Monday, September 07, 2015

Take Those Gals Outside and Shoot Them

Yesterday morning (two weeks ago - mea culpa)  - up early - I happened across an interesting story that ISIS had recently shot 19 young women for refusing to (marry?) have sex with their fighters. The story of sex slavery among ISIS fighters almost differentiates them from all the other Islamic evils  - who have also been accused of massacres and lopping-off heads for the edification of the young 'uns too. But this particular tale - as recounted - the piece mentioned - by an unnamed "Kurdish official" who claimed it happened in an unnamed location last week - grabbed my attention, not only for the garish subject material, but also because of the vitriolic response of the readership.  The source was a CNN-affiliated site IN India, and the respondents, I assume, were Indians, outraged at the killing of a perfectly good answer to the national shortage of females, or something, and who were demanding that Europe, of all places,  get involved to stop it. Why they weren't calling on the Indian armed forces escapes me.

By 9:00 am the story was appearing in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli media sources. By now the official had a name and other details and tie-ins to related stories (a UN official's 'slave price list'  a notable one).  The story spread westward, throughout the day, until CNN discovered its affiliate's piece in time for the evening news.

Today the story has spawned a host of 'studies' of ISIS predilection for sex slaves. One military site, in relation to Gen.  Odierno's  retirement, calling for the 'restrategization of Syria',  cited sex-slavery as a potential 'winning' strategy for ISIS and demanded a strategy to counter it. Sex slavery was all over the place to-day. The British Daily Mail upped the ante to accuse ISIS of securing young girls to the windshields of their captured 'humvees' as they drove into battle. The graphics used were the same ones used to accompany the sex-slaves stories from the day before.

Daily Mail; human shield

Daily Mail - rape is religion

The Mail is tabloid journalism at its finest, but for some reason more sober (WaPo, NYT) sources  (WaPo, NYT) seem to feel 'sensible'  citing  its material.   Note that in none of this - nor in the sober sources is there any fact checking, corroborating details of even the basis on which the story could be checked.  But the cry for revenge is noteworthy - any world leader considering slinging some bombs on Syria couldn't help but feel the effort was justified. Even Ghaddafi wasn't abusing little girls. .

All of this is remarkable in two ways. First there is a tremendous response from readers almost all of whom demand more European involvement in Syria. The Brits last week flew their first RAF sorties against ISIS targets - they had been flying USAF machines as seconded pilots before this time. The second aspect is that there is not one iota of corroborative evidence appearing in any internet sources, to back these stories up. That Kurdish official, who started it all, could qualify for a Pulitzer if column inches and volume of citations were the requirements.  But, stangely, he wasn't recorded giving his statement, nor asked about how he learned of it.  In fact no by-lines have been attached to the story, until possibly to-day - and it's strange with a capital S.

A Catholic news site in the USA  (Catholic Online) ran the standard story, but extended the work - with the same graphics, etc, into an appeal for prayer and one assumes donations, as if the dead girls and sex slaves are all Roman Catholics.   The interesting part is that it attributes the story to one "Abigail Jones"  at "News Consortium" - its own news service - and claims that Abigail wrote it on August 7th - a week before the world found out courtesy of India.

Catholic Online Story

If it wasn't for the hue and cry, and for remembering a heartbroken young woman from Kuwait (who turned out to be the ambassador to the US's  daughter) telling the UN of watching Iraqi soldiers empty incubator babies onto the floor (it turned out to be a 'story') in preparation for US 'warfighters' cheering as the baby-dumpers were carbonized when American air strikes 'caught' them fleeing a month later,  I might almost believe this. But it smacks of the kind of bullshit we need to make our wars 'right'.

Publishing this on September 1,  I can say that the 'outrage' dissipated as quickly as it arose. Save that the French are supposedly joining the English to bomb Syria  tomorrow.

 It apparently worked.

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