Saturday, December 26, 2015

I Hate The War

"'You will stay here until you die': one woman's rescue from Isis"?

Who needs this pornography?

Women in Iraq and Syria have been ignored repeatedly throughout the never-ending Iraq War -- and that includes by THE GUARDIAN newspaper.

The only exception has always been when they can be used as pawns to justify the never-ending war.

When, in Iraq, they were the victims of Nouri al-Maliki's government -- falsely arrested, imprisoned without appearing before a court, beaten and raped in prisons -- THE GUARDIAN and other outlets weren't interested in reporting on it.

They'd run an occasional column but that was really it.

This was happening, it was documented by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.  The Iraqi Parliament's investigation found these abuses and crimes -- and many others -- were taking place.

And Iraqis took to the streets to protest this.

And protested non-stop for over a year.

But THE GUARDIAN didn't see fit to cover that.

Or when any woman fights back.

That's not of interest.

But when they can do their little war porn -- and damage the lives of women while (and by) selling further war -- suddenly, they're interested in women.

Back in June, Samira Shackle (NEW STATESMAN) noted:

Anyone who has been following coverage of the conflict in Syria and Iraq will know that the region has seen a major rape crisis. Much of the media coverage has focused obsessively on the horrendous violence against Yazidi women and girls escaping from Isis captivity, with details sometimes bordering on the salacious about slave markets, forced marriage, and multiple rapes. Is it possible that this is doing more harm than good?
A group of scholars argued last year in the Washington Post that the coverage risks being counterproductive: “To scholars of sexual violence, these media narratives look typical in three related ways: They are selective and sensationalist; they obscure deeper understandings about patterns of wartime sexual violence; and they are laden with false assumptions about the causes of conflict rape.”

It's shameful, the way women are used as pawns.

It's shameful the way news outlets' cover (miscover) what's going on.

They've had no interest in the refugee crisis or how it's forced many women into sex labor -- especially in Syria. When countries 'welcome' refugees from Iraq but refuse to allow them to work legally, how do they really expect women to support themselves and their families?

They don't.

But THE GUARDIAN's never been interested in that story.

Nor have they cared to cover the sex work taking place in refugee camps.

Or, for that matter, the violence that so many female refugees live with.

But if they can scream "ISIS! ISIS! ISIS!" -- and, just by chance of course, also further sell war -- then they are all over it.

When Karen Hughes and others used women as pawns to sell war on Afghanistan, they only succeeded because the press was more than willing to help -- serving up 'reporting' that played out like the worst Lifetime movie.

This crap doesn't just happen.

Let's be really clear, in one of its final issues, OFF OUR BACKS covered Iraq and managed to so from a feminist perspective.  They were also able to report on the bordellos in Baghdad.  Bordellos, please note, which were ignored by the corporate press -- bordellos which were ignored for over ten years before they made it into some corporate reporting as an aside.

Using women to sell further war is ghastly.

It's also a convenient cover up -- as one press outlet after another presents the Islamic State in Iraq as the problem for women when, in fact, the problems started long ago with the US-invasion, the imposing of Shi'ite thugs (exiles) on the Iraqi population, the efforts of these theocrats (with the help of the US government) to strip women of their rights, and so much more.

The elimination of the Islamic State will not improve the lives of women.

The Islamic State is only one factor harming women in the region.

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!)

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4497.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and NPR music -- updated:


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