In 2012, five Iraqi men in their 20s were arrested on charges in Colorado related to the extremely bloody rape and assault of a woman, who has been variously described as elderly or middle-aged. It was a sex crime so violent law enforcement describe it as "rare" and "horrific" and "one of the worst in Colorado history."
Finally, the last defendant in the crime now comes to trial. His name is Jasim Ramadon, above in orange. A decade ago, Jasim, known as "Steve-O," helped US troops i.d. Saddam loyalists, including his father.
UPDATE: Jasim Ramadon has been convicted on multiple counts of sexual assault.
As the disturbing realization sinks in -- that the smiling boy with the US soldier on the book cover above is the same person in the mug shot -- it's worth taking a moment to consider the crime itself: specifically, how it could possibly be that experienced law enforcement officers in Colorado find themselves encountering rape and assault of "new" horror. Where is such "new" violence coming from? If we permit ourselves to keep thinking, we will remember that in recent years we have all come to know of previously unheard of brutality in crime: murders by actual beheading; murders called "honor" killings; murders of people for their deciding to abandon Islam ("apostasy"). These are not crimes Americans grew up reading about. Only a few years ago, these crimes weren't happening here. If we are honest -- a very big "if" -- we will recognize that these crimes, perhaps even this "new" act of violent rape in Colorado, are in fact manifestations mainly of Islam and other more violent cultures (Mexican drug cartels, for example) now in our midst.
What next? Unless we rethink current immigration policy, we can look to places including the Islamic world for clues. How about car bombs in American shopping malls? Anti-Christian, anti-Jewish persecution in the USA? Full-blown religious war? Or, perhaps, will simply being in America -- much as Americans have believed simply being in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the fighting -- tame all? Even if it doesn't tame "all," but instead tames "most," is the violence of a "few" -- and the resulting pain and suffering inflicted, in this case, on an older woman -- something American officials should be importing into our society on a large scale through such immigration and "refugee resettlement"?
Of course not. But, as Ann Corcoran chronicles (like no one else) at Refugee Resettlement Watch, they are at it night and day.
These are some of the urgent national questions swirling around a crime that so far remains a local story in Colorado Springs.
Some early details about the case from the Colorado Gazette in 2012 here. The Gazette noted:
Police said all five [suspects] had established "lawful permanent resident" status within the past five years but could face deportation if convicted of the crimes.
Four of the five Iraqis arrested have already had their cases decided, and deportation doesn't seem to have come up. One defendant, Sarmad Fahdi Mohammed, was sentenced to 16 years to life for his role in the assault. Three have been convicted of misdemeanor charges of lying to police. The final defendant, who has now come to trial, faces multiple counts of sexual assault. That's Jasim Ramadon, aka Jay Hendrex -- the boy on the book cover and the man in the mug shot.
As press accounts have noted, Ramadon is a "central character" in a 2009 war memoir by Army First Sgt. Daniel Hendrex, A Soldier's Promise:The Heroic True Story of an American Soldier and an Iraq Boy. From online excerpts of the book at Amazon, it becomes clear that Ramadon -- the "Iraqi boy" of the subtitle, who is referred to as "Steve-O" throughout -- is the central character of the book, a key informant for Hendrex's unit in Iraq in 2003, and, from gratitude, subsequent recipient of the soldier's promise. "Steve-O, I promise to get you out of here," Hendrex told him. It is not hard to understand the soldier's motivation. "Steve-O" had greatly helped US troops. He had i.d.'d, among other insurgents, his own Iraqi Army/Saddam loyalist father to US troops, activities that apparently led to the kililng of the teen's mother.
Looking back, that doesn't mean it was a good idea -- or, rather, good policy. It turns out that "Steve-O" is not an isolated case. Media reports indicate that all five of the defendants in the Colorado assault used to work for US troops in Iraq, and later received entry into the US due to the efforts of US military personnel. This Colorado crime, then, has direct links to the US war in Iraq.
In 2013, The Gazette reported:
Testimony has also revealed aspects of the backgrounds of some of the accused men. Like Jasim, Al Juboori and Ramadon were teenagers during the American invasion of Iraq; they become interpreters, and in some cases, like family to soldiers they worked with. Ramadon was taken under the wing of Army 1st Sgt. Daniel Hendrex, who wrote a memoir about their time in Iraq together. When he arrived in America, Jasim lived with another sergeant and his family on his North Dakota farm; Al Juboori said in court Thursday that a colonel helped him obtain a visa to the United States.
So, two sergeants and a colonel helped three of the Iraqis to take up residency in the US. In another story, we learn that unspecified " military personnel" brought Mohammed, who had translated for US troops, here as well. (Mohammed is now serving 16 years to life.) And then what happened? What do they now think about their interventions? I have seen no mention in press accounts about this key aspect in the background of the crime story -- not even as to whether these military sponsors/mentors were sought after by the defense as character witnesses.
In his 2009 book, Hendrex writes that Ramadon came to live with Hendrex and his wife for eight months in Colorado Springs, later the scene of this heinous crime. Ramadon then went on to live with another family. In the book, the decision is presented as having been based on counsel from "the psychologist," and the teen's need, Hendrex noted, for a daily male presence in his life that his own military career made impossible.
Trouble in paradise? In 2012, following Ramadon/Hendrex's arrest, The Gazette was unable to reach the segeant for comment -- I haven't seen any post-arrest comments from Hendrex, whom one report now places in Ft. Meade, MD -- but noted an earlier indicator of disharmony dating back to 2006.
At home, things weren’t going as well as the publicity indicated, Hendrex said in 2006, especially after he redeployed and the boy was left in his wife’s care. Because of cultural differences, Ramadon had difficulty being in a house run by a woman. A psychologist recommended that he live somewhere else, with a family without military connections, he told The Gazette.“You had this vision of how you want this to work out, and when I had to go back to Iraq, it really was tough to hear that things weren’t going well,” Hendrex told The Gazette.
So, it seems, young Ramadon had to leave the Hendrex house because he was unable to act like a civilized human being in the presence of the wife of his great sponsor, his mentor, his life-saver. Or maybe it was that he, a Muslim boy, was unable to act like a Western-civilized human being. In other words, it may well be the case that the "difficulties" Ramadon had being in "a house run by a woman" fell within the norm of Islamic-Iraqi-civilization -- within the norms set by sharia (Islamic law). It's easy to imagine a hundred scenarios short of the crime Ramadon is now charged with that might have led to him and the Hendrexes parting ways. Call it "cultural differences" vs. "this vision."
Where did these "cultural differences" regarding women (and undoubtedly other things) come from? That's easy -- from Islam and tribalism in Iraq. Not so easy for Hendrex, of course, aflicted as he is with "this vision." And where does Hendrex's "vision" come from? A century or more of Utopian drip, drip, drip -- Marxism, Leftistism, socialism, liberalism, progressivism, globalism, all of it coursing through our nation's veins, disabling the body politic to an indefensible point of blindness and paralysis. Islam and the West are interchangeable, the mantra goes; just insert a ballot box on the end of a bayonet and dump a billion dollars worth of rec. rooms and air conditioning units on all the outposts of the umma and, presto, the House of Burgesses. Goodbye sharia. So long, sectarian strife. Hello, peaceful people. Men who respect women. Muslims who respect Christians; Jews, too, and aetheists, "apostates," free speech, the works. Just leave young "Steve-O" in your wife's care; everything will work out. And if it doesn't work out, he'll be on his way. No one will ever notice the "cultural differences."
As Hendrex writes (in 2009), in 2005, thanks to the pro bono services of Jeff Joseph, "Colorado's top immigration lawyer," Ramadon received political asylum.
From The Gazette in 2012:
At school, Ramadon was also having trouble, he told KOAA-TV in an October 2011 interview. He got into fights when students started calling him a terrorist. “I didn’t know how to react, so I started getting into fights,” he told the television station. Over time, Ramadon’s violence escalated, court records show. In 2009, he faced a felony menacing charge under the alias Jay Hendrex, which was later dismissed. In 2010, he faced an assault charge under the same name and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. In early 2011, he and his high school girlfriend, Jamilla Mares, had a baby and in August that year he faced a domestic violence charge involving her, which was dismissed. Mares, however, soon filed a restraining order saying that he had sent to her to the hospital twice — he had busted blood vessels in her eyes and face, crushed soft tissue in her arm and bruised tissue and muscles in her neck when he choked her, she wrote in her restraining order application. He told her that he was going to kill her. The outcome of that restraining order application is unclear.
To be sure, we know it wasn't deportation.
Now we await the outcome of Ramadon's trial. What of the woman in the case, who moved away from Colorado Springs, has ongoing health problems and PTSD? And what of Hendrex, and that other sergeant from North Dakota, and that colonel, too, and those other military personnel? What are they thinking?
And how big a potential problem are really looking at? Surely, there are other Iraq vets (A-stan, too) who took young Iraqis "under their wing," got them out, and brought them to US towns and farms. When things don't work out as envisioned, have they, too, lost track of their erstwhile charges as they slipped into the US population? Regardless of Ramadon's verdict, his saga is already much more than a bittersweet, feel-good human interest story on "Oprah" about the early days of the Iraq war. It becomes another piece of wreckage from the crash, not clash, of cultures, that doomed the American "nation-building" fiasco in Iraq.
We can now ask the rape victim how the war's aftermath feels -- here.