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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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August 09, 2005

Old Men with Scraggly Beards

A reader reacts to an earlier blog in which I criticized the idea of Iraqi womenís groups lobbying the United States for changes in the new Iraqi constitution. The reader writes:

I thought one of the major reasons we're fighting and dying in Iraq is to help bring democracy to that country. Under the Baathists only the Sunnis had any power (both men and women Sunnis because it was a secular society). If we assume that 30% of the population is Sunni then 30% of the country controlled the rest of the citizens. If we now have a country of say 60% women and they end up with no rights then once again a minority controls the rest of the citizens. Then what's the point of my kid and your kid going to Iraq to fight and die? Furthermore, over and over again we hear that women's rights are the backbone of a stable and growing country, so we do have a security interest in pushing this subject. Sheeze, Bruce, do you really think that 60-70% of the citizens of a country can live without basic everyday rights and the country still be called a democracy?

If this reader is right about the purpose of our invasion, then she has a point. If weíre there to promote democracy, as defined by us, we have to make sure thatís what they set up. And democracy as defined by us includes votes for women. No question about that.

I am uncomfortable with this whole project. I donít think we have any business telling them what kind of government to have. If they want a state according to the rules of Islam, let them have it. Itís their country. We have no ďsecurity interestĒ in telling them who gets to vote in their country. Maybe only old men with scraggly beards get to vote. I donít care. I want our troops to come home, so that my kid and your kid donít have to go over there and die.

Respond to Bruce.

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at August 9, 2005 01:46 PM



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