|Annals of Liberation: The Agony of Iraq's Women|
|Written by Chris Floyd|
|Thursday, 19 March 2009 13:06|
Yifat Susskind at American Forum (via Antiwar.com) tells us what this "liberation" has brought to Iraq's women:
If you haven't thought about the Iraq War as a story of U.S. allies systematically torturing and executing women, you're not alone. Likewise, if you were under the impression that Iraqi women were somehow better off under their new, U.S.-sponsored government.
This fact cannot be stressed enough -- and therefore, it is course almost entirely ignored in our national political "debate": the United States very deliberately empowered some of the most violent, retrograde elements in Iraqi society (many of them militias formed, trained and armed by Iran), and then helped them carry out one of the most savage "ethnic cleansing" campaigns since World War II. The Americans did this because they hoped that the extremists would trade the power and perks that Washington had given them for a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq sweetheart deals on oil, and crony contracts out the wazoo. And despite all the talk of "drawdowns" and deadlines, all three of these aims are still very much in play. In fact, the last one -- the continuation war pork the for war profiteers back home -- is a dead certainty, with billions of arms deals for the new Iraqi military already in the pipeline, joining the hundreds of billions already funneled, by hook, crook and no-bid contract, into the bipartisan elite's favorite corporate troughs.
Susskind has more on what this bloodsoaked boondoggle has wrought for Iraq's women:
While the Pentagon was arming militias bent on brutally ousting Iraqi women from public life, the U.S. State Department was busy brokering the new Iraqi Constitution. Hailed as "progressive" and "democratic" in Washington, the new Constitution designates religious law, which discriminates against women, as the basis of all legislation. It also restricts women's rights by upending one of the most progressive family status laws in the Middle East -- a law that Iraqi women fought for and won in 1959, before Saddam Hussein took power.
But Susskind notes that Iraq's women are not just passively accepting the dire fate that Washington's dominationist lusts have imposed on them:
Here in the U.S., we've rarely heard the story of the Iraq War told from the perspective of women. So what are Iraqi women saying on the sixth anniversary of the US invasion? The same thing they've been saying since 2003: end the occupation. Polls consistently show that a majority of Iraqis want US troops out....
Listen to them? Why, haven't they heard that the "surge" -- which escalated and extended the American war crime in Iraq -- "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams," as Obama himself has told us? Sure, a million dead, four million displaced, women forced back into darkness and violence, yadda yadda yadda -- but that's the price of success, baby! And you don't mess with success!
*Note: We specify the "ground invasion" that began on March 20, 2003, because of course the United States and Britain had been carrying out a relentless air war against Iraq for many years, to the extent that Air Force officials were complaining "there's nothing left to bomb." This aerial assault was in addition to the truly horrific economic blockade of Iraq led by the United States, which top U.S. officials themselves acknowledged had led to the needless -- but "worth it" -- deaths of at least 500,000 children by the late 1990s (and countless more in the years that followed.) The United States also sponsored terrorist attacks against civilian targets inside Iraq in the years before the 2003 attack. In short, the bipartisan American war against Iraq began long before the incursion by ground troops on March 20, 2003. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis had already lost their lives by the time U.S. tanks and soldiers rolled across the border; a million more would die in the years to come.
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