America's moral abyss, Firas Al-Atraqchi
In early 2003, an Arabic-language newspaper ran a cartoon depicting the nation of Iraq as a young girl being raped by a US soldier while several Arabs in traditional garb enthusiastically egged the soldier on. The message was simple: Iraq was about to be plundered of its wealth, stripped of its manpower, its expertise, its middle and educated classes, its infrastructure and its knowledge base. Like a rape victim, the country would be scarred, mutilated and contorted, never again to appear fully sovereign.
This vision became horrific reality in the town of Mahmoudiya in March 2006 when 16-year-old Abeer Qassem Hamza Al-Janabi was raped, shot and burned by a team of US soldiers who allegedly had been planning for a week to perpetrate their crime. Their plan included discarding their military uniforms and donning dark clothes (resembling that of militia or fedayeen ) to avoid identification as US military personnel. Abeer's family were executed in the assault, including her seven-year-old sister, so that none may point a finger of blame at the US military.
In the immediate aftermath, the US military cordoned off the area surrounding Abeer's house, announcing that her family were Shia and were murdered by Sunni "insurgents". We now know neither claim was true. Al-Janabi's neighbours protested that the family were Sunni, and that the girl had complained of harassment by US troops at a nearby checkpoint some time earlier.
Three weeks before the US military announced and opened an internal investigation, the alleged lead perpetrator of the rape of Abeer was discharged from the army on grounds that he was mentally unstable. The undeclared reason, according to some sources, was that the US military was aware of his conduct in Mahmoudiya and sought to avoid further embarrassment to a military plagued by atrocities in Abu Ghraib and Haditha, among dozens of other reports of human rights violations. Continued