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Rape of sensitivity

Man, if you are stressed out, you can easily go and rape and practically get away with it these days. No, not by hoodwinking the law, or by finding ways to cirumvent the system. In fact, the law will be on your side and be pretty sympathetic too.

A US soldier who raped a Nigerian woman in Italy has been given a lighter sentence because the court deemed his tour of duty in Iraq had made him less sensitive to the suffering of others. James Michael Brown beat and handcuffed the woman, a Nigerian resident in the town of Vicenza. He raped her vaginally and anally and left her to wander the streets naked in search of help. [Link]

But the Italian court felt, "The prolonged psychological stress to which the accused was subjected, and the lowered importance he ended up giving to the life and well-being of those around him, can only have influenced the committing of the crimes."

"He thought he was frequenting a prostitute," Antonio Marchesini (Brown's lawyers) said. "She denied she was a prostitute, but the court ruled she was a prostitute. Still, at the last moment, she did not want to have sex, and the court ruled the sex was not consensual." According to the Reuters report, Brown beat and handcuffed the Nigerian woman, raped her, and left her to wander the streets naked in search of help. [Link]

As if all we needed all this while was a precedent to justify rapes. If this Brown is insensitive to the suffering of others now, whatever might have caused it, then he is not fit to be let loose on any society. But the court thinks otherwise. And you now have the precedent that rapists can use as a justification. Some justice.

The consequences of the court order makes it a scary thought if seen in the backdrop of what American soldiers have been doing in Iraq. Subjected to stress in their Bushesque quest of hunting for weapons of mass destruction that did not exist, they have not only been raping Iraqi women soldiers [Link] but their own female compatriots [Link] with impunity as well.

The argument about psychological stress being a rationalisation for rape is too much to take. A man who rapes cannot be of sound mind anyway. Stressed out or otherwise. And the fact that this man was a soldier ought to have gone against him, than in his favour. Soldiers the world over, in conflict situations, use rape as a weapon. When guns don't solve the problem for them, they indulge in psychological warfare. And even when they exit the war theatres, they remain trapped in this mindset.

Sick minds are sick minds. They ought to be barred for life.

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