Talk:Four more U.S. soldiers charged with rape of 14-year-old girl, murders

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Age issue (again)[edit]

Not that I think this info belongs anywhere in the headline, but now she's 14 apparently. This age thing doesn't appear to have been settled all that definitively.--Birdmessenger 16:46, 9 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

And now it's settled: She's 14.
--Birdmessenger 01:49, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Headline (again)[edit]

"Four more US soldiers charged in Iraqi rape controversy"? (where's the controversy here?) Doldrums 17:35, 9 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Okay, lets get this sorted out on the talk page first before we have any more renames. :-) However, let the title stand for a bit while the story attracts contributors. In the state it was when I changed the title the article focused heavily on the dispute over the age, hence my use of the term "controversy". If, as the article develops, add proposed titles below and allow people to comment on why they think it should be a particular one or not. Not a vote or straw-poll, but a bit of open discussion/brainstorming. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
story (potentially) has 3 major components:
  • additional charges
  • request for exhumation
  • new info on age
one possibility is to keep some innocuous working title till the story gets written and then change it later. Doldrums 18:08, 9 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed headlines[edit]

This is another article where there is likely to be dispute over the message given by the title, the initial title is effectively unacceptable because it is (a) confusing - only 4 additional solders have been charged, not 5 (b) it uses the "/" character - which I believe is a technical no-no.

  • Additional four solders charged in Iraqi rape controversy
Comment, controversy may become redundant as Doldrums points out, this depends on the development of the article. At present a significant section is devoted to the dispute over the victim's age, to my mind a controversy. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Four additional U.S. solders charged in Mahmoudiya rape and murder case
Comment, this relies on the town name being unusual and convincing people to click on it, it's a complete alternative suggestion rather than trying to be brutal or hard-hitting in the headline. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Just saw this; the new sources have cleared up any confusion about the age of the girl. The new title is clear and backed up by the sources. Neutralizer 02:32, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I've no problems right now. There's a solid primary source for the new age independent of the news sources. Ealturner 02:55, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'm going to rename the headline slightly without waiting for discussion. I accept that it might change again, but hope it at least stays as the working title for now. Karen 06:25, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Agree with Doldrums here. We need to keep the title simple and direct. How about More US soldiers charged over the Iraq rape case Pandoo 07:33, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Other details[edit]

mayor of Mahmoudiya - do we have a full name? Ealturner 02:56, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Mouyad Fadhil Saif--Birdmessenger 13:03, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

rape and murder of 14-year-old (oh, and also they murdered her parents and sister)[edit]

Seems to me that the info that the men are charged with killing four people belongs up at the top with the information about Abeer Hamza, instead of singling her out to be the focus of the story.

I would also argue that the headline should reflect this.--Birdmessenger 12:58, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I think the alleged attack on the 14 year old is much more newsworthy because there are already numerous incidents of US soldiers allegedly murdering Iraqis under investigation; this is the only rape and especially since it was a child makes it more newsworthy; imo. However, I will rename as you suggest; I hope we are not now going to be told the title is too long. Neutralizer 13:44, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Neutralizer what does other news have to do with this news? You're making this complicated. Please make the title accurate to the story. Ealturner 13:47, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
That way of thinking is a bit too sensationalistic and tabloid IMO. --Jambalaya 20:51, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Just a suggestion: Maybe we should hold off on renaming until the article is fully developed and/or others have expressed an opinion as to the title. That way we can head off any potential edit warring and all those messy double redirects and other problems.--Birdmessenger 13:54, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. As the title is now there is no reference to the other murders in the title. The title is misleading as it implies the other soldiers are implicated with the rape and klling of the girl only. Ealturner 13:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

ok; let's have some suggestions. I don't know how to fix it where it won't be too long and,as Karen said, we don't have to tell everything in the title.

  • I think the arrest for raping and murdering a young girl is the most newsworthy aspect.

so as long as that aspect is in the title, I would agree to any title. Neutralizer 13:51, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I'm not married to this, but what about: Four more U.S. soldiers charged in rape of teen, murders in Iraq?--Birdmessenger 14:01, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think that since the initial articles took such pains in valuing the US estimate of 25 years old, the news was greatly sanitized. Now that we know it was a girl, a child, I think we are duty bound to report her as a girl or child; not as a "young woman" or "teenager"...those terms simply serve to shield/deny the extra criminality of the event. Perhaps some editors do not think there is any difference between the rape of an adult female and the rape of a child but I would say that is their own POV and not the generally accepted view of most societies which have special laws relating to harming,attacking,and raping underaged children. I strongly believe that child or girl or even better, the factual age(14) must be in the title as I expect it would be if a gang of terrorists were charged with raping a 14 year old american girl and then killing her and 3 family members.somewhere in the world. Also, I still think that the alleged attack on the 14 year old is much more newsworthy because there are already numerous incidents of US soldiers allegedly murdering Iraqis under investigation and in a war setting the killing of civilians is not as much of a news item as the premeditated and planned rape of an underaged Iraqi girl. Neutralizer 14:19, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
After thinking about it, I agree that the age would likely have been in headlines had the age been immediately clear. See this, for instance. How about Four more U.S. soldiers charged in rape of 14-year-old girl, murders in Iraq?--Birdmessenger 15:36, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
How about Four more U.S. soldiers charged with murders, rape of 14-year-old Iraqi girl? Doldrums 15:53, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Whould the commas be good English? How about Four more U.S. soldiers charged with four murders and rape of 14-year-old Iraqi girl? Refering to your previous title. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:38, 10 July 2006
Neutralizer //I think that since the initial articles took such pains in valuing the US estimate of 25 years old, the news was greatly sanitized.// Wrong. The 25 year old estimate was the infomation on which the US court charged the soldier with rape and murder. This happened. Thus it was part of the news so it had to be reported. There was no "sanitization" as we had next to this the qualification the girl's uncle said she was a young teen. Get what I'm saying? No satinization went on. Doldrums title looks good to me. Ealturner 17:18, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Should we include this background info?[edit]

From the Wikipedia article this sourced info; "The Qasim family lived in an isolated farm house situated close to a traffic checkpoint manned by US soldiers. The soldiers, who noticed Abeer as she worked in the field next to the house, [6] formed a 6-man unit responsible for the traffic checkpoint. According to the neighbors, the accused soldiers had previously entered the farmhouse several times, ostensibly to search it, and had made advances towards Abeer in the days before the actual killing took place.[7] Abeer's brother Mohammed, aged 13, who survived the attack along with his younger brother because they were in school at the time, said he witnessed one of the soldiers stroke Abeer's face during one of their visits to the house, a gesture that had terrified the girl. [8] Abeer's mother was concerned enough about the soldier's advances to request that Abeer be allowed spend her nights at the neighbor’s house [9]. Abeer’s father didn’t think a significant danger was eminent, saying “it was no problem and that she was just a small girl.” [10]. Nevertheless, Abeer started to sleep at her neighbor’s house at nights, which proved to be an ineffective deterrent as the attack took place in broad daylight the day after Abeer spent her first night with neighbors."

I'm thinking that this info indicates extreme premediatation and would be relavant to the prosecution and therefore to this article. However, others may have a different opinion so maybe it should be left out of our news story? Neutralizer 14:19, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

we can certainly include a gist of it (say, 2/3 reasonable length sentences), so long as all of it is adequately sourced (i know some of it is from the washpost, but don't know about the rest of it). right now, the article described the other soldiers' alleged involvement in the incident. this describes that they were involved (even if not in a conspiracy) in the run-up to it. also note that the wikipediapar box is quite prominent,and that's where readers shld go for background. Doldrums 14:42, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Include it!! Include it!! Like Doldrums says.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:34, 10 July 2006
Well done for finding that info on the Wikipedia page - but, nonetheless, you need to make sure all claims are properly cited. Mohammed Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, 13, saw the cheek stroking incident. Here's the cite.,9171,1211562,00.html Ealturner 17:31, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Please leave your ID when you post by using ~ four wiggly lines Ealturner 17:31, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Headline change[edit]

The concensus is to make the title reflect the content of the article. I'm changing from "Additional four U.S. soldiers charged with rape, murder of 14-year-old Iraqi girl" to "Four more U.S. soldiers charged with rape of 14-year-old girl and murders"


  1. "Four more" instead of "additional four" = reduces syllable count by THREE
  2. The word "murder" moved to end with "s" put on the end
  3. The word "and" added before the last word.
  4. Total syllables saved: TWO.

I think this solves it. Ealturner 21:26, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Yes; good work Ealturner. Neutralizer 21:45, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Karen saved another word by following suggestion in Wikinews:Style_guide#Headlines 21:53, 10 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]