In 2003, the US invaded the most advanced Middle Eastern country when it came to women's rights. Instead of preserving what Iraqi society had accomplished, the US government sought to destroy the rights of Iraqi women by installing thugs who would scare the population into submission. Iraqi women were left in the position of having to fight to maintain their rights at a time when the White House was insisting democracy was coming to Iraq.
Al Mada reports that women's organizations gathered in Najaf today for a conference to prevent violence against women. One attendee explained that when her husband beat her she found no assistance from her family, her community or even the law. She is divorced now. For some women, divorce in Iraq can mean losing the children. Being divorced can also be a social stigma. The conference called on the clergy to educate regarding violence against women
The conference also found that laws need to be changed. MP Batoul Farouk attended the conference and she noted that the Parliament is attempting to pass more equitable laws but that their application is often impacted by customs and traditions.
The conflict between Baghdad and Erbil continues. All Iraq News reports that KRG President Massoud Barzani responded to a verbal attack Nouri al-Maliki made on the KRG when speaking to a Kuwaiti newspaper. Barzani declared that a time when Nouri is surrounded by the smell of corruption and one deal after another seems to fall apart, Nouri might need to get his own house in order before launching an attack on the KRG. Meanwhile Kitabat notes that Baghdad tanks remain engaged in a stand-off with Peshmerga tanks in northern Iraq.
"Change" in Iraq means that the bad gets worse. It didn't have to be that way. Barack Obama could have respected the votes of the Iraqi people. Instead, following the 2010 elections, the White House backed Nouri for a second term as prime minister despite the ballot results. Is it any wonder that Iraq has remained mired in failure and unable to move forward with failed 'leader' Nouri still at the helm?
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.
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