DAMSELING – “Why the U.S. should not pull out of Afghanistan”

Fawzia Koofi, an Afghani female parliamentarian, has an article up at Salon arguing that the US should stay in Afghanistan to help secure progress made there towards women’s rights. She apparently thinks securing women’s rights is something only [American] men can do, not something Afghan woman can do for themselves. 

 The comments explore the interpretation that this is really a false flag article to plead for colonialist intervention, but that is another discussion. I am exploring something else.

 Here’s the counter-offer, Fawzia – we American men send you all the weapons you need to fight for your own rights, (and by the way, that’s more than anyone did for us during those long centuries in Europe and later in North America when we were securing our own rights) because rights someone else fights for and gives you are not your rights, they are privileges those others grant you. Is that really what you want, or is that all you can conceive of?

 There is absolutely no question that Afghan women and girls have been and continue to be grossly oppressed in their society. Girls are still taking their lives in their hands just trying to go to school. Women used to come down with vitamin D deficiency conditions because they were not allowed outdoors, and probably still do. The list of oppressions is long and horrible.  So why does that not motivate Afghan women to fight their oppressors to get their rights? If Afghan women are unwilling to kill their fathers, husbands and sons, how does that suddenly become someone else’s job, some foreigner’s? Why is that always only a man’s job?

 Bottom line, Fawzia – why are Afghan women’s rights worth more than American men’s lives?

14 thoughts on “DAMSELING – “Why the U.S. should not pull out of Afghanistan”

  1. (((screams))) Why are Americans expected to police the whole fucking world?

    Whenever we try to SWEAR OFF THE ADDICTION, they come up with these kinds of people: “See, we must continue!!!”

    I can’t remember another modern war that was fought ‘all for the sake of da wimminz’. Maybe yall can recall some of this ‘damseling’ rhetoric in past wars, but I can’t remember it reaching THIS kind of fever pitch!

  2. I don’t either. Part of the appeal was plain old white knightiing, but in this partucular case it also fit the narrative of “bringing democracy”, the US’s version of the White Man’s Burden or the mission civilatrice (there’s a French expression fuh yuh, Daisy)

    “(((screams))) Why are Americans expected to police the whole fucking world?

    I remember this shit from the Bosnian mess. I remember very well the dragging-the-kid-down-the-hall-into-the-bath resistance in the US Army to that mission. The officers all thought it was a fool’s errand. I also remember all the huffing from Europeans about how we had some kind of responsibility to stop them from butchering each other, as if anything other than complete and utter war exhaustion has ever been effective in that regard. (I also remember other Europeans pointing out that hypocrisy of that huffing.)

    I thought you’d like this one, since you complimented me on another anti-war comment somewhere.

  3. I was anti-war before I was anything… around the time I first loved (((sobs))) Davy Jones. It was a pure, compassionate political thought, unsullied by any highfalutin theories. I was still a child, so it was *innocent* — no ulterior motives at all.

    This sentiment has never wavered, if anything, Ron Paul and his henchmen (i.e. some of my best friends) have made me FAR worse! ;)

  4. Only my Monkees sobs were supposed to be in italics, not the whole thing.

    On another note, I got friends that are now worried some mostly-wholesome guy who didn’t drink and appeared to be fit, drops dead at 66. Yeesh.

  5. “This sentiment has never wavered, if anything, Ron Paul and his henchmen (i.e. some of my best friends) have made me FAR worse! ;)”

    That damned Ron Paul – he wants to turn the clock to before the Cold War!

    You know there’s something to it when you and he agree on anything.

  6. I think Afghan men face some pretty stiff oppression but no one seems to give a shit about that.

  7. Gingko: “Here’s the counter-offer, Fawzia – we American men send you all the weapons you need to fight for your own rights, (and by the way, that’s more than anyone did for us during those long centuries in Europe and later in North America when we were securing our own rights)”

    I would normally leave this be but with all the unchallenged dissing of it in the other thread:

    *Cough* France *Cough*

    “during the American Revolutionary War… France provided arms and money”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-American_alliance)

    Not that I don’t agree with your wider point.

  8. “I would normally leave this be but with all the unchallenged dissing of it in the other thread:
    *Cough* France *Cough*
    “during the American Revolutionary War… France provided arms and money”

    Oh yes, and I did think of that. And in the end it the French Navy was pretty crucial to the outcome. How deliciously ironic that the British lost such a strategic struggle because of a naval action. But I was thinking on a wider scale, through all the wars and revolutions that toppled the old order in which common men took by force the political rights they gave women by grace, which was a very smart move. Broadening democracy entrenches it.

    But who gave arms to the French revolutionaries, or the Roundehaeds?

  9. Yorktown was essentially a French victory. You wouldn’t have learned that in 7th grade history class.

  10. It is incredible to me how little attention Americans are paying to this absurd war in Afghanistan. Clearly, America has lost its collective mind.

  11. @ Buck Swamp, I agree with both of your points.

    @Aych
    “Yorktown was essentially a French victory. You wouldn’t have learned that in 7th grade history class.”

    Well actually it was 8th grade here, and then 11th grade. But you bring up a really interesting point about teaching.

    It was made really clear that the French fleet came in and bottled Cornwallis up. and yet I never made the next step to realize how crucial that ssistance was and if I didn’t, probably no one else did. The teacher should have closed that loop for us.

    It isn’t accurate to credit one side of an envelopment over the other though. That’s kind of definitional when it comes to an envelopment after all.

    Beyond that there is the dead weight of mythology clogging things up. At Yorktown Washington used militia, but he didn’t trust them to stand and fight, so he put them up front so they had no choice. (This is called generalship. You do what you have to do.) That’s contrary to the national myth that the war was won by stealthy militia men firing from behind fallen logs. That did happen and it did make a big difference, but it is far from the whole story.

  12. @Ginkgo, I don’t remember a war that wasn’t all about the wimminz. I remember sitting around in the middle of the desert one night minding my own business (well, as much as anyone can say that when they’re in someone else’s country holding a bunch captured soldiers from that country at gunpoint) when some breathless officer ran into my midst and announced, “They captured one of our women! They’re probably raping her right now! There’ll be hell to pay! We’re gonna get ‘em now!” I felt sort of… demeaned by that. I mean like… we’re all risking our lives over here… but this.. so her life is worth more than ours? Really? I love Jessica Lynch for calling them out for that bullshit.

  13. @Ginkgo, I don’t remember the Europeans ever talking about how the US had some kind of a responsibility. If anything, I can see the Europeans correctly blaming US intervention for causing it in the first place. The Europeans wanted to work out a peace resolution in the region because it would have helped them make the case for creating the EU. The US interests were to show Europe that the US was still the big man in NATO and that Americans were still needed in Europe. Thus, the US opposed the final peace resolution before war broke out. The US also backed Muslim separatists that were in league with Osama Bin Laden and had been waging a dirty propaganda war to influence US public opinion.

  14. Here’s a 1993 Newsweek article promoting US intervention in Bosnia:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/1993/01/04/a-pattern-of-rape.html

    The claim, which was put forth by Muslim separatists, was that 30,000-50,000 Muslim women had been raped by serbs in what they called “rape camps”. The final UN report concluded that around 2,400 women had been raped by all 3 sides combined.

    But the propaganda lives on. Anyone see the Angelina Jolie movie, The Land of Blood and Honey? It’s an homage to all of those mythical tens of thousands rape camp victims who are supposedly out there somewhere still grieving from their psychological wounds.

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