April 4, 2009

Fighting terrorism a higher priority than rape?

I'd be a bit remiss if I didn't talk about this find I caught earlier over twitter (like, this morning, I'm slow) on bastard.logic.

A little background if you hadn't heard, Afghan president Hamid Karzai recently signed off on a law that would basically legalize marital rape.

One of the most controversial articles of the law stipulates that the wife "is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires."

"As long as the husband is not travelling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night," Article 132 of the law says. "Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband."

One provision of the law also appears to protect the woman's right to sex inside marriage, saying that the "man should not avoid having sexual relations with his wife longer than once every four months."

I say again, LEGALIZE RAPE of married Afghanistan women. How the hell could that be? I...actually have no idea other than to thoroughly blame patriarchy and religion. Read the link for more, it's...amazing.

Well if that didn't get you spitting, well...uh, President Obama. Other countries such as Canada are putting pressure on Afghanistan to take that shit back, and...Obama puts his foot in his mouth when asked to clarify how he feels on the law, to put it plainly...you'd think he would say nothing short of something to the effect of "that's fucked up yo" but...ah...no, not so much.

Video here and you can check out the transcript on the bastard.logic link above for full context, but here's the important part:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ...Now, I just want to remind people, though, why our troops are fighting, because I think the notion that you laid out, Major, was that our troops might be less motivated. Our troops are highly motivated to protect the United States, just as troops from NATO are highly motivated to protect their own individual countries and NATO allies collectively. So we want to do everything we can to encourage and promote rule of law, human rights, the education of women and girls in Afghanistan, economic development, infrastructure development, but I also want people to understand that the first reason we are there is to root out al Qaeda so that they cannot attack members of the Alliance.

Now, I don’t — those two things aren’t contradictory, I think they’re complementary. And that’s what’s reflected in the communiqué.

Q: But do you object to the law –

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We have stated very clearly that we object to this law. But I want everybody to understand that our focus is to defeat al Qaeda and ensure that they do not have safe havens from which they can launch attacks against the Alliance.

Wow, just wow! Interpret that as you will but to me it's reading, "we're over there to fight terrorism, THEN human rights."

Do you know how...bizarre that sounds? Alright we obviously object to the law, but just randomly seguing over into how it's more paramount that we defeat Al Qaeda just damn strange and WRONG, man, WRONG.

"So we want to do everything we can to encourage and promote rule of law, human rights, the education of women and girls in Afghanistan, economic development, infrastructure development--"

should be the end. Full stop. Actually I would just cut it off at human rights. We are there to promote/protect human rights but defeating Al Qaeda does not trump over a law that would legally promote marital rape--men raping women and women being helpless to stop it does not just take a back seat to defeating a damn terrorist organization. It shouldn't even be about what priority comes higher, you fucking multi task!

Just wow. I'm requesting a formal statement on my desk explaining this foolishness.

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