A couple of weeks ago I wrote a short post about Iraq's constitution and women's rights. I must've been in a charitable mood that night, because instead of going with my gut, knowing the the Bush Administration would bail on women if they felt it was politically expedient to do so, I wrote that I needed to learn more about the issue in order to write about it in a coherent way.
How dumb of me to think I've got to read to learn more about what Bush & Co.'s priorities are when it comes to women's rights in Iraq.
The first post that showed me the error of my way was this from the Daily Pepper:
Here's My Other Finger: A Former Bush Ally Lashes Out
(Great headline Pepper...)
are useful to the Bush Administration in so many ways. They dust up the
boss and keep him in line, they add middle-class warmth to a
blueblooded administration, and they are perfect "face material" for a
Remember Safia Taleb al-Suhail?
She was the Iraqi woman George W. Bush trotted out for his State of the Union address earlier this year, the daughter of a man murdered by Saddam Hussein who provided the feel-good moment of the president's performance when, sitting up there in the balcony with Laura Bush, she embraced the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq.
"When we came back from exile, we thought we were going to improve rights and the position of women," she said. "But look what has happened -- we have lost all the gains we made over the last 30 years. It's a big disappointment."
This in at #3:
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Our Great Leader's Great Iraq Experiment took an interesting turn last week when the first draft of the new Iraqi constitution was revealed. Curiously, in George W. Bush's attempt to spread freedom and democracy across the Middle East, he appears to have created an Islamic theocracy where there wasn't one before. (But hey - it's not like anybody could have predicted that, right?)
For example, Article 2 of the new Iraqi constitution says: "Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation... No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam."
Which means that women could soon be in deep trouble in Iraq. While Iraqi ambassador Rend Rahim says that Islamic law does guarantee rights for women, she is worried about "arbitrary interpretations." According to the CS Monitor, "some interpretations allow for men to beat their wives, give men more inheritance rights than women, and consider a woman's testimony to be worth less than a man's when it comes to legal disputes."
What were you saying about freedom, George?
But let's face it - there is not one single issue that Bush toadies cannot attempt to spin. So last week it was down to first-class idiot Reuel Marc Gerecht to give David Gregory the good news on Meet the Press:
GERECHT: Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into
I don't remember George W. Bush saying anything about freedom only applying to people with penises. Must've missed that bit. And why do I get the feeling that there are quite a few people out there who would be thrilled if America had a democracy that resembled America in the year 1900?
Next time I'm going with my female intuition. This administration's not getting the benefit of the doubt again.