By Ed Kinane ICH 2/9/07
[Katherine: Ed Kinane is a member of the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee Advisory Board.]

A man is raping a woman. He has been raping the woman off and on for many years. Despite her vigorous resistance, for the past four years he rapes her relentlessly. He occupies her body. He shares her with his friends.

When must he withdraw? Only when he is spent? Only when it’s convenient?

The word “occupation” (like “invasion”) was carefully avoided by the authors of the Iraq Study Group Report. But even that taboo word is vague, anemic. It muffles reality. The U.S. invasion — and ongoing violation — of Iraq is mega-rape. It is mega-crime. It is war crime.

Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles declares that, “Crimes against peace [include] planning, preparation, initiation or waging a war of aggression….”

Principle I reads, “Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.”

Many of us urging U.S. withdrawal from Iraq — whether ASAP or at some unknown future strategic date — fail to realize that even if no foreign soldier is there, the war crime won’t cease.

While utterly necessary, removing all U.S. troops from Iraq isn’t sufficient. Doing so won’t end U.S. aggression. It is the U.S. air war that is responsible for so many of the tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties. Unless we explicitly mobilize against the air war, when our troops are deployed elsewhere, this less publicized assault will surely continue.

But let’s assume that somehow both the land war and the air war cease. Let’s assume the rapists disentangle themselves from their victim’s bleeding limbs. Is the victim’s protracted ordeal over?

No. The trauma persists.

Apart from the mass killing, apart from the mass maiming,

~ chaos and terror reign.

~ ethnic and sectarian tensions have been intensified.

~ much of Iraq’s public health infrastructure has been demolished.

~ many of Iraq’s sacred places and sacred traditions have been despoiled.

~ Iraq’s environment has been poisoned by the toxic and radioactive depleted uranium used in U.S. weaponry.

~ U.S. corporations are expropriating Iraq’s resources and devouring her newly privatized enterprises.

~ Iraqis — already bankrupted — are being forced to repay the billions Saddam Hussein borrowed from his western banker allies, i.e. his odious debt.

~ Iraqis are being forced to pay billions in reparations to Kuwait for a war they were conscripted to wage. (But who pays Iraqis their reparations for the devastation they endure?)

In a civilized country rapists are indicted and incarcerated. The architects of Iraq’s rape — Cheney and Bush and their neo-con and corporate cronies — are too dangerous to be allowed to run loose. A Nuremberg-like tribunal must be organized to quarantine them for decades to come.

In 2003 Ed spent five months with Voices in the Wilderness in Iraq. Reach him at