So it’s come to this:
Afghanistan’s president on Tuesday endorsed a “code of conduct” issued by an influential council of clerics that activists say represents a giant step backward for women’s rights in the country.
President Hamid Karzai’s Tuesday remarks backing the Ulema Council’s document, which allows husbands to beat wives under certain circumstances and encourages segregation of the sexes, is seen as part of his outreach to insurgents like the Taliban.
Both the U.S. and Karzai hope that the Taliban can be brought into negotiations to end the country’s decade-long war. But activists say they’re worried that gains made by women since 2001 may be lost in the process.
The hope is to bring the less insane factions of the Taliban into the coalition. But I suspect this ends with either a slightly less horrifying version of pre-invasion Afghanistan law or, at best, a tolerance of full shariah wherever people want to practice it.
I slept on this before posting and my two-word reaction as not changed: fuck ‘em.
We tried to fix the country. God knows we tried. We sacrificed thousands of our best citizens, hundreds of billions of dollars and ten years. We gave them every chance of progressing to, if not the 21st century, at least maybe the 18th. It was not good enough. A substantial fraction of the Afghan people want this. A substantial fraction are fine with a system that kills and mutilates women if they step out of line and keeps them and their children condemned to barbarism.
It pains me to abandon 15 million Afghan women and untold future generations to this. But I don’t see that there is anything we can do to prevent the nation’s suicide. Maybe we open up immigration for people willing to put all of it behind them. And we should maintain enough of an over-the-horizon presence to prevent the rise of another Al-Quada (although, without bin Laden, it’s unlikely another one could rise). But we’re done. The only thing that will stop this horror is when the Afghan people decide they’ve had enough.