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Old 03-22-04   #1
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Women's rights under Saddam

Saddam, women's rights
By Nat Hentoff
Published March 22, 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------





At the Brookings Institution in Washington on Feb. 25, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton charged that, with Saddam Hussein gone, there have been "pullbacks" in the rights Iraqi women enjoyed under his rule. Not even such bellicose critics of the war as Sen. Ted Kennedy have claimed that the regime change has cost women in Iraq the leading defender of their rights.


Mrs. Clinton did try to qualify her softening of the dictator's horrific image by noting that these women's rights were "on paper." However, she went on to give substance to the rights on paper: "They went to school; they participated in the professions. They participated in government and in business; as long as they stayed out of his way, they had considerable freedom of movement."


John Burns -- who reported for the New York Times from Iraq before, during the war and since -- wrote of a paramilitary group once led by Saddam's oldest (since forcibly deceased) son, Uday: "Masked and clad in black, (the men) make the women kneel in busy city squares, along crowded sidewalks, or in neighborhood plots, then behead them with swords." The women's crime, said their families, was having criticized Uday's benevolent father.


When the dictator's prisons were briefly opened before the war, Mr. Burns reported on the "raping of women in front of their husbands, from whom the torturers wanted to extract information."


This year, in the March 9 New York Sun, Tamara Chalabi -- currently working on civil society projects in Iraq -- noted that some of the Arab press had gleefully mentioned Mrs. Clinton's roseate version of women's rights under Saddam. And the BBC quoted a headline of the Baghdad edition of Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned newspaper: "Hillary Clinton: 'Iraqi women were better off under Saddam's reign.' "


Responding to Mrs. Clinton's exculpatory view of Saddam, Miss Chalabi -- a writer on Middle East issues -- described "the many raped women whose children are from three different soldiers; how is it for them to live every day raising these children that are an eternal reminder of their violent rape? What is being done for these women today?"


Mrs. Clinton, in being introduced for her speech at Brookings, was described as "one of the most powerful analysts, advocates and speakers on a broad range of issues that face our country." But she does occasionally need a fact-checker in her office.


As for Saddam's record on women's rights, Miss Chalabi points out that "Saddam did not believe in women's rights. Women had no freedom, whether they stayed in or out of his way.


"He decreed that women could not travel alone without a male relative... Women were barred from majoring in specific subjects such as engineering because they were not 'womanly' enough. Women were sexually degraded."


From now until election day, the Democrats will continue to attack President Bush for -- as Mr. Kennedy put it -- "pure, unadulterated fear-mongering" that led us into the war that removed Saddam. Democrats will crow that the weapons of mass destruction have not been found and that we should have involved the United Nations more deeply and patiently so that peacemaker Kofi Annan could have avoided the war.


The Bush administration is at fault, to say the least, for not having -- from the beginning -- focused on Saddam's wanton mass destruction of so many thousands of Iraqi human lives, as persistently documented by Amnesty International and other human-rights organizations. Mr. Bush failed to emphasize that America went into Bosnia, under a previous administration, to stop the filling of the mass graves there and other human-rights atrocities. And Saddam had been torturing and murdering his people for decades longer.


But would France and Germany -- who opposed our toppling Saddam -- have agreed to do anything about the torture chambers, the rapes and the disappearances? Miss Chalabi reminds us "of the many Iraqi mothers that still weep beside randomly dug-up skeletons of their sons' remains."


Would Mr. Annan have prevented more skeletons? As the much-berated British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in the House of Commons: Without the war, the "darkness" would have closed back over the Iraqi people again, and Saddam would have been "free to take his revenge upon those he (would) know wish him gone."


How would Hillary Clinton have prevented the return of the darkness? Does she know that under the interim constitution, one of the fundamental rights is that "torture, in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited under all circumstances"?


That includes women.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/funct...1-101407-1807r


It's shameful to see the Democrats attack women's rights that have been achieved in Iraq, just for politics. The rape rooms, and beheadings, and lack of freedom are over in Iraq.
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Old 03-22-04   #2
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FORMER SEN. BOB KERREY (D-NE): "I think [Iraq is] going well. It breaks my heart whenever anybody dies, but we liberated 25 million people who were living under a dictator. It puts us on the side of democracy in the Arab world. Twenty years from now, we'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who says it wasn't worth the effort. This is not just another democracy. This is a democracy in an Arab world ..." ("Kerrey On Iraq And The Democrats," The New York Sun, 12/29/0
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Old 03-22-04   #3
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SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA): "Iraq may not be the war on terror itself, but it is critical to the outcome of the war on terror, and therefore any advance in Iraq is an advance forward in that and I disagree with the Governor [Howard Dean]." (Fox News Channel's "Special Report," 12/15/0
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Old 03-22-04   #4
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SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D-CT): "Howard Dean has climbed into his own spider hole of denial if he believes that the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer. " (Joe Lieberman For President, "Lieberman Statement On Dean Foreign Policy Speech, "Press Release, http://www.joe2004.com/site/News2?pa...s_iv_ctrl=1001, 12/15/0
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Old 03-22-04   #5
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And..your point is?
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Old 03-23-04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Preston
And..your point is?
My point is below the article.
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Old 03-23-04   #7
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Since when did Hillary Clinton speak for all Democrats?
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Old 03-23-04   #8
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I could argue with the lack of freedom thing in Iraq, but that would detract from the actual topic of the thread, and as such I won't bother doing that.
Rejoice monkeys! REJOICE!

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Old 03-23-04   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirVLCIV
Since when did Hillary Clinton speak for all Democrats?

She doesn't. The majority of Democrats have weighed in on the anti war side though.
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Old 03-23-04   #10
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Actually, the majority of Democrats were initially for the war. It would have been nice to have had arguments on the war that didn't have lies at their center (WMDs).
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Old 03-23-04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirVLCIV
Actually, the majority of Democrats were initially for the war. It would have been nice to have had arguments on the war that didn't have lies at their center (WMDs).


Why do you think all those Democrats lied about the WMDs?
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Old 03-23-04   #12
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Show me where they had access to the same information the president and his administration did.
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Old 03-23-04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirVLCIV
Show me where they had access to the same information the president and his administration did.

Are you saying that President Bill Clinton didn't have access to the CIA?

Are you saying that John Kerry, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Commitee didn't have access to the same intelligence?

Are you saying that George Tenet, a Clinton appointeee as the CIA Director, gave Clinton bad info, but not Bush?
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Old 03-23-04   #14
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Did I state that?
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Old 03-23-04   #15
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I think it's odd to compare someone like Clinton to Bush when years had passed, and as such different information would be available.

Unless if you think the CIA is now capable of travelling through time and supplying information to people?
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Old 03-23-04   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirVLCIV
Did I state that?

So are you saying that they did have access to the same information, or not?
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Old 03-23-04   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Preston
I think it's odd to compare someone like Clinton to Bush when years had passed, and as such different information would be available.

Unless if you think the CIA is now capable of travelling through time and supplying information to people?

Clinton said in 1998 that Saddam was developing WMDs, based on information from the CIA. If he had enougfh information to make that statement then, then what has changed in the 5 years after that statement?
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Old 03-23-04   #18
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You'd have to ask Saddam.
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