Monday, December 22, 2008

Meanwhile, in Iraq...

Remember how the Iraq occupation was supposed to help remove Saddam's rape rooms and to make the whole country into a democratic paradise? Even women were going to be empowered, by God!

Of course women are considerably worse off now, on most measures. They might be dead or widowed, for example. And educated women in Basra are subjected to Taliban-type controls and worse. Those actively promoting secular ideas such as women's rights get killed elsewhere, too.

Why am I writing one of these dismal posts which never gets any comments, because the whole topic is too awful and then we might step in with the wrong foot and what's the solution, in any case? Powerlessness is not pretty, and we are indeed pretty powerless in helping the women of Iraq. But I wish that the U.S. governments stopped pretending that they care about women (the majority of Iraqis, by the way) when it fits their other objectives. Dropping that pretense is so very unseemly.

Naturally I'd prefer real commitment to women as human beings and to their rights as part of human rights.