A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Does the Age of the Victim Matter That Much? 

I've noticed, at least on the TV news I've heard, that the victim of the alleged rape and murder in Iraq by American soldiers was referred to as an Iraqi woman. As I understand it, her age was initially disputed, but since then, her age has been definitively established as 14 years old. Because all accounts I've heard since her age was established still referred to her as a woman, it made me wonder why and whether there was a concerted effort to make it seem she was not a teenage girl of 14. Is the crime any less heinous if the victim is a woman and not a girl? Given the facts as described, with the murder of her parents and 6 year old sister, how can it make a difference in the realm of perception about the crime? Is there some cultural sensitivity either in Iraq or the US that makes it worthwhile to portray her as older than she actually was? Normally, I'd consider this really collateral to the whole issue, but why is so much attention being paid to this victim"s age and not the murder of her 6 year old sister? That's the question I cannot answer, but I've learned over the years that news reported in a certain way does affect the opinions of many who hear it. So then, why is it so important that the rape victim be a woman and not a teenage girl?

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