U.S. Takes Two Young Women "Hostage" in Early A.M. Monday Raid
U.S. Takes Two Young Women Hostage in Early A.M. Monday Raid
By: Jack Dalton
"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop." - Mario Savio
For some months now I have been writing back and forth to a gentleman in Iraq, Bassim. He’s a Civil Engineer and father. He struggles to raise his family in Baghdad. The daily bombings by U.S. war planes are running between 20 and 30 per day; and they are increasing, make surviving the day an act of heroism.
Death squads; criminals and gangsters make life in Iraq a living nightmare. And the worst of it is yet to happen. Look for the U.S. sometime shortly after the first of the year, 2006, to start massive carpet bombing in Iraq. I have it on very good authority, a source that must remain un-named for obvious reasons, that some Air Force Bomber pilots have been given “sealed” (classified) orders for deployment to Iraq. Iraq and the Iraqi people are going to end up being blown back further into the Stone Age that what has already been done to them.
In the meantime, young girls keep being hauled away for what reason…?
Bassim sent me the following email earlier. He received it from an Iraqi NGO and forwarded it to me. The rest of what I have to say on this will follow the letter Bassim forwarded to me:
Dear friends, I've received the here-under letter from an Iraqi independent NGO (this is who he writes for: http://www.iraqirabita.org/english/index.php) whose activities are to document, do the follow-up and reveal inhuman practices taken by the occupiers and the puppet regime in Iraq.
On Monday 25th November at 3a.m., a unit of US soldiers raided a house in the Bayaa’ district south of Baghdad. The small house was inhabited by Mrs Adeeba Raihan and her two daughters Hanan and Jihan.
Adeeba’s husband was killed in 1982 during the war with Iran. Her son, Jamal, died of cancer last year aged only 23. No men were therefore in the house. US soldiers were apparently working on the usual tip-off that an insurgent lived at this address.
It was very distressing for Adeeba’s small family to be woken up at gun point at this late hour. The girls were dragged from their beds: the first question they were asked was strangely whether they were Sunni or Shi’a.
The house was completely ransacked. Nothing was found apart from the family savings of 500,000 Iraqi Dinars ($340), their personal jewelry and two mobile phones. All were taken by US soldiers.
Having failed to find their catch, the soldiers decided to take the two girls instead. In the past such action has been taken to pressure family members to surrender themselves. Of course, Adeeba was extremely upset at the arbitrary detention of her remaining family. Her cries and pleas to the soldiers went in vain.
I have spoken to the girl’s cousins, Adnan and Hassan, who did not feel easy to talk about their ordeal. Detaining women in Iraq’s conservative society is not an easy issue, while Abu-Ghraib’s memories have not yet been forgotten.
I learnt from the cousins that an Iraqi translator working for the US army suggested to the family that they pay $8000 in order to secure the release of the girls.
We need to strongly condemn the practice of taking female hostages by US troops, which is a clear breach of international law. We must also demand the immediate and unconditional release of Hanan and Jihan.
I would be grateful if you would suggest ways of taking this matter further.
This has got to be looked into to say the least. Actually, looked into is incorrect; how about stopped immediately! How long are we going to keep allowing things like this—the carrying away of young girls in the middle of the night to who knows where or to what fate? Is this what you in this country, my “fellow” American citizens, want to be known for—war against innocent people, young girls and young boys?
For over two years Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Baghdad Bulletin (among many other groups and organizations) have been reporting on the human rights violations being perpetrated by the U.S. occupying force in Iraq.
One report after another have described the arbitrary and capricious imprisonment of people guilty of nothing more than being caught up in an outrageous “sweep”. Then months later, sometimes years, and after much pain, torture, rape, they are turned loose.
Welcome to “freedom and democracy” in Iraq. And it was brought to Iraq, the U.S. and the rest of the world by a shadow government around Dick Cheney—Wolfowitz, Feith, Hadley, Libby, Perle, Rove, Ledeen…I’ll stop as the list of names is too long to include here. Keep in mind that a lot of those involved with the planning and initiation of the invasion of Iraq come to us right out of Iran/Contra from the Ronald Reagan days in the 1980’s. Seems no matter how much things change they always seem to remain the same—at least in this nation relative to the national politics and policies.
But, this is one repetition of our history that must be stopped and stopped now! What is going on in Iraq, which would not be going on if we were not there, cannot be allowed to continue, period. Shooting and blowing up kids; arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, torture, murder, rapes of young boys and young girls—this is as wrong as wrong can be.
Here is some addition reading I highly recommend reading. Then get on the phone, write some letters and above all, scream loudly non-stop that the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of innocent people, especially this propensity for hauling young girls away in the dead of night (or any other time of day for that matter), as has just happened, again, has got to end and end now!
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Jack Dalton is a disabled Vietnam veteran, writer and activist that lives in Portland, OR. He is widely published on the internet. His story on rape in the military led to a 1 hour 60 Minuet special, Feb. 2005. He has a bog, “Jack’s Straight-Speak” http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/ and his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org