Arid Uka was motivated to kill two American servicemen from an Islamist propaganda video he viewed online, according to a confession he made to a German court. The BBC reported:
“‘What I did was wrong, but I cannot undo what I did,’ Mr Uka told the court in Frankfurt at the opening of his trial.
Prosecutors said he had wanted to kill the airmen because they were going to join the Nato-led force in Afghanistan.”
The video he saw was a fake. Seriously.
“The Kosovo Albanian said he had carried out the attack after watching a video purporting to show US servicemen raping a Muslim girl in Iraq.
In fact, the video was a scene from Brian De Palma’s anti-war film, Redacted.
‘I thought what I saw in that video, these people would do in Afghanistan,’ Mr Uka said.”
Gee, why would anyone think American soldiers engage in rape? Could it be because that’s what actually happen? Could it be because it actually happened – like the Mahmudiya killings or what happened at Abu Ghraib prison, for instance? Or the CIA interrogations where agents used rape as a tactic, along with the institutionalized rape between soldiers – a situation where female soldiers are more likely to be sexually assaulted by their male comrades than die in combat. The soldiers in the army of the Afghan client government – which these soldiers help to maintain and preserve against the Taliban insurgency – have continually and routinely raped Afghan boys, while the Karzai government signed into law that legalized rape. And these incidents are what we know about – who knows how many others have slipped under the radar of “justice” of the same neocolonial system that implemented that occupation – and others – in the first place.
That same neocolonial system is now partly responsible for child prostitution in Iraq, where American soldiers paid Iraqi children for sex. According to Alternet’s interview with former child prostitute and undercover researcher Rania:
“In one harrowing experience, Rania and two other girls visited a house in Baghdad’s Al-Jihad district, where girls as young as 16 were held to cater exclusively to the U.S. military. The brothel’s owner told Rania that an Iraqi interpreter employed by the Americans served as the go-between, transporting girls to and from the U.S. airport base.”
So, while the Islamist video that inspired Uka to kill two soldiers used fiction, that fiction clearly imitated life. The Islamists behind the video clearly have a theocratic agenda that is anti-democratic and medieval, but they didn’t recruit on that basis – they recruited followers by presenting themselves as anti-imperialist freedom fighters; a recruitment method that worked. With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaching, the death of Osama Bin Laden will be touted, the fall of the towers and the dead will be memorialized and the issue of defeating Islamism will be discussed and debated.
But what will be overlooked – by the mainstream media and in all the eulogies – is the fact that Islamist terrorism is motivated in large part by American neocolonialism which has continued unabated from the start of the 1991 Gulf war that accelerated the spawn of Al-Qaeda to the 9/11 attacks up until now. The documented rape in Afghanistan and Iraq are more than a heinous crime – it’s a metaphor for the essence of the occupation. Rape is about power; so is occupation. The rape of occupied lands fuels Islamist terrorism and as long it continues, Bin Laden will live on in Arid Uka and others like him.