So, Afghanistan is “free” and “democratic” now, eh?


That’s what all the nutters keep telling us the GWOT is about–freedom, democracy, and oh yeah, an end to the burqa for Afghan women. So, I would love to hear them explain this:

Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.


Islamic law experts and human rights activists say that although the language of the original law has been changed, many of the provisions that alarmed women’s rights groups remain, including this one: “Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband’s permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient.”

The law has been backed by the hardline Shia cleric Ayatollah Mohseni, who is thought to have influence over the voting intentions of some of the country’s Shias, which make up around 20% of the population. Karzai has assiduously courted such minority leaders in the run up to next Thursday’s election, which is likely to be a close run thing, according to a poll released yesterday.

So…Unocal’s man in the ‘stan has been sucking up to some very unsavory but influential mullahs for votes, it seems. And yet this guy is supposed to be the answer to the Taliban and its brutal repression? Seems to me that it’s just the same old shit from a different asshole.

My best friend, who sent me the link to this article, attached a commentary I think is worth quoting:

In one of Sheri S Tepper’s novels (I can’t remember which one) when first contact came with aliens the aliens were a galactic confederation that told Earth they had an opportunity to join the confederation. In order to join, they had to meet specific criteria — basically ensure human rights for all citizens and prove they were being enforced.

They were told that if humans couldn’t get their act together by a given deadline, then not only would they be rejected for membership in the confederation, but they would also lose any protection from being considered “open season” hunting grounds for any of the predatory species in the confederation. (The predator species were not permitted to hunt any species that was a member of the confederation.)

I wish I could do something like that to people like those who would deny others basic human rights. Like magically change their genders, so that the men would have to live under the very restrictions they are putting on women.

I don’t remember which Tepper novel it was either (I suspect I haven’t read it), but I can totally get behind that idea, as terrifying as it sounds. If this is what it takes to whip humanity into shape, then let the aliens have at it. This planet has lagged behind on human rights long enough!

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One Response to So, Afghanistan is “free” and “democratic” now, eh?

  1. uzza says:

    My father’s generation fought “to make the world safe for democracy.”
    This one is fighting to make the world safe for rape.
    It’s a good thing my dad didn’t live to see all this.

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