The New York based global women's rights organization MADRE has a brief but disturbing factsheet about the growing number of atrocities being committed against women since the beginning of the Iraq War five years ago. According to MADRE:
- Since the US invasion of 2003, Iraqi women have endured a public campaign of harassment, beatings, abduction, rape, and assassinations.
- The main perpetrators are militia fighters who see violence against women as a way to enforce their vision of Iraq as an Islamist state.
- Anyone perceived to challenge that vision is in danger from the militias. Women professionals, artists, intellectuals, lesbians, and human rights activists have been specifically targeted.
- he largest Islamist militias are the armed wings of Iraqi political parties brought to power by the US.
- In 2003, US authorities hand-picked Islamist leaders to sit on the Iraqi Governing Council. The Council was presented in the US as the gateway to Iraqi democracy, yet these US appointees openly declared their intent to restrict women's rights.
- Once empowered, Islamists quickly moved to rescind Iraq's 1959 family law which guaranteed women equal rights in crucial areas of life.
- They also produced a constitution—with strong backing from the US—that discriminates against women in numerous ways.
Perhaps even more grotesque is that the Bush Administration and its taxpayer funded war industry need do little to nothing to keep this atrocity under wraps - their complicit pals in the media do it for them. The growing level of violence against women in Iraq continues to fly low under the radar of the mainstream media here in the states.
Glenn Greenwald has an informative post that demonstrates just how rare it is to hear any sort of dissenting opinion from the false trope of the U.S. as welcomed liberators in Iraq perpetuated by the media, and what happens when someone slips up and lets a survivor of the occupation speak their mind in a national media venue. As Greenwald puts it:
The American media has a script to which they loyally adhere. The U.S. can make mistakes and government leaders can be criticized for incompetence, but we can never do anything that is actually destructive or evil or which justifiably provokes hatred towards us by people in other countries -- not even bombing them and occupying them for years and imprisoning tens of thousands of them with no charges and replicating the behavior of their hated dictator. Any views that suggest such a thing are simply not heard.In the same post, Greenwald provides scripts of interviews with less-than thrilled Iraqi citizens conducted by two of America's most distinguished and regurgitative government parrots: Charlie Rose and Peter Jennings. While it's funny to think about how somebody could have fucked up so badly as to place angry anti-occupation Iraqis on the phone with Peter Jennings on national television, the viewpoints heard are quite sobering.
The Iraqi people, promised freedom and self-determination for them and their families, are instead continually denied a voice in Western outlets, making them silenced and vulnerable to further deprivation of their human rights. Iraqi women in particular are left reeling in the aftermath of the invasion, their bodies subject to the punishment of those wishing to control them and their families to form a more perfect "Islamic state". There has been no liberation for them, and there will never be as long as the Bushies and their complicit comrades in the media keep censoring what Americans watch and read everyday.