Saturday, May 27, 2006

This is freedom, say courageous women risking all for democracy

Two weeks ago inside the new national assembly in Kabul, turbaned parliamentarians hurled water bottles and bloody threats at Malalai Joya, a firebrand female deputy who dared criticised the country's mujahideen fighters. Now Ms Joya changes safe house every night and travels with three bodyguards.
The dangers are equally potent in Helmand province, 350 miles to the south. As 3,300 British troops deploy amid the worst Taliban violence in years, a small number of courageous women are leading their own campaign, armed with nothing but their voices.

Salima Sharifi was an 18-year-old pupil when she started campaigning for the provincial elections last summer. Months later she won 2,114 votes - and a place in history as Afghanistan's youngest female politician.

"I just wanted to make a difference," said the bookish young woman, sipping tea in a carpeted room adorned with Persian poetry. Her proud father, Muhammad Zahir, sat nearby. "I warned her it would be risky but she just smiled," he said.

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | This is freedom, say courageous women risking all for democracy

Just thought I'd make a quick note, not to take away from this piece, but one should note that Afghanistan is the "good war" with humanitarian principles though it is certain not as many perished during the Taliban occupation as perished in Iraq under Saddam. In the "good war", everything is heroic. In the "bad war" (Iraq), there is nothing heroic. Not the voters, who go in the millions in direct opposition to the terrorists, nor the soldiers who routinely save the lives of men, women and children or their own friends or the wounded or who charge into a ditch to attack against overwhelming force and win.

"Good Wars" are heroic and there are heroic people. "Bad Wars", no matter how self sacrificing the soldier or the people who struggle there to make a difference, are never heroic and never produce heroic people.

That's what you see in the press and why a left wing London rag will happily print about heroic women in Afhanistan while routinely denoucing the struggles of Iraqis as just short of "collaborationist".

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