Freedom, Part III
At Martini Republic, Laura Fisher points out this quote from American Enterprise Institute Fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht, speaking on Meet the Press this past Sunday:
Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective.
So, basically, women's rights don't matter in the new, "free" Iraq.
At Hit and Run, Matt Welch links to the story of a Reuters journalist who is being held incommunicado at Abu Ghraib (from Wired News):
U.S. military spokesmen have refused to say why they are holding Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, a 36-year-old freelance cameraman and photographer who has worked for the international news organization for a year in Ramadi, capital of Anbar region.
Lieutenant Colonel Guy Rudisill, spokesman for U.S. detainee operations in Iraq, said the journalist was now in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison: "He will not be able to have visitors for the next 60 days," he added.
The article goes on to state:
An account from Mashhadani's family of his arrest on August 8 suggests that images found by U.S. Marines on his cameras during a general sweep in the neighborhood prompted his detention.
Relatives said that Marines conducting a routine search of the house turned hostile after viewing images stored on Mashhadani's video and stills cameras and his desktop computer.
It looks like freedom of the press and due process rights don't matter in the new, "free" Iraq, either.
Yep, freedom is on the march!