2006/07/05

Rape in Iraq

Juan Cole's precis/commentary on the article from Al-Zaman is well worth quoting in full:

Al-Zaman/ AFP say that a firestorm of protest is building in Iraq over the alleged rape and killing of a 15 year old Iraqi girl in Mahmudiyah, and the murder of her family, by a US GI. MP Safiyah Suhail, a woman representative from the National Iraqi List in parliament, demanded that P[rime] M[inister] Nuri al-Maliki and Interior Minister Jawad al-Bulani present themselves to parliament for questioning in the matter. She demanded that the Iraqi government be involved in the investigation. She said that this was a matter that touched on the honor of the Iraqi nation and the female MPs had a special role to play in demanding an accounting.

Suhail is former ambassador to Egypt of the new Iraqi government and stood against the imposition of Islamic law on Iraqi women. That a secular person is so stirred up about this suggests to you what the Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists are thinking. For most Iraqis, honor is bound up in the chastity of their women, at least in public, and a foreigner raping an Iraqi girl is a profound humiliation for the entire country. This matter is not going to go away quietly and if the Bush administration thinks it is just a matter of disciplining unruly troops, it has another think coming. Entire colonial empires have been shaken by such incidents in the past.(emphases added)

And from Iraq's Prime Minister:

KUWAIT CITY - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday he wants an independent Iraqi investigation, or at least a joint investigation with coalition forces, into the alleged rape and murder of an Iraqi girl by U.S. troops.
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"We are going to demand an independent Iraqi investigation or at least a joint investigation between us and the multi-national forces," al-Maliki said.

He said crimes against Iraqis were not acceptable and that coalition troops' immunity from Iraqi prosecution should be reviewed.

"We believe that the immunity given to members of coalition forces encouraged them to commit such crimes in cold blood — the thing that makes it necessary to review it," he said.

Also, Chris Floyd tells us how it all looked from the American soldier's side.

AJ in DC has still more. He thinks Cole has it right. The story "is creating shockwaves throughout the country, not just among the masses, but within elite political circles as well."

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