We thought we’d seen and heard it all by the time Hillary Clinton was confirmed as secretary of state. That’s when the photo of Obama’s drunken head speech writer and his inebriated buddy sexually molesting a life-size cardboard cutout of Secretary Clinton went viral as if to make sure all repressive cultures got the word.
As so-called leaders of the free world, why are we surprised to hear of the upsurge in violence against women in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
The editorial in the NY Times this morning is titled Women, Extremism, and Two Key States. Unfortunately the Times editorial board touts American values without noting the undercurrent of misogyny here at home while calling the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to account:
There have been two recent reminders of the cost of extremism. In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai signed a law that effectively sanctions marital rape. In Pakistan, a video surfaced of the Taliban in the Swat Valley publicly flogging a young woman screaming for mercy. Pakistan’s government compounded the indignity on Monday by giving in to Taliban demands and formally imposing Shariah law on the region.
Such behavior would be intolerable anywhere. But the United States is heavily invested in both countries, fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban and financing multibillion-dollar military and development programs. The cases represent an officially sanctioned brutality that violates American values and international human rights norms. They also sabotage chances of building stable healthy societies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.