All over the news, the latest case of soldier 'misconduct' in Iraq is stuck on whether the girl was 14 or 15 or older.
I don't care how old she was when was raped and murdered by our soldiers in Iraq. If she was 12 or 90, I don't care. I don't.
These are our soldiers. Our sons, our cousins, our neighbors.
And they are also our employees. We pay them. And they rape on our dime. We are paying them to protect Iraq. To engender it with the values of our nation. We paid them to protect that woman and they raped her. And God knows how many women they raped. How many civilians were killed to punish Iraq, not even killed because the soldiers believed they might be insurgents. Our men, our soldiers. Our rapists, our murderers. And worst of all, our cowards who knew what these soldiers had done and didn't step forward.
There is a macho stench in America's military. Archaic and wrong beliefs on women and homosexuals that are encouraged and considered traditional. This isn't a few bad seeds. This is an entire environment where we are taking a bunch of mostly uneducated 17 year old boys and encouraging their most base and immature instincts. I'm sick of "boys will be boys." I'm sick of the whole thing. And I am damn tired of paying for it.
Oh and you know what? I have no recourse. I paid these men and I have no say. There is so little I can do, but you know what I'm doing right now? I'm writing the President. I'm writing my senators and congressman. I'm writing to the Secretary of Defense. I'm writing them because I want my say.
And I say: Give these men a fair trial and when they are judged guilty, put these soldiers in an Iraqi prison and throw away the key. Strip them of their rank, their military benefits, and their citizenship. They don't deserve to be called American.
I am deeply deeply ashamed.