Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Protecting American women: "Of course they will be much safer in a burka and veil!"

March, a month traditionally set aside for honoring women, is here again -- and the conservative right is once again talking about protecting our virtue. Does that mean it's time for me to start reaching for my burka and veil?

I can see it all now. The Bush team will start up one of their usual sleazy campaigns, working on America's hopes and fears. First Bush will give a moving speech about Democracy and Freedom. Then we will all be bombarded by television commercials-disguised-as-news. "The burka has become an instant fashion hit with American women! They love it. Teens at the mall are snapping it up. America's Next Top Models wear burkas on the catwalks. The burka has become high couture. Laura Bush wore a lovely pastel pink one at a White House formal dinner last weekend. Even Paris Hilton thinks that burkas are HOT."
And American women will happily go along with all this, gladly forsaking power suits, skirts and even -- shudder -- jeans. Why?

American women will soon stampede in DROVES to buy burkas for the same reason that Muslim women now embrace the veil -- it will be safer to go out in public wearing one than not.

According to Stephen Kinzer, back in 1953 a CIA agent named Kermit Roosevelt used violence and intrigue to orchestrate an Eisenhower-approved coup against the democratically-elected Iranian government. This violent coup saddled Iran with the infamous torturer Mohammad Reza Shah. As a result of this typical CIA insanity, there was a tremendous backlash in Iran, one that eventually opened the doors to the Iranian government being seized by a bunch of fundamentalist Mullahs in 1979.

As Harry Truman once said, "The only thing that's new in the world is the history you don't know."

This same backlash against misguided -- dare I say STUPID -- American foreign policies also occurred in Afghanistan after the CIA used violence and intrigue against the USSR occupation -- the CIA went out of their way to support sleazy evil warlords regardless of what that support cost Afghanis in terms of principles and basic human decency -- and was a major factor leading to the creation of the Taliban.

Then the CIA, Reagan, Bush 1 and Rumsfeld created Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. Then Bush 2 worked over the people of Iraq with Shock and Awe. The U.S. policies of violence and intrigue smashed that country's structural stability and once again fundamentalist Mullahs are stepping into the vacuum and seizing power there as well.

Short-sighted U.S. foreign policy also created "The Kingdom" of Saudi Arabia. This time, however, CIA violence and intrigue created Mullah rule -- not as a backlash -- but as an end in itself.

Once the fundamentalist Mullahs got into the driver's seat in the Middle East -- be it in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan -- women in these countries quickly started hiding behind the veil.

Why? What's so compellingly attractive about a burka?

It's protection.

When a society becomes violent, women become victims. They can avoid that by hiding. Where is the quickest, easiest and best place to hide? Behind a veil.

And now, through violence and intrigue, fundamentalist "Mullahs" are also in the White House driver's seat. And as America in general continues the trend of worshiping at the shrine of violence, there will be much more violence against women here as well.

As a result, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that American women will also soon be wearing burkas and veils -- and they will be glad to have them too.

I don't want to have to start wearing a burka. Yuck! And probably neither does Tyra Banks or even Laura Bush.

How can we avoid it? Simple. Avoid living in a country that worships intrigue and violence. And stop the "leaders" in Washington from promoting it too.

Use negotiation instead.

When Americans travel abroad these days, they see a lot of violence and horror and hate. "But it's not like that in America," said a Republican friend of mine. So. What IS America like? Kindness and freedom and good? Well. Then. Why don't we export THAT -- instead of torture and intrigue and violence and hatred and sweat shops and depleted uranium nuclear war?

To quote my Franklin Daily Planner, " The more you love, the more you'll find That life is good and friends are kind.... For only what we give away Enriches us from day to day." [by Helen Steiner Rice, Lawrence Welk's "Ambassador of Sunshine"]

America, it's time to stop acting like fundamentalist Mullahs and walk the walk -- or else, ladies, start getting your burkas pressed and shopping for your veils.

PS: My son called me Sunday night. "Ma, I just got a job working on a movie! You'll never guess who with!"


"Think bigger!"

"Martin Scorsese? Steven Speilberg?"

"Bigger than that!"


"You're close." The Pope? "You're getting closer." The Dalai Lama? "Bingo!" Wow. And my son left for India 24 hours later to help film a documentary on the Dalai Lama! Now there is an example of a man who truly cares. The DL is not just another hypocritical money-grubbing phoney such as our George W., who mouths platitudes about religion while busily slaughtering women and children. The Dalai Lama actually walks the walk. Plus my son will set a great example to people in foreign countries who think that Americans only care about blowing stuff up.