Unspeakable: Rape and War

Is rape an inevitable -- and marginal -- part of war? Bosnia opens a terrible new perspective. It shows rape as policy to scorch the enemy's emotional earth.

RAPE AND KILLING ARE CHIEF AMONG THE VICIOUS PLEASURES, A MAN'S recreations on the dark side. Medieval kings reserved for themselves alone the right to do such things, in peacetime anyway. In war, the privileges were distributed to the lowliest foot soldier: every man a king.

Killing, of course, is what soldiers are trained to do. The disciplined destruction of the enemy is their military duty. Soldiers may be court- martialed for not killing.

Rape is a disreputable half-brother to that. No glory attends it. The story of rape in war is murky. Rape after battle has usually been regarded as...

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