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02/12/2003 Archived Entry: "FOX column on Iraqi women"

On the Political Front:

Reaction to my FOX/ifeminist column this week has been a bit disturbing. The column examines the puzzling phenomenon of mainstream feminism's silence on the mistreatment of Iraqi women under Saddam.

The silence is puzzling because, before and during the conflict with Afghanistan, they crusaded so vehemently for Afghani women oppressed by the Taliban that "burqa" became a household word. Why, then, are feminists so muted about the Amnesty International reports (and others) coming out of Iraq on women? In offering my take on this question, I was careful *not* to present an argument for war. From the onset I stated that feminist goals should play no role in forming foreign policy. Then, in the middle and at the end, I stated that the points made were neither pro or antiwar. I wrote the column because I thought that feminist factions of "the antiwar movement" were being dishonest in arguing essentially that women were better off under Saddam and, so, the US should not risk a destabilizing war. Given that I've used the word "liar" to describe several pro-war voices, I felt and feel constrained to apply the same standards of evidence and objectivity to the antiwar side. The long and short of why some of the readers' reactions disturbed me...many thought I was advocating war. Maybe next time I attempt such an article, I'll have to repeat my disclaimer four times and not just three because all I was advocating was telling the truth.

It is difficult to know what to make of the just-released audio tape, purportedly from bin Laden that was played on Al-Jazeera TV. It is interesting, however, that the Bush administration has approved the release of this one in its entirety. Previous tapes and messages were withheld for security reasons -- it was said that 1) the text could contain hidden instructions to terrorist cells, and 2) the tape was a prelude to an act of terrorism and, so, a matter of national security. Clearly, the warmakers believe that the current tape helps their arguments by stirring up public fears and confirming the threat against America.

Walter Williams has a nice piece in WorldNetDaily about how the federal government has cured him of his "need to fly." He labels the farce of airport security as "aviation-aversion therapy." Personally, I am boycotting all air travel until the airlines cease to treat me like a criminal, not a customer.

On the Personal Front:

More snow squalls. I look out the window of our foyer and it seems like our farmhouse is trapped in one of those water-filled balls that someone has inverted so that the snow swirls densely down. Thankfully, neither Brad nor I need to go anywhere today...other than to our computers, of course.

I've finished the latest John Saul book (latest to me, not most recently published), "Suffer the Children," and it was a disappointment. Well written, great plot structure, straight-forward style, good characterization...but very much like the other two books I've read by him. Saul seems to have one basic plot that he places in widely different settings, predictable twists, mass slaughter of the characters, and an inevitable evil child. Time to switch to another author for a few months so that Saul will feel like a fresh read when I return to his work.

Best to all,

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