Bomb Afghanistan: do it for the women
Howard Dean was on Democracy Now! to talk about healthcare reform. But in the show’s final four minutes the question of the war on Aghanistan came up. Since the online broadcast transcript does not include this segment (even though the entire show began with the headline, ‘5 Afghans Killed in US Air Strike’) I am transcribing below. Over the bodies of non-white women: this is how Democrats and the so-called feminist majority justify U.S. invasion abroad while upholding ‘democratic’ values at home.
JUAN GONZALEZ: I’d like to ask you about the continuation and expansion of the American war in Afghanistan. Do you have concerns that this is becoming President Obama’s war and the impact on our country in the future?
HOWARD DEAN: You know, again, I, uh, umm, I don’t have to say anything nice, I’m not in the administration. But I’m with Obama on his conduct of the war. I always said when I was running against the Iraq war that Afghanistan was different. Let me tell you what the stakes are now in Afghanistan. Uh, and what I find incredibly refreshing about this president is he uttered words that Lyndon Johnson never said which is that we cannot win this war militarily. He knows that from the get-go. Here’s what’s at stake. It’s not just the Taliban. I think we could control the Taliban and the al-Qa’eda in the northwest territories by doing some of the things we’re already doing, drones and airpower and so forth. Roughly 50% of the Afghan people are women. They will be condemned to conditions which are very much like slavery and serfdom in a 12th-century model of society where they have no rights whatsoever. So I’m not saying we have to invade every country that doesn’t treat women as equal. But we’re there now, we have a responsibility, and if we leave women will experience the most extraordinary deprivations of the population on the face of the earth. I think we have some obligation to see if we can try and make this work. Not just for America and our security interests, but for the sake of women in Afghanistan and all around the globe. Is it acceptable to treat women like this? I think now.
AMY GOODMAN: We just interviewed an Afghan parliamentarian, Dr. [Roshanak] Wardak, she said the opposite. She said yes, she agrees with you on the way women are treated but that this is worsening the treatment, that the increase in number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the huge number of troops that are coming in right now, are alienating the Afghan population—
DEAN: —Well that, and that, that is the clear challenge for this president and for the generals who are over there, is can they stop that, because if they don’t, we’ll be out of there much fast than we ought to be, and we will be leaving behind 50% of the population who are gonna experience horrendous deprivations and set back the women’s movement for equality by decades.
Did you catch that? Afghan woman actually comprise fifty percent of the population. ‘Our security’ comes second to saving them. Before: Laura Bush visited Afghanistan in 2005 to put ‘a female-friendly face on an unpopular pro-corporate agenda.‘ Now: Afghan women are still empty of signification on their own: they are either the victims of their own men or of GWOT.
[Related] Operation Khanjar, over my covered body