1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Yeah, we’ll assign a bodyguard to each woman in Afghanistan, and they will all rejoice.

    I mean, when was a feminist revolution ever achieved without foreign troops and M16s?

  2. Dave says

    That’s all very well – but how many troops stay, for how long, at what cost? And when they’ve finished, do we invade Pakistan? Because if we don’t, the Talibs will just come back. And will we be invading the Congo, to stop the use of rape as a weapon of war?

    Beyond the obvious and trite selectivity, there are some offensively vast leaps being made here, from disapproving of things that emphatically merit disapproval, to determining that the current military-industrial set-up of the West is an appropriate tool to secure a lasting solution.

    OTOH, perhaps Tatchell is just being provocative?

  3. Alex SL says

    Seriously, is the situation so hard to grasp?

    Who can be against equal rights and liberty for women in Afghanistan? Okay, if you want to promote them, you have to be for maintaining an occupation force in that country (because that worked so well so far). Ha.

    There comes a point at which one should seriously consider reevaluating one’s strategy. For example if it didn’t work for ten years (and way more if you count the Soviet attempt at supporting a civilized and secular government against the reactionaries). Maybe an invasion simply is not a feasible way to promote these goals?

    I mean, if somebody tried to promote environmentalism for ten years by punching random people in the face and shouting “recycle, save energy!”, and everybody in their community has learned to hate them and their ideas, would you encourage them to continue with their approach … because environmentalism is so great? It is. But continuing to punch people to promote it does not follow, and “women’s rights are good, therefore continue giving the Afghans the impression that women’s rights advocates are civilian-killing imperialists” is the same.

    What seems to work reasonably well, for the Islamists for example, is this: Find people who are inclined to agree with you in country A. Train them. Give them money. Give them resources for communication. If the situation arises, give them weapons. The thing is, it is then A-ians who are transforming A for the better, and not a foreign oppressor, which means they have much better cred with the other A-ians. And it would probably cost a tenth of what the war costs, for better results.

  4. Brian M says

    Good comments, all. Especially given the reality that most of our allies (basically criminal gangs and tribal warlords) are as bad as the Taliban in some ways. Certainly in the prevalence of rape.

    I also wonder how “feminist” the use of drone missiles is?

    Thus…this guy is being a smug pratt. No kudos to him at all.

  5. says

    Smug? Smug?

    How is he being any more smug than you are, Brian? Especially given that he was surrounded by stoppers.

    You need to read Terry Glavin’s book. It might at least persuade you that things aren’t as open and shut as you think.

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