Needless to say, the military is the bastion of patriarchy and violent masculinity.
Last week 23-year old US soldier Steven Green’s trial began at a U.S. District Court in Paducah, Kentucky. He is charged with premeditating and leading the gang rape of 14-year old Iraqi girl Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi and then massacring her family. In March 2006, a group of drunk soldiers dressed in black with their faces concealed went to a farmhouse around 20 miles south of Baghdad, gang-raped Abeer and shot her in the head. They then murdered her younger sister and her parents as well. They tried to burn the dead bodies and set the house on fire. After all this, Green was bragging about how “that was awesome.” (VOMIT!)
Initially insurgents were blamed for committing the atrocious crime but three months later, a soldier admitted the truth to a combat-stress counselor. This brutal attack was carefully premeditated. The soldiers were stationed at a traffic checkpoint near a town close to Abeer’s home, Mahmoudiya, and often went to the house to ogle at her.
A 2006 article in TIME magazine says:
Her mother, who grew concerned enough to make plans for Abeer to move in with a cousin, told relatives that whenever she caught the Americans ogling her daughter, they would give her the thumbs-up sign, point to the girl and say, “Very good, very good.”
Abeer’s brother Mohammed, 13, told TIME he once watched his sister, frozen in fear, as a U.S. soldier ran his index finger down her cheek. Mohammed has since learned that soldier’s name: Steven Green.
This is absolutely disgusting and shows how Green and the other soldiers felt the male sense of entitlement to and ownership of a woman’s body and sexuality. It is disturbing and sickening the degree to which Green and his cronies sexually harassed Abeer and then planned to gang-rape and murder her. I can’t imagine the horror and fear that the soldiers must’ve instilled upon Abeer, her mother, her brother, and her entire family.
Shortly after the brutal killings Green was discharged with a “personality disorder”. Since people discovered that he was one of the main perpetrators after he was discharged he is being tried in federal court instead of military court. Apparently he is the first former soldier to be tried in civilian court for conduct during war. He is being charged with conspiracy, rape, murder, unlawful use of a weapon and obstruction of justice. Even though he confessed to an army investigator that he was responsible for the crime, he is pleading not guilty. If convicted, he will get the death penalty.
Green’s attorney Patrick Bouldin, a public defender, said “You have to understand the background that leads up to this perfect storm of insanity. They couldn’t tell the village people and the farmers from the insurgents and the terrorists.” Lies. And more lies. Besides, this statement implies that it is completely acceptable to commit this heinous violence on insurgents and terrorists. Gang rape and violent murders should never be acceptable. It’s appalling that attorneys defend sick people like Green who commit heinous crimes and then brag about how “awesome” it was.
Let’s see how this case pans out.