With a touch of embarrassment, I’ll admit to having felt just a little sorry for Paris Hilton, not over her punishment, but over the spectacle that surrounded her being hauled back to jail the second time. But Juan Cole helps put this into a broader context.
The US military is holding 19000 Iraqis, 16000 of them at Bucca. Although most are guerrillas or their helpers, a lot of them were picked up because they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Once arrested, an inmate often cannot clear himself for months or years. I don’t think they have access to attorneys. No one cares if they are depressed.
Some Iraqi women have been held in this way. Some were essentially hostages, taken to make them reveal where their husbands were or to guarantee their good behavior. Their reputations were shot, since Iraqis think Americans are sex fiends and wouldn’t trust the virtue of a woman who had been in their custody. The unmarried among them are likely doomed to be spinsters.
American television never mentions that the US has 19000 Iraqis in jail, or that some have been women, or that some are innocent, or how they feel about being in prison