Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WWB: confronting your family’s killers

Photo: In this Thursday, July 6, 2006 file photo, neighbor and eyewitness Hussein Mohammed points to the blood splattered floor and wall where he found the three killed family members of the young Iraqi girl who was allegedly raped then killed in another room in their home, in Mahmoudiya, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq. A prosecutor in Paducah, Kentucky, on Wednesday, May 6, 2009, told jurors the slaying of an Iraqi family, including a teen daughter who was raped, was premeditated and asked the panel to convict former Pfc. Steven Dale Green, 24, of Midland, Texas, of crimes that could bring him the death penalty. Green is being tried in a civilian court because he was discharged from the Army before being charged. (AP Photo/Ali al-Mahmouri, File)

WHAT WAR BRINGS: confronting your family’s killers in court

This is a peculiar case – because generally, you do not get the chance to confront a foreigner who is part of a military occupation in court.

But then, what happened on March 12, 2006 was particularly hideous and evil. That was the day that Pfc. Green and three other US soldiers went into a private Iraqi home and unleashed hell on earth. They killed four unarmed people that day. But the 14 year old Iraqi girl had to endure three rapes and listen to the murder of her parents and sibling before she found blessed release in death. There were two more boys in the family, but they were away at school at the time of the rapes and murders.

The relatives of the murdered family – including two surviving sons – confronted Pfc. Green in court and said that he deserved to die. He has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. The other three soldiers were convicted in courts martial, and will one day be eligible for parole.

The two surviving sons in this family will serve a life sentence…… of having the memory of a horrific death, for no justifiable reason, for their mother, father, and two sisters.

Relatives of slain Iraqis confront killer in court

A civilian jury convicted Green on May 7 of multiple counts, including conspiracy, rape and murder in the March 12, 2006, killings of 14-year-old Abeer al-Janabi and her father, mother and 6-year-old sister near Mahmoudiya, Iraq, about 20 miles south of Baghdad.


Hajia al-Janabi, the grandmother of two victims, tried to approach Green at the defense table. As federal marshals led her back to the gallery, she shouted: "I just want to see him. I just want to see him. You have no mercy."

Green, speaking publicly for the first time since his arrest nearly three years ago, told his victims' relatives that he will face "God's justice" after spending the rest of his life in prison. The statement came as part of a sentencing hearing for Green, 24, of Midland, Texas. The remainder of the hearing and formal sentencing are scheduled for Sept. 4.


Two surviving sons, Mohammed al-Janabi and Ahmed al-Janabi, said they didn't understand why Green killed their parents and sisters.

I have to admit, I don’t understand it either.

International Medical Corps did a workshop with 62 Iraqi, Palestinian and Jordanian children recently. They had all been traumatized by war and occupation. Here is what one child, 11-year-old Sandian, wrote:

"I remember the war, and the screams I used to hear at night, they were from a child who lost his parents or from a mother who lost her children, or from a wife who lost her husband. Yes, all of this is tied to the war. From it I saw eyes filled with tears, but from this pain I found support, for hope was my title, and the light of love and forgiveness I held in my arms, so that I may finish my journey. The sentence I love and always say is: 'From the young of the future; the little ones of the nation; the heroes of tomorrow.'

Abeer and her sister never got the chance to be the heroes of tomorrow. Their two brothers will forever live with the loss and the sorrow.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: confronting your family’s killers in court.

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