Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay

Christopher Hitchens has a column up at Slate entitled Losing the Iraq War:
Can the left really want us to?

In it, he whines that left-leaning organizations aren't doing enough to help win the war against ee-ville. He wonders, "How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis . . .?"

I have two words for the useless sot: Marla Ruzicka. She bravely and tirelessly worked on behalf of individual Iraqi war victims. And when she got killed by a car bomb, this was the thanks she got from Hitchens's fellow war supporters.

More from Snitchens:

The United States is awash in human rights groups, feminist organizations, ecological foundations, and committees for the rights of minorities. How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East?

Here's a group supporting women's rights in Iraq:

NDI's program to strengthen women's political participation in Iraq is designed to foster an environment in which women are viewed as credible and effective leaders. The Institute works with political parties and civil society organizations in developing concrete, organic strategies for including women in political structures. NDI also continues to build a network for women political activists that provides a forum for assistance with an electronic newsletter which reaches across party lines and gives women the skills to present themselves as professional and competitive candidates. The Institute's workshops for female candidates has reached more than 200 women who were trained for the TNA and Governorate Council. As Iraqis engage in the drafting of the constitution and formation of a permanent government, NDI will continue to work with female members of the TNA and civil society to ensure constitutional gender equity

Why didn't Hitch mention NDI? Is it not "left" enough for him?

NDI is proud to draw on the traditions of the U.S. Democratic Party. While the Institute's identification with the Democratic Party enhances its standing throughout the world, NDI programs are nonpartisan, fostering universal values and supporting democratic processes rather than a particular party or ideology.

And here are some U.S. Senators supporting Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists:

Eleven women Senators sent a letter to President Bush yesterday expressing their concerns that the draft Iraqi constitution includes provisions that "may jeopardize the rights of Iraqi women." Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Hillary R. Clinton (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) cited recent comments by the United States Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, that the United States will work to guarantee equality in the new constitution in urging Bush to “continue to express our support for a constitution that would maintain rights for women and equality for all Iraqis.”

Just two weeks ago, approximately 200 women staged a protest in Baghdad to demand full equality in the new constitution. Activists have also met with constitutional committee members to lobby for women’s rights. The current draft constitution would allow Islam to play an important role in the making of civil law. While Shiite Muslim leaders are promoting a larger role for Islam, women’s rights groups express concerns about provisions that would take away rights they already enjoy, including inheritance and divorce rights for women. Iraqi activist Hanaa Edwar said, “We are a pluralistic society and this constitution will determine our future. It is crucial for us. We cannot allow it to move us backwards and make a mockery of conventions that Iraq has signed on human rights,” reports BBC News.

I dunno, maybe the Senators just aren't prominent enough to get Hitch's attention.

It's ironic that he's complaining about a perceived failure by women's organizations to step up to the plate as it looks increasingly like the end result of his pet war will be a constitution that diminishes women's rights in Iraq.

One might well ask why his war hawk buddies on the right don't mount a "huge voluntary effort" to save Iraq women from fundamentalist Islamic oppression, especially since it was this war that unleashed the fundamentalists in Iraq - an entirely foreseeable outcome for which the administration utterly failed to plan. I wonder what type of effort Hitchens has in mind, anyway? Seriously - exactly what he does he think these groups should DO, besides what they are already doing? Re-invade the country, oust the interim government, and install a new one?

Women's groups were anti-Taliban long before 9/11 - before being anti-Taliban was cool. What was Hitchens doing, besides getting drunk and railing against the evils of Mother Teresa and Bill Clinton? According to Hitchens's Wikipedia entry he was opposed to Islamic fundamentalism since Khomeini issued the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. I don't have Lexis-Nexis, so I can only wonder if he gave the Taliban one tenth the attention he gave the nefarious Mother Teresa.

Feh on Hitchens, anyway. Shorter Hitchens: "Why won't the left disarm the mines planted by the right?"

("Shorter" concept stolen from busybusybusy)


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