Archive for the ‘International Relations’ Category

Sexual Assault of CBS Reporter May Be A Warning Sign to All Female Reporters Who Cover Stories In Countries Where Women Have Limited or No Rights
February 19, 2011

The case of CBS Chief correspondent Lara Logan’s rape and beating by a gang of Egyptians in Tahrir Square who were  celebrating the stepping down of President Mubarak is  beyond appalling. But it is not at all surprising. This  isn’t the first time that a beautiful  female reporter has been violated.

In 2008, a  similarly beautiful blond  reporter,  Joanie de Rijke, a Dutch journalist went to search  for the Taliban in Afghanistan and found them. But she did not find them hospitable. Instead  fact found them to be a violent bunch of rapists who held her captive and repeatedly raped her.

Like Lara Logan, de Rijke was released by her captives, but she was not released until a week later only after a $137,000 ransom was paid on her behalf while being continually raped.

The ordeal obviously took it’s toll on her psychologically as she no doubt suffered from Stockholm Syndrome whereby she identified with her captors by stating ‘They also respected me, ‘They are not monsters.

Any man who rapes a woman is clearly a “monster!” A rapist respects no one- not even himself!

Two years later beautiful reporter  was in Mumbai trying to cover a story  when an angry mob attacked her and tried to rape her.  As the camera lights went out you can hear her guttural  sounds of distress  as she is heard yelling “STOP IT!”  There so no doubt whatsoever that the sound that was heard emanating from her voice was the fear for her life.

While rape and attempted rape is bad enough there is nothing worse than  a woman journalist losing her life because she is reporting in a part of the world that doesn’t respect women and doesn’t acknowledge that they have equal rights.

Zahra Kazemi, an attractive  Canadian freelance photojournalist who was arrested after taking photos outside a Teheran prison during a student  protest  not only suffered torture and rape, she was ultimately killed due to her injuries.

Beautiful Iraqi journalist and  reporter  Atwar Bahjat unfortunately suffered the same fate back in 2006. The Al-Arabiya television presenter was kidnapped, raped  and murdered in Iraq. Bahjat  died  of  bullet wounds to  her  head, neck and chest.

Her rapist ended up confessing to her murder as he stated  in a videotaped confession” We parked beside the main street, I asked the girl to step out and I told her, ‘You are pretty and I like you, and I want to have sex with you,”. Bahjat refused. But I put the pistol to her head, and I raped her.


So now we have Lara Logan who was not physically killed.  But there is no doubt that there was a part of her  that died On February 11, 2010, when  the  humanity and dignity was taken away from  this  39 year old mother of two young children.

The same thing could have happened to her CBS colleague Katie Couric who by the grace of God got out of Egypt  in time, after  being harassed and abused on the streets of Cairo. CBS news anchor   Katie Couric  was suddenly surrounded by a group of angry  men. Her face shows her fear and upset over the situation.


So the question arises “ Should news outlets allow female journalists to cover stories in various parts of the world?

I say NO WAY!!   Let us learn from these incidents. These parts  of the world that are simply not safe for anyone, let alone women, Look at what happened to Anderson Cooper who was repeatedly hit in the head by protesters during the protests in Egypt or Miguel Marquez who was recently roughed up and beaten in Baharain .

While I along with every other American, Canadian and  European is all for women’s rights and women’s equality, there are places in the world where women will never be equal, let alone  have any rights.

In some countries, a woman still must walk in back of a man. They must not speak back to their husbands or they will get slapped and abused. If their husband dies, they cannot go out alone and fend for themselves.

A male relative must do their bidding. If they have no male relative they are simply out of luck. In some parts of the world a woman needs a man’s permission to do anything. A woman cannot  vote or drive, travel abroad or stay out late with friends. They cannot  go to restaurants without a man and they must ask a man’s permission before doing anything. In some countries, a woman’s worth is considered half  a person.

If a woman is raped in certain parts of the world, it is often considered her fault that she was “dishonored” and honor killings to get  rid  of the woman for  embarrassing her family are common.

If a man rapes a woman, nothing usually happened. Under Egyptian President Mubarak’s rule, if a man raped a woman and found guilty, he was sentenced to three years in prison, but the operative words here are”  if he was found  guilty”. Most of the time, the men are not found guilty and if they have to spend time in prison for their act, they are essentially on vacation, with little or no punishment or censure from members of their society.

So what will happen to the Egyptian men who were found guilty of raping  journalist Lara Logan?  Most likely, nothing will happen to them. It is doubtful that anyone will come forth and report the names of the actual rapists for fear of retribution themselves. In fact many would consider the rapists heroes for dishonoring an” Infidel” – an American infidel at that.

Her savage beating  of a reported “sustained sexual attack” actually means that she was no doubt gang raped. There is no way in my view that they will find her gang of rapists, let alone punish them.

It has been reported in the media  that she was saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers but who knows how accurate that report was. The fact that she got out alive is a miracle in itself. The fact that she  reconnected with her news crew,  returned to her hotel and was able to walk aboard a plane on the on the first flight out of Cairo to the US  the next morning is also a miracle.

I don’t believe any woman should be put into harm’s way. They are defenseless in certain countries and need to know all of the possible consequences before they commit to such assignments.

More than anyone else the world, the Israeli Defense Services know the dangers of women in combat in certain regions in the Middle East. Several years ago they  temporarily took on women in front line roles as part of a test  which investigated women in combat.

The results were so bad that they determined that  women could  no longer serve front line roles in the Israeli military but women could still serve in other forms of combat such as
fighter pilots , artillery gunners and most roles in the navy.

The bottom line is that any woman who insists on covering stories in certain parts of the world where sexually assaulting and  raping women and women journalists are common practice, are taking their lives into their own hands.

 The world is not always kind to women and like it or not, in many places they are less than equal.

North Korean Soldiers Incongruent and Disturbing Body Language Gives Us Insight Into Their Psyche
December 23, 2010

 Perhaps this recent press photo released all over the world by the North Korean News Agency (NCNA)  of a group of Korean soldiers can give us a great deal of insight into what is really going on inside of them. It reveals a great deal to me about the ambivalence their leaders must be  experiencing concerning  their proposed attacks against South Korea. The photo shows a group of men in uniform smiling with their fists angrily clenched. But their fists are only raised at the level of their heads. This gesture alone is very peculiar because when one is angry their arm  usually shoots up on the air along with their clenched fist.

 But sometimes a clenched fist signifies victory as you can see as a group of European footballers show in a BBC photo when they were victorious in a soccer match. Perhaps the North Korean soldiers were trying to depict the same sentiment in this photo but they clearly missed the mark.

 Their gesture of potential victory should have been placed above their head,  not contrived at the level of their head. The smiles of the Korean soldiers  are also contrived. Look at the stiffness in their faces. Their cheeks are not raised. While their mouths are opened as though they appear to say something Their  mouths do not depict a true and genuine smiling gesture. If that was the case,  their lips would be pulled back with teeth showing. In this case their teeth are showing because they have no doubt been instructed to say something in unison.

This photo showed me that they appeared to be like automatons devoid of  any real emotion at least publicly.

 I remember when Diane Sawyer took her ABC cameras to North Korea for a television special. Apparently few if any Americans were ever allowed on North Korean soil until then. I remember how Diane remarked that the children seemed to have these continuous mask-like smiles as though they were instructed to smile for the foreign American guests as they sang and played musical instruments.

 In watching the ABC special I remember noticing how these indelible smiles never changed. It was not natural. Most 3  year olds don’t have a perpetual mask like smile on their face that never changes. This can only happen if the child is told what to do. Diane even remarked in her blog after visiting with the children of how they are taught ferocious training discipline with a and indoctrination at an early age with an “almost religious fervor.”

 So when North Korea recently released this press information warning of  a “sacred war” against South Korea it came as no surprise that they would use such words. That   dogged determination which  they are indoctrinated with since childhood  evidently surfaced as they vowed to carry our their effort with what  can be best described in Diane Sawyer’s words reminiscent of  a religious fervor.

While the North Koreans  threatened to using its nuclear arms and vowed a “merciless counterattack” if southern territory is attacked again, on the other hand they have shown a cool and measured international response offering (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspections.” According to experts,  part of North Korea’s tactic to keep everyone guessing and off balance in terms of what they will do next in a flip flop approach.

 This inconsistent behavior is clearly reflected in the body language of their soldiers as reflected . They are told what to do and how to act and perform even though it is unnatural to the body.

When someone is truly victorious or knows they will have a victory, their arms are raised straight up on the air above their heads. Their fists may be open or clenched shut as a  natural reaction  as you see in the above photo. But their arms  are never at the level of the head as we saw in the photo f the North Korean soldiers in a very unnatural reaction.

 Maybe the Korean military  leader who was no doubt in in charge of choreographing and arranging this  photo had some internal doubts and concerns as to  whether these soldiers could  actually win a  victory.  Perhaps his own body language was at half mast in terms of  rallying for victory. Perhaps his own insecurities were reflected  as he instructed his troop to follow his lead as they no doubt parroted his incongruent partially raised clenched fist and phony smile

 He obviously missed the mark on what he was trying to portray, However he  did manage to  provide us  with  a great deal of insight into his psyche and into what is probably going on in the minds of his superiors.

Numerous  military analysts  worldwide have said that North Korea has wielded its nuclear capability threat before but it has no way to launch a nuclear device. They may obviously know this as well . Perhaps that is why the incongruent  and un natural body language depict what they really know is going on. While they can threaten all they want, if military exerts are correctm and we assume they are, thankfully  they cannot deliver. That that is the message in the photo as I see it .


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