Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Iraq: Women better off under Saddam.

President Bush says a lot of nice things. He doesn't mean any of it, but he wants us to believe he does. A lot of people do. But they also believe that Fox News is "Fair and Balanced".

Here's an example from a White House propaganda fest celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month.

President Bush pledged that the United States will “help women stand up for
their freedom no matter where they live,” saying the full and equal
participation of women in civic and political life has strengthened democracies
around the world.

Speaking March 7 at a White House event celebrating International Women’s Day
and Women’s History Month in the United States, Bush said that the current
condition of women’s rights around the world call for “a firm conviction in our
beliefs that all people are created equal.

“There's no doubt in my mind, empowering women in new democracies will make
those democracies better countries and help lay the foundation of peace for
generations to come,” Bush said.

The president thanked and welcomed delegations of Iraqi and Afghan women who
had been invited to Washington. In Afghanistan, he said women have started to
“breathe that beautiful air of a free society,” after years of oppression under
the Taliban, and he noted that Iraqi women will hold 25 percent of their
country’s legislative seats under the new government.

But according to a survey of Iraqi women, this just ain't the case.

According to the findings of a recent survey by local rights NGOs, women were
treated better during the Saddam Hussein era -- and their rights were more
respected -- than they are now.

"We interviewed women in the country and met with local NGOs dealing with
gender issues to develop this survey, which asked questions about the quality of
women's life and respect for their rights," said Senar Muhammad, president of
Baghdad-based NGO Woman Freedom Organisation. "The results show that women are
less respected now than they were under the previous regime, while their freedom
has been curtailed."

According to the survey, women's basic rights under the Hussein regime were
guaranteed in the Constitution and -- more importantly -- respected, with women
often occupying important government positions. Now, although their rights are
still enshrined in the national Constitution, activists complain that, in
practise, they have lost almost all of their rights.

Ladies, if Mr. Bush and the religious right have their way, this could be you.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)