Demonstrating the same fanatical misogyny that he proudly proclaimed when he involved the neo Nazi fundamentalist Rick Warren in his campaign and inauguration, President Obama is actually blocking entry of a women's rights activist from Afghanistan on a pretext that is so flimsy it insults the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 60. (From the Afghan Women's Mission's 3/17/11 Press Release - Hat Tip: Peace Action West)
The United States has denied a travel visa to Malalai Joya, an acclaimed women’s rights activist and former member of Afghanistan’s parliament. Ms. Joya, who was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, was set to begin a three-week US tour to promote an updated edition of her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Joya’s publisher at Scribner, Alexis Gargagliano, said, “We had the privilege to publish Ms. Joya, and her earlier 2009 book tour met with wide acclaim. The right of authors to travel and promote their work is central to freedom of expression and the full exchange of ideas.” Joya’s memoir has been translated into over a dozen languages, and she has toured widely including Australia, the UK, Canada, Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands in support of the book over the past two years.
Colleagues of Ms. Joya’s report that when she presented herself as scheduled at the U.S. embassy, she was told she was being denied because she was “unemployed” and “lives underground.” Then 27, Joya was the youngest woman elected to Afghanistan’s parliament in 2005. Because of her harsh criticism of warlords and fundamentalists in Afghanistan, she has been the target of at least five assassination attempts. “The reason Joya lives underground is because she faces the constant threat of death for having had the courage to speak up for women’s rights – it’s obscene that the U.S. government would deny her entry,” said Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S. based organization that has hosted Joya for speaking tours in the past and is a sponsor of this year’s national tour.
This is ironic, given how both George W. Bush and Barack Bush both used women's rights violations by the Taliban as a justification for war. Yet, neither has lifted a finger to stop human rights violations against women by their puppet regime. Outside of Kabul, the situation for women is the same as it was under the Taliban.
Also, let's not forget the role of Hillary Clinton in this outrage. She may pretend to be a feminist when it is politically convenient to do so, but she is, in fact, a militant, Christian fundamentalist who gleefully embraces the misogyny of the Christian Right. (Ms. Clinton is so extreme in her fundamentalism that she is deeply involved in the dangerous, secretive cult known as "The Family" which, among other things, runs the C Street apartments for horny Republicans.)
In her short tenure in the Senate, Ms. Clinton demonstrated her militant fundamentalism by voting for the Iraq War and making her highest legislative priority trying to get us into war with Iran. As Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton has worked tirelessly to trigger a US-Iran war and to encourage Israel to provoke an Arab-Israeli war that Clinton and other fundamentalists believe is predicted by the nonsense in "Revelations."
Obama's action also is a subtle insult against writers and other artists. Treating creative people as "unemployed" is typical of the anti intellectualism of the right. Barack Bush is acting just like George W. Bush this time.
As Ronald Reagan's eighth term drags on, I still want real change. The bigotry and war mongering keep dragging on.
Hillary Clinton Photo: World Economic Forum