Daily Amnesia or Learned Ignorance?
In the United States, as the media elevates stardom over brains, reason or compassion, Laura Bush (rarely has she been asked, is we payin’ attention to reality yet?) receives a forum to explain why Americans are not overjoyed and gung-ho about the war crime that is Iraq. Giving a narrative that would make Karl Rove proud, on Live with Larry King (26 February 2007) she explained that she understands “how the American people feel” when they express frustration over Iraq, but insisted that “to leave now would be a serious mistake.” Then Bush added a line worthy of Faux News,
“[M]any parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everybody.”
Where to start? First of all, I do not see any bombings on television. Though occasionally American mainstream networks will show the result of a car bomb, because American reporters are not safe to cover Iraq, much less Baghdad, unless they get footage from al-Jazeera or other Arab/Muslim reporters, we see nothing but dated film of events from months ago.
But secondly, and more importantly, the idea that there is only one bombing a day in the entire nation of Iraq, a place with over 150,000 occupying American troops, and nearly 200,000 mercenaries, is ludicrous. A cursory review from the jingoists of the U.S. military shows that Laura is either stupid or a liar.
One hundred and Eighty, but who’s counting?
As reported by John Aravosis, Stars and Stripes said:
Attacks against coalition forces in Iraq averaged nearly 180 a day in January , the highest level since major combat operations ended and more than double the rate [from January 2006] … Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee [in February 2007] said that “the attacks matched the previous high, set in October 2006.”
Attacks on [Iraqi] civilians also reached a new high, with almost 50 per day in January , according to the agency. Attacks [by non-American troops] on Iraqi Security Forces remained [were] about 30 a day.
In addition to the suffering of American occupiers and mercenaries, according to the U.S.-friendly Iraqi government claims that over 1600 Iraqis were killed in war-related violence in the month of February … triple the number from February 2006. And then there is that other place … Afghanistan, where the U.S. Air Force averages over 10 bombing runs a day – over 300 per month.
That civilians in Iraq have been and continue to suffer from rapes, torture, vicious murder and general abuse at the hands of now both the American troops and the American-trained and installed Iraqi security forces is of little concern to Laura Bush, Larry King, the rest of the mainstream media and millions of Americans. But the reality of the savagery and brutality that is daily life in Iraq continues. Fortunately, we have a window on this world through writings of women on the ground, as the President of the non-sectarian, non-religious, Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Yanar Mohammed tells us.
After Four Years of Occupation and Oppression Our Struggles Continue
Since the U.S. invasion and occupation, women of Iraq have lost most of their civil and human rights gained through the 20th century. As the U.S. officials handpicked Shia, armed Kurds, and have worked to divide and conquer Iraq, the nation turned from a modern country of educated and working women, who were celebrated and held positions of power, much less could walk freely down the street, into a divided land of Islamic and ethnic warlords who compete in erasing Iraqi women from the social realm. The destinies and lives of millions of women and girls in Iraq are now being wasted, caught between the destructive US war machine and Islamic rulers who demand that women dress in black and deny their worth.
Freedom’s power, a gift from the Almighty
After four years of “democratizing” Iraq, systemic group rapes of detained women have become a routine procedure to be practiced in police stations and detainment camps. It has also become another ugly face of the atrocious sectarian war where assaulting females of another sect is considered a political victory and punishment. Abeer, Sabrine, and Wajidah’s sufferings were known, heard, and ended, but hundreds of unknown assaulted women still get beaten, raped and videotaped daily in the Iraqi ministries and around the monster-sized American military bases and compounds.
Sectarian genocide and gynocide have horrified millions of women now politically speechless and socially paralyzed. In the same time, the American occupation unleashed the freedoms of religious legislators to abolish any possibility of constitutional rights for Iraqi women. Iraqi women are left vulnerable to misogynist religious norms of their clans. So we can add another charge against the occupiers, they have set in motion a system to commit human rights crimes against generations of unsuspecting Iraqi females to come.
The Totality and Need for Action
In a time of unprecedented poverty and destitution in Iraq, the oil resources are now awarded to foreign companies in generous deals which deprives 25 million Iraqis of a most needed wealth, while our new laws will provide only a minimal share to the ruling parties – divided on a ethno-religious and sectarian basis. This social division, a historic first in Iraq, will only fuel the civil war to higher and deadlier levels.
American occupation forces have chosen to support and empower the enemies of women and the enemy of freedom. Their relentless efforts of weakening and destroying women of Iraq have hit the highest point of inhumanity and barbarism. Nevertheless, the free women and people of Iraq can organize their ranks and refuse these atrocities. They struggle for freedom and equality to be achieved under a secular non-ethnic government in which the aspirations of women, youth and workers are represented.
OWFI calls on this International Women’s Day upon the freedom loving millions around the world to stand by us in this Dark Age of the New World Order. Do not watch in sorrow. Come forward. Contact us and become part of a worldwide movement to end the occupation and build a free secular egalitarian alternative in Iraq. Our struggles continue.
President of Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI)