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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Making excuses for Saddam's thuggery 
Writes Mad Tom, another South Floridian, apparently, and proprietor of a blog called "This Fucking War" in the comments to this post:


Not exactly fair. All you have advanced is that saddam was a brutal dictator. But you have not addressed the issue of woman's rights or the facts about the position of women in Iraq society.
Declaring victory while sounding the retreat won't fool anyone, no matter what the talking points say.


Perfectly fair.

It is not neccessary for me to advance anything more than the fact that Saddam was a brutal, sadistic, murderous, totalitarian dictator, in order to falsify the ridiculous notion that Iraqi women had enjoyed anything like western style equality under Saddam. Really, this argument reminds me of the old saws about Hitler not being so bad -- at least he made the trains run on time.

Don't tell me that in a world in which a woman would be targeted for gang rape for the actions of a relative, or that in a world where a woman could be beheaded on the whim of a Ba'athist with no due process that this idea of the rights and the affirmation of the dignity of Iraqi women have any meaning whatsoever.

Don't you dare.

Anyone who would trivialize the memory of the tens or hundreds of thousands of women who perished horribly, and the thousands more who suffered rape, torture, or mutilation at Saddam's hands is no friend of womankind.

And any veneer of occidentalism with regard to the status of women in Iraqi society is nothing more than a ring in the snout of a pig.

Comments:
"It is not neccessary for me to advance anything more than the fact that Saddam was a brutal, sadistic, murderous, totalitarian dictator,"

This was never in dispute, not by me.

"ridiculous notion that Iraqi women had enjoyed anything like western style equality under Saddam."

I think the key words here are "western style equality" something else I never said. Are you sure you are responding to my comments?

"Don't tell me that in a world in which a woman would be targeted for gang rape for the actions of a relative, or that in a world where a woman could be beheaded on the whim of a Ba'athist with no due process that this idea of the rights and the affirmation of the dignity of Iraqi women have any meaning whatsoever."

And under Shariah law are they going to fend any better?
To go back to your argument how is moving the tyrant from Baghdad to Najaf going to help the plight of women or anyone in Iraq. From what I can see this will only move thier position back about 1400 years. We went to Iraq to Liberate the Iraqis, and I have been a staunch supporter of this effort, just read my blog if you doubt it. But replacing one dictator with another accomplishes nothing. Is in fact an insult to all the freedom loving people of the world. An insult that is made worse by those that try to apologize for the fact.

"Anyone who would trivialize the memory of the tens or hundreds of thousands of women who perished horribly, and the thousands more who suffered rape, torture, or mutilation at Saddam's hands is no friend of womankind."

I agree, you sure this is directed towards me? But to go ahead with your own arguments, how about trivializing all the effort blood and money that we and the Iraqis have shed in this effort, just to install a new theocracy in Baghdad that will follow the lead of Tehran. If you read on what's going on in Basra, it's already looking like a mini Tehran, with religious police enforcing Islamic law. Enshrining this into the national constitution will only embolden the enemies of the US, as we will have done for them what they could not do on their own.

Look I have been a long time reader of this blog and respect the work that you have been doing, have linked to many of your articles and agree with much of it. But there is no sense in calling what has been presented to far anything but a failure. We should recognize this fact and find the way to fix it.
 
Madtom,

you and Cpt V are not communicating. The blog post you replied to was in regards to a different author who claimed that Iraqi women had Western Style rights before we invaded. It's probably safe to say that they weren't singled out as specifically in other countries. They were allowed to dress more liberally than in Saudi Arabia for example. But the point that Cpt V was making was that they couldn't vote, couldn't speak out freely, and Saddam began to allow honor killings of females.
You're point that the culture needs to change from the outside in only more validates the point he was trying to make in regards to the external topic, not against you. He took it personal and thought you were critisizing him on that point and not warning about the new constitution
 
Jason,

Good post.

I am always curious how folks who say "but it's not perfect" or "it's not what I was promised" would react to the dull blade sawing through the tendons of their neck, or the bullet ripping its path through their temple by the same folks who perpetuated Saddm's regime. Would they then say, "Time out. I'm happy with it compared to the alternatives."

Perhaps the new Iraqi constitution would be good enough for them then. Perhaps the improvement in their lives after 40 yrs of evil, dictatorial Stalinist rule would be more than enough improvment for them if the future held only more of the same torture.

But perhaps not. They certainly cheerlead against it enough.

Subsunk
 
"would be good enough for them then."

How are "they" any different than us.
 
Well, "they" are 97 percent muslim. Which is why they should have an Islamic republic, if that's what they want.

Minority rights are already written into the constitution. As is the equality of women before the law.
 
"Well, "they" are 97 percent muslim"

Well by that great reasoning we are 97% Christian, we should have a Christian republic. Should we abolish the Supreme Court in it's present form, and just ask the Pope to be our arbiter? Or is he not the correct type of Christian authority for you? which Christian authority would you put in his place?

"Minority rights are already written into the constitution. As is the equality of women before the law."

All of which will be under the discretion of the Sharia Courts, which will decide what and how that equality will be administered. This is exactly what happened in Iran. If that was going to work, why has it failed in Iran and what makes you think that Iraq will fair any better?
And do you think that the establishment of an "Islamic Republic" is a fulfillment of the Presidents promise to help freedom spread, to stand with those who needed our help, and to bring democracy to the ME?

Let me ask you a question that's been in my head the last couple of days.
Which of the rights and protections that you enjoy today would you give up? If you could only keep 75% of the freedom you have today, which ones do you feel are in excess or are irrelevant to the prosperity of the nation as a whole?
And how many of those rights would you like to see put to test of an arbitrary interpretation of a religious text and or establishment?
 
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