Libya: Gaddafi used rape as a weapon, gave troops Viagra, says ICC prosecutor

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30 Responses to “Libya: Gaddafi used rape as a weapon, gave troops Viagra, says ICC prosecutor”

  1. rebdav says:

    I end up spending quite a bit of time talking to Palestinian Arabs on the evening side West Bank leg of a long bicycle commute going home. When I stop by a full service (coffee, tea, sunglasses, mp3 players, toys, etc) bus/taxi stop I inevitably find the guys who learned English from movies or living in the US/UK and practice my terrible Arabic with them over a cup of muddy but great Turkish coffee.
    One thing that they are honest about is that individuals are nothing compared to family/clan honor. Women and men are not dealt with as individuals but as members of a corporate whole. The problem is dishonor can be imposed on one and the shame is felt by everyone, it is almost impossible to belive but others will also disrespect the victimized family not just the woman as if they were now responsible for prostituting her somehow. This woman is not raped, the family got raped is what really happened. Or even worse the family acted in such a bad way that Alla allowed the rape, fate and observation of karma like punishment and reward is a big deal here.
    While many middle eastern Arabs have been to the US and enjoy the vacation from the ‘collective’ they really cant believe most Americans live every day not plugged in like this.
    The fear of having such dishonor placed on the family is incredible and obviously effective as it is used by nearly all brutal dictators throughout the middle east to control problematic families, rape is far more powerful punishment than state murder or honorable martyrdom which is considered unfortunate but reflects so well on the family it is almost welcome by the survivors especially compared to the alternatives.
    When viewed through the lens of the victimized culture this form of terror is actually made even worse.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well, I am American, and as a generalization most of us do have a pretty privileged gig, so it’s bound to show sometimes.

    Badly though? From where I’m sitting, someone put forth a different cultural perspective for consideration, I made a good faith effort to see where those people are reportedly coming from, failed to get there, explained what I was choking on, acknowledged that is sometimes a known difficulty, and pointed to where I think the difference in my view is rooted that I suggest would be similarly hard to internalize for the same people. This, to you, is an egregious display of privilege of a particularly American vintage?

    I don’t suggest they should abide by my view, and I’m surely not going to abide by theirs. If we had commonalities on every point, we wouldn’t be different cultures, and there would be no point to trying to see where each other are coming from.

    Stipulated America has plenty of issues, we frequently make me wince, and distressingly often we make me furious, but generalizing again, I’m pretty grateful for my abundant privileges. If not exporting the victimization of a raped person to her(or his as the case may be) entire family and considering her to be shamed and her human value lessened because something happened to her involuntarily counts as privilege, I’m really, really ok with that.

  3. trent1492 says:

    @ comment #16

    You do realize that Mumar Gaddafi has carried that title since the late 60′s?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Alright, you know what? I’m sick of this shit. It’s time to arm women with steroids and strap-ons. You want to play rape? Let’s play rape. Bend over boys, let’s see how these power hungry “alpha males” take it. I’ve got your dishonor for you right here!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kinda funny to think of the cost of purchasing that much Viagra versus how much our own VA scrimps on providing basic health care to our troops at home. Of course unless the drug company gave a discount for the bulk purchase.

  6. Anonymous says:

    ‘This woman is not raped, the family got raped is what really happened. Or even worse the family acted in such a bad way that Alla allowed the rape, fate and observation of karma like punishment and reward is a big deal here.’

    This removes the agency of the rape victims. These women WERE raped. THAT’S what ‘really happened’. These women are PEOPLE. Regardless of how it ‘affects the entire family’ and all, as per their culture, the person who is most affected is the rape victim. Until you and millions of other people can see these women as human- and not just family property- this will not change.

    • chgoliz says:

      I think you’ve misunderstood the poster’s position on the subject.

      S/he is trying to explain how this war crime is *even worse* than a crime against an individual, because it is a crime against that individual and, through her, against everyone she holds dear as well.

    • rebdav says:

      Perhaps I was too brief and took as understood to this audience that the crime against the individual woman is already deplorable in the extreme and need not be stated. My primary point is that the victimization and assault is far worse when the community is shamed or figuratively raped in their mind as much by the individuals victimization as by the rapist often leading to a lifetime of shame and hatred against the individual woman.

  7. Tsu D. Nim says:

    “Our rumors are true; their rumors are lies.” –every war propagandist

  8. Anonymous says:

    Romania- hey, I know this wasn’t the point of the post, but could there be some sort of follow-up post on Iman Al-Obeidi? Every news story seems to say something different. I heard she was in Tunisia and then somewhere else and then Benghazi, supposedly heading to the US and now Romania?

  9. Frank W says:

    According to this story, the other side (“our” side? Not mine, anyway) in the conflict is using the same strategy, committing the same crimes.

    • Willie McBride says:

      FrankW, that story is Gaddafi propaganda and it’s full of lies.

      For example, it says that “Go to Benghazi and you will not find one single prisoner because they have all been killed.”

      That’s false, ICRC, Amnesty, HRW, are all there and they have access to prisoners.

      Supposedly whoever wrote that bullshits got their informations through interview “with 250 rebels who were released by the Tribal Leaders with the blessings of Ghadafi, the stories they tell of the atrocities that they did are horrifying we have them on tape.”

      So they interviewed somebody who some “tribal leaders” (who occasionally doubled as “common people on the streets”, “sheikhs”, “imams”, government minders and “relatives of victims of the bombardments”) supposedly released and then disappeared again. Either they were plants or they were actual rebels tortured until they told everyone what they had to tell.

      That’s disgusting, is like reading Mladic who says that nobody was killed in Srebrenica.

      • Frank W says:

        I honestly haven’t got a clue what’s going on over there. I can tell the propaganda front has been opened, though.

        • Willie McBride says:

          If you really haven’y got a clue, considering the number of third-party observers in Eastern Libya, Misurata and the Western Mountains I suppose you also haven’t got a clue if we landed on the Moon, if there were massacres in Bosnia in the ’90s, if 6 millions of Jews were killed in extermination camps and 800,000 Tutsis were killed in Rwanda, if thousands of women are raped in Congo, and so on.

          Even excluding western journalists from the big organizations, there’re free-lance and bloggers, the Arab networks, the ICRC, Doctor Without Borders, HRW and Amnesty International, etc. etc.

  10. jesusio says:

    As the son of American Indian Movement members, my folks faced the same disbelief when they (AIM) started telling people that the BIA/IHS was sterlizing women without their consent. The common response was, “That’s inhuman, how could anyone do that?” Turned out to be true. It sounds so horrible that it’s probably true.

  11. keepittruthy says:

    @ FrankW #7,#9 & @ Willie McBride #8

    I don’t want to take a position on whether the ICC chief prosecutor’s case has merit, but it has international credibility. Like FrankW said, I don’t have a clue what’s really going on over there either, but the punch in the gut that the rape + viagra headline gave me forced me start to at least check some facts.

    First off, the claims of rape used by Ghadafi have been filed by the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, and reported on by at least the BBC and the Christian Science Monitor. For CSM, Ariel Zirulnick (CSM international desk from Boston, arielzirulnick.com) reported the work. and for the BBC the online version ran without a byline. I found no online reason to doubt the credibility of those accounts, but I have not yet heard the merits of Moreno-Ocampo charges.

    The story that FrankW linked to that lodges similar charges of rape and intimidation on NATO troops and “NATO rebels” was filed on Dissident Voice by Susan Lindauer. To me, it reads like a directed attack on NATO and all things associated with it, while lauding praise on Ghadafi. A quick Wikipedia check on Suasan Lindauer raised this:

    “Susan Lindauer (born 17 July 1963) is an American journalist, author, and antiwar activist. She was accused of conspiring to act as an agent for the Iraqi Intelligence Service and engaging in prohibited financial transactions involving the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein.[1][2] Lindauer was found mentally unfit to stand trial and all charges were dropped in 2009.[3]”

  12. alllie says:

    It really disturbs me when sites I read post these kinds of CIA lies. Do you really think that is happening? Do you really think a leader recruits support by having people raped? That only makes enemies and Gaddifi isn’t stupid.

    • Willie McBride says:

      What part of “ICC chief prosecutor” didn’t you understand?

      • ThinkCritically says:

        Well, for one, the jurisdiction of the ICC is not recognized by Libya. And the Libyan government has denied the allegations.
        It is clear however that the propaganda gates are wide open on all sides, hence some degree of skepticism is merited.

        • Jake0748 says:

          “Well, for one, the jurisdiction of the ICC is not recognized by Libya. And the Libyan government has denied the allegations.”

          What the hell does that even mean? There is no crime if you deny it and deny the jurisdiction of the court? Where have I heard that one before?

      • alllie says:

        “What part of “ICC chief prosecutor” didn’t you understand?”

        The part where the ICC prosecutor is in Libya.

  13. ThinkCritically says:

    Good gravy, what will Colin Powell be testifying to next? “See this satellite picture of warehouses? They contain the WMD known as Viagra and I ask congress to approve the invasion of …”.

    I sure hope that these allegations are not true, because they are despicable.

  14. Zan says:

    Whether or not Gaddafi is an evil man, I too have been shocked by the amount of blatant propaganda coming from the Western countries that are dependent on Libyan oil.

    The most striking one is that the BBC World Service referred to Gaddafi as “President Gaddafi” when the protests first started, but when things turned violent they immediately switched to exclusively referring to him as “Colonel Gaddafi”, removing any legitimacy of his title and portraying him more as a man of war.

    Around the same time, the “Libyan Army” suddenly changed to “soldiers loyal to Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi”, “Pro-Gaddafi forces”, or “Col Gaddafi’s troops”, again removing legitimacy.

    Again, I don’t doubt that Gaddafi has done horrible things, but I have a feeling we wouldn’t be hearing so much about his reign of terror if he wasn’t sitting on a ton of oil.

    • Willie McBride says:

      The most striking one is that the BBC World Service referred to Gaddafi as “President Gaddafi” when the protests first started, but when things turned violent they immediately switched to exclusively referring to him as “Colonel Gaddafi”, removing any legitimacy of his title and portraying him more as a man of war.

      Couldn’t it be the simple fact that Gaddafi is not and never has been “President”? And that he was was always quite adamant that he has no official title but he rules as unofficial Leader of the Revolution?

      Around the same time, the “Libyan Army” suddenly changed to “soldiers loyal to Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi”, “Pro-Gaddafi forces”, or “Col Gaddafi’s troops”, again removing legitimacy.

      Couldn’t it be that most of the fighters on Gaddafi’s side are not part of the Libyan Army but they belong to his sons’ personal militias?

      Maybe you’re mistaking facts for propaganda because you’re not that well informed as you think you are?

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Maybe you’re mistaking facts for propaganda because you’re not that well informed as you think you are?

        Conspiracy theorists not well-educated? You shock me.

  15. Layne says:

    Oh, there’s vile people doing awful things in Africa? Well it’s a good thing the president jumped into another unsanctioned war over there w/o any congressional approval and w/o pulling troops from any of the other messy little wars we’re caught up in over there.

    We ignore the Darfurs and the Congos and the Zimbabwes, but rape and viagra are reason enough to send in the cavalry? This whole Libyan war (and let’s call it a war) apparently gets a pass from any criticism on this site, but it’s another huge abuse of power by our Executive branch. It’s myopic foreign policy from a sitting president who for one reason or another decided we should keep playing world policeman.

    The rape or abuse of women in that (or ANY) part of the world is truly a horrible thing, but dropping bombs on them isn’t going to change any of that.

    • ThinkCritically says:

      Agreed! Consider the atrocity of the Iraq invasion, all of the media and government lies. And skepticism of military aggression against sovereign states isn’t warranted? Did Libya invade Kuwait or something?

  16. ThinkCritically says:

    Here is an interesting video implicating social media campaigns in Libya.
    “US orchestrates regime change in Libya, using social media as usual”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWaRueeetUA
    Lots of pro-Gadaffi sentiment, hardly reported in the West!

    An interesting claim to ponder from this video: do FB, twitter, etc have a backdoor around Captcha tests for these sites? Hence the (frightening) scenario: Biased human media reporting on the (orchestrated) dissent of social media bot farms.

  17. Anonymous says:

    @ chgoliz & rebdav

    I’ve never thought rape needed any punching up to be extra horrible. I understand that there is a cultural divide regarding the way women in particular and clan/family/tribal group honor is perceived, but as far as I can tell, crossing that divide in this conversation would be to suggest that someone raping American me is somehow less bad than someone raping an Arab woman of whatever nationality because her family would feel shamed en masse, whereas my family would feel hurt for me. I am just unable to make that leap.

    I guess therein lies the difficulty with cross-cultural understanding.

    Besides, I reject shame for people who are raped, one has shame only when one bears responsibility. I’d suspect your West Bank conversationalists would have a similar bit of difficulty accepting that view.

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