One of the most interesting aspects of our national politics in the last month has been what appears to be an effort to rebrand the war in Afghanistan as “The War for Women.” Time just published the cover girl for the movement, a once beautiful young woman grotesquely mutilated by her family.
If you havn’t seen it go look. It will make you want to get out the shotgun and go shoot down a couple of those vicious fuckers yourself. It seems her crime was she was forced into a marriage at 13 and was getting tired of being beaten and abused daily by the family of her “husband,” and was getting old enough (19) to worry that they might decide to burn her (a divorce substitute widely used in the region in which inconvenient wives accidentally catch fire and burn to death). So she ran away from home and with the help of the Taliban was tracked down. They cut off her ears and her nose and left her to bleed to death. Charming people.
Now comes Media Matters, which claims there is evidence that the article and other similar propaganda is the work of the CIA, which is working to drum up new enthusiasm for the war. I have to say, CIA propaganda or not, this problem has always been in the back of my mind. How do we abandon Afghanistan without turning over the women to the vicious mercies of Taliban misogyny?
This is admittedly a problem all over the Middle East, where, for example, the Saudi government claims to have made radical strides in women’s equality by granting them the right to drive.
Still there is the notion, clear and well reasoned, that the war in Afghanistan is not winnable. No foreign conquerer has won a war there ever. It was the downfall of Alexander the Great, the bane of the British Empire. Why should we expect to win now? Regardless of how much we put into it, and how much we want to save the women, in the end we will not succeed. Certainly not with the current plan.
Which of course brings me to a new strategy. Let the women save themselves. Arm them with handguns and teach them how to shoot. They are perfrcctly positioned to knock off the worst of the Taliiban with hardly a notice. Their culture gives them a natural cover. The burka covers everything, including handguns. The men think women are stupid and defenseless. I bet armed women could knock off a couple hundred of the SOBs before they even figured out who was doing the shooting.
There is a good project for trhe CIA. Arm the women.