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What about the rights of the Iraqi women?

Mike Tidmus and I want to know why, with less than a week left before a vote on the Iraqi Constitution, is the current and future status of women not on the radar of the media. I’ve blogged on this topic before, it’s like a broken record:

* Iraqi women say freedoms are slipping away

* Meeting deadline for Iraq constitution more important to U.S. than women’s rights

* Bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq – but not for women

* Freepers on the Iraqi draft constitution

And there’s even less media coverage of the topic now than at that time of any of those entries. Back in August, I posted “The Iraq mess and the rights of women“, addressing the growing desire along the political spectrum to pull out and cut our losses.

It may be useful to try and think pragmatically, but it’s easy to speak this way when you are not from an oppressed group, or in this case a group — Iraqi women — that is looking down the barrel of a gun of Sharia law about to blast basic rights away. The path this constitutional draft is currently heading in regards to women’s rights is unacceptable.

Bush has repeatedly talked about democracy AND freedom. Freedom includes women’s rights if I’m not mistaken. I think it’s unfortunate to say that “there is very little the United States can do” when none of its citizens are about to lose basic civil rights. Why in god’s name is it expected that a nearly destroyed country such as Iraq must take only a few brief months to craft a document that is to serve future generations of Iraqis, not the U.S.’s desire to get out ASAP because it fucked up.

South Africa took almost five years to work out a final constitution, and it wasn’t a country blown to shreds. It was, however, a country made up of many races, religions and factions that united to craft a document that everyone could agree on. Even the rights of gays and lesbians are protected. That couldn’t have been an easy negotiation.

With such murkiness in the current iteration of the constitution, if approved it would not be surprising if the end result would be civil war because it is not a document with true buy-in by those affected by its adoption. What protections for women that are there on paper, clearly can be diluted in practice. Emboldened radical clerics are already beginning to harrass women that do not cover themselves in public.

But our President is working hard to make it possible to say that whatever chaos ensues as a result of his immoral adventure is not our problem. Is that OK? Is the MSM just going to let it ride?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding