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Mike_from_NoVa Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:35 AM
Original message
Rape Rooms
You always hear the Bush administration and its flacks referring to Saddam's "rape rooms". I did a quick google on "iraq rape room" and found nothing in the way of proof, just neo-con assertions, porno, articles about rapes of US military women in Iraq, and some tasteless parodies.

Is there any proof that Iraqi 'rape rooms" really existed? Or is it just a sensationalist bluff everybody's too squeamish to call?

Just wondering.....
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. I dunno.
But it appears if there were such things, we have replaced them with midnight raids on homes, killing tens of thousands of them from the air with bombs, taking over their country and imposing our form of government on them, stealing their oil, and oppressing them arguably in a more bloody fashion than our former ally Saddam.

Out of the frying pan?
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gWbush is Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. and
Edited on Wed Mar-31-04 10:40 AM by Smirky McChimpster
covering there heads with black bags, plastic handcuffs behind their backs, body searching the women and stealing their jewelery and guns

winning the hearts and minds
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gWbush is Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. Also, remember that we have our own rape rooms - called prisons
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CO Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. Also Called "Promise Keepers Meetings"
:-)
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Also, motel rooms where Repuke Mayors invite 9 and 11 year olds
Phil Giordano -- THIS MEANS YOU, SLIMEBALL!
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prodigal_green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
4. I wouldn't doubt it actually
Rape has been used for centuries by oppressive regimes of all stripes. It is about the most demoralizing thing you can do to a woman and her family. It happens in prisons here all the time.
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. Well..if they had WMD...they can have rape rooms.
If Saddam had WMD...they can have rape rooms.
If Saddam was responsibe for 9/11...they can have rape rooms.
etc. Need I say more?
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eyesroll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. I do not doubt that rapes went on -- rape (male and female) has been used
for eons as torture, punishment, etc.

"Rape rooms" is a bit glib as a term. Not trying to be cute or anything, but I can't imagine there being a separate room, set aside for this purpose. But "rape rooms" just sounds scarier -- makes a better headline, perhaps -- then torture chamber, interrogation cells, or, more likely, someone's jail cell or own home.
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central scrutinizer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
7. that's why the Iraqi soldiers dumped the babies out of the incubators
They needed a new rape room.

<>
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
8. The language of "rape rooms" smells like propaganda, however
Rape was used by the Hussein government to instill fear or to compel compliance or humiliate opponents or whatever stupid reason people offer for abusing others.

Amnesty International has documented the use of rape by Saddam Hussein's Baathist government as a means of torture against people held in custody. Here is one document:

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engMDE140082001

They say for instance "Detainees have also been threatened with bringing in a female relative, especially the wife or the mother, and raping her in front of the detainee. Some of these threats have been carried out."

And from the full report:
Some women have been raped in custody. They were detained and tortured because they were relatives of well known Iraqi opposition activists living abroad. The security authorities use this method to put pressure on Iraqi nationals abroad to cease their activities. For example, on 7 June 2000 Najib al- Salihi, a former army general who fled Iraq in 1995 and joined the Iraqi opposition, was sent a videotape showing the rape of a female relative. Shortly afterwards he reportedly received a telephone call from the Iraqi intelligence service, asking him whether he had received the "gift" and informing him that his relative was in their custody.


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Mike_from_NoVa Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. thanks for the link
This is good. Some substance.

Evidence of "rape rooms" is not there. I still suspect there was no such thing. But there is at least one documented political rape in this report.

Some women have been raped in custody. They were detained and tortured because they were relatives of well known Iraqi opposition activists living abroad. The security authorities use this method to put pressure on Iraqi nationals abroad to cease their activities. For example, on 7 June 2000 Najib al-Salihi, a former army general who fled Iraq in 1995 and joined the Iraqi opposition, was sent a videotape showing the rape of a female relative. Shortly afterwards he reportedly received a telephone call from the Iraqi intelligence service, asking him whether he had received the ''gift'' and informing him that his relative was in their custody. http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engMDE140082001

It wouldn't be too effective to say "there is evidence that the relative of one political defector was raped for political purposes." So what number do you think AI's "some women" represents? 5,000? 100? 26? 2? Just the one?

I guess it doesn't matter in that: if one political rape happened that is one political rape too many. And I'm glad that the Baathist security apparatus is gone. I still think it cost us too much to do so.

So when do we fully adopt enforcement of AI's recommendations across the board? How about the AI documented political rapes in the Congo, Senegal, Chechnya? When do we invade?
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mikey_1962 Donating Member (263 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
9. Uday Hussein used rape as sport... Raped a bride on her wedding
night. So I would not doubt the rape rooms... Sounds consistent with their behavior
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Specific rooms for rape? Explain why a rape can't be carried out
most anywhere. I believe the Bushistas are constantly bringing up "rape rooms" in their speeches is to get more women to buy into the idea that the war was "worth it".
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
24. Says who? This is that internet rumor crap again...
there is no news, no interview, just pure PNAC propaganda.
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treepig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
10. probably not
but there's good evidence that saddam did have the intent to begin a rape room program
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
11. Why would they bother?
We know the Ba'ath Socialist Party was a bunch of rapin' thugs, but why have rape rooms? I think it would be much more effective from a psychological standpoint to kick in the door to the target's house and rape all the women in the house right in the target's own bed.

Rape is such a low-cost yet high-effectiveness form of torture. You don't need any equipment except a working penis and a couple of henchmen. You certainly don't need a whole room devoted to it.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. "Rape Rooms" were real
The real driver of the rape rooms wasn't Saddam but Uday. I work with an Iraqi woman who's family escaped the country after her sister became a victim of these things. There were three kinds of government santioned rapes that occurred.

1) "Executive Rapes": Uday and his higher officers would occasionally troll the streets of Baghdad looking for attractive girls to kidnap. This is what happened to my co-workers older sister (who was 16 at the time). She was walking along the street when several soldiers grabbed her...one of Uday's generals had spotted her and decided to "have" her. Her family had no idea what happened to her for days until her nude body was dumped on the street near where she was kidnapped. She has never spoken about what exactly happened, but my co-worker said that she had been beaten savagely, tortured (cigarrette burns on her face), and obviously gang raped (it was also common for the higher ups to turn their victims over to their soldiers when they were "done" with them). She still carries the scars from her ordeal, and can never have children because of it (which means, as an Assyrian, that nobody in her community will marry her). They destroyed her life.

2) "Morale Rapes": If a village or neighborhood was beginning to see any unrest, Uday would order his soldiers to raid the neighborhoods and kidnap any women they saw between the ages of 14 and 30. These women would be taken to rape rooms (really just Army barracks) and would be repeatedly and savagely gang raped by groups of soldiers. This did two things. First, it quelled unrest by making the people fear the government...you'd think twice about rebelling if it meant that your wives and daughters would be raped. Second, it empowered Uday's soldiers by dehumanizing the people that opposed them. It made them feel that they were superior to those that they were opressing.

3) "Torture Rapes": Women who defied the government could expect to be tortured and raped repeatedly as part of their punishment and interrogation. If a man was being questioned, it was somewhat common (especially in the more rural areas) for wives, sisters, daughters as young as ten, and even mothers to be repeatedly raped in front of the detainee to convince them to cooperate.
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yeah, and so were child prisons.
Only those bastards called them "orphanages."
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Mike_from_NoVa Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. thanks
Got a link for any of this? None of this was in that Amnesty International report. They're usually pretty thorough. It must be documented somewhere else, right?
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Not in Amnesty International report? Good point.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. Didn't see much on Amnesty
I did try HRW though and got these articles:

http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/mideast/iraq.html

"The rape or threat of rape has long been used in Iraq as a punitive measure against opponents to extract confessions or information or to pressure them into desisting from anti-government activities."

http://www.hrw.org/press/2003/04/iraq041003tst.htm

Here's an article from the Guadian regarding Uday:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1004174,00....

Here's a article with a compilation of HR stuff:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3007...
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Mike_from_NoVa Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. interesting.... thanks
First story contains the same specifics as the AI post above. So it's redundant. Still it seems to be the only story detailing an event from any time within the past 10 years.

Second story talks about Kuwait. There was an awful lot of BS flying around about how the Iraqis behaved in Kuwait - babies taken off incubators and such - that later turned out to be false. But the stories lived on and on as justification propaganda for the first Gulf War. I don't trust much of the Iraqi atrocities in Kuwait stuff. Besides which, it's 12 year old stuff and should have been vindicated during the first Gulf War. I.E., it doesn't stand as a justification for the second Gulf War.

Third story, on close reading, recounts Uday's behavior BEFORE he was exiled in 1988. We're talking 15 years stale on this set of allegations. Even more remote as justification.

Fourth story has essentially the same flaw. It's OLD NEWS. Stuff that should have been taken care of in the first Gulf War.

My reaction to all this is starting to be the same as my reaction to the unstuck-in-time "he gassed his own people!" allegation. Well yeah, but it was 12 years ago. If it was such an urgent problem, we would have done something about it long ago.

Are there any links to "rape room" stories that detail events from THIS millenium?
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NoMoreRedInk Donating Member (237 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. How free was the Iraqi press in publishing "Rape News" during...
the last 12 years. I think you might be looking for something that does not exist.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Hrm, interesting point
I just walked down the hall and told my co-worker that I was discussing Iraq on the internet, and asked her when her family emigrated here. 1989.

Of course, it's also possible that AI didn't address Uday because he really wasn't an official part of the government. He ran the fedayeen, which is paramilitary, but there was never anything "official" about anything he did with his soldiers. He was, for all practical purposes, just the leader of a sadistic, unofficial but government sanctioned militia.
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treepig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. is this woman any relation to our friend
mr. chalabi?
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. No.
I saw no reason why she would make up a story like that, if that's what you're intimating.
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Columbia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. I have heard many similar stories from Iraqis
Unfortunately, most of the stories probably never get out because many of these people who are raped/tortured are simply killed afterwards.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
22. Brutal regimes tend to have such things.
However, that would be fairly flimsy evidence to make an accusation on.
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-04 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
23. SENSATIONALIST BLUFF.
I too have done extensive research and came up with absolutely no corroboration at all to this ludicrous PNAC/bush claim.
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