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Sunday, February 06, 2005

And What I Said About Iraq

In a previous entry I expressed my doubts about Dick and George's excellent adventure in Iraq. Even while everybody was getting misty-eyed about the success of the election, I questioned something that no other pundit seemed even to be picking up on, how all the woman in what was once a highly secularized, westernized country were suddenly wearing black veils from head to toe. I recalled newspaper and magazine articles, prior to America's invasion, where Iraqi women expressely mentioned their fear that an American invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein would lead to a take over of the government by the clerics and the set up of Shariah as the law of Iraq. Now, none of these women liked Saddam Hussein. Everybody, Iraqi and American recognized that he was an amoral tyrant with two sons even more vicious than he was.

But the danger of his removal was that a power vaccuum was created that could allow militant Islam to rush in. Now this article show that that is a very real possibility. Meanwhile, Cheney and Rumsfeld, on today's round of television shows, are saying that they are not concerned about the possibility that Iraq may go fundamentalist. Their logic is that we can't expect an Iraqi democracy to be exactly like an American democracy. Translated, that means, there will be no separation of mosque and state and, once America leaves, no real protection for equal rights for women. Indeed, the constitituion that Iraqi clerics are supporting calls explicitly for denying women equal rights in marriage, divorce, and inheritance. And for enforcing the veil.

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