Friday, April 03, 2009

Forcing Democracy and the Tragic Results

Pressured into prostitution by his impoverished circumstances, as are many children in Iraq, 14-year old Ahmed Khalil, was executed for homosexual behavior in 2006.

He sold his body only to help his impoverished family survive, and the Iraqi police shot him at point-blank range, pumping two bullets into his head and several more bullets into the rest of his body.

Saddam Hussein was the worst kind of tyrant, however, homosexuality was usually tolerated. At the very least, gay people were not in danger of being assassinated by fundamentalist death squads.

Fast forward to current day Iraq, and the security situation has vastly improved, however, it continues to become less secure for some, in particular, men, women, and even children suspected of homosexuality, in what was started as a sexual cleansing process four years ago.

Praised by President Bush as a leading moderate, the U.S. backed Iraq's leading Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, even after he issued, in 2005, a fatwa urging the killing of LGBT people in the "worst, most severe way" possible.

The kidnapping and executing of people suspected of homosexuality (even young children) prostitutes, unveiled women, sellers and consumers of alcohol and people with Sunni-sounding names ensued as it was condoned and encouraged by this Shia spiritual leader, another consequence of imposing democracy on another culture very unlike our own. However, "imposing democracy" is far from the real reason we started this war.

The US has been arming and training both the Sunnis and the Shiites at the same time, all along, fully realizing the hatred each group has for the other...fully realizing the collateral damage this tactic would inflict. Why? Because creating volatile and instability, and creating a fractured division in Iraq is essential to conquering the most oil rich region in the world. The Iraqis, or as one woman describes, *the beast (over one million and counting, not to mention all the injured, poverty stricken Iraqis) had to be sacrificed.

The story of 14-year old Ahmed Khalil:

“Ahmed Khalil was a likeable, playful 14 year old boy, born in the southern Iraqi town of al-Ammara. The eldest child, he came from an uneducated family who lived in great poverty.

After the 2003 US-led invasion, the Iraqi economy collapsed, causing widespread unemployment and the disintegration of social services. With no income or welfare support in al-Ammara, Ahmed's family moved to Baghdad a couple of years ago, after the fall of Sadaam Hussein.

His father wanted to find a job to support his wife, two sons and daughter. The family settled in al-Dura, a very poor southern district of Baghdad.

Ahmed's father worked as a night watchman on a building site for the pitiful wage of $10 dollars a month, plus permission for him and his family to live on the site until the construction of the new houses was completed. They lived in the shell of the unfinished buildings. It was a life of desolation and destitution.

Ahmed was often bullied by the neighborhood boys for being poor. He had no one to protect him. It is unclear whether Ahmed was gay or not. He had sex with men, often in exchange for small amounts of money and food. He did this in order to help his family financially. Sometimes they were so desperate, he had sex for a few potatoes or some bread.

Ahmed's ‘gay' reputation spread all over his neighborhood, causing great scandal. His behavior was reported to the police by informants in the community. In early April 2006, Ahmed was found dead on the doorstep of his house. He had been shot, with two bullets in the head and several bullets in the rest of his body.

According to a neighbor, who saw Ahmed's execution from his bedroom window, four uniformed police officers arrived at Ahmed's house in a four-wheel-drive police pick-up truck. The neighbor saw the police drag Ahmed out of the house and shoot him at point-blank range.

Several other neighbors confirm this account, although they did not see the actual shooting. They say they heard gunshots and saw the police leaving the scene. They then found Ahmed's body lying on the ground outside his house. Ahmed was executed by the police.

Two days before Ahmed's execution, his father was arrested and interrogated by the police. They demanded to know what he knew about Ahmed's sexual activities and blamed Ahmed for corrupting the community. Officers eventually released Ahmed's father. His son was killed soon afterwards.

Both Ahmed's mother and father wept over their sons' brutal killing. Even though homosexuality is taboo, they did not agree he deserved to die. The family see him as a victim of poverty and police murder.

Because they are so poor, the family could not afford a funeral for their son.

The day after Ahmed was murdered, his family moved out of the area, fearing police retribution and denunciation within the local community. The family's whereabouts and fate is unknown.

Ahmed is one of many hundreds of teenage boys and girls in Iraq who sell their bodies to survive and support their impoverished families." -- Ali Hili, an exiled gay Iraqi who is Middle East Affairs spokesperson for the London-based gay human rights group OutRage!.
*A view from Iraq:
[...]When the sacrificial beast falls, the knives multiply.And Iraq was seen as a "beast" to be sacrificed. "Beast" in the positive sense.A beast is strong, has good survival instincts, is sturdy, can defend itself, has developed capacities and skills to remain alive in a jungle it knows all too well.And like in a Corrida, the minute the bull falls, the arrows multiply. And it kicks and fights back till its last breath and more arrows fall down upon it, until it is inert, immobilized on the grounds...This is exactly what happened to Iraq. The "beast" had to be sacrificed.And the Matadors multiplied their spiky arrows. All kinds of spiky arrows...Strip it naked and finish it off...

Fire from the skies and from the grounds. Bombs, DU, Napalm, Bullets...destroy homes, buildings, schools, universities, hospitals...segregate, ghettos...check points, id's, digital prints, biometric measures, numbers...ransack homes in the middle of the night, strip people naked, steal their belongings, rape their women...detain, blindfold, tie, abduct, kidnap...prisons, camps, detention centers, dungeons....torture till they go blind, paralyzed, amputated...or insane. Rape and sodomize them - men, women and children...steal and destroy the history, the monuments, the art, rip away the genius, tear apart that creativity, smash that contribution to civilization...go for the heads and the hands that produced it. Steal, steal and steal some more. Steal the treasury, the arts, the antiquities, the universities, the oil, the savings, the ratios...Burn...burn the culture, the manuscripts, the books, the libraries, burn the fields, the land...burn it...burn it...desecrate the sacred, the holy places, the spaces of worship, the holy books...desecrate nature, pollute it, soil it, poison it -- all of it..the sky, the earth, the water...uproot them, exile them, cut away their ties, abandon them, let them wander in the wilderness...Oh God this is too much.

Now they are naked and prey on their last breath...prey on any point of strength they may have left...and go for that too.Dump on them...dump on them your anger, your hatred, your envy, your frustrations, your rage, your lust, your covetousness, your greed, your sadism, your unnamed desires, your beastly instincts, your death instincts, your moral depravity, all the "stuff" you don't allow yourselves to do in your "respectable homes and countries", all the "stuff" you don't allow yourselves on your own grounds, because you try so hard to appear and give the best, the famous facade of your civility...dump on them and exploit them even more...dump on them your shadows, your evilness, those parts of yourself you cannot own, cannot face...dump on them...the beast has fallen, multiply your knives.

Exploit them even more...they are vulnerable, as vulnerable and as naked as you want them to be. Go ahead, pontificate and justify to them...rationalize it away, smile while reading your essays and think hard while writing your articles...go ahead refine the deceit, refine it...find a thousand reasons why it is the way it is...and exploit them some more...Exploit their refugees with high prices, with their begging for permits, with their hunger, with their desperation...exploit their needy women, exploit their widows...exploit their orphans, street kids, traffic them, prostitute them for your porno rings...go ahead do more...They are all naked in front of you...dump some more...what else do you envy and you want to strip from them ? What else is left ?

What is there to strip from people who have reached the point of selling their organs for survival ? what is there to steal from people who no longer go to schools, who no longer read and write ? what is their left to destroy from homes, monuments, sites, buildings and hospitals when they are already in shambles ? what is there left to erase and burn when there is no history and no books left ? What is left to rape from diseased bodies ridden with poison and cancerous tumors...What is there left ?

The passion has turned to a never ending grief, the generosity has become a beggar, the pride and the honor a naked woman reaching out for a cloth to cover herself and the intelligence, a burning, raw, survival instinct, gasping for its last breath...Is there anything left to prey on, to destroy, kill, torture, rape, use and abuse steal, plunder, there anything else you need to dump ?Iraq has become your mirror Ladies and Gentlemen. Look at Iraq and you will see yourselves. All of you. Individually and collectively.We look into the mirror....I look into the mirror and we, I, see nothing but You.And all I need, want, desire -- is to throw up the garbage, the rejects of "humanity", to vomit "human" kind." -- Layla Anwar
Gays Without Borders
Web of Deceit: Part 1


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