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The Only Story You'll Ever Need to Read to Demand an End to All Wars

Like a lot of soldiers, Pvt. Steven Dale Green's heinous acts in Iraq led him to PTSD and suicide.
 
 
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This article originally appeared on AllisonKilkenny.com, and is reprinted here with their permission.

U.S. Army Pfc. Steven Dale Green was found hanging in his cell at the federal maximum security prison in Tucson last week. The name may mean nothing to you, but his crimes probably ring a bell:  He’s the guy who raped and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in 2006 after shooting and killing her parents and younger sister. Then he and some other soldiers from a nearby U.S. Army checkpoint set the girl’s corpse on fire.

Abeer Kassem Hamza Janadi

Abeer Kassem Hamza Janabi [Source: AllisonKilkenny.com]

For a long time, several soldiers attempted to cover up this horrific crime by blaming the act on “insurgents.” Finally, the truth came out and Americans reacted will collective shock. Even though the

U.S. Army Pfc. Steven Dale Green was found hanging in his cell at the federal maximum security prison in Tucson last week. The name may mean nothing to you, but his crimes probably ring a bell:  He’s the guy who raped and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in 2006 after shooting and killing her parents and younger sister. Then he and some other soldiers from a nearby U.S. Army checkpoint set the girl’s corpse on fire.

For a long time, several soldiers attempted to cover up this horrific crime by blaming the act on “insurgents.” Finally, the truth came out and Americans reacted will collective shock. Even though the United States had been systematically invading and occupying multiple Muslim countries for years, and committing all kinds of destructive acts, the Green incident was considered particularly heinous, and he ultimately received five life sentences in prison.

However, even though Steven Green’s name was plastered across headlines, he didn’t commit these crimes alone. He explained in disturbing detail during his testimony at the federal trial in Kentucky that he and fellow soldiers specifically targeted the Iraqi girl, Abeer Kassem Hamza Janabi who they “watched from the checkpoint as she performed household chores.” Sitting around day after day, Green said he and his buddies abused alcohol and drugs and came up with a plan to rape the girl.

Steven Dale Green

Steven Dale Green [Source: AllisonKilkenny.com]

Green said he was brought along to the girl’s home on March 12 because he had expressed a desire to kill Iraqis. A group of five soldiers entered the home while a sixth stood guard at the checkpoint. Then two soldiers took the girl into a room and raped her while Green held the teenager’s father, Kassem Hamza Raheem, and her mother, Fakhriya Taha Muhasen, and her 6-year-old sister, Hadeel Kassem Hamza, at gunpoint in another room.

While the soldiers were raping Abeer, Green executed all three family members. Then he raped Abeer and when he was finished, shot her in the head. The LA Times reports the soldiers then fled, but not before burning the girl’s body.

Understandably, this crime has been frequently cited as one of the worst crimes committed during the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The comment section on any article about Green is traditionally full of individuals breathlessly accusing him of being a monster, or evil, but always somehow exceptional to other “normal soldiers.”

But what’s clear from Green’s own testimony is that he’s actually not exceptional. If anything, he’s the poster boy for unending war, the inevitable end game of a military stocked with the poor and marginalized, sent abroad to maintain an occupation that (at the time) had no end date, and told to eradicate strange “others” who detest America for miscellaneous reasons.