The cover of TIME magazine this week is tough to look at, but that is all the more reason to do so.
This 19 year old Afghan girl had her nose and ears cut off as punishment for fleeing an abusive forced marriage. A Taliban commander made the determination and so she was mutilated. That is what the status quo will be if we fail in our mission to create a state in Afghanistan where the Taliban are not in charge. The light of women in that country is not why we are there, if that was the case there are dozens of countries where we would be needed. But is doesn't mean we cannot take the oppression and barbarity of the Talibs into account as we look at our cause.
Women have made tremendous strides since the Taliban were over thrown and they ought to be considered some of our most interested allies. The patriarchal and religious society that existed and still exists in much of Afghanistan relegates women to the status of chattel, property. That is repugnant and offensive and if we can change it we ought, especially if we can do so in conjunction with our efforts to put a less extreme government in place. Our moral betters on the left love to preach about how women in America are discriminated against, and don't earn as much as men do. But it kinda puts things in perspective when you look at this girl, eh? The next time you see some feminist yotch bitching and moaning about the man keeping them down, send her this picture and tell he to STFU!
The biggest flaw in our efforts in Afghanistan is not our military strategy, it is our lack of a grand strategy to deal with the larger war of cultures between the free, liberal Western society we are privileged to live in and the stone age obscurantists who rule far too many places in the name of Islam. It is always unfair to paint all Muslims as oppressive extremists, but it is equally unfair to deny that Islam empowers many of the worst human rights violators on Earth. We need a way to put a wedge between those two groups and maybe women can be that. It is certainly a start and a noble cause to begin freeing hundreds of millions of girls from a life that offers nothing to them but submission. The fact that an outlet like TIME has seen fit to highlight this shows that the left knows what this is about, well let's pressure them to act in concert with us and face the challenge united. They have the ability to pressure and we have the ability to enforce. It would be nice if once that was combined to serve the cause of defeating religious oppression and making the world a freer and better place.