I heard a disturbing report on PBS Radio recently. According to the report, women in Iraq are worse off under the U.S. occupation than they were under Sadam Hussein. Several Iraqui women recounted their experiences. They said they were threatened and bullied by religious extremists who now hold the reins of power. One woman said her life is in danger because she dares to be a professional journalist. Dozens of women have been killed for such sins as wearing western dress and using makeup, according to the PBS report.
This leaves me wondering at the U.S. President’s claim that because of American intervention Iraq is a democracy and will become a shining example of a free society in the turbulent Middle East. America’s invasion of Iraq has been a disaster from every perspective. Centuries of civilization were laid waste, priceless mementos were lost forever and the country’s infrastructure was devastated. From the ruins, a primitive and divisive power structure has developed with absolutely no claim to being a modern democracy.
The assertion that the surge is working is pure “spin.” While there may be a temporary lull in the fighting, the underlying problems remain unsolved. American troops may remain in Iraq for a hundred years, as Senator McCain is suggesting, but unless the Iraqui society is transformed from within, any apparent progress will be illusory.
And from all reports, there is little chance of that happening.