An average of four women a day are killed by batterers in the US. That's a WTC/Pentagon attack every two years. Do we see that played over and over again like a mantra like we do that trumped up picture of the Saddam statue being pulled down? Sixty-seven percent of women who kill mates are doing so to protect themselves or their children from a batterer, yet the ratio of prison time served for male-killing-female mate to female-killing-male is 1 to 2. Ninety-three percent of women killed by mates were battered by them prior to the time they were killed. Battery of wives is involved in 25% of reported US crime. It's the number one cause of emergency room visits by women. Thirty-seven percent of US women have experienced battering at some time in their lives.
There are reported to be 1,155,600 US women who have been forcibly raped by a spouse. Half the women who are homeless are escaping a violent domestic situation. And the US spends three times as much to shelter animals as it does to shelter domestic abuse victims. This only scratches the surface. We haven't talked about brutality and discrimination toward gays and lesbians, about economic dependency, about the psychological tolls, suicides... I've been studying this stuff for a book on gender and war, and it turns out there it terrorism right here in the United States. Do you see the media covering that like they do -- strike up the dramatic music here -- Showdown in Iraq? That's my domestic issue for today.
[JVB] What do you think is the most important issue facing America now?
[SG] I can't answer that. There is no one issue. All the issues are related, and the importance depends on your position in society. My son is in Iraq, so the war is my issue now. If he were in some shit hole prison, then prisons would be my issue. If one of my loved ones was wasting away with some disease without medical care, then health care would be my issue. If I were on strike, then I'd have a labor issue. The really deep problems facing America, however, economic collapse and ecocide, are not ultimately soluble within the current system, because they are the inevitable outcomes of that system.
[JVB] What do you think about the recent news that $3 billion was pulled out of the $87 billion Iraqi appropriation to establish "a paramilitary unit manned by militiamen associated with former Iraqi exile groups"?
[SG] What do we think about millions that were subtracted from that sum to create a paramilitary unit in Miami? I like the Iraqi exile militia idea. I sincerely hope they do it. It will certainly further delegitimate Paul Bremer and his ilk and hasten their departure from Southwest Asia.
[JVB] Do you agree with Robert Dreyfuss of the American Prospect that "The [paramilitary unit] plan is part of a last-ditch effort to win the war before time runs out politically?
[SG] Yes. I haven't read the piece, but I think there is definitely an event horizon beyond which is a point of no return. There is no exact way to identify it, and it may have already been passed. My own intuition is that it has, that perhaps it was passed when the first wave went north from Kuwait in March. In Full Spectrum Disorder, I suggested this, but I wasn't as sure then. I finished the book at the end of June. Maybe when it comes out in January, I'll look prescient. The political