Chris Hedges: Human Trafficking: Exploitation of Women Still Rampant Worldwide

Human Trafficking photo

Image by Imagens Evangélicas via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

RT America on Jul 2, 2016

In this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges sits down with two anti-trafficking campaigners discuss how to combat the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Suzanne Jay, co-founder of Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, and Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, delve into the controversial topic of decriminalizing prostitution. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil reports on the global scale of sex trafficking.

Continue reading


OGADEN: Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame by Graham Peebles

Meles Zenawi is committing genocide in Somali region - Ogadenia

Image by macalin via Flickr

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London, England
June 25, 2016

Ethiopia is regularly cited as an African success story by donor nations; the economy is growing they cry, more children are attending school and health care is improving. Well GDP figures and millennium development statistics reveal only a tiny fraction of the corrupt and violent picture.

Continue reading

Persecution, Threats, Kidnapping and Torture by the Military and Police by Graham Peebles

by Graham Peebles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
London, England
March 3, 2014

Information Assessment in Dadaab

Image by Internews Network via Flickr

Hidden and isolated from the world the armed conflict raging in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia goes unnoticed. The killing and raping of innocent civilians at the hands of the military and their paramilitary partners in crime the Liyu police, the false arrests, torture and imprisonment remain largely hidden and unreported. The international media, human rights groups and most aid organisations (including the International Red Cross) have been banned from the region by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 2007.

Continue reading

Daughters of India Violated and Abused, by Graham Peebles + The ‘Genocide’ of India’s Daughters

by Graham Peebles
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
January 6, 2013

Human trafficking

Image by Imagens Evangélicas via Flickr

A woman’s lot

In the ancient land of India, where female deities deeply revered, Kali and Lakshmi, Sarasvati and Parvati, are held high upon the alter of Hinduism, where each day thousands of Hindu’s ritually bathe in the Holy waters of the Ganges, cleansed within and without by the Goddess Ganga, women and girls; in the forests, cities, villages and towns, on buses and trains, in the street, the office, at school and in the home are being violated, abused, raped and trafficked into prostitution and domestic slavery. Continue reading

Ch. 10: Comrades in Arms — Rape in the U.S. Military by William T. Hathaway

by William T. Hathaway
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
August 12, 2012

Comrades in Arms
From the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway
Published by Trine Day

I received this letter from an ex-soldier.

Hi Mr. Hathaway,

I got your letter (forwarded) asking for information for your book. To answer your first question, Yes, I’m enjoying living in Holland. I’m becoming the little Dutch girl — the little Black Dutch girl, but that doesn’t bother people here. They’re very tolerant and internationally minded.

Continue reading

Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the “Case” Against Assange by Naomi Wolf

Dandelion Salad

Julian Assange

Julian Assange (Photo credit: acidpolly)

by Naomi Wolf
News From Underground
Feb. 11, 2011

Exclusive to News from Underground

Now that Andrew Kreig, of the Justice Integrity Project, has confirmed Karl Rove’s role as an advisor to the Swedish government in its prosecution of Julian Assange on sexual misconduct charges, it is important that we note the many glaring aberrations in the handling of Assange’s case by the authorities in Sweden.

Continue reading

Why the U.S. has to go by Deepa Kumar

Bookmark and Share

Dandelion Salad

by Deepa Kumar
November 10, 2009

Malalai Joya has been called the “bravest woman in Afghanistan” for her outspoken opposition not only to the U.S. occupation of her country, but both the corrupt U.S.-backed government of Hamid Karzai and the Taliban-led insurgency.

Joya was elected to Afghanistan’s parliament from Farah province in 2005, but was suspended several years later after other representatives claimed she insulted them. She has continued to speak out against war crimes and warlordism, in spite of numerous attempts on her life.

Joya is on a speaking tour of the U.S. for her book A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice. She talked to Deepa Kumar about the situation in her country and the message she hopes to bring to people in the U.S.


WHAT HAS been the impact of the U.S. occupation and its puppet government on women in Afghanistan? Has the U.S. liberated Afghan women as it claimed it would?

Continue reading

Coup Protestor Gang-Raped by Honduran Police

Bookmark and Share

Just Foreign Policy
by Robert Naiman
24 August 2009 – 11:52am

On Friday, Latin America scholars sent an urgent letter to Human Rights Watch, urging HRW to speak out on violations of human rights under the coup regime in Honduras and to conduct its own investigation. HRW hasn’t made any statement about Honduras since July 8.

One of the things Human Rights Watch should be investigating is allegations by Honduran feminists and human rights groups that Honduran police are using rape and other sexual violence as weapons of intimidation against Hondurans nonviolently protesting the coup regime.


via Coup Protestor Gang-Raped by Honduran Police | Just Foreign Policy


Women Warriors. Sharing The Danger. by Eileen Coles

by Eileen Coles
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted at
August 17, 2009

While I was serving at Ramstein during Desert Storm, “Overseas!” magazine came out with an article with that incredibly cheesy title. It featured a tough looking gal in chocolate chip cami’s with a firm set to her jaw and a pair of the ubiquitous 1980’s ZZ Top “cheap sunglasses” that were being offered for sale in every AAFES store, BX, PX, and commissary. I believe she was either standing there holding a weapon or standing behind a gun emplacement. The very idea that this woman would be in combat was laughable at the time, women were having enough problems being allowed to fly C130 cargo missions for USAFE’s arm of the Desert Storm operation, Proven Force.

Continue reading

Bill Moyers Journal: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Dandelion Salad


These videos may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Bill Moyers Journal
June 19, 2009

The JOURNAL profiles Leymah Gbowee, a woman who led her fellow countrywomen to fight for and win peace in war-torn Liberia, and Abigail Disney, who produced the documentary of their struggle and triumph in the award-winning film PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL.

transcript: Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS

Pt 2 Continue reading

Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos ‘Show Rape’ + Was Rape an Enhanced Interrogation Technique?

Dandelion Salad

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent and Paul Cruickshank
May 28, 2009 “The Telegraph

Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.

Continue reading

Why We Fight – U.S. Troops Die For Rapists By Ted Rall + Afghanistan Women Protest

Dandelion Salad

By Ted Rall
May 08, 2009 “Information Clearing House

LOS ANGELES–American soldiers serving in Vietnam wondered what they were fighting for. U.S. troops in Afghanistan don’t have that problem. They know exactly what they’re fighting for: rapists.

After President Obama’s coming “Afghan surge” there will be 72,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Their primary mission is to prevent Afghans from overthrowing the unpopular regime of Hamid Karzai, the former oil consultant installed by George W. Bush when the U.S. occupation began nearly eight years ago. Continue reading

Rape as a Tool of War by Jennifer Fenton

by Jennifer Fenton
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Jennifer’s blog post
Justice and Peace
Oct 9, 2008

The use of rape as a tool of war is not a modern occurrence. Rape during wartime is a well-documented phenomenon that has occurred since writers and philosophers have recognized its existence. Gottschall notes, “historical and anthropological evidence suggests that rape in the context of war is an ancient human practice, and that this practice has stubbornly prevailed across a stunningly diverse concatenation of societies and historical epochs.” This claim, supported by APAP (2002), “In primitive warfare, women were targeted as a means to avoid facing the enemy again by eliminating the source of manpower for future supply,” shows the deliberate means in which a society may suffer through the use of rape as a tool of war. Wartime rape does not indicate solitary examples of rape by individuals but rather a pattern “of rape by soldiers at rates that are much increased over rates of rape that prevail in peacetime.” (Gottschall, 2004). Human Rights Watch claims:

…rape in conflict or under repressive regimes is neither incidental or private. It routinely serves a strategic function and acts as a tool for achieving specific military objectives. Like other human rights abuses, rape serves as a means of harming, intimidating, and punishing individual women. Further, rape almost always occurs in connection with other forms of violence or abuse against women and their families.

Reliable statistical data is difficult to ascertain due to the reluctance of victims and perpetrators to be forthcoming with information, however with the implantation of centers similar to The Center for Victims of Torture where the treatment and rehabilitation of victims of war crimes, including rape, are free to express themselves in the therapeutic setting. Organizations that report and ascertain the prevalence of wartime rape have also assisted researchers in gaining greater understanding. According to Peace Women (2007), Amnesty International has played a significant role in documenting wartime rape in countries such as the Democratic republic of Congo where records indicate that at least 40,000 female civilians, girls and women, had been raped over the past six years.

In a recent comparative study conducted by Alexander, Bernstein and Blake 2007, evaluating incidents of rape in Bosnia and Columbia occurred at rates close to fifty percent less than that of other acts of violence. The violent acts that were assessed, included rape/sexual harassment/molestation (forced sex, sexual comments and other forms of harassment, sexual threats, forced touching), beating (blows with objects, slapping, kicking, punching), strangulation, deprivation (of food, water, needed medical attention, sleep, extreme exposure), immobilization, stress to senses, psychological torture, degradation (forced into acting, forced nakedness, verbal abuse), threats-not including death threats, torture as a witness, indiscriminate attacks (being shot at, forced at gun point, hostage).  Many of these acts of violence although not categorized as such can and should be seen as sexual in nature. For example, the category of degradation includes sexual misconduct but is not placed in the category of rape/sexual harassment/molestation.

Gottschall (2004) explains that there are currently four theories currently used to assess the impacts and treatment modalities for wartime rape. The Feminist Theory asserts that rape in war, just as rape during peace time “is identified not as a crime of sexual passion but as a crime motivated by the desire of man to exert dominance over a woman.” With this theory in place, the feminist theory attempts to dispute the notion that rape during war time is simply a series of, “irresistible biological imperatives and that the chaos of the wartime milieu encourages men to vent their urges to terrible effect…Therefore, rape in war is deemed a result of a conspiracy, not necessarily conscious but still systematic, of men to dominate and oppress women.” The Cultural Pathology Theory examines wartime rape from a psychoanalytic perspective. Gottschall states, “The goal is to peer back into a nation’s history and see what developmental factors conspired to cause its men to descend to the vilest barbarism.” Strategic Rape Theory, currently the most widely accepted among researchers, theorizes that,

wholesale rape represents just another ordinance-like bombs, bullets, or propaganda-that a military can use to accomplish its strategic objectives. While supporters of this position do not always claim that military planners explicitly instruct soldiers to rape, the implication is clear: Wartime rape is a coherent, coordinated, logical, and brutally effective means of prosecuting warfare.

The Biosocial theories of wartime rape places causation solely on biological and social influences, which are out the immediate control of its perpetrators.

This view is sometimes identified with…the pressure cooker theory of wartime rape: the idea that men posses instincts for sexual aggression that are restrained under normal conditions but that, in the chaotic wartime milieu, spew for the like the vented gas of a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker metaphor is based on hydraulic models of aggression championed by Freud and 20th century ethnologists like Knorand Lorenx and Robert Ardrey.

The rape of women appears to be the most common form of sexual abuse however, more instances of male rape and sexual torture are being documented. Male rape in particular seeks to humiliate and degrade its victim as to discourage further opposition and resistance to opposing military forces. Zawati, seeks to define wartime rape as a war crime and has extensive data documenting rape perpetrated on both male and female populations. Zawati states, “While this landmark definition has restricted the elements of the crime to (a) a physical invasion (penetration) of sexual nature, (b) committed on a person (male or female), (c) under circumstances which are coercive…sexual violence is not limited to physical invasion of the human body and may include acts which do not involve penetration or even physical contact.”

The importance of identifying the causation of wartime rape is inherent when one realizes the role of creating international law to either define wartime rape as a war crime or a simple act of war, inevitable on the battlefield. As Nowak and McArthur (2006) point out wartime rape and sexual harassment in any form can be defined as either torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, all identified as war crimes and punishable by international law. The Istanbul Protocol is non-binding document however,

~International law obliges governments to investigate and document incidents of torture and other forms of ill treatment and punish those who are responsible comprehensively, effectively, promptly and impartially.

~The Istanbul Protocol demonstrates international standards for implementing such investigation and documentations.

~States that are against torture and ill treatment must follow the standards set for the in the Protocol for effective prevention. To achieve credibility for the claim of being against and being in an effort to prevent torture and ill treatment effectively states must follow the standards ser forth in the protocol.

~All medical examinations, evaluations, and reports concerning allegations of torture and ill treatment should be in accordance with the principles and standards in the Protocol.

Necessary to achieving these goals are implementation of minimum requirements:

~To seek to obtain statements from the victims of alleged torture (including rape)

~To recover and preserve evidence, including medical evidence, related to the alleged torture (rape) which will aid in any potential prosecution of those responsible

~To identify possible witnesses and obtain statements from them concerning the alleged torture (rape).

~To determine how, when and where the alleged incidents of torture occurred as well as any pattern or practice that may have been observed about torture (rape).

The goals set forth in the Protocol are establishment:

~Clarification of facts and establishment and acknowledgement of individual and state responsibility for victims and their families

~Identification of measures needed to prevent recurrences

~Facilitation of prosecution or, as appropriate, disciplinary sanctions for those indicated by the investigation as being responsible, and demonstrating the need for full repartition and redress from the state, including fair and adequate financial compensation and provision of the means for medical care and rehabilitation.

Currently within the United States, numerous claims of misconduct and wartime rape have been directed at US troops in Occupied Iraq. The consequences of these actions are grave. The cost to Iraqi society and the moral of the armed services is greatly compromised when these acts of aggression are perpetrated upon the civilian population. Riverbend author of Baghdad Burning (2007) best reflects the sentiment of injustice and anger among the Iraqi population, when she writes of Sabine an Iraqi rape victim, “She’s just one of tens, possibly hundreds, of Iraqi women who are violated in their homes and Iraqi prisons. She looks like a cousin I have. She looks like friends. She looks like a neighbor I sometimes used to pause to gossip with in the street. Every Iraqi who looks at her will see a cousin, a friend, a sister, a mother, an aunt…” Recently, during a discussion at the Monterey Institute of International Study Riane Eisler, an internationally acclaimed scholar and activist, stated, “Where women and children suffer, the whole of that society suffers, they are an integral piece of the fabric of society and we must not ignore their importance.”