Stains

Today on the 6th anniversary of the opening of a black stain on the soul of America, Guantanamo Bay prison. I was going to write about the necessity of the base being closed and the prisoners charged, tried, or released, but another stain has been nagging at me today.

The hidden stain of female members of the military being abused by fellow soldiers, Marines, or sailors is one that is regularly ignored or glossed over by a corporate media that rejects all bad news stories from war zones and reports Pentagon propaganda like it is fact: until today, that is.

Pregnant, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach, who has been missing since she was reported missing by her mother on December 19th has been determined to have been murdered by the father of her child (another Marine) who she had reported for rape. The corporate media is all over this tragic story because they should report it and because Maria is a very pretty, white woman.

One would have to search the internet to read about other stories of abuse. It is reported that up to 80% of females have been sexually harassed and 30% have actually been raped. Spc. Suzanne Swift was raped and sexually harassed during her tour of duty in Iraq and was going to be forced to go on a second deployment with her tormentors and, suffering from horrendous PTSD, went AWOL instead—Suzanne was punished by the military, but her attackers went free. How many cases like Pvt. LaVena Johnson’s (died in Afghanistan in 2005) ended in a tragic death that was reported as suicide—but there are indicators that she may have been killed because she reported the name of her attacker at a subsequent Doctor’s appointment.

Then there are the often reported (in alternative news) claims that female troops die of dehydration in their sleep because in 120 degree weather they stop drinking water after 3:00 pm to avoid having to take a trip to the latrine at night: trips that too often ended in being sexually assaulted. According to former National Guard General, Janis Karpinski, the cause of these deaths were covered up with the knowledge and encouragement of General Ricardo Sanchez: who was NOT punished for his part in the stain of Abu Ghraib, but Ms. Karpinski was. Hmmm….

I would venture to say with almost 100% certainty that we American families do not raise our sons to become rapists and murderers. As a matter of fact, I would emphatically state that we try and teach our sons not to do these things. I am also sure that most troops do not go to Iraq expecting to rape a fellow soldier, Marine or sailor. Psychiatrist, Robert Jay Lifton, who has studied war crimes and war criminals, states that war will always provide “atrocity-producing situations.” Our sons (and now daughters) that commit these crimes are rarely sociopaths or disordered individuals—just put in impossible situations by their civilian and military leaders and expected to act honorably when there is absolutely no honor in war.

As bad as the situation is for our soldiers and their families, and as underreported as sexual assault in the military is, we as American consumers of corporate media drivel will never know the full scope of the rapes and murders of the Iraqi people by our military. The few incidences that have hit the corporate media are quickly passed over and replaced by Anna Nicole’s death or Ellen’s dog.

I pray that the sad and horrible death of Maria Lauterbach will have the positive effect of highlighting just one in a long list of stains that have been provided by the “atrocity producing” Bush regime. I wish for her family, and the millions of families who have been devastated by the pigs of war, some kind of peace.

Our world is saturated with the blood-stains of millions of people who have been victimized by war. Death from war is one-hundred percent preventable and must be truly outlawed as any kind of way to solve problems; just, unjust; legal or illegal. The true criminals reside in places with lofty names like White House, palace and legislature. Until these people are punished, tragedies like Maria’s, Suzanne’s, LaVena’s and so many more, will continue.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. Sheehan is a congressional candidate running against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. You can visit her campaign website at CindyforCongress.org. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy, or visit Cindy's website.

28 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Marcelle Cendrars said on January 12th, 2008 at 9:46am #

    This is important, of course. Our military is also responsible for making uninhabitable –within the U.S. alone– a land mass the size of Florida. There are other counts on which our military should be castigated…and stopped. Of course. However, one “problem” here is the author’s “repetition” of…drawing attention to… “the ‘atrocity producing’ Bush regime.” That focus…which suggests (over and over in Left Literature) that things were significantly better under other “regimes” is way…counterproductive. It’s long past the time when Bush should be singled out. Even in passing.

    Again, the points the author makes must be paid attention to, dealt with. But that’s not going to happen if we don’t make very clear to one and all…repeatedly that what the U.S. is all about –regardless of which administration is in fashion– is rotten to the core. And…underscore…that we must believe we can do without war…without our military…without the U.S. itself…as it stands…on the broken necks of others…and more.

    The author’s well-intentioned efforts to change the status quo by running for office…are doomed. For obvious reasons…that I’d be happy to delineate upon request at moc.oohaynull@ardnecb. Another approach to dealing with an electoral system is called for. Another angle for putting a dent in all of this.

    Best, Marcelle

  2. HR said on January 12th, 2008 at 10:19am #

    In a country where war criminals like Henry Kissinger and Robert McNamara have walked free for decades as distinguished and respected human beings, a country where torture and war have become atrocities that most accept, even look forward to, it seems to me unlikely that any large, or lasting, uproar is likely to be seen coming from the U.S. public. Hell, we even revere the arch-criminals, Nixon and Reagan, more so with each passing decade.

    The crap that passes for entertainment here, particularly via the medium of television, says more about us as a people, about our real thoughts and feelings, than all the high-minded philosophic and right-wing revisionist historical drivel ever written. And, it depicts the essence of our “society” perfectly. Television didn’t make us that way … it just provided a mirror to entertain us, gave us exactly what we wanted, based as it was on careful psychological evaluation of our inner desires and wants.

  3. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 12th, 2008 at 12:02pm #

    Is the Cindy Sheehan campaign aware that there is no way to communicate with it by email — only a way to contribute to it by email — at CindyforCongress.org?

  4. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 12th, 2008 at 2:24pm #

    Marcelle Cendrars. I agree with you that the Chipmunk inherited policies and a history (just since World War II even) spotted with American genocide, turpitude and abominations, foreign and domestic. There’s an utterly new situation facing anti-war radicals, on the other hand, and I do not say this to condone “Left Literature (suggesting) things were significantly better under” prior presidencies — in fact it seems to me everyone on the left must desist from criticizing anyone for what they have not said. I say it because I believe it is in your very word, “counterproductive” to castigate anti-war activists who are actually engaged in The Electoral Process As It Exists Today — seven words which I can hardly type without holding my nose — for not emphasizing the most horrible truths about the American electorate. Whose votes they ask for with their next breaths, as it were.

    We should waste neither Cindy Sheehan’s time nor ours with these castigations. TEPAIET is there; Cindy Sheehan is the best anti-war candidate participating in it; so “I’d just say good luck,” to paraphrase Bobby D. While continuing to contribute to Cindy’s campaign to dislodge Nancy Blahblahgosi.

    Lloyd

  5. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 12th, 2008 at 3:31pm #

    Okay. Cindy Campaign.

    One problem regards your periodic update letters sent to contributors to Cindy’s campaign, and it is: simply replying gets a failure notification. Despite there being a reply-to line saying in effect, a simple reply will not fail. That is, the email address
    moc.noitcaniycarcomed.liamnull@ydnic generates a failure notice. So, you should start sending out those updates from grO.ssergnocrofydnicnull@tcatnoc. Which is in fact the emailing address provided when a reader clicks on the CindyforCongress.org provided by the editors of DVoice following Cindy’s article (above).

    A second problem regards just clicking on the CindyforCongress.org (above), and it is: many (some?) readers like me do not have Internet Explorer as our default browser. And in that case, there is no “send” available to email the form provided after following the CindyforCongress.org link (above). So you should request the editors to provide moc.noitcaniycarcomed.liamnull@ydnic as a contact email in addition to CindyforCongress.org in the bio following Cindy’s articles. That will give readers who do not have IE as their default browser a valid email address for the campaign, and prevent them from being completely flummoxed by encountering a form email that can’t be emailed – as I was for longer than I care to admit.

  6. Deadbeat said on January 12th, 2008 at 5:57pm #

    However, one “problem” here is the author’s “repetition” of…drawing attention to… “the ‘atrocity producing’ Bush regime.” That focus…which suggests (over and over in Left Literature) that things were significantly better under other “regimes” is way…counterproductive. It’s long past the time when Bush should be singled out.

    That’s not a fair and accurate assessment of Cindy Sheehan’s position. Ms. Sheehan’s politics has progress and she is running an independent campaign against “impeachment off the table” Nancy Pelosi. She also wrote an article here on DV critical of Hillary Clinton and has was arrested protesting John Conyer’s office.

    In fact this weekend (Sunday) Cindy Sheehan’s will be moderating the Green Party Presidential debate which will feature Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney. This is the perhaps the strongest field of Presidential candidates participating in the Greens and perhaps the best field to encourage grassroot organizing as well as a boost for local party candidates.

    Once the left get past the Ron Paul phenomenon they can get serious behind a truly progressive campaign and candidate.

  7. Hue Longer said on January 12th, 2008 at 7:11pm #

    Marcelle,

    When I first saw Cindy get recognition and “fame” from Dems, I thought the poor lady was getting used and had that same US American flaw of exceptionalism that every flag waver has…”Our” deaths are more important than “theirs”.

    She has come a long way from when Air America was patronizing her on a daily basis and has even written acknowledgments concerning her journey to self realization.

    Like Dead said, she goes after the Dems and I believe just as hard if not harder…but finds it important to throw spears at the man we’re told is in charge.

    I don’t have much faith in the ballot box for numerous reasons, but believe that Cindy can make some noise to embarrass the throne. If the fix isn’t in and she can pull the votes, even better. Maybe your correspondence should be sent to Nancy instead of Cindy?

  8. dan elliott said on January 12th, 2008 at 7:13pm #

    Let’s separate Ms. Sheehan’s point made in this article from discussion of her participation in electoral politics and her campaign vs Nasty Pelousi?

    First, this article: she strongly makes a point that needs to be made over and over again until some sizable percentage of American women can be brought to realize: joining the US Military is an even more idiotic choice for a female than for male victims of the recruitment snowjob.

    Before they stopped letting anti-Recruitment protesters within hailing distance of the busses delivering cannon fodder to the local MEPS, we used to go out there in the morning & watch all the freshfaced kids being loaded into the hopper. Especially poignant was seeing the young women obediently doing as told, without a clue what they were getting into or becoming a part of.

    So maybe if somebody reads Ms Sheehan’s eloquent plea, maybe some will be moved to go to places like singles bars frequented by young women of the less affluent strata, there to scrawl well chosen words on the walls of the Women’s? Or maybe paste up little flier things, big enough for a slogan and a paragraph, the backs covered with waterproof adhesive?

    I’ve been studying Persuasion a little recently. Not really my trip, was a total bust as a Salesman. But these Edward Bernays-school Psychologists they have marketing Be All You Can Be etc have figured out some stuff about how the avg. Ameerkkkan’s mind works. Point the first: rational argument will make no dent whatsoever.

    What you have to do is decide what concept you want to promote or denigrate. Then you choose a Frame for it, and by putting one simple idea inside a frame made of another simple idea, you forever link the two. For instance:
    US Army = Sexual Abuse.
    Cammo Fatigues = Getting Raped.
    Joining Military = Putting self in danger, like walking into biker bar.

    Once ideas like these become Urban Legends, and ruralpovertyarea legnds too, become part of the Word of Mouth Folklore women learn as teenagers, not only will the numbers of women willing to take King George’s (or Queen Hillery’s) Shilling be drastically reduced, Joining Up will become much less a Socially Approved choice for young men who don’t know what to do with themselves. If when John says “I dunno, maybe I shld join the Army, get an education…”, Marsha comes back “Don’t you dare, what are you, a dummy?”

    Anyway that’s my take on that. There are some pts to be made about Ms Sheehan, Democrats & “progressive” Democrats, Zionists & Cryptozionists but I don’t feel up to it right now.Oh boy, walking on eggs, nothing quite like it. Eventually but not right now. full concentration will be needed.

    Well, just an aside about Electoral Politics in general: some old Chinese dude usta say “if ya wanna know the taste of a pear, you hafta eat a pear, bite into one, an if ya wanna know about War, you need to participate in a war.”

  9. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 13th, 2008 at 11:09am #

    Great post, Dan. But I have to kick the dead horse just once more, because of a good one that occurred to me about two hours ago: The Left’s internal wars are like saying: “Sure the emperor has no clothes, but the important thing is that he’s only an emperor in his mind…”

  10. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 13th, 2008 at 11:18am #

    http://www.acgreens.org/debate

    this links to ghe Green Party of Alameda (California), which is sponsoring the debate. I don’t know if it’s already happened.

  11. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 13th, 2008 at 1:48pm #

    Great minds think alike, Marcelle. My “emperor” thought occurred to me before reading your last post above.

  12. Deadbeat said on January 13th, 2008 at 11:10pm #

    The Left’s internal wars are like saying: “Sure the emperor has no clothes, but the important thing is that he’s only an emperor in his mind…”

    What are the “internal wars” that you are referring to? What I see is that the “left” lacks cohesion and solidarity because it doesn’t adhere to principles of equality, fairness, and justice for all.

  13. Bl4ckP0pe said on January 14th, 2008 at 9:17am #

    Is there no lower limit on an author’s inability to write in order to get published on DV?

    Sheehan is a functional illiterate and congenital political cretin – she needs an edumacation, then a clue and finally, a ghostwriter.

    I am not even going to bother critiquing the BS she has spewed out above, as it is beneath parody.

    What will her next gimmick be after failing in CA? Probably a funding drive to provide rape-alarms for all “Our Brave Troops”(TM) in Iraq, poor little pigs of war deserve only the best from Gold Star Moms.

    Now I must go and heave my lunch up in a bucket I keep handy beside the computer.

  14. Irish Bear said on January 14th, 2008 at 12:16pm #

    Bl4ckPope:

    At least now we know there are no lower limits for comments.

  15. Mike McNiven said on January 14th, 2008 at 2:26pm #

    US sponsored sexism abroad, US sponsored sexism at home!

  16. Marcelle Cendrars said on January 14th, 2008 at 4:28pm #

    “Castigate” is a bit of a strong word, Lloyd, for what I put down. My words no more “castigate” CS than your pointing out early on that her site was sans a contact email. Flaws draw what they must. Also, for others, any suggestion that directing missives to Pelosi wd be worth the heartbeats is missing something very fundamental. To wit, such does no good. Not even the planting of seeds…which also seems to be attributed entirely too much to traditional electoral efforts.

    There is nothing growing vis-a-vis solidarity at this point. And “the obvious” bad elements don’t need more calling on the carpet. There’s nothing creative about that approach, and creativity is what’s called for now.

    People seem to have a “disconnect” when it comes to criticism being leveled at well-intentioned efforts which go nowhere. The faith in seeds being planted serves the powers that be very well. It makes citizens patient…like manyself-serving religions do…with regard to mundane issues.

    Signing off now. Let me know directly if I haven’t addressed something directed toward me…at moc.oohaynull@ardnecb. Then I can share the exchange with one and all for public consumption.

    Blessings,
    Marcelle

  17. Hue Longer said on January 14th, 2008 at 8:27pm #

    Maybe someone misses irony because they love their own words too much to have them grouped with others?

  18. Marcelle Cendrars said on January 14th, 2008 at 11:28pm #

    I totally miss the ” irony.” Elaborate/clarify, please. Best, Marcelle P.S. Do I detect a strain of mean-spiritedness, though?

  19. Hue Longer said on January 15th, 2008 at 5:06am #

    The Irony?…”People seem to have a “disconnect” when it comes to criticism being leveled at well-intentioned efforts which go nowhere”.

    I didn’t suggest that sending your more reasoned plan to Nancy would do anything…just pointing out that it wouldn’t do anything to send it to a more reasonable Cindy. Me being glad for that doesn’t change anything. I do feel that Cindy making noise in the normally futile realm of the ballot box can only be a good thing (a different irony), much more so than any cryptic plan to convince her to stop her already announced race.

    No intention on my part to be mean, and in fact you sound sincere. I wouldn’t criticize with no point anyone who tried–no matter how delusional their efforts seemed to me…hence MY criticism.

  20. Marcelle Cendrars said on January 15th, 2008 at 8:00am #

    Different definition of “irony,” for sure. Nothing written here is intended for Cindy’s eyes…as one can easily see that she isn’t taking an interest in any of this blah blah. Which says volumes…unless you buy the notion that she’s more busy than we are. Making noise? The noise is White Noise that fades into The Practical Background. The Usual unnoticed noise. Can be other than a “good thing” if it contributes to keeping people from being more creative…which it does. Only so many heartbeats to go around, to give.

    Cryptic plan? Let’s have you delineate why you use that word here. For that AND an explanation of why you use “delusional”…might be in order.

    Here or at moc.oohaynull@ardnecb. I’m seeing less and less reason to particpate in the forum here…which doesn’t seem to be hooked into any kind of meaningful action. It’s hard enough to engage friends and acquaintances…to do something…when in person.

    Or doesn’t that point resonate with anyone out there?

    Best, Marcelle

  21. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 15th, 2008 at 10:35am #

    Well, deadbeat, I think lefties do a haell of a lot better job with “equality, fairness, and justice for all” — in principle and in practice — than anyone else. However, I appreciate this opportunity to improve my analogy about the left’s internal wars. I should have written that those wars are like: “Sure the emperor has no clothes, but the important thing is that he’s always had no clothes.”

    Also I appreciate the chance to apologize to Hue Longer, whose post beginning simply “Marcelle” I inadvertently attributed to Marcelle Cendrars. That the substance of the message was consonant with having been written by Marcelle was a compliment in my mind, Hue.

    I was having my connects and disconnects, flu-related, on the 12th, but I’m much better now, thanks.

  22. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 15th, 2008 at 11:36am #

    Yes, Marcelle. And the longer the “Cindy campaign” goes on ignoring my eminently appropriate suggestions for fixing their screwy software, the more obvious it is that “she isn’t taking an interest in any of this blah blah.”

    Talk to you later at your email moc.oohaynull@ardnecb

    Lloyd Rowsey

  23. Hue Longer said on January 15th, 2008 at 3:42pm #

    very creative…and again more irony

  24. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 15th, 2008 at 5:02pm #

    Thank you, Hue. But as a rule, I limit irony to stories about myself and history. When I try to write truth about current politics, I try to avoid ambiguity and, hence, irony.

    Creative? Yes, always, if possible. “How could I fail to speak with difficulty? I have new things to say.”

  25. Hue Longer said on January 15th, 2008 at 10:36pm #

    lol Lloyd,

    I see that earlier you thought I was Marcelle, now I see you think I was addressing my latest to you. Could you imagine the three of us heading up a club for change?

    Not only would we be spinning in circles, we’d be confusing and unable to communicate…I’d bet the fliers would be entertaining

  26. Marcelle Cendrars said on January 16th, 2008 at 12:57am #

    I third the (com)motion! — Marcelle

  27. Lloyd Rowsey said on January 16th, 2008 at 11:35am #

    no comment

  28. Cindy Sheehan on abuse of female soldiers in the US military « You’re in Your World Now said on January 16th, 2008 at 8:42pm #

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