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American Power in Mahmudiyah

Did you see her and want her so bad, that young, forbidden fruit? Did she once smile nervously at the checkpoint, and you thought it was just for you? Did you come on strong the next time around, flash a little money maybe, or lay a syrupy line on her that you got from a phrasebook? What did she do–recoil? Look away? Look disgusted? Look blank? What did she do to bring on the big hurt from a big, tough man like you?

So you planned it all out. You cased the house, you reconnoitred. You got your buddies in on it–or were they in from the start, did they make a play too, were they too turned away by this haughty Arab bitch, this piece of trash from a shitheap town in a shitheap country filled with nothing but lazy, lying, murdering towelheads? Somebody like that thinks they’re too good to give it up to you? You liberated her goddamned country, for Christ’s sake, and now she won’t even put out? That dog won’t hunt. Hell no. You and your pals had to teach her a lesson. You had the power, you had the guns, you were Americans; who was going to stop you?

So you set up the mission. You knew how to do it. How many houses had you raided before? Dozens, hundreds–who the hell knows? Who the hell cares? You went in and got her, you did what you wanted to her. You shoved the other hajjis into the next room, put a gun on them, then got down to business. Did your buds take a turn? Everybody get a taste? Or maybe you’d already ruined her before they got a chance–beat her, tore her, pounded her into goo? Who the hell knows? Who the hell cares? At some point, she just wasn’t worth it anymore. No fight left in her. Laid there like a limp rag. Passed out maybe.

So you took out your gun, you took out your power, you took out the thing that makes you an American–a real person, a human being — instead of a walking piece of shit like everyone else in that godforsaken hellhole of a country, you took it out and you shot her in the head. One shot, clean kill. Did you say anything? Crack a joke? “Not tonight, honey, I’ve got a headache.” Or did you just stand there and curse her, puking your self-righteous rage all over her dead body?

Who took charge after that? Was it you, or one of the others? It all started moving so fast, like a dream had been broken–or maybe this was the dream? Maybe it was all a dream, the whole fucking thing, from day one, all of it nothing, happening to nobody, going on nowhere, never. But the smell was real, you couldn’t get away from it, that wet smell, meat and guts in a slime of blood. It filled your nose, filled up your whole head behind your face, it lined your throat, coated your skin. And if the smell was real, then the whole thing.

Move, fast, now! The hajjis in the other room: no witnesses, goddamn it! Who’s this, the mother? Head shot, head shot, down. Who’s this old bastard? Father, brother? Who cares? Head shot, head shot, in the face, down. And what’s this? Oh for Christ’s sake, how old is she? Six? Seven? Eight? What are you going to do, wait till she grows up and comes looking for your ass? Catch her, goddamn it, just shoot, shoot! Down.

Now burn the other one. Yeah, the bitch in the other room. Set her on fire and get the hell out. Report terrorist activity. The Sunni bastards in the area. Secure the perimeter. Get your fucking story straight and keep your fucking mouth shut. We’re home free. Home free.

***

Is that how it went down? Does it still feel good? They got two of your brothers from the same platoon later, chopped off their heads. Reckon that was payback? Now the squealers are coming out. It’s in the goddamned papers. The brass are going to throw you to the dogs. They can be big men, they can rape whole countries, kill tens of thousands — but just let some grunt try to get a little on the retail side, and all hell breaks loose. It just ain’t fair.

Well, buddy, what can we say? You should have your fun last year, when there wasn’t an election. Nobody would have paid a blind bit of notice. And you should have called in an airstrike, not that half-assed burning job–nothing buries evidence like a 500-pound bomb.

The only thing now is to get a good military lawyer. The ones they got working for those Gitmo goobers seem like top-notch shysters–they just beat Bush at the Supreme Court, so try to get one of them. Then just hunker down. If you can string it out long enough, Bush’s media brigades can start working the refs for you, muddying the waters, smearing your accusers, providing the proper context, invoking 9/11. (And speaking of 9/11, isn’t that what it’s really all about? Isn’t that what you were really doing when you raped that girl and shot her in the head and burned her body and killed her family–defending our country from those who attacked us on that tragic day? What you did was justice, damn it, not a crime! Just like the whole war.) Meanwhile, Rummy will pull the insider strings to water things down to a wrist-slap somewhere along the line–after the elections.

So don’t sweat it, brother. You and your pals might be home free yet.

UPDATE: “Ex-GI Charged in Slaying of 4 and Rape in Iraq” — NY Times

Uh-oh. Too late for at least one of the marauders; he was already de-mobbed, and is now in the hands of civilian prosecutors. Uncle Rummy’s gonna have to cut you loose, compadre. Sure, he’s signed direct orders for the deaths of thousands of civilians every bit as innocent as that family you massacred — but then, he’s an Ivy League man, a corporate chieftain, a respected public servant, and you are just another hick from the sticks. Let this be a lesson to all the cannon fodder out there: don’t get above your raising, don’t emulate your betters. Law is for the lowly, not the great and good.

Excerpt from the NYT: Federal prosecutors said today that an American soldier killed an Iraqi man, two women and a little girl in their home the night of March 12 after the soldier and his comrades plotted to rape one of the women while drinking at a traffic checkpoint a short distance away. The prosecutors charged the suspect, Steven D. Green, 21, with shooting the four victims to death. They said he and others raped one of the women…

Prosecutors said the defendant was discharged from the Army “due to a personality disorder” before the March 12 incident came to light. An affidavit filed in connection with the charges raises the possibility that others will be charged, since the document states that “members” of the 101st Airborne Division killed the Iraqis and that “the same individuals” raped and killed one of the women. The others were not identified by name.

The affidavit, by an F.B.I. special agent, Gregor J. Ahlers, said details of the crime emerged during a “combat stress debriefing” on June 20. Private Green and at least three others planned the rape and told another soldier to monitor the radio while they went to the house near Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, according to the affidavit. Some of the participants changed out of their uniforms before going to the house and had blood on their clothes when they returned, the affidavit said.

After the murder-and-rape rampage, the affidavit states, the soldiers burned their clothes and told the comrade who had been left to monitor the radio that “this is never to be discussed again.”

FOOTNOTES:

Dead Reckoning: Bush Warriors Sign Off on War Crimes
CounterPunch, July 29, 2003

Ex-GI Charged in Slaying of 4 and Rape in Iraq
New York Times, July 3, 2006

Details Emerge in Alleged Army Rape, Killings
Washington Post, July 3, 2006

GIs May Have Planned Rape, Slayings
Associated Press, July 1, 2006

CHRIS FLOYD is an American journalist. He writes weekly column for The Moscow Times and is a regular contributor to CounterPunch. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

 

 

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Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

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