Terry Glavin's article "Journalist speaks up for Afghan women" [March 15-22] failed to provide necessary historical context. The last foreign army to fight for women's rights in Afghanistan was that of the Soviet Union, and its defeat was greatly aided by U.S. support to the mujahideen. So our allies, the Americans, have very recently been on the side of Islamic extremism and suppressing women's rights.
The Soviet Union came to fight in Afghanistan to protect the Kabul regime that was trying to impose its communist values on the Afghan countryside. That effort had caused an uprising that it could not suppress. One of the values they promoted was women's rights, and Kabul was actually quite a progressive place at the time.
Today, Kabul is again trying to impose its own set of values on the Afghan countryside, and NATO and Canadians are playing the Soviet role.
We do have plenty of the women's-rights-suppressing mujahideen-warlords on our side, which sets us off a bit from the Soviets. The Karzai regime, which is totally foreign-imposed and protected, is much less credible and legitimate than the Soviet-supported Kabul regime, and corruption and drug trading are taking place on a much greater scale under our watch.
If we lose the fight, as the Soviets did—and we will—what good would we be doing the women of Afghanistan? Women suffer the most in wars.
The sad truth is that Canadian forces are in a combat role in Afghanistan primarily as an act of contrition for our failure to join the U.S. rape of Iraq. Using women's rights as a justification for our aggressive, militant actions in Afghanistan is tantamount to our own act of rape, not only against the women of Afghanistan but against the very principle of women's rights as well.
> Terry Greenberg / North Vancouver