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WOMEN AND GAYS DONíT COUNT


...During the Baíathist years, Iraqi women dressed in styles as diverse as those in the west. If a woman wanted to "take the veil," she was allowed. But no woman was ordered to perform such a ritual (...) Todayís Iraq is totally different. I donít have to repeat some of the horror stories of women now not being able to leave their houses without two male family members, or women being beaten because of their style of dress. There have been many reported incidents. In addition to the regression of women in Iraqi society at the hands of a few fundamentalist U.S.-appointed stooge politicians, many Iraqi women have been humiliated and even raped by U.S. troops. Again, there are many published articles concerning these abhorrent actions. So, Iraqi women are doubly-damned: with the fall of a government that held them in high esteem, they must put up with social mores that are against their own beliefs; and add to that the presence of the military personnel who forced the old government out...

[22717]



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WOMEN AND GAYS DONíT COUNT

Malcom Lagauche

055d77c3e8c475.jpeg

U.S. soldiers and Ayatollah Sistani: deadly combination for Iraqi women


April 20, 2006

One of George Bushís reasons to attack Iraq was to make the lives of female Iraqis better. In fact, if you check out the news from May and June of 2003, you will see staged photos of Iraqi women hailing the arrival of U.S. troops. Saddam was gone and now they could be free.

Anyone with an IQ in double figures knows this was not the truth. Since the March 2003 illegal invasion, the lives of most Iraqi females have been constantly in a downward spiral.

A few weeks ago, headlines such as "Iraqi Women Better Off Under Saddam" began appearing in the mainstream press. Itís a shame that it took three years for the media to awaken to this fact.

On April 19, 2006, an article titled "United States Is No Help To Iraqi Women" appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It began:

A new poll of leaders of Iraqi womenís-rights groups finds that women were treated better and their civil rights were more secure under deposed President Saddam Hussein than under the faltering and increasingly sectarian U.S.-installed government.

This is doubly troubling. Itís troubling because the Bush administration used the issue of women to justify its now widely criticized invasion of Iraq in part by promising to improve the situation of women.

Itís troubling second because the administration has issued news releases, held public meetings and tried to gain media attention (as well as U.S. public support) for all the "good" itís supposedly doing the women of Iraq via this invasion.

It appears that women are being hit along all lines: employment, importance in the public sector, and their wishes to dress how they want. The article continued:

IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks, a U.N. news agency) reports the survey findings as follows: " Ö womenís basic rights under the Hussein regime were guaranteed in the constitution and more importantly respected, with women often occupying important government positions. Now, although their rights are still enshrined in the national constitution, activists complain that, in practice, they have lost almost all of their rights."

The report says more men are ordering women to "take the veil" (wear coverings from head to toe), and fewer women are working in professional jobs than when Saddam was in power.

In other words, all the attempts the administration has put forward (scripted events and photos) to make it appear that Iraqi women are experiencing their finest hour is total hogwash. And, the U.S. public is buying it.

During the Baíathist years, Iraqi women dressed in styles as diverse as those in the west. If a woman wanted to "take the veil," she was allowed. But no woman was ordered to perform such a ritual.

Yesterday, I read a blog by an Iraqi woman who attended the University of Baghdad in 1999. She spoke of the secular experience in glowing terms, indicating that she and her female friends dressed in jeans and t-shirts, as well as fashionable attire. She said rarely did she see a student dressed covered from head to foot, and, when she did, the student was usually from Yemen or Saudi Arabia. Iraqi females, for the most part, did not "take the veil."

Todayís Iraq is totally different. I donít have to repeat some of the horror stories of women now not being able to leave their houses without two male family members, or women being beaten because of their style of dress. There have been many reported incidents.

In addition to the regression of women in Iraqi society at the hands of a few fundamentalist U.S.-appointed stooge politicians, many Iraqi women have been humiliated and even raped by U.S. troops. Again, there are many published articles concerning these abhorrent actions. So, Iraqi women are doubly-damned: with the fall of a government that held them in high esteem, they must put up with social mores that are against their own beliefs; and add to that the presence of the military personnel who forced the old government out.

Despite a two or three-year lapse in bringing this situation to the public, I believe we are now gong to hear more and more of the sad plight of todayís Iraqi female population.

Now, letís talk about gay and lesbian Iraqis. They are now undergoing their darkest days in the history of the country.

On April 17, 2006, BBC News published an article called "Gays in Iraq Fear For Their Lives," written by Michael McDonough. According to the article:

"I donít want to be gay anymore. When I go out to buy bread, Iím afraid. When the doorbell rings, I think that they have come for me."

That is the fear that haunts Hussein, and other gay men in Iraq.

They say that since the U.S.-led invasion, gays are being killed because of their sexual orientation. They blame the increase in violence on the growing influence of religious figures and militia groups in Iraq since Saddam Hussein was ousted.

Islam considers homosexuality a sin. A website published in the name of Ayatollah Sistani, Iraqís most revered Shia cleric, says gays should be put to death.

"Those who commit sodomy must be killed in the harshest way," says a section of the website dealing with questions of morality.

Sistani, the Iraqi icon who can not speak Arabic, holds much power in Iraq. Currently, the U.S. administration is kissing his bottom and is asking his help to get rid of Jafari, the current Iraqi prime minister. For a while, in the game of American-appointed musical prime-ministers, Jafari was okay. But, heís now outlived his usefulness.

Just last week, the Bush administration called Sistani a great man who possesses much wisdom and courage. How many governments on this planet would praise a person who calls for the extermination of an entire segment of a population? Probably only one, and it is the one that points fingers at other leaders and hollers "another Hitler."

Evidently, one of those who was labeled "another Hitler" did not call for the extermination of gay Iraqis. Last week, an Iraqi gay, Ali Hili, who fled to Britain two years ago, was interviewed by Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now," the probing radio program of WBAI-FM of New York. When Goodman asked him, "What was your experience in Iraq, and why have you gone into exile, he responded:

Iraq, at the time of Saddam, was ó I mean, Iím talking about as a gay Iraqi ó it was not as bad as we can see now. In fact, it was a little bit ó we have a little bit acceptance. Not too many intimidation. People were really accepting gays, especially in theater, in entertainment and media. We had several actors, singers, which were very popular before. There was no homophobic attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Most of them were welcome in the community and the society.

Gee, another group that was better off under Saddam. They seem to be popping up all over the place lately.

Many of the so-called "human rights" groups are only in business for self-promotion. For instance, Amnesty International was asked about the current plight of Iraqi gays and said that it had never heard about the plans of Sistani. Hogwash again. Amnesty International picks and chooses its cases, yet it puts across the myth that it is involved with universal violations. Remember, this is the same "human rights" group that announced in October 1990 that Iraqi soldiers had killed babies in a Kuwait hospital. The announcement was made without one eyewitness. But, Amnesty International thrived on anti-Saddam rumors and spread the biggest lie that demonized the Iraqi government more than any other incident, leading the world to believe the Iraqis were nothing more than savages.

Why is there not a human rights group publicizing the proposed extermination of gay Iraqis? We have been given ample warning in print from Ayatollah Sistani that such a project is underway.

Why are there no human rights groups with clout willing to take on the plight of Iraqi females? For the same reason as there is not one willing to stand up for gay Iraqis: it is not their political interests to admit to the world that women and gays were not persecuted under Saddam Hussein.

Currently, the people of Iraq are undergoing purges more dire than any citizenry has undergone in the same amount of time in history. They are not secret. No one can say, like they did about Cambodia, that there was no indication these atrocities were occurring. No one can say these vile actions were committed in secret. Professors, doctors, scientists, teachers, engineers, gays, women, and other groups are dropping like flies by the thousands in Iraq. Human sewage, such as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Sistani, Allawi, Chalabi, Jafari, and many others, are openly murdering and torturing people by the hundreds of thousands, all the time bragging about it and publicly stating that their efforts are honorable. And, much of the U.S. public is cheering them on.

When the depth of this tragedy is finally publicized and given the proper context, it will be years after the fact. Todayís Jewish populace has a saying about these kinds of activities: "never again." Well, it is "again," yet they silently watch and approve. The Arab leadership of the Arab world is silent. They have been bought and paid for. Countries that normally would be vocal are silent because of economic reasons. "Never again" are very hollow words.


:: Article nr. 22717 sent on 20-apr-2006 12:01 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=22717

Link: www.malcomlagauche.com/id1.html



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