Sunday, November 2, 2008

"We" support our [raping] troops!

More and more reports are surfacing about US troops raping and torturing women in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is nothing racist about these rapes - US soldiers are "equal opportunity rapists" - they even rape their own fellow women soldiers in what US Congresswoman called a "jaw dropping" raping spree by US servicemen. US mercenaries also rape and again, they even rape their own colleagues as the case of Jamie Leight Jones showed, but then - this kind of behavior is something one would expect from mercenaries; but soldiers? Some cannot even wait to get overseas to begin their rapes as the cases of women raped by US military recruiters illustrates.

Just as was the case with the widespread use of torture by US soldiers and intelligence officials, this constant flow of rape reports is not the manifestation of a "few bad apples": it is the expression of a corporate culture, if not a national one: an incredible one in six women and one in thirty three men in the USA will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

Now, in all fairness I have to admit that rapes probably occur in many other armed forces (it would be enough to recall here the endless list of rape and sexual abuse of children by various UN "peacekeeping" forces around the world). But, as Hegel taught us, quantitative differences eventually result in qualitative ones. Furthermore, the case of the US military is made even more unique by another feature: we are talking about the most advertised, propagandized and acclaimed army on the planet (can you imagine a bumper sticker in France with "nous supportons nos forces armees"?!). That, and the fact more money is spent on the US military than on all the other armed forces on earth combined. It is the combination which makes this orgy of rapes so uniquely obscene.

Something to think about this next time you see a "we support our troops" sticker.