15 May 2004
By: Akbar Muhammad
Over four months ago, I received an e-mail from one of my friends, a sister who keeps me up to date on information from around the world. The e-mail linked to an article that stated American soldiers were raping Iraqi women and girls. I reviewed the e-mail and put it down. One side of me said no, the other side of me said maybe so. The pain I felt reflected upon the reality of what happens in war.
There aren't any doubts in my mind about the reports on torture of Iraqi prisoners. All you have to do is look at the pictures of Saddam Hussein after his capture when he was being examined on television across the world. He appeared to be drugged and unaware that he was being filmed to be humiliated and disgraced in front of the entire world. Can you imagine what the other captives have suffered at the hands of the American soldiers? For U.S. soldiers to go into a country steeped in Arab and Islamic culture and rape women in order to extract information from them, speaks not only to an unacceptable form of behavior to be condemned by the civilized world, but shows the arrogance and beastlike nature of those who have occupied the country of Iraq.
The excuse for this behavior is that the Reservist lacked proper training and had no knowledge of Arab people and culture. Given this ignorance and because of this they went into Iraq as raving beasts. The pictures that have surfaced say more about the mentality of the soldiers in Iraq than words could ever say.
According to an article in the Washington Post on May 4, 2004, by George F. Will, President Bush in another one of those cases of engaging his mouth before he engaged his brain said on Friday, April 30 in the Rose Garden the following:
“There is a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-governing. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people's whose skins aren't necessarily - are a different color than white can self-govern.”
Black people are of a different color and we come from a different culture than that of white Americans. What was President Bush trying to say in a slip of the lip in the Rose Garden? Even further, what did President Bush mean in light of what has been uncovered in Iraq? Somebody help me out! To the millions of Americans who are not of his skin color - he spoke as if all Americans are white in color. Maybe he is correct that there are some in America that only see the true American as his skin color. Where was he trying to go? I need help from someone other than his spin-doctors and handlers who have a difficult time making up his mind and making sense of his disjointed statements. In the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's press conference at the National Press Club on Monday, May 3, he mentioned the Neo-Conservatives (neo-cons). Perhaps they are the ones making up his mind.
Perhaps the mindset of the US soldiers in Iraq is indicative of what the President described. The sadistic, barbaric pictures I viewed depicted soldiers in U.S. uniforms gang raping Iraqi women in a most vicious manner, sodomizing them and forcing them perform oral sex on soldiers while they held a gun to their head. It is the same mentality that their fathers and their great grandfathers (white Americans) had, the former slave owners, who raped our Black men and women during the days of slavery.**
These pictures and the mention of what these soldiers did to the Iraqi women were available, then later blocked from the Internet. However, I was fortunate enough to make copies of the pictures before they became unavailable on the Internet. The difference from the days of slavery in America was that there were no cameras then. If there were cameras available to take pictures, I am sure with their sadistic minds, they would have been made. They would make the same pictures as they made of the men and women they hung from trees across America. From the 1880s to the 1950s photographs were taken depicting white men, women and children smiling while our people were burning and hanging.
Black men and women, in particular, know what goes on in the prisons of America where nearly 2.4 million men and women are incarcerated. When Black men and women see these pictures, they are not surprised because this mentality runs rampant in the prison systems of America. Stories of rape and how the prison guards facilitate the sodomy and torture of men through sadistic sexual methods are well known. They look upon us as animals and the abuse taking place in America's private prisons alone is enough to tell us clearly what they would do with the Iraqi people. The entire trend of the lifestyle called the "down low" comes directly out of the prison systems of America. It was mentioned that one of the soldiers involved in these tortures Ivan Franklin or perhaps "Ivan The Terrible" was a prison guard in the Virginia prison system. The rape of the Iraqi women in those prisons has been completely omitted from the Western press reports. The pictures were so vicious and humiliating to the entire Muslim and Arab world that the press has not mentioned them in the worldwide coverage on abuse scandal. In Bush's speech to the Arab world, he was too arrogant to say I am sorry or apologize for the behavior of these soldiers. After the beating he took in the press for not apologizing, he then offered his apology. However, this gesture was not a humble apology.
He was too arrogant to say that I am asking the Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to hand in his resignation. He knew that an apology would mean reparations and compensation to the men and women who have been brutalized in this most vicious fashion. It was said the CIA and the military intelligence instructed them to do this to ready them for interrogation.
The only thing that America can do now is fire Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, apologize to the Arab world, leave Iraq and let the Iraqi's go on to self-govern themselves. I am sure that the consultants for America from the Arab world have told them that many of these men and women will commit suicide, some of them will be killed because the faces of the women who were viciously raped and forced to perform oral sex on soldiers have been flashed in many parts of the world. These families cannot forgive and forget this. It is not within their culture to say all is forgiven and shake hands with Americans tomorrow. The people who have sense can see that this came from up on high and yet America refuses to begin to deal with them from the top. Perhaps President Bush should resign or the Congress should impeach him because ultimately the buck stops at his desk.
When was it written or said that America could or should outsource the guarding of prisoners of war, they are bringing in people who worked in the prison systems in America as private contractors or consultants. A clear example of this is that American Administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer's security force are private contractors. They are former soldiers many of them who are paid as much as $1,500 per day. This is why the soldiers with experience are falling over themselves to leave the military and take these jobs. This is another reason that the American government is considering the draft to continue to pursue these wars throughout the world.
In a recent news report covered on the inspection of the Abu Ghraib prison, according to the commentator, imprisoned women were screaming out for help and proclaiming their innocence. I thought long and hard on why the pictures of the women being raped were not shown in America and how they were wiped off the website. I also reflected on why the writings that I have read from one paper to another failed to mention what these women have suffered in Iraq.
In one article it was mentioned that this perverted, sadistic sexual abuse of the prisoners was the best way to break them quickly and make them talk. I could not help but wonder if this is what the American military and government officials learned from the Serbs of former Yugoslavia. The Serbs' insidious ethnic cleansing program, which was used to rid their country of the minority Muslim population, is responsible for the rape of approximately 60,000 Muslim women and the killing of their men. Is this the route that the American government is taking to change the culture and the politics of the Middle East and the Muslim world?
** The Tripoli Post after reviewing these graphic pictures refrains from publishing them as they are sadistic, repulsive and represent total disregard to human dignity and rights.
The writer is the African Representative of Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam is based in Ghana. Please send your comments to Africandtheworld@aol.com