A non-violent crusade giving rights to the world’s women!

Summary:    Part three of a series women in the Af-Pak War.  Part one looked at our past efforts, trashing women’s rights in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the CIA’s recommendation about women as a  casus belli.  Part two examined the moral basis of a war to help women.  Part three examines the practical aspects of the proposed crusade.

David Rothkopf (Wikipedia bio) writes a column at the Foreign Policy magazine’s website with the tagline “How the world is really run.”   In two recent articles he proposes a radical change in America’s foreign policy, seeking to make a radical change in the way the world runs.  Part two of this series discussed “Women and Islam: The real test of our values“.  Today we look at this excerpt from Women, Islam, Afghanistan, President Obama, and Andrew Sullivan“.

{W}e also need to address this issue of abuse of women not just in Afghanistan but around the world.  Because that can’t rationally imply global troop deployment, what I meant was that we need to redouble efforts within the international community to put teeth behind our commitment to respect for women as a bare minimum for entry into global society. 

… I’m as skeptical of international diplomatic mechanisms as anyone but there is certainly plenty more we can do that we are not doing to isolate and pressure countries that mistreat women. Denying them aid seems a reasonable start (except for aid that helps fix the problem). So too does denying them entry to international regimes and programs to which they seek entry for reasons of national pride or interest.  

… This means setting aside the false justifications of religion or culture.  Neither justifies abuse, murder or compromising human rights. This means taking on the Saudis as well as the Afghans, our friends as well as our enemies, powerful countries as well as weak ones. I’m under no delusion this will be easy but it is also crystal clear that the term “world civilization” will be an oxymoron so long as the majority population of the planet is so regularly and widely abused and those with the power to do something about it continue to do so little.

Who could object to that?  Except on these grounds:

  1. As mentioned in chapter 2, multiculturalism means respect for other cultures.  Renouncing the idea that our ideals are supreme or best.  This conflicts with the ideal of human rights, as absolutes often do.
  2. It violates the a long-standing and wise policy of America
  3. It’s impractical (it’s not the way the world is run)

(2)  It violates a long-standing and wise policy of America

 John Quincy Adams said it best on 4 July 1821 to the House of Representatives:

… if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world…  should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind?  Let our answer be this: America … has held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity.

  • She has uniformly spoken among them … the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights.
  • She has … respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own.
  • She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings …

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.

Good advice, which has worked well for us so far.

(3)  It’s impractical (it’s not the way the world is run)

Let’s pressure other nations to alter a fundamental basis of their cultures.  The Arab oil exporters.  Major Middle East nations like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Egypt.  All those and more.  How will they respond?  With thanks or enmity?

One nation will cheer us:  China.   This will shift influence from us to them.  Many of the world’s peoples are ready for a hegemon that’s not such a pain in the ass.  Willing to do business and let others live their lives in peace.

This call for a crusade (albeit a non-violent one) demonstrates the hubris and arrogance that’s infected our geopolitical thinking.  Our geopolitical experts’ thinking.   Few of the American people will buy into this.  If we’re asked.

(4a)  Other posts in this series about the proposed crusade to help women

(1)  Today’s propaganda: we must fight in Afghanistan to help its women
(2)  About our sudden concern for Afghanistan’s women (& the desperate search for a reason to fight)
(4)  Subjugation of women anywhere threatens US national security!

(4b)  Other posts about women

  1. The Real Revolution in Military Affairs (it’s not what you think), 14 November 2005
  2. Women dominating the ranks of college graduates – What’s the effect on America?, 7 July 2009
  3. A better answer to “why women outperform men in college?”, 8 July 2009
  4. Women as soldiers – an update, 25 August 2009
  5. Yes, it is a “mancession”, with men losing more jobs than women. Just like all recessions., 5 October 2009
  6. Update: women on top of men, 27 October 2009
  7. Bernard Finel shows how to end the Af-Pak in days. Now. Guaranteed., 6 November 2009
  8. About honor killings, crimes of the community, 11 November 2009
  9. We destroy a secular regime in Afghanistan (& its women’s rights), then we wage war on the new regime to restore women’s rights. Welcome to the American Empire., 12 November 2009
  10. Today’s propaganda: we must fight in Afghanistan to help its women, 10 August 2010
  11. Justice for slavers (esp sex traffickers): hang them high!, 20 August 2010

(5)  Afterword and contact info

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