When the Women of Afghanistan Speak, Does Howard Dean Listen?

Governor Howard Dean was just on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! to discuss healthcare and did a great job of explaining the need for a public option – but sadly he fell back on tired pro-war propaganda when he addressed Goodman’s questions on Afghanistan (transcript from Rethink Afghanistan – full rush transcript will be available later at Democracy Now):

Howard Dean: Roughly 50% of the Afghan people are women. They will be condemned to conditions which are very much like slavery and serfdom in a 12th century model of society where they have no rights whatsoever. So I’m not saying we have to invade every country that doesn’t treat women as equal, but we’re there now we have a responsibility, and if we leave women will experience the most extraordinary deprivations of any population on the face of the earth. I think we have some obligation to see if we can try and make this work. Not just for America and our security interests, but for the sake of women in Afghanistan and all around the globe. Is this acceptable to treat women like this? I think not.”

Amy Goodman: We just interviewed an afghan parliamentarian, Dr. Wardak and she said the opposite. She said that yes, she agrees with you on the way women are treated, but this is worsening the treatment--that the increased number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the huge number of troops that are coming in right now, are alienating the Afghan population.

Governor Dean, have you asked Afghan women if they agree that our expanding war in Afghanistan is “an obligation. . . for the sake of women in Afghanistan and all around the globe?”

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