Who’s Saving Who From What?

I haven’t offended anyone in longer than is proper. Well, here anyways.
Let’s see if I can correct that.

There was an enormous amount of hoopla not so long ago about a law that was about to hit the books in Afghanistan that seemingly allowed husbands to legally rape their wives. Seems that allowing such a law to pass offended the global community, particularly the parts of it that are trudging through the sand avoiding AK fire and IEDs.

But a better question is, what the hell right do we have to tell them what laws they shouldn’t pass?

I despise all hypocrisy, unless it’s my own, so I naturally despise the wavering message that we use to justify our violent presence in foreign combat theatres. The US went to war in Iraq because of WMDs, wait, no, because the people of that country deserved to be liberated from a cruel dictator. WMDs were never found, and the cruel dictator was a good friend of the friends of liberty until a little episode back in the 90s. Canada participated in the conquest of Afghanistan, which was perpetrated in order to combat the hive of terrorists fornicating like bunnies among the dunes, no, wait, because the cruel extremist government treated the people like cattle.

The more the story changes, the less we seem to ultimately care.

Whether I agree with it or not, and for the record I don’t, we are where we are and there’s no way we can undo it now. Although I don’t think we should have gone to war in the Middle East in the first place, backing out now and pulling the troops would be worse. That said, I think we should at least be honest about our reasons for being there, and so should the US. Making up stories may placate the mindless masses, but you’ll never evolve beyond mindless unless you’re forced to flex your mellon a little.

In short, call a cat a cat and an orange an orange.

So, when the duly elected government of Cana-US-istan decides they want to pass a law that makes it illegal for women to refuse to have sex with their husbands, I say we should let the law pass. More to the point, I say we have no right whatsoever to put pressure on that government to strike the law from the books. We have no right to dictate matters of policy or creed. We went there to liberate the people from the Taliban and inject a little good ‘ole Western democracy into their primitive asses.

Well, this is what democracy gets them.

Before any of you, particularly those of you with fewer dangley bits between your thighs than I, decide to release an enormous steaming pile of discontent upon my head, let me just say that I in no way think it’s right that women be treated in the way that the proposed law would allow. I think men the world round should be denied the joys of sex that I am being denied, and that all women should be able to inflict this on men as readilly as they inflict it on me. If I suffer, so should all of you. It’s only fair.

This isn’t about what I think is proper treatment of women. I think the proposed law is wrong and that the supporters of the spirit of this law are terrible men who have little regard for women.

But I don’t think it’s any of our business to dictate this to them.

Unless we are willing to admit that our noble purpose in Afghanistan was not liberation, but conquest.

Just because we went there to hunt Taliban (note, they were our best of buddies for the longest time as well, up until a day in 2001) doesn’t give us the right to control their culture. The whole purported point to the endeavour was to facilitate self-determination, and this is a perfect example of that in action. All of the morons who insist that our fighting and dying among the dunes gives us the right to judge their policy and beliefs by the lens of our own are, well, morons. That, in the biz, is called ethnocentricity, and it’s really only justified if your strategy is to make another culture look like your own. And if your game is liberation, that strategy doesn’t fit. That strategy does, on the other hand, fit the picture of conquest quite nicely.

So, are we liberators, or are we conquerers?
We can’t be both. It’s against the rules.

Besides, following the theme of hypocrisy, all of the self-righteous little snots who got all twisted in the knickers about this law because of how terribly contrary to women’s rights it was need to stop and think a little bit about who we aren’t raising an equal stink about: Saudi Arabia. Last time I checked, women aren’t really treated that fabulously well there, either. But we never stomp and throw a tantrum about those atrocities the way we do about Iraq or Afghanistan, do we?

Of course not. The Saudis are our best buddies. Like Saddam was before that 90s thing. And like the Taliban was before that 2001 thing.

Oh, and what do the terribly downtrodden Cana-US-istan women think about this law? They “want West to ease ‘rape law’ stance,” as the headline of the Citizen article declared today.

“The nearly unanimous view on the campus – arguably the most progressive institution in Afghanistan – was that the West should not involve itself in the country’s cultural and religious affairs.”

I would be woefully off my game if I didn’t point out that the stories declaring the evil devil law evil and devillish all hit prominent and visible pages with fat headlines in the newspaper, while this more recent story was buried in the bottom corner of the 8th page. Again, we make a big point of some things, but a much smaller point of others that should be voiced equally loudly. If it was important enough for page one that the law was going to be put in place, it should be deemed equally important that the people that would have supposedly been abused by the law don’t want us meddling in the situation.

An orange is an orange. Until we can start calling it that way, I don’t know why we think we have the right to say we’re saving anyone from anything.


Bibli-blography

“Afghan women want West to ease ‘rape law’ stance”, Matthew Fisher, Ottawa Citizen, Page A8

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