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February 16, 2004

And Back in Kabul?

How can Bush talk seriously about bringing democracy to Iraq, when he's neglected Afghanistan to the point where elections may not be able to happen this year. Violence engulfs fo much of the country that registering voters has been impossible:

only 8 percent of eligible Afghan voters have been enrolled. Among women, only 2 percent have registered.
We have spent hundreds of billions of additional dollars on increased military spending, but only a handful of billions on economic aid to Afghanistan. With few jobs and an explosion of drug traffic, it's hardly surprising that Afghanistan remains a basketcase, with Taliban-linked zeolots retaking control of large chunks of the country.

I opposed the Afghanistan war. Not because I thought the world wouldn't be better off without the Taliban, but because I had deep faith that the Bush administration was using the war for political purposes, and would abandon real help for the people of Afghanistan as soon as they found another target for their war propaganda needs.

Unfortuntately, Bush has lived down to my low expectations. We heard to much about fighting a war for "womens rights"-- rotgut from an administration that undermines global womens rights at every turn-- and we see the hypocrisy in the results now in Afghanistan:

Because fundamentalist warlords now rule areas of the country like their personal fiefdoms, the situation of women and girls in parts of Afghanistan today remains a continuing crime against humanity. In three western provinces ruled by the warlord Ismail Khan, any female unaccompanied by a husband or male relative in public may be seized by virtue vigilantes and subjected to humiliating examinations to determine whether she recently had sexual intercourse.
But the goal was always propaganda at home, not womens rights abroad. Look at Iraq where the US has allowed the its puppet Iraqi Governing Council to cancel Iraq's long-standing family laws, which give great equality to women, and put family law under the control of Islamic law.

Look at the reality of actions on the ground and don't even think that these wars were fought for democracy or womens rights.

Update: It's good that the broad complaints about the administration seem to be having their effect. Paul Bremer actually is making noises about blocking making sharia a binding part of Iraq's Constitution. We'll see if this is anything more than the public lies they usually tell.

Posted by Nathan at February 16, 2004 08:09 AM