Monday, July 10, 2006

In What Sense Is This Acceptable?

She was fourteen.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Five U.S. soldiers were charged in a rape and multiple murder case that has outraged Iraqis, as documents obtained by Reuters on Sunday showed the rape victim was aged 14, and not over 20 as U.S. officials have said.

Days after former private Steven Green was charged as a civilian in a U.S. court with rape and four murders, four serving soldiers were charged with the same offences, the U.S. military said in statement. It did not name the troops.

Another soldier, apparently a sixth member of Green's former unit in the 502nd Infantry Regiment, was charged on Saturday with dereliction of duty for not reporting the crime in March.

All five were charged with conspiring with Green, accused by U.S. prosecutors of going with three others to a house near the checkpoint they were manning outside Mahmudiya, near Baghdad, and of killing a couple and their two daughters. The five could face the death penalty.

Court documents described the raped daughter as an "adult female" and estimated her age as 25. U.S. military officials in Iraq say their documents have her as 20. Local officials and relatives had said she was 15 or 16.

Her identity card and a copy of her death certificate obtained by Reuters, however, show she was 14.

Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi was born on August 19, 1991 in Baghdad, according to the identity card, provided to Reuters by a relative. Issued in 1993, it features a photograph of her at 18 months, wide-eyed and with a lick of dark hair over her brow.

A copy of her death certificate, dated March 13, gives the same birth date. She was found at home by a relative on March 12 and had died from "gunshot wounds to the head, with burns", said the document, signed by doctor Wael Habib and a registrar. Five U.S. soldiers charged in Iraq rape-murder case

Excuse me if I have no sense of humor at the moment.

Those were Americans.

She was fourteen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In What Sense Is This Acceptable?"

Have you found anybody who said it was?

It's a horrible crime. It will be prosecuted. Very unfortunately, they happen regularly in most societies. It actually happened more often during Saddam's reign and would also happen more frequently if we were to suddenly pull out. The lunatic fringe that favors that needs to be more responsible.

Reference Bob Dylan's song "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll".

July 10, 2006 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It actually happened more often during Saddam's reign and would also happen more frequently if we were to suddenly pull out."

So that's what's aceptable about it. We are proud of how much better we are makimg it there.

July 10, 2006 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my. Seems it's another in a series of bad days for the lunatic fringe gay advocacy movement.

"Massachusetts Court OKs Gay Marriage on Ballot

BOSTON (July 10) - The same court that made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage ruled Monday that a proposed constitutional amendment to ban future same-sex marriages can be placed on the ballot.

The ruling was in a lawsuit brought by gay-rights supporters who argued that Attorney General Tom Reilly was wrong to approve the ballot measure.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said the constitution does not bar citizen initiatives from making prospective changes to the constitution, even if that effectively overrules the effect of a prior court decision.

Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, said she was disappointed but knew it.

"We are very, very excited, elated and pleased with the SJC ruling," said Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute. "All I can say is justice is alive and well in Massachusetts."

7/10/2006 11:32:31"

A lot of good people are very happy today.

Let me see. The fringe group doesn't want it put to a vote. Constitutional amendments usually require an overwhelming majority so that must mean that they think, if put to the voters, it won't even be close. And that's in the most liberal Democratic state in the country.

But, somehow, TTF maintains that most people in Montgomery County back them. This even though there are no polls to evidence this view and, it appears, the school board desperately wants to avoid answering to the voters on this.

Don't worry. When you awake, you will remember everything.

July 10, 2006 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a historic quote from last week's historic ruling by the New York Supreme Court:

"Plaintiffs have not persuaded us that the long-accepted restriction in the state marriage law is a wholly irrational one, based solely on ignorance and prejudice against homosexuals."

That's in liberal New York. (although, apparently not as liberal as Montgomery County in TTF's never-never land)

Can you imagine what they'd say in Texas?

July 10, 2006 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you are going to have to give me your definition of a "fact" now. Since I am at a loss as to why you need to ask for more proof than is already stated. What would constitute a fact to you historical records, newspaper accounts, biographers, congressional records, and FBI reports?

July 10, 2006 2:29 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, I guess you are referring to my questioning on another thread whether it is a fact that NAMBLA was ever "excepted" by the gay rights movement.

First of all, I don't think the "gay rights movement" is a monolithic movement, it appears to me that there is disagreement among gay people about everything -- a lot like straight people. It appears that after the Stonewall riots of 1969, there was a concerted effort to organize and turn things around, so you didn't get your head busted in by the cops just for being who you were. And in those early years there was a lot of debate about what kinds of things were worth fighting for.

Even today there are gay groups that are more radical, just as in any other movement I can think of. But as I read about it, groups like NAMBLA were quickly identified as pedophiliacs whose goals were not consistent with those of the majority of gays, who basically want the same rights as everybody else.

It may be that some groups like that signed on in the early days, but they were quickly kicked out.

NAMBLA certainly is a nothing force in the world today, and does not deserve to be on any list of gay groups whose lobbying has won them some power in modern society.


July 10, 2006 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"apparently not as liberal as Montgomery County"

The good news is that our local judge is in PG County. He's already shown wisdom in his rulings.

July 10, 2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

"In What Sense Is This Acceptable?"

To which anonymous replied, asking,

Have you found anybody who said it was?

Well? How about an answer? Have you found anyone in the US govt, military, or even the public at large that even remotely hints that this might be acceptable? Jim, I think we deserve an answer.

It was an evil, vile and dispicable act. The individual guilty of the rape and murder could be subject to the death penalty, while the others that went along will all face stiff prison sentences. And each will be stripped of any rank and will be dishonorably discharged (which means they will not be eligible for any military benefits).

Yes, this same thing happened under Saddam Hussein, but it happened more frequently and it took place with Hussein's knowledge and consent. Indeed, oner of his two sons was implicated in numerous rapes.

Therein is the moral distinction.

July 11, 2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Orin, I asked the question, and Anon immediately answered it. Things are a lot better over there, now that we've brought democracy and our moral superiority to them. You back him up on that.

And I think it's intereesting that both of you feel perfectly comfortable saying these things happened when Saddam was there. You have absolutely no evidence for the statement, but it fits your preconceptions so well it's just got to be true.

Also, an interesting point that you compare this to a rape. The Americans murdered the whole family so they could rape a 14-year-old, then murdered her. Calling it a "rape" is a fine bit of wordplay.


July 11, 2006 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have absolutely no evidence for the statement"

You're kidding. Right, Jim?

July 11, 2006 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Things are a lot better over there, now that we've brought democracy and our moral superiority to them."

Any problem with the idea that democracy is morally superior to ruthless authoritarianism, Jim?

July 11, 2006 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Haven't we spoken about calling names?"

Senor Rigby

Over the months, yes, TTF has receive yellow cards for this many times. Are they agreeing to discontinue this practice and keep discussion on a civil level?

July 11, 2006 9:04 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

You're kidding. Right, Jim?

The idea that Saddam's men went into homes and murdered families and raped their daughters has a certain quality of truthiness to it, which you no doubt find convincing. It is consistent with the tenor of pre-war propaganda. Like the cyanide in the river, the Trailers of Mass Destruction -- if you remember, WMD and evidence of cruelty and brutality was announced in the press almost every day when we first invaded Iraq, then retracted quietly a few days later.

How about providing a piece of evidence that this sort of thing happened? You've got the whole Internet out there, every news story published in the last five years at least. Show me.


July 11, 2006 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"evidence of cruelty and brutality was announced in the press almost every day when we first invaded Iraq, then retracted quietly a few days later."


July 11, 2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

I'm not going back thru it, Anon, if you don't remember. See if you can back up your statement about these kinds of things happening under Saddam.


July 11, 2006 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddam's trial just adjourned. Evidence of this type of stuff was presented daily. No one's backed off anything to my knowledge.

By the way, in addition to the savage brutality of Saddam and his soldiers, the Wall Street Journal ran an article last month listing double-digit instances of WMD being found in Iraq since the liberation. No nuclear weapons were found but other WMD has been. Not to mention, Saddam not only possessed these but used them in battle at least twice.

July 11, 2006 10:51 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Evidence of this type of stuff was presented daily.

No, it wasn't. Saddam was accused of killing a group of people who had plotted to assassinate him. It's not very nice of him, but nothing like this. They ambushed his convoy, he wiped them out. Some people who were killed or imprisoned were not part of the conspiracy, it sounds like.

If you read trial transcripts that talked about random, personally motived murder and rape, please link it for me. I admit I haven't been following the trial that closely, why don't you go ahead and enlighten me.

As for the WMD story, you know the Defense Department said that was incorrect.


July 11, 2006 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As for the WMD story, you know the Defense Department said that was incorrect."


July 11, 2006 11:15 AM  
Blogger JimK said...


First of all, the Wall Street Journal piece was not a news story, it was an editorial by a Republican congressman trying to bolster a crackpot theory put out there by Rick Santorum, who is likely to lose his election this year.

You can start HERE with the news story.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The chemical weapons that have been recovered by US forces in Iraq were all made before the 1991 Gulf War and were too degraded for their intended use, US intelligence officials said.

Republican lawmakers have cast the disclosure that about 500 chemical weapons have been found in Iraq as evidence that Saddam Hussein had a stockpile of the weapons before the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

But the intelligence officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said the weapons were too degraded to have posed a threat to US forces in March 2003.

July 11, 2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fact Sheet
Office of the White House Press Secretary
Washington, DC
April 4, 2003

Life Under Saddam Hussein: Past Repression and Atrocities by Saddam Hussein's Regime

For over 20 years, the greatest threat to Iraqis has been Saddam Hussein's regime -- he has killed, tortured, raped, and terrorized the Iraqi people and his neighbors for over two decades.

When Iraq is free, past crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against Iraqis, will be accounted for, in a post-conflict Iraqi-led process. The United States, members of the coalition, and the international community will work with the Iraqi people to build a strong and credible judicial process to address these abuses.

Under Saddam's regime many hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of his actions, the vast majority of them Muslims. According to a 2001 Amnesty International report, "victims of torture in Iraq are subjected to a wide range of forms of torture, including the gouging out of eyes, severe beatings, and electric shocks ... some victims have died as a result and many have been left with permanent physical and psychological damage."

Saddam has had approximately 40 of his own relatives murdered. Allegations of prostitution are used to intimidate opponents of the regime and have been used by the regime to justify the barbaric beheading of women. There have been documented chemical attacks by the regime, from 1983 to 1988, resulting in some 30,000 Iraqi and Iranian deaths.

Human Rights Watch estimates that Saddam's 1987-1988 campaign of terror against the Kurds killed at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds. The Iraqi regime used chemical agents to include mustard gas and nerve agents in attacks against at least 40 Kurdish villages between 1987-1988. The largest was the attack on Halabja which resulted in approximately 5,000 deaths. o 2,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed during the campaign of terror.

Iraq's 13 million Shi'a Muslims, the majority of Iraq's population of approximately 22 million, face severe restrictions on their religious practice, including a ban on communal Friday prayer, and restriction on funeral processions.

According to Human Rights Watch, "senior Arab diplomats told the London-based Arabic daily newspaper al-Hayat in October [1991] that Iraqi leaders were privately acknowledging that 250,000 people were killed during the uprisings, with most of the casualties in the south." Refugees International reports that

"Oppressive government policies have led to the internal displacement of 900,000 Iraqis, primarily Kurds who have fled to the north to escape Saddam Hussein's Arabization campaigns (which involve forcing Kurds to renounce their Kurdish identity or lose their property) and Marsh Arabs, who fled the government's campaign to dry up the southern marshes for agricultural use. More than 200,000 Iraqis continue to live as refugees in Iran."

In 2002, the U.S. Committee for Refugees estimated that nearly 100,000 Kurds, Assyrians, and Turkomans had previously been expelled, by the regime, from the "central-government-controlled Kirkuk and surrounding districts in the oil-rich region bordering the Kurdish controlled north."

"Over the past five years, 400,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died of malnutrition and disease, preventively, but died because of the nature of the regime under which they are living." (Prime Minister Tony Blair, March 27, 2003) Under the oil-for-food program, the international community sought to make available to the Iraqi people adequate supplies of food and medicine, but the regime blocked sufficient access for international workers to ensure proper distribution of these supplies. Since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, coalition forces have discovered military warehouses filled with food supplies meant for the Iraqi people that had been diverted by Iraqi military forces.

The Iraqi regime has repeatedly refused visits by human rights monitors. From 1992 until 2002, Saddam prevented the UN Special Rapporteur from visiting Iraq. The UN Special Rapporteur's September 2001, report criticized the regime for "the sheer number of executions," the number of "extrajudicial executions on political grounds," and "the absence of a due process of the law."

July 11, 2006 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let me know when Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or the State Department has "quietly" disavowed this report.

July 11, 2006 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is really a surprise. Last night on the news, I remember hearing something about two americans being beheaded, and something about a rape being mentioned.

But the news didn't mention that the rape claim was substantiated. This seems like a much bigger deal,

July 11, 2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, Saddam was ruthless in dealing with political opposition, especially, as your report implies (look at the dates), when he had American approval and support. But there is no evidence that the kinds of things described in this news story happened under his reign.

Go to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International web sites, and show me the part where it says things are better there now.

C'mon, prove me wrong.


July 11, 2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is further down in Jim's link about WMD. Did the reporter ask this unnamed "intelligence official" why, if the insurgents could potentially use the weapons, is it not feasible that Saddam was retaining for use. Especially, since he had a history of doing so in actual battles.

"The munitions have been tested and computer simulation models created to determine what effect they might have under a variety of scenarios, the officials said.

Although not suitable for their intended purposed, the officials said such weapons remain a potential hazard if obtained by insurgents and modified in ways they would not discuss."

July 11, 2006 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"C'mon, prove me wrong."

Already did. Of course every time someone does, you simply change the subject. This could go on forever.

July 11, 2006 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rick Santorum, who is likely to lose his election this year"

This is possible but the interesting reason is why. Democrats are going to nominate the former governor, who is one of the few pro-family Democrats surviving in America. He is against legalized murder of unborn children and gay marriage. It is notable that during Clinton nominating conventions, this Democrat wasn't even allowed to speak.

July 11, 2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, a group of Americans killed a family so they could rape and murder a fourteen year old girl.

You said "Yes, this same thing happened under Saddam Hussein, but it happened more frequently and it took place with Hussein's knowledge and consent."

You seem to think you have proven your point, but you have not presented a single shred of evidence, even a hint, that "this same thing" ever happened in those days.

I could be wrong, but so far you haven't given me any reason to think so. I am not alleging that Saddam was a nice fellow, and maybe it's just that "this same thing" means something different to you.


July 11, 2006 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am not alleging that Saddam was a nice fellow,"

Hey, Jim. Do you think Iraqis were better off with this un-nice guy or with the leader they've now chosen themselves?

Nifty Ice

July 11, 2006 1:00 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Ha-ha good one, Anon.

July 11, 2006 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is not the appropriate manner for a homosexual male to speak to a heterosexual male.

Super Duper

July 11, 2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

Orin, I asked the question, and Anon immediately answered it. Things are a lot better over there, now that we've brought democracy and our moral superiority to them. You back him up on that.

I can't help feeling that the above remark was made with more than a little snide sarcasm.

I doubt we will ever bring democracy to that part of the world as they are so accustom to the use of force and violence as a way of life (and death). Still, if you cannot see that the American system of government (while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination) is in fact morally superior to that of the Iraqi system of government under Saddam Hussein then while we may speak the same language (english), we will not be able to understand each other.

And I think it's intereesting that both of you feel perfectly comfortable saying these things happened when Saddam was there. You have absolutely no evidence for the statement, but it fits your preconceptions so well it's just got to be true.

LOL....Jim, Jim...please, go read up on the late Uday Hussein; Wikipedia has a reasonably good summary of the monster that once was the firstborn spawn of Saddam Hussein. If you are interested in a longer treatment, Pantheon published (1990) a book titled, _REPUBLIC OF FEAR_, by Samir al-Khalil (anyone can pick up a copy for one cent, plus $3.50 S&H on the net).

Actually, there is alot of evidence...the question is this: are you willing to look at it?

Also, an interesting point that you compare this to a rape. The Americans murdered the whole family so they could rape a 14-year-old, then murdered her. Calling it a "rape" is a fine bit of wordplay.

No slight was intended to the family...yes, father and mother and two children were murdered. The only ones spared were two older sons who were at school. No "wordplay" here...what was done was evil and dispicable, plain and simple...let the entire weight of the US Justice system fall upon these evildoers.

I am conservative because I believe, yes believe that human nature is a constant, not a variable. There is a quote, attributed to Solzhenitsyn that I think expresses this best,

The line dividing good and evil is a thread that runs thru every human heart

That is, I recognize that even our fighting men and women can do wrong, can commit evil. It takes a heightened awareness in time of war not to lose one's moral sense. Not an easy thing to do, especially coming out of a culture (such as is American culture these days) suffering from an overdose of moral relativism (you know...I have my turth and you have your truth, and who is to say one or the other is any better).

Do I make myself clear?

July 11, 2006 6:33 PM  
Blogger JimK said...


Your author Samir al-Khalil (real name Kanan Makiya) carries a lot of baggage. He's one of the crooks from Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress; these were the guys whose lies gave Bush/Cheney the excuses they needed to attack that country. These guys are absolutely not to be believed. They had a big plan to profit from war, and it has succeeded. I'll bet you can get that book for free, and it's worth every penny.

It is weird that you respond that "the American system of government ... is in fact morally superior to that of the Iraqi system of government under Saddam Hussein." I am very confident in the "American system of government," at least the way it used to be practiced when there were checks and balances, and two parties, and laws and things, though I don't know what "morality" has to do with it. I wasn't talking about our system of government, as you well know. The morality we have exhibited in Iraq is sadly revealing of the sickness of our national leadership. Where the Iraqis are ruthless at times, they have not been depraved, which is the only word to describe the sexual humiliations that Americans have -- as a matter of policy -- inflicted on the Iraqi people, again and again.

As for Uday, he seems to have been a bad dude, which is, as you know since you read the book, the reason Saddam sentenced him to prison for eight yars. He was a psychopath, and it is ridiculous to pretend that his behaviors in any way typify the regime.

And yes the stuff about the "rape" is wordplay. Just like the news media referring to this girl as a "woman." Just like the US military trying to say she was in her twenties. It's depravity, and it's not just one guy. Or else it wouldn't keep happening all over the country, and people like you wouldn't be trying to make excuses for it -- "moral relativism," indeed, Orin, I'm embarrassed for you. It is ludicrous at this point to try to claim the high moral ground. We need to stop what we're doing to those people and do a whole lotta soul-searching here at home, cuz there's a bad mojo on the land.


July 11, 2006 9:51 PM  

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