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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 4, 2011 / 29 Adar II, 5771

Women aren't pet rocks

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Whether the topic is Libya's rebels or Afghanistan's "reconciliation" with the Taliban, the pivotal question is, or should be: What about the women?

During my brief tenure as a CNN anchor, I insistently raised this question and was consistently disappointed by the answer, which more or less went like this:

"Yes, well, the women. Too bad about the women. They'll suffer."

Women, and by extension children, suffer what too many have come to accept as "collateral damage" in theaters of war. We hate it, of course, but what can one do? It isn't in our strategic interest to save the women and children of the world. Or, as an anonymous senior White House official recently told The washington Post:

"Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities. There's no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, no stranger to the importance of advancing women's rights, promptly repudiated the comment. Even so, the anonymous spokesman's opinion, though inartfully expressed, is hardly isolated.

But what if this is a false premise? What if saving women from cultures that treat them as chattel was in our strategic and not just moral interest? What if helping women become equal members of a society was the most reliable route to our own security?

One needn't be a visionary to accept this simple tenet as not only probable but inescapably true. Without exception, every nation that oppresses women is a failed and, therefore, dangerous nation.

This is not the stuff of stunning revelation, but it is often overlooked or minimized in importance. More typically pressing are armies and artillery. The real fight is in the trenches, where men historically have clashed to resolve their differences.

Ironically perhaps to those still waiting for the oceans to recede and the planet to heal, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush always understood the necessity of including women in the peace equation. Hence, the historic U.S.-Afghan Women's Council established in 2002 by Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

At a conference last week hosted by the former first couple — "Building Afghanistan's Future: Promoting Women's Freedom and Advancing their Economic Opportunity" — the Bushes reiterated their commitment to the women of Afghanistan and their belief that protecting women should be at the core of our foreign policy.

"We liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban, because of providing a safe haven for al-Qaeda," George Bush told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren. "I believed then and believe now we have an obligation to help this young democracy in Afghanistan survive — and thrive. And one of the best and most effective ways to do so is to empower women."

Such a simple concept, empowering women. Except that in a country where men feel free to throw acid in the faces of little girls trying to attend school, it is not so simple. In a nation where child marriage and "honor killings" are still accepted custom, it is not so easy.

No one underestimates the challenges of helping women become equal participants in a civil society only recently concocted. But allowing progress to recede shouldn't be an option. Recent negotiations between the Karzai government and the Taliban, in which women's rights could be diluted, should have all of us worried.

It is too bad, meanwhile, that we are restricted in these discussions by terminology that rings of cliche. "Women's rights" sounds too much like debates about abortion and subsidized day care. What we're really talking about is basic human rights. The freedom to work, to make decisions about one's own life, to seek an education and to be safe to walk on the streets without a male escort. To be fully human, in other words.

Anything less is terrorism by another name. The insanity that sends jihadists to rain hell on civilized nations is the same that stones women to death for failing to comply with primitive norms of behavior.

As Clinton wrote in Time magazine in 2001, "The mistreatment of women in Afghanistan was like an early warning signal of the kind of terrorism that culminated in the attacks of September 11."

Women are not collateral damage in the fight for security. They are not pet rocks in a rucksack, nor are they sidebars to the main story. They are the story — and should be the core of our foreign policy strategy in Afghanistan as elsewhere.

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