Historian Claims Allies Raped Almost 1 Million German Women After WWII – Could Delivery Of Croatians For “The Bleiburg Massacres” Share Same Motives?

Today’s generations everywhere cannot nor should they wear the guilt of heinous crimes committed by their ancestors, but today’s generations everywhere should and must expose those crimes and seek justice for the victims of such crimes at least in ensuring that history reflects factual accounts no matter how ugly those accounts are.

"When The Soldiers Came" Book By Miriam Gebhardt

The Western world in particular has since World War II lived a popular imagination or perception that in post-war Germany the Allied forces (British, American and French soldiers) were at best behaviour, well-liked and well-meaning. A well regarded academic and historian in Germany, Miriam Gebhardt, has now published a new book casting profoundly disturbing doubt on the accepted version of the Allies’ role in German post-war history. Indeed, the image we have held about the Allies in post-war Germany now stands in alarming contradiction with the reality revealed in Gebhardt’s book.

On 2 March 2015, the DVA branch of Random House Germany published the book “When the Soldiers Came” (“Als die Soldaten kamen”) by Miriam Gebhardt. It represents a new look at the abusers and the victims of the post-WWII Germany, and Gebhardt says she aims simply to expose the horror of criminal actions of rape in that war and after it.
The soldiers who defeated the Nazi German forces National Socialist at the end of World War II also brought new suffering to many women. Countless girls and women (and no few men as well) became the victims of sexual violence – all over the country. In contrast to a widely held belief, it was not just ‘the Russians’ who were the offenders, but also American, French and British soldiers.

Using new source material, Miriam Gebhardt has outlined the extent of the violence during the period of occupation at the end of the war – the first historically founded treatment of this topic. She also impressively describes how these women later again became victims – of doctors who arbitrarily agreed to or turned down abortion; of social workers who put pregnant women into homes. And last but not least of a society that right down to the present day would prefer not to talk about the mass crimes, that would rather just forget about the whole business.”

Miriam Gebhardt

The assumption that Western Allied soldiers would not do such a thing turned out not to be true,” she said, to the broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “In the method and violence of rape there was no different between American GIs and the Red Army, as far as I can see.”

The book claims Allied troops raped German women during the Second World War by manipulating them with gifts of items they needed such as chocolate, food, coffee, nylon stockings and cigarettes. Gebhardt tracked down some victims and interviewed them about their ordeal at the hands of British, American and French soldiers. Also, “the author bases her claims in large part on reports kept by Bavarian priests in the summer of 1945. The Archbishop of Munich and Freising had asked Catholic clergy to keep records on the allied advance and the Archdiocese published excerpts from its archive a few years ago,” writes Der Spiegel.

The reports led book author Gebhardt to compare the behaviour of the US army with the violent excesses perpetrated by the Red Army in the eastern half of the country, where brutality, gang rapes and incidents of looting have dominated the public perception of the Soviet occupation. Gebhardt, however, says that the rapes committed in Upper Bavaria show that things weren’t much different in postwar Germany’s south and west.

The historian also believes that similar motives were at work. Just like their Red Army counterparts, the US soldiers, she believes, were horrified by the crimes committed by the Germans, embittered by their pointless and deadly efforts to defend the country to the very end, and furious at the relatively high degree of prosperity in the country.

…Even if it isn’t likely that the Americans committed 190,000 sexual crimes, it remains true that for postwar victims of rape — which was undeniably a mass phenomenon at the end of World War II, there is ‘no culture of memory, no public recognition, much less an apology’ from the perpetrators, Gebhardt notes. And today, 70 years after the end of the war, it unfortunately doesn’t look as though that situation will soon change”.

Gebhardt begins her book with: “At the very least 860,000 women and girls – and also men and young boys – were raped by the occupying Allied soldiers and their helpers. It happened everywhere …” :

Excerpt From Miriam Gebhardt's book "When the Soldiers came"

Gebhardt said she arrived at that number of sexual assaults by estimating that of the so-called ‘war-children’ born to unmarried German women by the 1950s, five percent were products of rape. She also estimates that for each birth, there were 100 rapes, including of men and boys.

As a matter of interest, while Gebhardt claims 190,000 rapes committed by American GIs the US criminology professor Robert Lilly (“Taken By Force”), who examined rape cases prosecuted by American military courts, arrived at a number of 11,000 serious sexual assaults committed in Germany by November 1945.

Gebhardt’s book paints a much darker picture than what is often seen in cinema and literature of the Allied troops who liberated Germans from the Nazi regime and thus could take time for people to fully absorb, Robert Lilly said.
It will be resisted to some extent. There are American scholars who will not like it because they may think it will make the war crimes committed by the Germans less bad,” Lilly said.

I don’t think it will minimize what the Germans did at all. It will add another dimension to what war is like and it will not diminish that the Allies won.”

Bleiburg, Austria, May 1945 Fleeing Croats delivered by the British to communist Yugoslavia slaughter

While it has been said that comparatively the least number of rapes of German women (Gebhardt claims that 45,000 women) were perpetrated within the British administered parts of the post-war “German State” (including Austria as it was regarded by Nazi Germany as a constituent part of German state and so, Austria like Germany was divided into similar model of Allied Forces occupation zones) one wonders whether similar motives and mindsets that are believed to have fueled the widespread rapes elsewhere in the German State actually contributed to the genocidal peril when in May 1945 hundreds of thousands of Croats (unarmed soldiers, civilian men, women and children) fleeing Tito’s communist Yugoslavia with the promise of the Allies for protection as refugees were forcefully sent back by the British to the communist Yugoslavia to be murdered en masse either at Bleiburg in May 1945 or thereafter by Tito’s communist operatives. Certainly a motive of retribution does seem to have played a part in the victimising of many innocent people in both cases. This sad thought enters my mind as I begin mournfully to prepare for the 70th anniversary of those heinous massacres of innocent Croatian lives at Bleiburg and elsewhere in the aftermath of WWII. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Source: April 15, 2015 by inavukic 

Ina Vukic News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #austria, #bleiburg-massacres, #featured-writer, #ina-vukic-news

‘ Procession of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Secular Power ‘

Abounding complexities underpinning our modern world may be approaching the point of global conflagration as the geo-political hegemony of the West, is challenged by indigenous regional people’s seeking self-determination, elected government and frequently seeking separation from western influences: 

The unfolding political facts on the ground in target countries, the “Arab spring” presently overwhelming the Middle East and North Africa are classic examples of proliferating violence. A compelling argument can be made that virtually all regions of the world are experiencing turmoil of one sort or another… Beyond the myriad influences that inform and animate this calamitous international environment of conflicting nation states and insurgent forces, is a religious dimension which is virulent, ancient and ignominious. Religion has often played a distinct role in the subtext of military and imperialistic undertakings by secular governments throughout history. Specifically, the juxtaposition and popular narrative between Judaism, Christianity and Islam continues to convince their respective adherents of their incompatibility with others. Although the concept of “religious tolerance” continues to be promoted broadly over the centuries, engaging it has proven to be utterly insufficient. Unfortunately the quality and scope of “tolerance” can be undermined by the invisible energy of arrogance as these ideas may be organically connected. Perhaps the concept of “religious tolerance” can be replaced with the concept of “religious appreciation,” going forward. The appreciation of another person’s religion or other differences does not suggest acceptance of the others beliefs or values. Religious appreciation implies acknowledgement, respect, mutual co-existence, and religious appreciation embodies ecumenism, that noble quality in human beings.

With religious juxtapositions in the popular imagination as a context, local governments as well as geo-political players and insurgents vociferously engage their political, economic and military objectives. Although the religious juxtapositions are individually challenged within their respective institutions by sectarian strife, their internal challenges are generally ignored in favour of pointing an accusatory finger at another religion… None of the three religions of Abraham, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, can tout their theological purity. Accordingly, contemporary expressions and observances of these three great religions are based on revisionist histories which have caused schisms in each religion along sectarian lines.

Currently the only unequivocal connection that these religions have is a shared past in their collective assertion that the prophet Abraham is the patriarch of these religions. Therefore the historical testaments of the three monotheist religions is a familial relationship by way of their acknowledged patriarch. Moreover, the theology of monotheism asserts that all of humanity is children of God: The Genesis narrative observed and articulated offers a familial account regarding the advent of humanity. Thus the essence of disagreements among the three Faiths can be viewed in the framework of family dynamics… Clearly, much was lost in translating the historical procession of the religions of Abraham, from Judaism, to Christianity to Islam. The political facts on the ground in regions impacted by these conflicts are rooted in popular revisionist renditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religious hyperbole associated with these conflagrations maybe better understood by examining the historical procession of the Abrahamic religions and generating a broader appreciation and understanding of the dynamic factors that currently account for these human affairs/events in the world…

The earliest historical records of human society indicate an inclination (if not proclivity) in the human imagination toward a higher and invisible spiritual power… Peoples in all regions of the world in the earliest times organized their communities around the place of worship. The local place of worship and its priesthood became the center of early societies and communities. Consequently, religious leaders often became the organic rulers of fledgling communities and thriving societies until the advent of the “king” and secular power, authority and government. The initial rivalry between priest and king morphed into a precarious courtship, and frequently “marriage” between the “church” and “state.” The church and state relationship remained in place for millennia, until the advent of the America and federalism, which proclaimed the separation of church and state. The separation of church and state idea was a product of The Age of Enlightenment composed in the Protestant Reformation, the rise of objective science and reason, and the age of discovery in the western world… The Protestant Reformation bifurcated Christianity into Catholics and Protestants, while the industrial development in the western world generated enormous economic wealth in Europe and America. Ultimately, secular power in the context of the military and economic component eclipsed influences of the church and religion in the material world. It could be argued that the church still enjoys a clear monopoly of the spiritual concerns. Nevertheless, the relationship between church and state remains a dynamic and intriguing enterprise as they modulate the status quo from respective vantage points… Secular public and private powers in the course of achieving relative military victories, territory, resources and raw material often proposes a religious context to their geo-political objectives. In ancient Rome at the advent of Roman Catholicism in the 4th century Emperor Constantine utilized the “Faith” as a theme for his numerous military forays and conquests of the known world. The emperor’s military campaigns were done in the name of advancing Christendom throughout the world. The Christian Crusades authorized by the papacy during the 12th century established the Knights Templar, a military wing of Christendom, mandated to reclaim the holy land that fell to Islam in the 8th century. Interestingly enough President George W. Bush, in 2003 initially dubbed his intervention into Iraq, as a “crusade” which resurrected memories of that historical west vs. east military confrontation between Christianity and Islam. More recently, in the wake of the “Arab Spring” which began in Tunisia with a popular “revolution,” North Africa and the Middle East became active theatres of military conflict, unconventional and asymmetrical warfare, highlighting the ancient Christian and Muslim juxtaposition. The adversarial nature characterizing the current relationship between Judaism, Christianity and Islam thus has its origins in antiquity. This religious dichotomy continues to find its way into the popular narrative and backdrop of the competing geo-political objectives in target countries and regions.

The escalating conflict in the Middle East is perhaps a classic example of what happens when artificial and arbitrary boundaries are imposed on regions as they begin to unravel… While western powers continue to entertain strategic and tactical operations to contain the advances of indigenous Islamic military forces, others assert that the western powers can only forestall that which is inevitable… The Middle East as we know it, in terms of national boundaries of their respective people’s of the region, came about 100 years ago based on political and economical design by the British and the French foreign ministries. This scenario was the outcome of the exploits of “Lawrence of Arabia,” Napoleon and the French Foreign Legion. The British and French segmentation of the region was codified following WWI, when the authority for countries comprising the Middle East was divided between Briton and France. Now these artificial boundaries are deteriorating, strongman rule enabled by western powers has waned under the force of organic and indigenous uprisings, and the overall influence that the western developed countries enjoyed with “strongman” regional leaders may no longer be relevant.

Both secular and religious leadership can be cited for engaging in the diabolical and abominable behaviour over the centuries… But justice is anticipated in the secular as well as the spiritual world. It was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who posited that the moral arch of the universe is long but it bends toward justice. The question whether there will be appropriate accountability remains an open question. Based on end time eschatology, accountability and ultimate justice will prevail… Increasing public opinion argues that world events as they are currently unfolding have profound biblical implications going forward…

Gary’s Consulting News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #christianity, #islam, #judaism

‘ The Persecution of Muslim Feminists ‘

Do you believe that respecting Muslim women feminists and their rights is a fundamental human right that you would afford to all OTHER FEMINISTS REGARDLESS OF THEIR RELIGIOUS IDENTITY?

Got that right.

Or shall I continue to face your white privilege that forces me to face your ugly persecution for being a MUSLIM FEMINIST?

Tell me, will you?

South East Asia News 

Ace News Room  

First Posted in Human Rights Concerns

#ace-news-room, #feminist, #hate-material, #intersectionality, #muslims, #religious-persecution, #white-feminists-bullshit, #white-privilege, #women-of-color

Iraq: A Hidden Agenda?

Since my days serving the military of the US I have studied war…the causes and results.  In my studies there have been wars started by lies, misinformation and hidden agendas.

World War 2, South Vietnam and Iraq of 2003…just to mention a few.

What made me think of a hidden agenda in today’s war with the forces of ISIS is two prong…...

Prong 1--The president is being adamant that no US ground forces will be sent and used in the war with ISIS in Iraq.  But he steadily sends more and more troops, “advisers”, to the region and these forces will be stationed on or near the front lines in this conflict…..exposing our troops to attacks from the militants and they, US troops,  in return will respond with deadly force.

Prong 2--US troops are being sent to be stationed in the heart of ISIS controlled regions, al-Anbar, Iraq……which will most certainly warrant a deadly response from the extremists and Americans will respond in kind.

Now for the hidden agenda.

The Nazis used a faux attack by Polish troops to whip the German people into a patriotic lather to get support from the public and the military to make the invasion of poland more acceptable…..

Then there is the attack by a North Vietnam gunboat against a US naval vessel with little damage and no causalities and this incident made it possible for the expansion of the US forces in South Vietnam….and as they say….the rest is history.

On to 2003 and all the lies and misinformation that lead to public support for the invasion of Iraq…all of which are well documented.

The events taking place in Iraq today leads me to believe that there is a hidden agenda being pursued by the government.

The president has ordered US troops deep into al-Anbar province knowing that ISIS will take exception to this incursion and will no doubt respond, and respond in force.  And this deployment is being called the “new” phase of this operation……that term scares me because I know that our troops will be attacked.

This attack will be used to lather up the patriotic fervor of the American people to accept an expansion of this conflict….as it stands today….the public is not thrilled with the prospect of using American troops……HuffPo has published a survey……

Americans are split on President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize the sending of up to 1,500 more noncombat troops to Iraq, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Forty-three percent of survey respondents support the potential troop increase, while 39 percent oppose it, with another 18 percent unsure.

But if American “advisers” are attacked for “no reason”….it will give the administration the perfect excuse for an expansion of the conflict……if that occurs…it will be deja vu….all over again!

Chuqs News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #south-vietnam, #war, #world-war-2

‘ Institutionalisation of Conflict ‘

First, let us begin with a few definitions–institution–a tradition or custom, now conflict–a clash of ideas or interests. Now we can continue with the thoughts.

It is 1920 and most likely a lively day and a British mandate over what is known as Palestine. Jewish settlers start trickling into the country and almost immediately the conflicts between Jew and Palestinian begins. Most of them were small clashes here and there and occasionally the Brits were involved.These differences in opinion continued as well as the settlers entry into the country.

And then in the year 1936, an Arab revolt began against Zionists and the Brits. The revolt continue for some three years of bloody confrontations. Nothing was really settled by the revolt and nothing really changed. Clashes between the two antagonists, Jew and Arab continued with more bloody conflicts. After WWII, Jews had an exodus to Palestine and the clashes became bigger and bloodier.

Then Israel declared itself a country and nation in 1948 and then the real crap hits the fan. It becomes a moral imperative to crush one another. Shortly after the statehood declaration the 1st Arab-Israeli war began. It was not a pretty thing. The conflict ended but the hatred simmered. And simmered. Conflicts, attacks and brutalities continued on both sides of the issue.

Then 1967, a really big show, the 6 Day War; Arab armies and the Israelis clashed and death was everywhere. At the brokered end of the war Israel annexed the West Bank and Gaza, but the end of the war did not cease the hatred or the violence. This is a simple history lesson that deserves more depth, but for the purposes of this piece it will be sufficient.

Let’s be honest, there were other minor wars like Yom Kippur and the like. Do not misunderstand me, any and all these conflicts and confrontations were bad for both sides, many bad and unfortunate incidents occurred from both antagonists. That in itself is just ducky, but I would like to concentrate on the concept of conflict now.

Since the beginning of the Jewish migration there has been anger, hatred and conflict. These conflicts have caused lasting divisions and lasting hatreds. Father passed on stories about the other side’s atrocities to sons and sons to sons and sons to………….on and on. Both Palestinian and Jew is guilty of this. Stories of stolen land, killed loved ones. destroyed house and farms, and the list continues. Because of this word of mouth story telling the hatreds just build and continue for decade after decade. As the stories are past down the hatreds are past down and thus clashes between antagonist continue from year to year.

Both sides know their families stories and then firearms enter the picture and now the clashes become deadly. With each clash a new chapter is written in the hatreds. The more one acts the more the other reacts and it just keeps escalating; the death tolls escalate and sorrows escalates.

Because of the continuing escalation decade after decade, generation to generation, the conflict becomes a tradition, a custom, which after 60 yrs of escalation will be extremely difficult to break. It has become an institution, something that has a mind of its own and left unchecked will ruin both sides of the conflict. Because of the escalation over several generations the conflict has become institutionalized.

The only way this institution can be broken is with the work of both antagonist trying to end the hatred; both have got to desire peace at all costs, without a mutual desire for peace the institution of conflict will destroy both. Only the people can break the tradition, the custom of conflict. Some wealthy second or third partner cannot bring the institution to an end by throwing money at it or threats tossed around. These techniques only strengthen the institution. The people have got to want to live in peace and security. Without that desire all that is accomplished is a minor ceasefire that awaits the next act to ignite the fires of conflict once again.

Addendum:  A poll published in the Jerusalem Post shows that attitudes of the parties in the conflict…the way they feel in 2010…

If direct talks fail, 41 percent of Palestinians support the resumption of an armed Intifada, according to a poll released on Thursday by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.

Sixty-four percent of Palestinians surveyed believe they need success in direct talks more than Israelis, while 51% of Israelis think both sides need success equally. Both groups are skeptical that negotiations will succeed with 5% of Israelis and 6% of Palestinians thinking they will yield an agreement, but 78% of Israelis support their continuation. Only 30% of Palestinians support continuing talks.

Few participants feel that any talks will succeed at ending the conflict…..and the institution continues….

Chuqs News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #jewish, #jews, #palestinians

‘ Paul’s Veterans Day Reminder ‘

angels

Veterans Day Reminder

You Are Not Alone

H/T to http://www.topillustrations.com/ for the above graphic

Our military service members are ever in our prayers, past, present and future. Those who go in harm’s way to protect our nation and society, who willingly give a blank check to our nation (who frequently waste those checks for political gain or personal ambition) up to and including their very lives and futures. Despite the danger, they bravely stand (or have stood) for the ideals upon which our Republic was created. May God bless you all.

This day always makes me reflect upon one such soldier, who fought against tyranny and for American ideals. He put his life on the line and was grievously wounded in the hedgerows of France on the 15th of June, 1944. Many of his men did not make it home, paying the last full measure of their lives in the defense of freedom and liberty, pouring out their life’s blood on a foreign shore so that we would not pour out our own on the streets of America. May eternal light shine upon them all, including my father, SGT. Reese N. Lemmen, 79th Infantry (Cross of Lorraine), who rejoined the heroes of his platoon on 09JUN1974. Gone these forty years, he is still alive in the hearts of his seven children, of whom I am the least.

Dad

Rest in Peace Dad

#ace-news-room, #dad, #patriotism, #rest-in-peace

‘ Once Obama Was Treated Like A Superstar on the Worlds Stage ‘

Following on sharply behind Vladimir Putin’s visit to China, and the signing today of that momentous gas agreement, is President Obama.

With all of his flag waving days a thing of the past and his influence at home fading, he is looking abroad to China. The next three days of this abroad trip, will test his ability to play a commanding global role during his final two years in office.

Once Obama was treated like a superstar on the world stage.

But the president will arrive in Beijing on Monday, under far different conditions, with his most powerful days behind him. No longer is America in the commanding lead for world trade, but they are holding onto the coat tails of China. 

This is much more of a cap in hand visit, than a state one, though the world is watching and he needs a miracle, to pull the next two years of his presidency into line. 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #east, #west

SEA: ‘ Featured Writers Comment On Drones Strikes ‘

Ace News Room: I received these comments daily from my featured writers group, this one l thought was outstanding and will eventually add a featured writers comment section on this site.  

I have taken factual data for my stories on Pakistan’s drone strikes at this organization that does  independent investigation.

I also met one team member to discuss in-depth as what’s really going on. I am appalled to say that I was shown data of several months timings which showed civilian deaths, civilian population targets by unmanned drones.

Then I went to research the intl/local news of and around those same dates, I saw that most western media following western establishments conducting these strikes were publicising stories of this versus that, X,Y,Z number of militants and terrorists being killed in those exact same strikes that have proven data records showing civilian deaths.

I agree that duplicity is also on part of governments that agreed to allow their countries be droned, so I am being sane and I don’t think that all blame is to be laid at the western powers. But, I will never agree to drone strikes in all my life, even if certain groups try to coerce me, intimidate me and create problems.

In my meetings with some drone strike victim families, I have witnessed the terror and anger these counter productive strategy is resulting into. Many of my western colleagues laugh at my drone-a-phobia as they like to ridicule me, I don’t think any western people would enjoy other parts of the world sending drones over their skies and countries.

Respect is two-way and that is. I apologize for taking this space to speak up,but I know that this is a forum that supports freedom of speech.

You can if interested, review the amazing work done by this organization

Thanks a million for reading and sharing: 

South East Asia News

Ace News Room  

#about, #ace-news-room, #drones

Nobel Or Not: ‘ Celebrating Courage of Anti Drone Activist Nabila Rehman ‘

Pakistan a country that is reported most often in western media and quite effectively in negative light – after all gory Pakistan sells. Now a days, international attention is going ga ga on “only one positive thing” that comes out of this insane land and that is Nobel Prize winner-Pakistani child-icon Malala Yousafzai whose getting  feted by westerners in their civilized media, for simply being the single most courageous and brave little girl to have thwarted the big bad enemy – Taliban.

53f32db394a75Pakistan a country that is reported most often in western media and quite effectively in negative light – after all gory Pakistan sells. Now a days, international attention is going ga ga on “only one positive thing” that comes out of this insane land and that is Nobel Prize winner-Pakistani child-icon Malala Yousafzai whose getting  feted by westerners in their civilized media, for simply being the single most courageous and brave little girl to have thwarted the big bad enemy – Taliban.

Honestly there is much more to Malala and Pakistan. But. There is no shortage of strange ideas that west has about Pakistan.  A terrorist country where poor Muslim women are subservient to their men, that drive their camels through its deserts committing suicides in name of Allah. The rest of Pakistanis cum jihadists are busy plotting the strategy for going to war with the whole world, after all they are lunatics with nukes. ………………… Need I go on?

Basically, Pakistan is HELL on earth. After all there is nothing peaceful about this useless country in their opinions.

Hey. Wait a second. I ask, “Do you know there are so many peace activists in my country, Pakistan. There are many even children as little as 10 years of age?”

Really, that’s not possible, comes back the disgruntled response.

I say, but does not media in your country ever speak of that little girl called Nabila Rehman?

Err…. Nabila who? ‘

The who part did it for me. Off course 10-year old Nabila Rehman, survivor of drone strike in North Waziristan wouldn’t be really noticed in the west.

She’s just spoils of war.

Nabila Rehman didn’t sought to become anti-drone strike activist because it took her fancy. The 10-year-old girl survived a drone attack in 2012 (she was eight then). Exactly on October 24, 2012 a Predator drone flying over North Waziristan came upon eight-year-old Nabila Rehman, her siblings, and their grandmother while they were in their village fields learning to pick ocra from grandma Momina Bibi. The approaching Eid festival preparations were in swing.

Thanks to the American Predator Drone, that Eid was submerged into funeral of her grand-mother Momina Bibi and injured Nabila and her siblings. At that same moment, many American children were playing netball, surfing on their Kindles books, but child of a lesser God and nation, Pakistan’s Nabila was writhing in pain and terror for the unmanned aircraft protecting the future of the American children released its deadly payload onto Nabila Rehman’s family, changing their lives in a mere second.

I don’t know what drone approving authorities told their public back home about this incident. But. In this strike, seven children were wounded and Nabila’s grandmother was killed before her very eyes. Till date we see no official apology, explanation or justification.

But western people and media are constantly asking 1.6 Muslims to become accountable and apologize for the bad events, we are repeatedly “told” to say SORRY AND APOLOGIZE  for the Boko Harams, ISISes, Al-Qaedas, LeTs etc and etc.

I am interested to know if there will be an apology made by the Drone Strikes approving establishments, its supporters and western media to anti-drone child activist Nabila Rehman?

The answer comes back like this: Well, you know Pakistanis support militants therefore such collateral damages are taking place. A Pakistani yourself knows how you people support these bad guys and give them heavens.

Really? I or this traumatized nation will support the total destruction of our homeland and its people. Would any sane person want that?

Err.. but you know better Islam is backward and it treats women badly.

I see myself being attacked by a Non-Muslim right now, like countless other times. And excuse me. What of the treatment meted to little Nabila, plus thousands others killed in the so called war on terror?

Laughs out Loud and tells me, “Oh please, don’t be such a drone-a-phobic.”

This takes me back five years ago, during a work trip somewhere in Europe; some colleagues laughing their heads off with words  “ALLAHHUAKBAR” these ass holes are dead while watching a television news clip of a drone strike in Pakistan, during work hours. In a way this was quite an enlightening incident and I was not sorry to have overheard this while working in the room next door.

OK. Lets get real, my country is partly responsible for fighting a war that had been initiated with international partners and thanks to this folly, this war is in my backyard and you tell me to stop being paranoid or drone-phobic?

The building up of false narratives in the coverage of western wars and their agendas of women’s rights is nothing new. Western media, especially American media, has had a race problem for centuries when it comes to covering issues related to women of colour and the Saving Muslim Women Syndrome continues.

In any-case, this annoying conversation comes to an end. Thanks God. I am not sorry to say this, but to me both child activists; Malala Yousafzai and Nabila Rehman are really important persons as both have serious messages that will have long term consequences on millions of children in this world. In their divserse ways, they both speak of PEACE.

Little Nabila’s testimony at last year’s US Congress was largely ignored, dismissed and gulps-deemed unnecessary. Why so? Because it casts the heroic western champion into a dark and bitter light. The unfortunate reality is that we will see thousands more of Nabilas who might not live to see the day, in this quest of being at war with Islam. A living Nabila (Thanks God, Allah All-Mighty) is a testament that we are being duped into some one else’s version of democracy and justice.

No Nobel fiasco for Nabila, no Hollywood endorsements, no big dollar funds, no sympathy and no acknowledgement for this little girl that travelled all the way to the other part of the world to share her drone strike experience and message of peace. So much for the hypocritical child rights claims, seriously we are not impressed.

Yet. For today.

I celebrate both Naliba Rehman and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Two Pakistanis.

  • Two voices representing courage and resilience.
  • Two victories against terrorism.
  • Two survivors. Two little girls.

Posted in: Emergencies and Conflict

South East Asia News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #anti-drone-activist, #anti-pakistani-sentiment, #conflict-zones, #drones, #extra-judicial-killings, #malala-yousafzai, #nabila-rehman, #saving-muslim-women-syndrome, #war-on-terror, #white-supremacy

UK’s Forced Marriages, will Legislation help?

“Forced marriage is abhorrent and little more than slavery. To force anyone into marriage against their will is simply wrong and that is why we have taken decisive action to make it illegal,” said David Cameron, UK’s premier.

Adhering to the gravity of the situation, UK government is adamant to criminalize the controversial practice. Under the proposed legislation, expected to be put before Parliament after 2013, forced marriage will become a criminal offence and parents who coerce their children into marrying would be facing the prospect of a prison sentence.

UK is home to a large migrant community hailing from South-Asian including Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. This problem is brought  by them into the UK through the existing culture of these countries, where parents by and large control the decision of marriage and spouses. But local research shows that “forced marriages” also happens in the Irish traveling community, Chinese, North African and Somali communities.

UK believes that proper legislation might be the right cure. But campaigners like Sameen Ali and others are already raising the red flag about possible adverse effects of the government plans to criminalize forced marriage in England and Wales.

Opinion: Sameen Ali is a forced marriage victim and campaigner of Pakistani descent. She was forced to marry in Pakistan at the age of 13 to a man she did not know, and gave birth to a boy aged just 14. Her ordeal of humiliation and abuse continued even after her return to the UK. She shares her story in her memoir “Belonging”, which has become an inspiration for many victims. Her courage and determination to fight for her rights is helping others in constructive ways.

She raises plausible concerns related to the up-coming legislation. She says that “Criminalizing the practice would only drive this practice underground, in more secretive manner. The numbers may go down because the victims will probably not come forward any more, because no young person really wants to say ‘arrest mummy and daddy’ because it is mummy and daddy who force the young person into marriage in the first place.”

She also argues that the new law will also create confusion in the minds of young people and cause rifts not only within families but within the different communities living in the UK.  The proposed law is already causing stirrings into the migrant community hailing from S.Asia and others, probably because it’s perceived to have offended their culture. Soon the practising communities might take dire steps leading towards more negative repercussions  for women, at large.

Sameen has a point when she says young people need to be educated about the good and bad elements of their culture. They do not need to be told that their culture is all bad, so therefore they should disrespect it and be given a mechanism such as this law.

She is struggling to advocate that forced marriages may be part of culture, but have more to do with patriarchal control over children.

Her own life serves as a role model for people because she upped and left that marriage with her young child. After her escape, it took years of struggle to put her life together. She states that a victim’s life does not end at a forced marriage; it’s about finding a method of how to get out of the abuse and try to start over. She agrees that it’s not as easy as it sounds, but that’s where institutional and government’s support comes in.

It’s important to provide opportunities to the victims to get out of the abuse and resume their lives again. For instance; resuming the education and vocational training can be practical in helping abused girls to stabilize socio-economically.

The government is resolute at trying to solve the problem through drawing a strict legislation without acknowledging these cultural diversities.

A most ridiculous aspect of this law is that first victims will be forced into marriage they did not want, and then they will be forced to come into court and give evidence against their parents. Are they on auto-pilot? Not one inch of consideration about the trauma that the victim would already be coping with.

For all her critique, Sameen has raised valid points and also suggested ways for tackling the problem. She says that the power for negotiation lies within young people who need to be equipped how to be a catalyst in all this.

The power lies within the young people. And they need to be empowered to stand up against this abuse and educate their parents about forced marriage. 

The practice of forced marriage is deeply rooted and change has to come from within. Awareness needs to come at the root of this cause and young people can create that change, and they can educate their parents against the pitfalls of such marriages.

It is not about criminalizing their parents. And it is not about scoring points either.

Ironically, the rising numbers is an indication that countless youngsters are starting to feel safe and confident, and are speaking out against this abuse. These numbers also provide significant evidence that the young generations are integrating better as compared to the earlier immigrants.

This journey from isolation and parallel reality towards a healthier assimilation requires continued institutional-back-up so young generations can take forward the process in a constructive manner. The forced marriage issue will not vanish over-night from the UK or elsewhere.

But UK government should try intelligent lobbying with community leaders before introducing a law that might not really work.

Posted in Gender and Women Issues

South East Asia News 

Ace News Room 

#ace-news-room, #child-rights, #cultural-diversity, #england-and-wales, #forced-marriages, #gender-based-violence, #integration, #migrant-rights, #patriarchy, #slavery, #under-age-marriages, #youth