stems from.

    Here’s to change!

    Posted by David | February 27, 2008, 9:47 pm
  94. my heart sinks when i see these pictures….On the anniversary of the My Lai massacre the other day i was reading up on the atrocities committed and i remembered an old co-worker of mine who was a vietnam vet. he always told me of the women there, of the “massage” parlors that would give sex out and was paid for by the military, of the disease, of the rape. And then i read where women were fondled in front of children before they died, they were raped urinated on and then shot. This is what war does. The majority of people the army recruits are not people with amazing morale values. They are people on the lower socio-economic bracket whose best option is to join the military. Is this kind of disgusting rape happening in iraq? MOST CERTAINLY. on a large level. Did this happen in vietnam, in Yugoslavia, in WWII. without a doubt. War is never good for a society, i just wish that these were given the national setting they deserve. so ALL the american people could see what is going on, because these images are broadcast over the middle east. If i saw this happening in america to american women by foreign troops HELL YES i would be pissed. we are creating more of these “terrorists” who are simply people who are pissed becuase of things like this. we need to stop this. war is never good. look at our economy, look at what this bozo is doing. The dollar is falling (and will keep falling), we’re fighting two EXPENSIVE wars, we are definantly NOT making friends, and we’re losing what AMERICA stands for… Bush was THE WORST without a doubt president ever. WORST.

    Posted by John | April 1, 2008, 12:02 am
  95. John, the U.S. military supported houses of prostitution for the “boys” in Vietnam. It was official government policy.

    There are probably rapists living next door to you.

    29% of American women soldiers are sexually harassed and or raped by American male soldiers. What say you? Summary execution of these traitors on the field of battle to put a stop to the male abuse of women?

    Rape is the official policy of patriarchy worldwide. It is common, it is terrorism against women, and it is something men don’t talk about openly. Pornography fuels this rape mentality worldwide as well. You might say that pornography is the ideological text to the rape and abuse of men.

    I have never seen men ever confront each other on this topic in public, ever. I will bring it up, they’ll either defend the rapists or they will remain silent. So this is a problem men need to confront other men on.

    It makes me think that all men are sexist cowards to the core, if they can’t even get angry at each other for saying the rape of 10 year olds is ok! I heard this said to my face recently, and all the men sat there in silence.

    In every war, and ever day, there is this sexual war against women — the objectification, the prostitution — which is trafficking in women– the Elliot Spitzers of the world are common place, and yet these men make the laws.

    I don’t believe that men will ever end this, until women take the power in their hands and get rid of all the rapists they catch permanently. Until women rise up and go after these pigs, it will be business as usual for men of the world.

    Good men are silent, evil men are evil. But the silence in public about these issues by men is really an attrocity all its own. Women have been working on these issues for decades now. Rape was written about as violence against women in 1975, and yet men pretend to be clueless, while they continue to buy porn, go to strip clubs, buy Playboy and treat women like objects. Are men just an evil species that could become exstinct? Sometimes I think the threat of this is the only thing men will suddenly get!

    Posted by Satsuma | April 1, 2008, 5:52 pm
  96. To clarify, the April post was not me, the John who has posted here before.

    Posted by John | May 18, 2008, 5:13 am
  97. Up late this evening [way too much tea today] lol,

    but, thought I’d see whats going on in cyber world and saw this, remembered when this topic came up and that I wrote–

    Gee I was angry back then, LOL. Anyway, several things,

    one, my anger over this, for starters was the Huge triggers that I won’t go into here, secondly, my anger wasn’t so much about the faces being not blurred, it was the ‘agenda’ of the anti-war movement in showing these photos that Angered me, I worked with some of these anti-war groups and they do focus on rapes by American soldiers against civilians caught in the crossfire but they don’t like to expose the rapes against American Women soldiers by Americans and so forth–so it was those double standards that underneath had me seething,

    if you ever work in activism and see how issues are manipulated, is the term, and especially when its real horrors that provoke strong emotion, and yet, when those same horrors are done to ‘their women’ its like this indifference, and stone cold silence…see that enough times and it has an impact on you. It did me, probably why I got out of group activism.

    Anyhow…was thinking on this today and read something in Plato’s “The Republic” about tyrants, and though of a lot of what I read on here, particularly when it pertains to men.

    I do think its important, when we address the crime of rape in WAR, that we take into consideration the psychology that happens in War, and the reason for this is while yes, there is Rape in times of peace [in every society, culture, etc] the motive in Rape, while it IS the same, as far as misogyny and male entitlement is concerned, in War there is other attributions that its important to understand,

    one, rape is used tragically in WAR to promote absolute terror among civilians, women especially, children, to cause them to either flee or break down/give info or to Break the spirit of the enemy, so to speak. But its more than that,

    because in WAR, men too, believe it or not, are raped, and in high numbers, we just don’t HEAR about it. Because its not ‘normal’ in other words [not that rape is normal but you get what I’m saying here].

    Militaries [sic] de-individualize men and yes, women into a group compartment whose intent is to purposely destroy the enemy, and part of that de-individualizing process is breaking a person down, using FEAR, and its extremely hierarchal…not just in US military but militaries around the world, military regimes, so forth. NOT only is the rape culture extremely manifested within military life/in times of war, its compounded with even more of a Command Rape mentality,

    meaning, one reason men, and yes, some women, Don’t take a stand while in WAR against those who rape is because there is that very real FEAR, and those who have blown the whistle have often paid a high price, including being raped themselves and those in the military KNOW this…its the unwritten language but they know it. And its not just rape, its other forms of human right abuses as well…

    the Leaders of the military institution [and the gov behind it] do know, how to utilize and transform humans using mind controls to tap into human sadism, just look at the Kill Kill Kill…War is ugly, it is just sheer ugly, there is no ‘nice war’ and there never will be.

    So when we confront rape in times of war, we have to take all those factors in and address the entire machinery of war, because having this like, noble war and not expecting human right abuses and rape and atrocities, simply is not realistic. IF we are going to END the problem of war crimes, and RAPE is a WAR CRIME,

    we have to address it as such. Yes I’m not saying that Rape is not part of our culture, it is, its a part of all cultures, it is a product of patriarchy, womb hate, Nationalism and that belief that women are the property not only of individual men but of the state, to produce heirs for the sovereign state, for war, for labor, etc.

    And rape was and has occurred in war way before Vietnam, in WWII, Russian soldiers raped/gang raped German women on the front when Russia moved into Germany, German soldiers raped women in Russian when they invaded, Poland too,

    WWI, not only was their rape but there was more civilian deaths [I believe, don’t quote me on this], than in WWII, or maybe it was soldier, well anyway, entire communities were butchered by the Germans, and vice versa, but I do recall reading about one community where Germans not only raped but they raped children and impaled them, somewhere in Serbia–

    not only that, interesting fact: it was an American man, who created the guns, and sold them mass market, and his wealth, came by none other than WWI–if it was ever said that War is for profit, WWI is dire evidence of this [and lets not forget the mustard gas/nerve gas, it was mass killing fields, nationalist killing fields lining the pockets of US and British bankers, generally speaking].

    Anyway, getting lost here on topic but several comments [and I’ve made them] in regards to men, their responsibility in ending rape, etc., and then, other comments in regards to ‘male chivalry’,

    we Do need to confront men, no doubt, and we do need to empower women, no doubt…

    but I think, we don’t realize, that, well put it this way, because I don’t want this sounding like a feel sorry for men post, because thats NOT the intent here,

    but like, we have a space of our own here, right, well in this patriarchal and yes, violent WAR hungry world, which yes, is a byproduct and creation of Males, no argument from me there,

    but when those minority of men Do try to not just understand but they humanly do have issue with the violence and hate and rape of women,

    where do They turn? What I’m saying is, we yell them [I’m guilty] for not Doing something, for not confronting, etc., for their silence,

    and yes, I know all about the male coming to the rescue to ‘persuade women of his ‘goodness’, we’ve all seen it and not including those here’,

    I’m talking about genuine and sincere repulsion at the male violence towards women and children, one said here that men don’t stand because of insecurity of being labeled gay, etc…

    NO, its more than that…Men don’t stand because they are afraid of getting the crap beaten out of them because from very young age, boys are taught, that being ‘weak’ means one is a target–you know the saying,

    the weak are destroyed by the strong, aggressively strong,

    and in this world [and America esp] being ‘weak’ or having characteristics of being ‘weak’ is a sure way of assuring being targeted for violence, Especially for a man.

    in times of WAR, this is ten times worse…so like, when men, feel they can find a space to truly be their authentic selves and say,

    “you know I don’ t like violence, I don’t like porn, I don’t like rape, etc.,”

    and in return, they get slammed…where then, do they go?

    Off to the world, where the expectations of them, are to be [from Plato] that Savage Beast, that Tyrant, that one who is Strong…

    Before you all jump on me [because I concur with so much here] but I’m probing into more of the psychology of men…to find maybe possible solutions,

    the reason I bring this up is that when getting the reports of rape of women in the armed services, they mentioned Command Rape and the numbers of men being raped/gang raped in the military right now in Iraq AND Afghanistan,

    by their commanding officials–is pretty high in number, and its the weak ones or ones who don’t fit in so much in that masculine, or no, Super Masculine killing machine role, that they target…

    and its not just US military, somewhere here I have a book on Soldiers, and how they are trained to torture in military regimes [from studies they did in Greece, Middle East, South America, etc] and its the same way there too…

    they choose, for instance, the most Sadist of men [and get this–Women, I’ll get to that in a bit], AFTER they break them down and they find the ones that are so sadist, so dead inside that they get sadistic pleasure out of torturing even infants,

    it is a STructure–Then you have, in wars too, the ones who, are just Criminally bent, meaning they were criminals BEFORE war and they use WAR as the open door policy so to speak, to rape, torture, murder, even their own citizens who they feel don’t ‘comply’ with the agenda, of whatever they are fighting for [e.g., former Yugoslavia, with all the splinter groups]

    In my research on fraternity gang rapes [and yes, I’m back on this research now thanks to some recent topics], I found similarities of ‘mob violence’, gang rape, cult programing [that they use both in frats and yes, in military, maybe not religious but its cult like with rigid male structure models], but also,

    can’t recall the name of the experiment [want to say Melvin but thats not it] where they had people, men and women, go into a room and shock the other person in another room simply because they were Told to do it, and you know, almost every single one of them, tortured the person/electric shock, to the point where the person was screaming and nearly every one, just because they were Told by an authority [perceived] they became very sadistic and tortured, the controlled experiment was to see why people obeyed horrific orders that before, went totally against their values,

    so yes, there are men, AND women, who before they went into War would never, rape…or torture, etc., [exceptions to this of course] and this is in EVERY country, its not just an American thing,

    not only that, but the findings in both Yugoslavia [former] and today in parts of Albania/Kosovo for example,

    where Women, have not only known about gang rapes, imprisoning women, etc., but they have taken Active roles in the rapes…not just of women, but of other men.

    And it goes way beyond racism or nationalism, there is something truly ‘sick’ in people,
    and in every case study [of war/rape, etc] there are several common factors,

    one is the dehumanizing the victim into a sub-human or non-human, this rationalizes the horror in the perps mind to where they truly are convinced that what they are doing is right, just, retribution, what have you,

    two is the no restraint and I actually heard this from a man I was once involved with who fought in Afghanistan [he was from Afghanistan, he fought the Russians], anyway he told me, that in war, there is no like legal restraints or laws that restrain and people, their most depraved and savage selves, are free do do what they’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t,

    and he told me that its rare that you see true character in people, who do good–but that they don’t usually last long, they are often killed, horribly so, either as targeted collaborators or what have you,

    some do survive but with lifelong scars. War poisons the mind,

    but not only that,

    it poisons the minds of the nation, including the people left behind. More so in a nation that is the aggressor, because people have to rationalize that ‘them’ to live with the fact that they are in the nation that is the invader, rapist, etc.

    And either they will have to continue to rationalize that to Maintain that position of power and security gotten from [that strong survives thing again] or,

    rationalize retributive violent acts as the one who has been unjustly [and sometimes not so unjustly–thats when it gets really complicated] invaded, etc.,

    Regardless, what we have to day, is a world with Savage Beasts, men and yes, women, though women are at the receiving end of this savagery they are also, not in the numbers but they do exist, a part of that savagery too…

    used to be, during the days of chivalry there was strict rules of engagement during war, even the taking of women as slaves, [this varied of course] there were strict rules, NOT that the rapes and atrocities weren’t just as horrid, in fact in times they were more so…[Armenian Genocide, is one brutal example],

    no, thats not how I want to put it…o.k., the citizens, in the days of chivalry, so to speak, while yes, it was patriarchal, it wasn’t as Savage as it is today, in times of war it was the Military that was savage,

    today its not just the military, its society, its media, its men, its women, its profit, its industry, everything that the antiquity said would happen, everything that they Warned the future generations in WWI [when war became extremely savage using modernized weaponry],

    we have, become. And men,

    men have, become the savages, the tyrants that the ones in antiquity said they would become…

    so while I’m not saying we should go back to like, the days of Napolean and the certain mannerisms/roles that men/women acted in, that whole chivalry thing…

    I will say, that while men have always been privilege and yes, have raped, we have a world where, even if, those men, those minorities were to take a stand,

    they’d be tore to shreds, by the savages. And I think, my opinion, that there is a very real fear of that,

    because we live in this world where Strength and aggressiveness and power is something that is respected and anything that is weak or deemed as weak, is demonized and scoffed at and is in the minds of so many, justified in being destroyed. Its in eugenics, in misogyny, in misandry, in class prejudice, and in racism,

    so when men, come here and do feel safe enough [not talking about the baiters or the trolls] to say, you know I don’t like this,

    be it chivalry or not…I think, when we rend them to pieces, with our anger [though that anger is justified], we feed that mentality of savagery in the world.

    None of this btw, is a get out of jail free card for men or a ‘yes dear we feel your pain’ type of thing, not meant to be that way, I’m simply trying to relay that the sadism, especially the sadism in rape,

    when you LOOK at the Widespread and Increasing by the minute, gendercide [mass butcher of gender, can be boys too, e.g., Columbia] femicide, mass rape [e.g. Sudan/Congo], feminization of poverty, children being targeted not only in warfare/trafficking but being used in combat, and Children who are taught to rape/butcher and yes, torture, e.g., Cambodia during Po Pot’s Regime, places in Africa, etc],

    where the political is personal, especially to so many women who have, yes, suffered horrible rapes and injustices by the hands of men [I am one of them, though not in a time of war, while my experience was horrid, I don’t think it even compares to what it must be like, to be in a country, invaded, home bombed, family killed, raped, or fear of rape and KNOWING you probably Will be raped/tortured and worse, KNOWING that your children might be in front of your eyes, I mean thats a daily hellish fear and when people live with that type of hell day in and day out to where, they go on about their business because death is just so, there, always, I don’t think we know, KNOW what that is…]

    but where the political is personal, so is the personal Political, on a Wide scale…

    meaning, when men, do voice their repulsion, its not just telling them our rage, its not getting that feeling of hate out, thats important, because its NOT only, changing male attitudes towards women,

    its changing male attitudes towards the world,

    as well as ours. If we ‘only’ Rebuke men, [younger men especially, our future generations]

    do we then, contribute in a form or manner, to the savagery in the world?

    Used to be, in a time that humanity, strived to be the best, to not be savages, to be ‘civilized’,

    today it seems the opposite, today its a striving to be savage, sadistic [in deed or word], to be at that place of Power,

    to become that


    And in Plato’s The Republic, near the end, it talks about how the tyrant, is always consumed with rage and hunger yet,

    never satisfied, always needing more, always at that place of nothingness and emptiness.

    anyway, don’t know why I’m thinking on all this but when men Are sincere, though yes, we know they are privilege and we know most have the beliefs that women are less than, or are just sex objects, etc., I think, though geesh I know I’ll do it again because I’ve been at that place So much,

    but I think, part of the strategy in ending violence towards women, in peace and in ending war,

    is encouraging men, not to be the savages, that they were to be so much more, if that makes any sense. And when those men Do stand up against the savagery,

    in the world and in themselves,

    thats when, we should show solidarity, not because we are enablers,

    but because, the world Needs men and women, to reject savagery and put back in,


    know I worded this terrible, its late, I’ll retype this at later date and after I’ve done some more study on what the hell I’m trying to say here, lol.

    Posted by Tasha | May 18, 2008, 8:41 am
  98. what are we doing in Iraq now? Any answers?

    What many women held in prisons in Iraq?

    those of you who is questioning a rape cases in Iraq.

    this is happening every day, women’s mind and bodies getting damaged, they getting pregnant, hurt.

    US even has a woman in a government, how would she
    like to be held in one of the prison for nothing and being raped every day? Look and listed these videos, people
    US is doing big harm for the society, this is pure occupation and killing innocent people for the money/oil

    Posted by Just a woman | May 19, 2008, 5:37 pm
  99. About the pictures, they look real and sickening. I hope there’s organization out there that will keep trying to bring these bastards to court and to be punished. There must be no rest for these criminals.

    Posted by A guy somewhere | June 4, 2008, 11:49 am
  100. Reading about my sisters suffering is like being burned at the stake all over again. Its a witch hunt of a different kind.

    Men want power at any cost and they must be stopped at any cost. First step to take my sisters is to be confident in yourself and do not fear death. For it is better to die a hundred time than to given in to Evil. Evil, existing upon this earth, this paradise of ours, brought down down by the Three One God religions.

    I appeal to you please do not fear yours own inner strength. If you “feel” [Intuitively] that something is wrong in all probability it is. Please stand up to these hateful preaching that say women are second to man. Disown these preachings and go back to HER womb. For your sake and the sake of the fruits of your womb, do what you feel is right.

    Posted by Gaiaia's voice | July 12, 2008, 6:22 pm
  101. Look, after seeing those photos and hearing the stories, I know that women are raped over there, I’m not pro-war, I’m not sexist or anything else like that but those uniforms, even though they are green they aren’t the kind used by US Armed Forces, yes we have tan and green uniforms but that’s not the kind we use, yes those guys in the pictures are probably Americans, but if anything I wouldn’t say they are soldiers, they are probably Mercenaries, the real scum of the war are the Mercenaries, even us soldiers over there hate them because they think they can get away with everything, and often do.

    Posted by AceOfHearts | July 27, 2008, 5:53 am
  102. I forgot to add something in my last comment.

    I don’t doubt that there are groups of US Soldiers that would stoop so low as to commit the horrendous crime of Rape, but the majority of us over there do not have that attitude, atleast I know I didn’t and none of my friends did either.

    Anyways in those pictures I really think those guys are Mercenaries, like Blackwater Security, because if they were military for one their uniforms would be a different green than that and their uniforms would be in better condition, also, they’re not wearing the type of boots that US Military troops wear.

    Again let me say it, I do know that there are some in the military that would stoop to rape, but the majority of us aren’t.

    When you look in the ranks of Blackwater Security Group

    They recruit criminals actively, they prefer violent people and then they send them to war and let them get away with whatever they want, that is why we should not use groups like Blackwater, they are scum.

    Posted by AceOfHearts | July 27, 2008, 5:58 am
  103. you want proof that this is pornography not rape? no man would risk oral sex if the woman did not consent. she could just bite.

    Posted by think about it | August 4, 2008, 12:38 pm
  104. As a woman, regardless of a woman’s culture, race, background, religion, or anything else, any woman is still my sister and worthy of my protection and help — especially from men like this. What can we women (and concerned men) do to stop this?

    Posted by G | August 10, 2008, 6:43 am
  105. To “comment 108”: and what do you think these men would do to her if she did bite them? —- One of the things we women have learned to do over the eons of abuse and rape from men is doing whatever we need to to survive … and taking whatever they dish out to us. Sometimes, we just do whatever it takes to survive … to live to the next moment (and if that sounds like i’ve had to do just that, you’d be right — and i think all of us women have had to do that, to one degree or other).

    Posted by G | August 10, 2008, 6:47 am
  106. I wish I never came acroos these photos:-(

    It hurts a lot..People talk as if this can’t happen to them..uh????

    You and me are under ‘preying eyes’..I know not all men are rapists..But the qstn is,”Who is the one”????

    Posted by Nimmy | August 13, 2008, 11:43 am
  107. i hate this…
    i mjean, i am myself a man…but i am a “gay” man…
    i hate those kinds of men who see themselves as beings who are superior than everyone else…
    i hate how they force other people who are weaker than them to succumb to their desires…
    they believe that strength, violence, and all kinds of force determines power and masculinity…but they are sooo frickin’ wrong…
    i am so totallu pissed off by this belief that urges men to plunder the rights and dignity of other people–not only women…but also those who are oppressed and are continued to be oppressed…
    oh my GOD!
    where is this world coming to?…

    Posted by jay | August 15, 2008, 6:01 am
  108. no words just teary eyes. i say sorry to my sisters and i pray to god to make an end to this non-cultural society

    and Mr. Bush u must be happy with your gallant soldiers.
    history will soon repeat itself with u!!!

    Posted by a muslim and a human | August 29, 2008, 11:39 am
  109. The New War Collection: Resistance/Permanence (2007-2009) is a documentary new media project. It is made up of two parts, in brief: a social networking research website that provides a place of empowerment for participants who have experienced military sexual trauma (MST) in Iraq and abroad; and a physical installation that facilitates an experiential space for these testimonies to exist and be heard through audience interaction. Both of these sites work together in carrying knowledge and experience to the audience, participants, and researcher. They act to engage the public in a call to action for ending the violence against women in the armed forces in America and around the world.

    Show your support by sharing your story. Your story is important. Your story will be heard.

    Check out for further information or to get involved in the project!

    Thank you,
    Heather Lidberg

    Posted by Heather Lidberg | December 28, 2008, 1:59 am


  1. Pingback: Laurelin in the Rain » I don’t have any words and I don’t know what to do - July 10, 2006

  2. Pingback: Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » “All Iraq is Abu Ghraib” - July 13, 2006

  3. Pingback: Laurelin in the Rain » Those pictures again - July 14, 2006

  4. Pingback: BE A MAN - OPPOSE RAPE!! « brand new feminist - February 27, 2007

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