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Exporting Political Correctness

Through Force of Arms

During the early days of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the White House frequently trotted out Laura Bush to laud our soldiers’ heroic efforts to “liberate” women.  These were not wars of aggression or conquest.  They were wars for “education,” the former schoolteacher averred: “The United States government is wholeheartedly committed to the full participation of women in all aspects of Afghan society.”  Those awful male chauvinists in Al Qaeda and the Taliban, you see, were really really mean to women.  Afghanistan, wailed Laura, is “only a few years removed from the reign of the terrorists, when women were denied education and every basic human right.”

These remarks were delivered on the joyful occasion of the disbursement by the U.S. Treasury of upward of $20 million to support women’s literacy programs in our Afghan province.  Laura was quite pleased: “I’ve especially watched with great pride as courageous women across your country have taken on leadership roles as students, teachers, judges, doctors, business and community leaders, ministers, and governor.”

I could understand a war for revenge.  After all, the Afghan Taliban gave sanctuary and succor to the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks.  But our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was presented not as a punitive expedition but as an exercise...

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