Chrissakes, drewprof, get a grip, take that Prozac and put down the assault weapon. These forums are for fun and entertainment; so stop the nasty. What happened to that poor girl in Iraq doesn't materially affect you. You need to get some emotional distance. Rape happens. I don't like it but it's not the end of the world, our economy, our faith or our relationships. Companies are just structured groups of ordinary people who carry with them all the maladies, illnesses, delusions and inappropriate behavior as the general population in about the same proportion. So far as I know, there is no pre-employment screening test for a propensity to rape American girls. And, no, you can't blame this on President bush, despite JimSmith's inclinations.
Well, it just might be attributable to our present incompetent administration. Let's try to follow some logic without getting all our synapses in an emotionally inspired state that leaves us blinded to thought.
One of the points I got from Drew's discussion, although not particularly well stated, is that the environment our government has created with our "outsourcing" of so many vital, and historically (at least in successful occupations of other lands, like West Germany after WWII) US Military
functions using contractors granted immunity from prosecution is one of general lawlessness. It is ok, even, in most circumstances, encouraged that these contractors be as violent as they can. The more fear inspiring violence they display the more they impress the local population with the big stick they carry, or so the logic seems to go.
A consequence of this environment of lawlessness without consequences is, by the account of the young woman, that they feel free to rape. Even women of their own nationality, inside their green zone protective and supposedly "safe" zone.
This environment of lawlessness was fostered not by our military, but by our State Department as these contractors are mostly hired, and granted immunity from prosecution within whatever limits exist, by our State Department. The head of the State Department is none other than Condoleeza Rice, a person appointed to that position by our President. When confronted with the last Blackwater fluff up over killing Iraqis as a function of transit through the areas between green zones, Ms. Rice actually suggested had she been in charge of them (I thought by being hired by her department she was, but she apparently didn't) she would have enforced some kinds of rules. To his credit, apparently Bush has put at least Blackwater under the Pentagon's rule, but it seems for the woman in this article, the damage was already done.
When you find excuses for policy that is bad, especially by trying to shield the policy with the bodies of our military men and women in harm's way, well, you do all Americans a disservice. The policy should be to travel the high road, and when shit happens then it is the result of judgments made under circumstances none of us sitting in front of computer screens or tv sets know anything about, and we can be asked to understand when an individual might not have seen it from some other perspective - most likely because that perspective was not available at the time.
In this case we use contractors to hire what are essentially mercenaries to do jobs that are less dangerous than what we ask our soldiers to do, while we pay those mercenaries orders of magnitude higher salaries and grant them immunity from breaking local and international laws. If you don't see that as something that has been integral with Rummy's plan, and something that therefore Bush has foisted upon us and the Iraqis, you just don't want to hold anyone responsible for anything of any consequence going badly in the ME that is associated with America. I wonder how you felt about that stain on the blue dress?