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Why We Fight – U.S. Troops Die For Rapists By Ted Rall + Afghanistan Women Protest

Dandelion Salad

By Ted Rall
May 08, 2009 “Information Clearing House

LOS ANGELES–American soldiers serving in Vietnam wondered what they were fighting for. U.S. troops in Afghanistan don’t have that problem. They know exactly what they’re fighting for: rapists.

After President Obama’s coming “Afghan surge” there will be 72,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Their primary mission is to prevent Afghans from overthrowing the unpopular regime of Hamid Karzai, the former oil consultant installed by George W. Bush when the U.S. occupation began nearly eight years ago.

America’s media repeatedly claimed that Afghan women would be better off under the U.S.-supported Northern Alliance puppet government headed by Karzai than under the Taliban. But when I went to Afghanistan and asked women what they thought, they had a different story. The defeat of the Taliban brought about the collapse of law and order, making life even more dangerous, especially for women. “Under the Taliban,” a woman told me, “I watched rapists being executed. Now I see them in the government.”

The Afghan women’s rights group RAWA has repeatedly told anyone willing to listen that there hasn’t been much improvement for women and girls since the U.S. occupation began in 2001. But no one–least of all left-of-center Americans eager to embrace the Afghan war–has wanted to hear what they had to say. “Most women still wear the all-encompassing burqa through fear of attack and social pressure, a third of women in Kabul do not leave the house, forbidden from doing so by the male members of the family, and it is still almost impossible for women to get a divorce,” reported The Sunday Herald in 2005.

Liberal Democrats who cling to Afghanistan as “the good war” the U.S. should be fighting are being forced to confront the ugly truth about their ally. Karzai has signed a law that states that “women cannot leave the house without their husbands’ permission, that they can only seek work, education or visit the doctor with their husbands’ permission, and that they cannot refuse their husband sex,” reported the British newspaper The Guardian on March 31st.

The Shiite Personal Status act applies only to devotees of the Shia branch of Islam, which account for between 10 and 20 percent of the population. How can a secular democratic state have different laws depending on a citizen’s faith? The answer is: It can’t. Afghanistan isn’t secular or democratic. The “new” Afghanistan’s constitution is based on Sharia law–exactly as it was under the Taliban. But the U.S. media has purposefully failed to report the icky truth about our ally.

The new law requires women to have sex with their husbands at least once every four days unless they are sick or menstruating. “Obedience, readiness for intercourse and not leaving the house without the permission of the husband are the duties of the wife,” reads the law of a nation ostensibly invaded by U.S. troops in part to liberate Afghan women. “As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night,” it says.

Afghan Senator Humaira Namati calls the rape bill “worse than during the Taliban” and said it was rammed through parliament without debate. “Anyone who spoke out was accused of being against Islam,” she said. Several hundred women protesting the law on the streets of Kabul were viciously assaulted by men as police stood back and watched.

In fairness to the responsible male legislators, they did add a provision to protect Shiite women from “dead bed”: Afghan men have to put out “at least once every four months.”

Karzai signed legalized rape into law in order to appease right-wing legislators in an election year. After international criticism, however, he began backpedaling with the lamest of all possible reasons: he didn’t read the bill before he was for it.

“I was not aware of what I had signed,” Afghan parliamentarian Sabrina Saqib said Karzai told her. The legislation “has so many articles,” Karzai told CNN. “Now I have instructed, in consultation with clergy of the country, that the law be revised and any article that is not in keeping with the Afghan constitution and Islamic Sharia must be removed from this law.”

As Karzai BSes for the cameras, hundreds of Afghan women languish in prisons around the country. Their crime? They’re teen brides, some as young as 10, who ran away from much older husbands who purchased them. “In President Hamid Karzai’s Afghanistan, women are still imprisoned for running away from home,” reports The Sunday Herald.

Nice theocracy you got there, Mullah Karzai.

Remember this column the next time you watch a flag-draped coffin returning from Afghanistan. The young man inside that box didn’t die for nothing. He died to protect rapists.

Ted Rall, President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, is an award-winning political cartoonist and op-ed columnist for Universal Press Syndicate. He is the author of 14 books, including graphic novels, political polemics and travelogues covering Central and South Asia. Visit his website www.tedrall.com


[DS added the video]

Afghanistan Women Protest


Women protesting against a controversial Shi’ite family law in Kaboul, Afghanistan


Pepe Escobar: Killing them softly with air strikes

Scores dead after US strike in Afghanistan + Democracy at Gunpoint Guarantees U.S. Defeat

Afghanistan: Heroin-ravaged State by Prof. Peter Dale Scott

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19 Responses

  1. Back on topic here………..

    I’m not surprised by the fact that we’re “fighting for rapists”; doesn’t anybody remember how many instances of rape have been perpetrated against _American_ servicewomen by their own so-called “brothers-in-arms”?

  2. Those with the power, in this case men, are always reluctant to give it up. It’s no different anywhere in the world. It’s part of human nature, perhaps an ugly part especially for those wanting power, but a part of human nature nonetheless. The question always becomes if those gaining power in a struggle will leave a society, on the whole, any better off than before

  3. [...] Why We Fight – U.S. Troops Die For Rapists By Ted Rall + Afghanistan Women Protest [...]

  4. [...] Why We Fight – U.S. Troops Die For Rapists By Ted Rall + Afghanistan Women Protest [...]

  5. [...] Why We Fight – U.S. Troops Die For Rapists By Ted Rall + Afghanistan Women Protest [...]

  6. [...] Civilians Pay Price of War from Above By Robert Fisk [...]

  7. [...] Why We Fight – U.S. Troops Die For Rapists By Ted Rall + Afghanistan Women Protest [...]

  8. It is great to see the islamic women protesting. They will prevail, it is destiny.

    But also destiny is that the USA will ‘lose’ this horrible war.

    Even General Betrayus knows this.

    We can’t understand islamic taliban law, nor islamic war, any more than we understood Asian war in vietnam and Korea.

    What am I saying, there is no ‘understanding’ war! It’s completely irrational.

    What we need to do is denuclearize the failed state of Pakistan, disarm it of nuclear weapons, and then we need to leave. We need to disown NATO, it’s not our war. Try not occupying foreign lands via force, then insurgencies don’t crop up.

    My god, I’d have even taken Ron Paul over this Obomba at this point! Anything to stop US warmongering.

    Where is the outrage??

    Come home amerigaah. Please, make this stop!

    • We can hope that the women continue to protest.

      Good suggestions, Natureboy.

      I agree with you, I would have voted for Paul over Obama if those were the choices. At least with Paul we would have our troops home, foreign bases closed, and an end to the CIA entirely!

      • Yes, end the CIA, I’m so sick of spies!

      • You supported Obama? After having summarized his cabinet appointments BEFORE the election, what reason did you have to believe anything would be different than what has happened during the last forty years?

        Anyone who has any kind of possibility of winning an election is bought and paid for by the financial elite. Brzezinski and Kissinger are both protégés of David Rockefeller. So are Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner. Like South Africa after apartheid, what has changed, and why would anyone have any reason to believe anything would change?

        Apparently, the Europeans like Obama, but they like him because he is “not Bush”, and not for any kind of intelligent analysis of his policies.

        The problem with Paul was his religious beliefs. Not Christianity but Austrian economics. Austrian economics is like those scientific theories, like string theory, where there is none and can never be any evidence for it. It sounds great because it sounds like a solution and it sells because of public confusion. But there never was and never will be any evidence for it because it can never be implemented because of human nature.

        The only viable candidate was Kucinich, and everyone saw how he was sidelined by the establishment. He was sidelined because the power elite were afraid of him. Of course if he had been elected by some fluke, he would have been assassinated.

        • Weldon, who are asking “You supported Obama?”?

          Neither Natureboy nor I voted for Obama. Where did you think that either of us did?

          Kucinich dropped out before the primary in my state unfortunately.

          Nader was the candidate that I supported and still support, although there were other 3rd party candidates, too, such as Cynthia McKinney.

          Ron Paul ran as a Republican and dropped out after the primary when McCain received the nomination.

          • Dandelion Salad said: “I would have voted for Paul over Obama if those were the choices”

            • But those were not the choices that we had in Nov. Paul already dropped out and Nader was on the ballot, among other 3rd Party candidates.

            • As a Kucinich fan, I had many issues with these rightist Paulists. Kucinich was indeed not only the only candidate, he was/is an incredible politician! I despise politics, but if they could be so honest and disciplined in morality, social wisdom and the rule of law, i’d not be such a cynic about politicians.

              Of all the terrible vicissitudes of the last 40 years of US politics, I actually feel honored, almost patriotic in the presence of Dennis Kucinich.

              It is so sad that we had true change at hand, yet nothing truly changed. But there is one ray, one glimmer, Obomba is at least not a member of skull & bones, and didn’t himself commit cold-blooded war-crimes by his own hand, like Kerry & McBomb. And he was a follower of Rev. right, and he shook Hugo’s hand with a knowing smile, and he has a copy of Las Venas Abiertas.

              This is different than Dick, and less negative is unfortunately the only positive we can claim in terms if Amerigoon moral progress.

              But his careless policy in Afghanistan has made him a worse war-criminal than either, as the new commander in thief.

              Weldon well compares Zbig with Kissinger; while I’m not ready to find credence in the idea that bilderbergers selected obomba, it is sickening that Geithner & Sommers are anywhere near policy. Goldman graduates are the monetary enemy of the people’s government.

              But none of the banksterisms are quite as bad as bombing people with napalm and white phosphorous, and Iron fragment grenades, and for this reason alone, Dr. Paul would have been a better commander in chief, for he would have brought back all the troops and shut down all the bases, saving millions of lives and trillions of $$, and for this world would have been far better off.

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