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Where Are the ‘Cherry Girls’ in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Jack Douglas

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I assume almost all rapes by US military personnel everywhere are silenced by US pay-offs, oppression, media suppression, and murders. Once in a while an infamous case leads to local revolt against the US Empire, as happened in Japan in the past year or more over the rape of a Japanese school girl in Okinawa. The Okinawans rose up and demanded the U.S. leave Okinawa, then it got into national politics in Japan and the winner in the PM race promised to get the US out, but the US “convinced” him to stop that once he won–guess how! It’s still roiling the Japanese in the new top level political race.

[I've had good friends who were involved in non-sexual but violent actions by US personnel that the US silenced. One close friend of decades (and an excellent informant on many things for me around the world) was teaching a course on a Navy ship that docked in Subic Bay, Philippines, for R&R. Some locals beat up some Navy guys in a bar with my friend there. The Navy guys and their shipmates organized a local revenge hit that got quite violent and they blew away some of the villagers. The US government officials took control of the Americans involved, including my friend, got them out of the country, and the whole thing never happened in the Media. Friends who have traveled in areas like that have told me there are kidnappings of Americans that never get into the Media because they are quashed. The Special Ops Murder Squads of Project Phoenix, etc., in Vietnam only got into the papers many years later. You could fill a library with such non-reported incidents.]

Rape of Muslim women, or even consensual prostitution, is such a violently explosive issue–far more so than the current US service men in Afghanistan charged with randomly killing civilians and dismembering some for trophies and far more so than Abu Ghraib details made public by the secret revelations of one man–that the US obviously is annihilating all instances that threaten to get into the Media.

I did an article years ago about the Media non-reporting about US military sex in Iraq entitled “Where Are the Cherry Girls?” I took the term “Cherry Girls” from the Korean War. One of my roommates at Harvard [later an economist for the UN in Vienna] was a Korean who was a young Lt. in the ROK Army. Since he knew English moderately, they assigned  him to be translator for the US troops and they secretly assigned him to translate for the GIs seeking R&R with the local girls for pay, called “Cherry Girls” by the GIs (maybe because they were so young). He loathed the whole thing. Camp followers and rapes in war are as ancient as Assyrian and Sumerian imperialism. So where is there a mention of them in the vast Media outpourings about Iraq and Afghanistan? Is the US the first nation to have eliminated prostitution and rape in vast wars over many years? Is anyone stupid enough to believe that? Obviously, the Media don’t print what they are ordered–”asked politely”–not to print, as we have seen over and over again.

Sept. 13, 2010