_The Day God Cried_

 

In the dry mountains

a little place

of homes

and people, same as you

become just pebbles

trampled underfoot

broken country

all the world wished to forget

 

Abeer, little one

this was her fourteenth year

her name

it meant, it meant…

 

Born to family of

loving father

cherished mother

and littlest sister

she walked always

the dusty city

Abeer, little one

her hands the color

these brown sands

her eyes, the color

midnight clouds

and her hair

the night sky and stars play in it.

Her dreams

if only, if only

we knew them

 

Cherished mother

loving father

they worked each their hands

and cried softly to God

that their little ones would know love

 

The night

in her eyes

she hath seen the world

a place turned on its head

where not a day passes

when bloody rain does not fall

her eyes, seen much

seen more than a little one need see

but God answered

cherished mother

and loving father

and little Abeer

though her hands broken

eyes seared

and blood in her hair

Abeer, little one

of a soul gentle

she knew love

her name

it meant, it meant…

 

She walked home

the same as any other day

but on that day

a storm took the sands

and slipped between the trampled houses

in the night

a storm born

of little men

a world that shut its eyes

buried its soul

a home to them

O’ strong

O’ beautiful country

so broken

that it allowed to be born

a storm of little men

such as this

 

The storm

it blew down her door

but silently, silently

and took little Abeer

threw her down

 

The storm put its hands over her

nailed down her little arms

but still, she could see

just three claps of a thunderbolt

and loving father

cherished mother…

and littlest sister

are stolen away from this world

she saw, she saw

alone in this world

she cried

but no one heard

 

The storm turned its eyes on her

burned her little body

and she lived

each and every set of eyes

upon her

cursed her in tongues she knew not

for crimes she knew not

each and every one of them

upon her

one

after

the

other

She cried out

to cherished mother

loving father

littlest sister

to country

to God

one

after

the

other

but no one heard

 

The storm ended

Abeer, little one

become love

but the life forced from her body

and her last moment in this world

spent silent

and so completely alone

 

Abeer, little one

her dreams

when the storm ended

her little body, left broken and naked

alone

when the storm ended

her home

loving father

cherished mother

littlest sister…

love itself

was burned to dust

and trampled

Abeer, little one

her dreams

beautiful little things

we’ll never see

 

When the dust blew away

and there was only brown sand

the world tried to forget

but in that moment

God saw

God shut his eyes, and wept

 

He lifted cherished mother

lifted loving father

littlest sister

and little Abeer

into his embrace

 

And in the trampled sands

forgotten

a single flower rose up

and bloomed

 

Abeer, little one

her name, God said

it meant…

fragrance of flowers

 

_For Abeer Quassim Hamza al-Janabi,

August 19th, 1992 – March 12th,
2006
_

(Written by a friend “Joseph” in response to this article …

WMC Iraq Commentary: Manhood and Moral Waivers
    Robin Morgan
    The Women’s Media Center
    Thursday 17 August 2006
    Her birthday is August 19, her death day March 12.
    We cannot let this crime, too, pass into oblivion.
    When
news surfaced that GIs allegedly stalked, terrorized, gang-raped, and
killed an Iraqi woman, the U.S. tried minimizing this latest atrocity
by our troops – claiming the victim was age 25 or even 50, implying a
rape-murder is less horrific if the victim is an older woman. Now,
Article 32 hearings – the military equivalent of a grand jury – have
ended at Camp Liberty, a U.S. base in Iraq (U.S. troops are exempt from
Iraqi prosecution). In September, a general will rule whether the
accused should be court-martialed. The defense already pleads
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): in four months preceding the
crime, 17 of the accused GIs’ battalion were killed; their company,
Bravo, suffered eight combat deaths. <!–
D(["mb","
    But as the U.S. spun the victim’s identity, investigators knew her name: Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi.
    Abeer means "fragrance of flowers." She was 14 years old.
    The soldiers noticed her at a checkpoint. They stalked her after one or more of them expressed his intention to rape her. On March 12, after playing cards while slugging whisky mixed with a high-energy drink and practicing their golf swings, they changed into black civvies and burst into Abeer’s home in Mahmoudiya, a town 50 miles south of Baghdad. Theyn killed her mother Fikhriya, father Qassim, and five-year-old sister Hadeel with bullets to the forehead, and "took turns" raping Abeer. Finally, they murdered her, drenched the bodies with kerosene, and lit them on fire to destroy the evidence. Then the GIs grilled chicken wings.
    These details are from a sworn statement by Spc. James P. Barker, one of the accused along with Sgt. Paul Cortez, Pfc. Jesse Spielman, and Pfc. Bryan Howard; a fifth, Sgt. Anthony Yribe, is charged with failing to report the attack but not with having participated.
    Then there’s former Pfc. Steven Green. Discharged in May for a "personality disorder," Green was arrested in North Carolina, pled not guilty in federal court, and is being held without bond. He’s the convenient scapegoat whose squad leader testified how often Green said he hated all Iraqis and wanted to kill them. Other soldiers said Green threw a puppy off a roof,n then set it on fire. The company commander noted Green had "serious anger issues."
    Who is this "bad apple"? A good ole boy from Midland, Texas.
    "If you want to understand me, you need to understand Midland," says President Bush. Steven Green understands Midland – his home until his parents divorced and his mother remarried when Steven was eight, already in trouble in school. A high-school dropout, Green returned to Midland to get his GED in 2003. Then, in 2005, he enlisted. He immersed himself in a chapel baptismal pool at Fort Benning, Georgia – getting "born again" while being trained how to kill legally and die heroically. He was 19, with three convictions: fighting, and alcohol and drug possession.”,1]
);

//–>

    But as the U.S. spun the victim’s identity, investigators knew her name: Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi.
    Abeer means “fragrance of flowers.” She was 14 years old.
    The
soldiers noticed her at a checkpoint. They stalked her after one or
more of them expressed his intention to rape her. On March 12, after
playing cards while slugging whisky mixed with a high-energy drink and
practicing their golf swings, they changed into black civvies and burst
into Abeer’s home in Mahmoudiya, a town 50 miles south of Baghdad. They
killed her mother Fikhriya, father Qassim, and five-year-old sister
Hadeel with bullets to the forehead, and “took turns” raping Abeer.
Finally, they murdered her, drenched the bodies with kerosene, and lit
them on fire to destroy the evidence. Then the GIs grilled chicken
wings.
    These
details are from a sworn statement by Spc. James P. Barker, one of the
accused along with Sgt. Paul Cortez, Pfc. Jesse Spielman, and Pfc.
Bryan Howard; a fifth, Sgt. Anthony Yribe, is charged with failing to
report the attack but not with having participated.
    Then
there’s former Pfc. Steven Green. Discharged in May for a “personality
disorder,” Green was arrested in North Carolina, pled not guilty in
federal court, and is being held without bond. He’s the convenient
scapegoat whose squad leader testified how often Green said he hated
all Iraqis and wanted to kill them. Other soldiers said Green threw a
puppy off a roof, then set it on fire. The company commander noted
Green had “serious anger issues.”
    Who is this “bad apple”? A good ole boy from Midland, Texas.
    “If
you want to understand me, you need to understand Midland,” says
President Bush. Steven Green understands Midland – his home until his
parents divorced and his mother remarried when Steven was eight,
already in trouble in school. A high-school dropout, Green returned to
Midland to get his GED in 2003. Then, in 2005, he enlisted. He immersed
himself in a chapel baptismal pool at Fort Benning, Georgia – getting
“born again” while being trained how to kill legally and die
heroically. He was 19, with three convictions: fighting, and alcohol
and drug possession. <!–
D(["mb","
    Once, the Army would have rejected him. But he enlisted when, desperate for fresh recruits, the Army started increasing, by nearly half, the rate at which it grantsn what it terms "moral waivers" to potential recruits. According to the Pentagon, waivers in 2001 totaled 7,640, increasing to 11,018 in 2005. "Moral waivers" permit recruits with criminal records, emotional problems, and weak educational backgrounds to be taught how to use submachine guns and rocket launchers. Afterward, if they survive, they’ll be called heroes – and released back into society. (One ex-soldier praising the military for having "properly trained and hardened me" was Timothy McVeigh).
    The U.S. military is now a mercenary force. In addition to hired militias and "independent contractors," we do have a draft: a poverty draft. That’s why the Army is so disproportionately comprised of people of color, seeking education, health care, housing. But the military inflicts other perks: teenage males, hormones surging, are taught to confuse their bodies with weapons, and relish that.

n

    One notorious training song (with lewd gestures) goes: "This is my rifle, this is my gun; one is for killing, one is for fun." The U.S. Air Force admits showing films of violent pornography to pilots before they fly bombing raids. Military manuals are replete with such blatant phrases as "erector launchers," "thrust ratios," "rigid deep earth-penetration," "potent nuclear hardness."
    "Soft targets"? Civilians. Her name means "fragrance of flowers."
    Feminist scholars have been exposing these phallocentric military connections for decades. When I wrote The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism (updated edition 2001, Washington Square Press), I presented far more evidence than space here permits on how the terrorist mystique and the hero legend both spring from the same root: the patriarchal pursuit of manhood. How can rape not be central to the propaganda thatn violence is erotic – a pervasive message affecting everything from “,1]
);

//–>

    Once, the Army would have rejected him. But he enlisted when, desperate for fresh recruits, the Army started increasing, by nearly half, the rate at which it grants
what it terms “moral waivers”

to potential recruits. According to the Pentagon, waivers in 2001
totaled 7,640, increasing to 11,018 in 2005. “Moral waivers” permit
recruits with criminal records, emotional problems, and weak
educational backgrounds to be taught how to use submachine guns and
rocket launchers. Afterward, if they survive, they’ll be called heroes
– and released back into society. (One ex-soldier praising the military
for having “properly trained and hardened me” was Timothy McVeigh).
    The U.S. military is now a mercenary force. In addition to hired militias and “independent contractors,” we do have a draft: a poverty draft.
That’s why the Army is so disproportionately comprised of people of
color, seeking education, health care, housing. But the military
inflicts other perks: teenage males, hormones surging, are taught to confuse their bodies with weapons, and relish that.
    One
notorious training song (with lewd gestures) goes: “This is my rifle,
this is my gun; one is for killing, one is for fun.” The U.S. Air Force
admits showing films of violent pornography to pilots before they fly
bombing raids. Military manuals are replete with such blatant phrases
as “erector launchers,” “thrust ratios,” “rigid deep
earth-penetration,” “potent nuclear hardness.”
    “Soft targets”? Civilians. Her name means “fragrance of flowers.”
    Feminist scholars have been exposing these phallocentric military connections for decades. When I wrote The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism (updated
edition 2001, Washington Square Press), I presented far more evidence
than space here permits on how the terrorist mystique and the hero
legend both spring from the same root: the patriarchal pursuit of
manhood. How can rape not be central to the propaganda that violence is
erotic – a pervasive message affecting everything from <!–
D(["mb","U.S. foreign policy (afflicted with premature ejaculation) to "camouflage chic," and glamorized gangtsa styles?
    This definition of manhood is toxic to men and lethal to women.
    But atrocity fatigue has set in. Wasn’t rape a staple of war long before The Iliad? Weren’t 100 thousand women and girls raped and killed in brothel-death-camps in the former Yugoslavia? Didn’t warring Somali clans in the 1990s, sometimes joined by UN Peacekeeping troops, rape "each other’s women"? Weren’t the five surviving Somali women then stoned to death by Islamists for "adultery"? And weren’t the earliest reports from another small, troubled country – of rape attacks on villages by gangs called Interahamwe ("Our Heroic Boys") – ignored? It was merely about women, and hardly anyone had heard of the place: Rwanda.

n

    Yet the Pentagon is shocked. "Not our nice American GIs? Must be a few bad apples." Have we already forgotten Abu Ghraib? The photos of sexually tortured men leaked, but photos of abased and abused women prisoners are still classified, for fear of greater world outrage. Have we forgotten two U.S. marines and a sailor kidnapping a 12-year-old Okinawan girl in 1995, battering, raping, and abandoning her naked in a deserted area? She somehow survived and reported them, though her PTSD doubtless haunts still. So many military rapes have occurred in Okinawa, Korea, and the Philippines that Asian feminists organized entire movements in protest. Incidents keep occurring around U.S. ports and bases, including the hundreds of reported rapes of U.S. women soldiers by their fellow GIs (plus the joint epidemic of rape and evangelicalism at the U.S. Air Force Academy).
    In 1998, a landmark UN decision recognized rape as an war crime – though this raises the question: If rape in war is a crime against humanity, then what is it in peacetime?The International Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia issued indictments and convictions on sexual-violence grounds.”,1]
);

//–> U.S. foreign policy (afflicted with premature ejaculation) to “camouflage chic,” and glamorized gangtsa styles?

    This definition of manhood is toxic to men and lethal to women.
    But atrocity fatigue has set in. Wasn’t rape a staple of war long before The Iliad?
Weren’t 100 thousand women and girls raped and killed in
brothel-death-camps in the former Yugoslavia? Didn’t warring Somali
clans in the 1990s, sometimes joined by UN Peacekeeping troops, rape
“each other’s women”? Weren’t the five surviving Somali women then
stoned to death by Islamists for “adultery”? And weren’t the earliest
reports from another small, troubled country – of rape attacks on
villages by gangs called Interahamwe (“Our Heroic Boys”) – ignored? It
was merely about women, and hardly anyone had heard of the place:
Rwanda.
    Yet the Pentagon is shocked. “Not our nice
American GIs? Must be a few bad apples.” Have we already forgotten Abu
Ghraib? The photos of sexually tortured men leaked, but photos of
abased and abused women prisoners are still classified, for fear of
greater world outrage. Have we forgotten two U.S. marines and a sailor
kidnapping a 12-year-old Okinawan girl in 1995, battering, raping, and
abandoning her naked in a deserted area? She somehow survived and
reported them, though her PTSD doubtless haunts still. So many military
rapes have occurred in Okinawa, Korea, and the Philippines that Asian
feminists organized entire movements in protest. Incidents keep
occurring around U.S. ports and bases, including the hundreds of
reported rapes of U.S. women soldiers by their fellow GIs (plus the
joint epidemic of rape and evangelicalism at the U.S. Air Force
Academy).
    In 1998, a landmark UN decision recognized
rape as a war crime – though this raises the question: If rape in war
is a crime against humanity, then what is it in peacetime?The
International Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia issued
indictments and convictions on sexual-violence grounds. <!–
D(["mb","
    Sometimes, a few nice American guys are found guilty – as Green and his buddies might be. Then all returns to "normal." They’re sacrificed to save the ranks of those who train them to do what they did, and to save the careers of politicians who sermonize obscenely about "moral values" while issuing moral waivers.
    But this crime we cannot let pass into oblivion.
    She was 14 years old and her name was Abeer.
    It means "fragrance of flowers."
    ——–

    Robin Morgan’s new book, Fighting Words: A Toolkitn for Combating the Religious Right, comes out in September (Nation Books). She is a co-founder of The Women’s Media Center.

Hema R Nair <simplyhema@gmail.com> wrote:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Amy K
Date: Aug 28, 2006 11:02 PM
Subject: [DOCULINK] FREE Preview Screening in NYC: Patricia
Foulkrod’s THE GROUND TRUTH
To: DOCULINK@topica.com

New York CityPatricia Foulkrod’s THE GROUND TRUTH – FREE Preview
Screening and Q & A afterwards with Vetrans from the documentary.

Tuesday, September 12th at 7:00pm
The Riverside Church (Manhattan’s Upper West Side near Columbia University)
490 Riverside Drive
NY, NY 10027
212-870-6700

Premiere’s in NYC on September 15th

For more info please check out: www.thegroundtruth.netn and

6 thoughts on “

  1. Tremulous is the soul upon the breath of this entry today~~How long must each and every individual in the family of humankind exist upon the Sacred Earth to fully absorb~on a cellular level~the abhorrence of such criminal acts against Innocence, indeed, Life?? How long? How long? How long?Please, more people need to read your site in general, and this article in particular. If you would not mind so very much, I should like to link to it. If you wish for me to take the link down, I will do so. I do not have a lot of visitors, but those who do are Kindred Spirits of highest intention. You may send me a message if you wish the link to be taken off on this day’s posting.Blessings~In Grace

  2. Thank you for posting this. It is terrible and painful, but people shouldn’t close their eyes to the atrocities of the world. Things don’t change unless you talk about them and get the word out.

  3. if eye still had a human heart this would have broke it…..the poem is far too powerful to be just here on xanga….it should be in the new york times or another newspaper that reaches across the world…..eye have faced alot of my own demons while reading this believe it or not….you have help assured me of my path…so eye must thank you…even if it was with such a tragic moment in human history….much love and care to you and yours Ami’Nos

  4. How sad. How sad and true Robin Morgan’s theory is on the inherent violence of war and all the hatred and crimes against humanity it inevitably allows/causes to happen.  Thank you for the beautiful poem.

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