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Ghastly stories of US abuse of Iraqi women emerge

Shoks Mnisi Mzolo – Cii News

Women continue to endure abuse and violation as a matter of course in Iraqi prisons. Many foreign soldiers, mainly from the United States of America – who raped, decapitated or tortured Iraqi women in areas such as Abu Ghraib – were able to evade justice thanks to Washington’s “massive cover-up”, as American Civil Liberties Union asserted. The union noted that the outrageous physical and sexual abuse, perpetrated by US soldiers, extended to Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay camp.

Under the leadership of George Bush, the US invaded Iraq under a pretext of “weapons of mass destruction” after destabilising Afghanistan, where his army imported terror to, and throwing mainly Africans and Asians suspected of opposing Washington’s terror into Guantanamo. Bush was never held to account for his atrocities nor has the US been isolated for its savage and gruesome behavior. There have been a few exceptions – low-ranking officials – that Washington now renounces as “rotten apples” despite evidence that they were following orders from their superiors.

Bush’s terror hit Iraq in March 2003, in search for non-existent weapons. Indeed that was propaganda. The pretext soon changed to “liberate” of Iraq. Later that year, it emerged that US guards were abusing female detainees. A note smuggled by an Iraqi woman from inside a prison in west Baghdad said the US was on a raping mission. “Several of the women became pregnant,” said Abie Dawjee of the Research and Information Network (Rain). This eluded media partly because it was neatly covered up by Washington, the same supposedly democratic regime that sought to “liberate” Iraq.

“The message painted a nightmare scenario,” Dawjee told Cii listeners this morning, adding that a US secret military inquiry found that the claims in the note were true but that didn’t spur Bush to put an end to rape missions. “The note urged the resistance, can you believe this, the note urged the resistance to bomb the jail completely so that everyone would be killed – even the women so that they, the women, are spared further shame.”

Speaking in behalf of Rain, the activist noted that several reports uncovered violations after this first account that hit the public domain.

“Many reports emerged thereafter,” Dawjee said of American soldiers’ under-reported women abuse which included detention for months or years on end, being hung upside down, assaulted, electrocuted, executed, and raped – some in front of their children. Other abuses perpetrated by US forces or appendage (in the form of Nouri al-Malaki) were “so shocking really that I can’t mention them”, Dawjee said, citing Human Rights Watch. These were used to force detainees to confess to trumped-up charges. The Baghdad note was just the beginning. “A few months later, report emerged that a 70-year-old woman was harassed and ridden like a donkey at Abu Ghraib. This was investigated by British Labour MP Ann Clwyd and found to be true. This woman… was held for six weeks, no charges, and told that she was a donkey and hence she was ridden that way.”

A prominent journalist and human rights activist, Saba Husein, who was working on an article on atrocities in Tikrit, and, as part of her research, raised some of the issues with the relevant ministry, ended up behind bars. Trumped-up charges, sexual assault and physical abuse followed. “She was tricked into visiting an army barracks where she was arrested and transferred to the very prison, in Tikrit, that she was investigating and falsely charged with being involved in the murder of the brother of an Iraqi MP. She was kept in jail for one year,” Dawjee said, adding the activist broke down when the authorities threatened to bring her daughter there and rape her in front of her.

The Rain researcher noted that continuous women abuse is meant to break the back of Iraqi resistance and maintain terror. Like Saddam Hussein, before Bush’s conquistrado forces, al-Maliki, a stooge, unleashed terror.  “We can go right back to the era of Saddam Hussein. The torture was absolutely horrific and much of it has actually been video recorded, can you believe it,” Dawjee said. “Then came the Americans and the torture continued, and after that we had the Nouri al-Maliki government.” All these entities had to deal with strong relentless opposition, he added.

“Then the Americans invaded. They had to fight off the so-called terrorists – the resistance to occupation. And we saw graphic details of what they did at Abu Ghraib. The US-installed government of Nouri al-Malaki was strongly sectarian, therefore it was accused of discriminating and abusing the Sunni minority in areas such Fellujah, Ramaji and Tikrit and others,” Dawjee told Cii. “The bottom line, my brother, is this: when there is opposition to a state that is illegitimate or an occupier, expect the ruling body to react with extreme brutality to any kind of resistance. And of course, quite clearly, we, in South Africa, had first-hand experience of this during the apartheid years.”

amer israel

Netanyahu comes out of the closet

Shoks Mnisi Mzolo – Cii News | 20 Jumadal Ula 1436/12 March 2015

If there was any illusion that the Israeli establishment is keen, or advocating, on a just solution to the question of Palestine – a territory that has been bleeding since 1948’s Al-Naqba and Deir Yassen massacre – it was shattered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s move to downplay as a mere draft what others had perceived as the dictator’s “document of concessions”. Instead, Netanyahu, whose Zionist forces kill Palestinians as a matter of course, insisted that the status quo, which spans land dispossession and continued land grabs and house demolitions, would remain.

From an electioneering angle, the statement was designed to placate the throngs of racist Israeli citizens who, informed by Theodore Herzl’s toxic Nazism doctrine, will not rest until that Middle East territory has “cleansed” itself of fellow Semites in the form of Palestinians. The draft report referring to land concessions, to the displaced Palestinians, which isn’t going to be implemented, was crafted by the aides of Netanyahu’s and Mahmoud Abbas’ of the Palestinian Authority – an equivalent of a Bantustan authority.

Prof Jeff Harper, an anti-apartheid activist, told Cii there is nothing new about the issue at hand other than that the prime minister, whose leadership continues to oversee land grabs and house demolitions in Palestine, has expressed the apartheid government’s views on issues of ceding or returning confiscated land to the people of Palestine.

“It’s been known for years. He’s simply coming out of the closet,” said the chair of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (Icahd) of Netanyahu’s comments. “Israel, since 1967, has never, ever, ever even considered a Palestinian state or meaningful land concessions. It’s always pretended that it kind of accepted the two-state solution but that never actually happened. Netanyahu is simply saying honestly what all the policies of Israeli governments were and are, and that is: there will not be a Palestinian state, and there will be no land concessions whatsoever for the Palestinians.”

Turning to the prime minister, the Israeli anti-apartheid activist said this despot’s career is built on fear and hatred. “That is the currency he deals in: fear and hatred,” Halper said. In fact, Netanyahu does not recognize Palestinians.

The document that Netanyahu distanced himself from had suggested that he was open to full restitution for lands stolen during the Six Day War and the destruction of Palestinian areas, among other measures.

Since 1967, millions of Palestinians have been crammed into West Bank and Gaza Strip, the world’s largest open-air prison. Meanwhile, residents of West Bank endure apartheid policies such as state-sanctioned land and house theft; so-called security checkpoints (which restricts their movements by means of travel permits – a la SA apartheid era); and being restricted to driving on designated roads and at specific times. The second category, inhabiting what is termed Israel-proper, is subjected to daily terror and second-class citizenship. Thirdly, millions more are in exile.

“We’re living in a worse than apartheid situation in Israel-Palestine,” Halper explained. Complicity by world leaders is not helping. Palestinians justifiably feel forsaken by the world. Last year, 500 Palestinian children were butchered by Netanyahu’s forces, yet he is still feted by some world’s policymakers. This month, he addressed Washington.

“I think the Palestinians are bitterly disappointed at the lack of support that they’ve gotten from governments around the world,” the Icahd chair said. “Nobody expected Israel to really be forthcoming but the peoples of the world have more and more begun to be In solidarity with the Palestinians. You have the Boycott, Disinvestment Sanction campaigns, the BDS. You’ve got demonstrations all over the world. I’m on a speaking tour of Germany. Even in Germany, people are very much moving towards understanding the Palestinian issue and being critical of Israel.”

All of these efforts, or changing mood, is dampened by governments’ questionable response. South America is the only region where governments have chosen the side of the people by pushing for justice and an end to subjugation that reduces Palestinians into sub-humans. Still, the solidarity movement has to trickle to governments for the question of Palestine to become a policy issue, said the activist professor.

“Governments, including your government (Pretoria), continue to support Israel. And that is where the Palestinians really lose because as long as Israel has the support of governments around the world – and it has support largely because of its military relations with governments – the Palestinians are lost. They can’t overthrow the occupation themselves. They’ve tried with intifadas,” said Halper. “And they can’t translate the support they have from peoples all over the world into government policies.”

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