How is a rape and murder
planned? Does one man casually say, “She’s hot, let’s rape her,”
and hope that someone else says, “Hell yes!” Is the crime spelled
out, or are there mutually understood winks and nudges. Is the conversation
brutal or casual and banal?
Abeer Qasim Hamza and her family are now dead because
of those chilling words, however they were spoken. Her countrymen
and women are still being killed and imprisoned so they can be better
off. That is what the president and most members of Congress tell
us. Abeer and thousands like her have to be shot, imprisoned, raped
and killed for their own good.
Abeer was fifteen and lived in Muhmadiya, Iraq. If
she was a typical Iraqi rural girl, she dressed very modestly, and
didn’t leave home very often. Her parents’ adherence to custom didn’t
help her very much with armed infidels on the loose. Maybe they
were tired of seeing women covered when they wanted to see women
uncovered. Maybe any female who walked by at the wrong moment would
have been targeted.
Abeer’s family knew that she had caught the eye of
American soldiers. Her parents complained that soldiers at a nearby
check point repeatedly searched their home. They rightly believed
that Abeer was the true object of attention. A cousin offered to
help them move into an empty house, but they declined.
“There are a lot of families close to us, and nothing bad will happen.”
Steven D. Green hails from Midland, Texas, just like
George and Laura. Aside from claiming the same hometown as the president,
there is nothing distinctive about him. He dropped out of high school,
and later earned a GED. He joined the army after being charged with
a misdemeanor possession of alcohol.
Green is now known around the world as one of a group
of soldiers who targeted Abeer for rape and death, and according
to the other participants killed her mother, father, and younger
sister as well. As the arrest warrant for Green states, the rape
and murders occurred “with malice aforethought.” In plain English,
they planned their crime.
The most often repeated justification for the invasion
and occupation of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein was a cruel, evil
dictator. Over and over we heard about “rape rooms.” It was never
made clear if those words were posted on the doors, but the stories
of Saddam’s henchman setting aside space for rape were endlessly
repeated, including by George Bush and Tony Blair. It was just the
latest example of a gruesome tale conveniently told when governments
want permission to kill.
The rape room is not the only Saddam invention that
has been copied by the American occupiers. Abu Ghraib was the place
for death and torture under the Hussein regime. Now it is the place
of torture for the American regime that rules Iraq.
It is all spelled out in Green’s arrest
According to SOI3 (Source of Information), GREEN and
KP1 (Known Participant) proceeded to have sex with a woman. After
GREEN was finished having sex with the woman, SOI3 witnessed GREEN
stand up with an AK47 in his hand. GREEN walked over to the woman
and shot her several times.
The murders took place on March 12, 2006 and were
immediately reported to the U.S. military. No effort was made to
find perpetrators. It was dismissed as an Iraqi on Iraqi crime.
It is difficult to believe that no one in the military
knew the truth. Americans were not officially suspected until two
soldiers came forward with information during counseling sessions
that took place three months later. By that time Green had been
discharged with a “personality disorder.” He now awaits trial in
federal court as a civilian.
How many Abeers are in Iraq? It is hard to believe
that she was the only rape victim in three years of occupation.
How many Greens are there in the military? It is taboo to even ask
the question. No American politician, even those speaking against
the occupation, discuss it without reference to “our brave men and
women in uniform.”
The army, the courts and the Bush administration will
probably make an example of Green and company. It will be politically
expedient for them to do so, but they should not be let off the
hook so easily.
Green and the Known Participants and the Sources of
Information are not the only guilty parties. The politicians who
sent them to Iraq are guilty. Americans who wanted to “finish the
job” and “take out Saddam” are guilty too. Everyone knows that atrocities
are inevitable in war, but they clamor for it anyway.
Americans have now turned against the occupation only
because it is harder than they thought. They are no more worthy
of deference than Bush and Cheney and they should not be allowed
to escape vilification either. Green is not alone in suffering from
a personality disorder. It must be contagious because millions of
Americans are suffering from the same disease.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears
weekly in BC. Ms. Kimberley is a freelance
writer living in New York City. She can be reached via e-Mail at
You can read more of Ms. Kimberley's writings at freedomrider.blogspot.com.