Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Afghanistan's President has signed a law which "legalizes" rape

This article is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is, why the surprise? Is there anyone still so Neoconish that they think Iraq and Afghanistan are going to be turned into Liberal Democracies any time soon? Perhaps Fukuyama’s historical necessity will turn them into Liberal Democracies eventually, but my guess would be 100 years at the soonest, and that guess is contingent upon our not having any more economic crashes.

If we had gone into Afghanistan and Iraq with reasonable expectations of what to expect afterwards, we probably should have expected no more than something less authoritarian than most of the Middle East – some sort of Democracy, but certainly not a Liberal one, that could sustain itself.

The “rape” being legalized is of a woman by her husband and that sort of treatment is consistent with “traditional” Islam and not just Islamism. Hey, all you Leftists who wanted to leave Afghanistan and Iraq alone, poor treatment of women is part of what you wanted to leave alone. Traditional Islam, if it is practiced in a legalistic manner, is brutal by today’s standards, and there is a lot of inertia in the Islamic World resisting change. Moderate Muslims, as usually, are fairly quiet.

But notice also that Karzai is very much aware of public opinion and knows that the Liberal Democracies that pay his bills are outraged; so there will be an effect. Maybe the law can be changed, but don’t expect anything more after that than a “don’t ask, don’t tell” sort of situation. Wife beating and abuse will go on as usual.

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