Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Hate The War

The Green coverage. Not since a New York Times reporter tried to toss Erik Prince's salad publicly on the pages of the Times have reporters demonstrated a worse grasp of observational powers.

But Gail takes the cake. Gail takes the cake. Hi-ho-the-derry-oh, Gail takes the cake.

Steven D. Green who was convicted two Thursdays ago (three if you count today, I don't) in the gang-rape of 14-year-old Iraqi Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, her murder, the murder of her five-year-old sister and the murders of both of her parents. Today Evan Bright reports, "JURY UNABLE TO REACH VERDICT IN USA V GREEN. STEVEN DALE GREEN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON W/O PAROLE."

Gail McGowan Mellor's docudrama is entitled "The Death of Abeer in Iraq--What We Know Now" and plays at Women's Media Center.

Here she is describing the deceased Abeer, "As lanky as a colt, with big dark eyes" -- excuse me, is she describing a 14-year-old girl or Julia F**king Roberts? Why is she sexualizing Abeer?

And let's get really honest, there is no photo of Abeer at 14. Gail doesn't know what the hell Abeer looked like. The only photo of Abeer is from her rations card. When she's a child. No one Gail spoke to could describe Abeer to her. The US reporters never knew Abeer. No known reporter -- of any nationality -- knew Abeer.

So Gail just creates her own little world.

Facts are what she says they are and she'll bend 'em, she'll break 'em, she'll create a Lifetime TV movie and insist it's a documentary because, right before the credits scrawl, it says "based on a true story."

Betty brought this topic up in the roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin tonight and you'll see (tomorrow morning) that she says what I'm describing Gail doing is what Bob Somerby describes Rachel Maddow and Mikey Itsastink doing. (We really don't even mention that ass' name here. After his lies of the 90s, no one should ever have taken him seriously.) As Betty explained it, Somerby's explaining that Maddow and Mikey knew nothing for sure about a conversation they weren't present for and which was not recorded but they "play dolls" and create stories and dialogue. (I'm summarzing because I don't have time to read it right now. I've got to get this done and do my column for the gina & krista round-robin before I can go to bed. And it was a long day, we attended two hearings and we spoke and spoke and spoke on campuses.) So, yes, Gail's playing dolls too. Why worry about facts when you can create your own storylines?

Repeating, she has no idea what Abeer looked like as a teenager and there is no reason in the world for her to sexualize Abeer. Abeer is not Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Gail's entire article is ridiculous and if she's getting this from other reporters, her first question should have been, "Can I see the photo you have?" After learning there was no photo, her second question should have been, "Well when did you meet Abeer?"

Gail argues, "Green was the lone shooter who murdered the entire family, so the previous trials of others involved focused exclusively on the gang-rape and arson leaving Green’s actions vague." Let me be clear to Gail, putting that you've spoken to two reporters and they've walked you through doesn't give you a pass for any mistakes on a piece with your name on it. That is complete and utter b.s. There wasn't much regarding the actual crime that turned up in this hearing that was new. You can go back to the Article 32 hearing. You can go to any of the court proceedings. Let's drop back to the Weeping Rapist Paul Cortez. From the February 12, 2007 Iraq snapshot:

Turning to the topic of rape, we'll start with Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi. Andrea Hopkins (Reuters) reports on Paul Cortez confession ("broke down in tears as he described how he and others planned the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, murdered along with her family") that those paying attention in November already knew of when James P. Barker confessed -- gang rape of Abeer, she's then shot dead, kerosene is poured on her body as they try to burn her body and hide the evidence of their crimes, etc. Hopkins "While we were playing cards Barker and Green started talking about having sex with an Iraq female" -- only rape isn't "sex," is it? -- "Barker and Green had already known" where Abeer, 14-years-old, lived "what house they wanted to go to . . . knew only one male was in the house, and knew it would be an easy target."
[. . .]
Cortez states of his part in the gang rape, "She kept squirming and trying to keep her legs closed and saying stuff in Arabic. During the time me and Barker were raping Abeer, I heard five or six gunshots that came from the bedroom. After Barker was done, Green came out of the bedroom and said that he had killed them all, that all of them were dead. Green then placed himself between Abeer's legs to rape her". Somehow the report leaves out the drinking before and after, the changing of clothes after, the grilling of chicken breasts and the party atmosphere that followed these crimes. Hopkins tells you he was tearful. So was Abeer back when she could still cry.
As CNN reported during the August Article 32 hearing, Captain Alex Pickands' closing remarks included: "
They gathered over cards and booze to come up with a plan to rape and murder that little girl. She was young and attractive. They knew where she was because they had seen her on a previous patrol. She was close. She was vulnerable." It's really amazing that these war crimes received a stronger rebuke from the military than they did from much of the so-called left press.

If Gail had ever paid attention, she'd damn well know there were very few new details emerging during Green's trial. She'd also not be so stupid (one would hope) to suggest that Abeer wasn't raped by Cortez and Barker.

Let's quote from Third Estate Sunday Review's "Justice for Abeer and her family?" (November 19, 2006):

On Barker's statement last week admitting guilt, The Guardian of London noted he declared (in writing) that: ". . . Green dragged the father, mother and younger sister into a bedroom, while Abeer was left in the living room. . . . Barker said Cortez appeared to rape the girl [Abeer], and he followed. He said he heard gunshots and Mr. Green came out of the bedroom, saying he had killed the family, before raping the girl and shooting her with an AK-47."Ryan Lenz (AP) reported that Barker testified to Lt. Col. Richard Anderson that Steven D. Green came up with the plan and, of the rape of Abeer, that "[Paul] Cortez pushed her to the ground. I went towards the top of her and kind of held her hands down while Cortez proceeded to lift her dress up." Kind of held her hands down?

There were no real details about the War Crimes themselves emerging in Green's case. You really have to have ignored the crimes for nearly three years now to argue what Gail tries to.

Gail wants you to know (she's cribbing about six different sources and it's not the two reporters she credited) that among the things the soldiers did was "flirt" with Abeer. Abeer was 14-years-old. Everyone of the US soldiers were over 18. It's not flirting.

And when a young girl goes to her parents in fear, it's not "flirting." Get a damn clue, Gail, it was never flirting. It was harassment.

Though Gail has no mastery of the facts, she wants you to know that Barker, not Green, was 'probably' the ringleader. No, Gail, save your bulls**t. You stupid idiot. We're supposed to believe that everyone lied, is that it? Everyone? Everyone lied to the military and got away with it?

And they make fun of the 911 Truth Movement? (For those late to the party, we aren't part of the 911 Truth Movement. But we do not make fun of them. They are obviously sincere in their search for answers.)

Gail winds down her bad creative writing exercise stating, "The story came out because that June, two 101st Airborne soldiers innocent of the al-Janabi crimes were kidnapped, tortured and beheaded. In the belief that their treatment was revenge for the murders, a soldier who had heard Green talk blurted out the story to an Army counselor." Gail, you don't know what you're talking about yet again.

Justin Watt came forward. He did not participate in anything. He heard the stories. Justin Watt came forward and went to an Army counselor -- after speaking with his father and getting advice from his father -- because it was thought if he attempted the chain of command the incident would be hushed up. Justin Watt is a hero in this and he has been targeted by superiors and treated like crap. He did a brave thing and his name needs to be mentioned. It's really tacky considering what he risked and what it has cost him since not to give him the credit he deserves. He was very torn about telling anyone. He discussed it with his father over the phone because he needed advice. He did the right thing and of all the US soldiers involved in this, he deserves to be noted. If he hadn't come forward, it would still be 'insurgents.' That's what the New York Times printed in March of 2006. That's what they reported.

Justin Watt came forward. He did a brave thing and shame on anyone who wants to minimize his actions or the turmoil that he wrestled with before and while talking to his father.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4295. Tonight? 4299.

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