A significant proportion of US soldiers are reported to be suffering psychological problems, after returning home from their duties in Iraq. This is hardly surprising, because human beings with a conscience cannot escape the reality of their crimes, no matter how much propaganda and lies they use to cover their guilt. After returning home, one soldier started to cry, as he confessed to his sister that he had murdered unarmed civilians [1]. In the eyes of many, he obviously ‘progressed’ from a soldier to a cowardly murderer by committing such acts, and many such cases have been reported.

To further compound the problem, many find their ‘marriage’ or relationships have vanished, after returning from their tour of duty. They seem to suffer from the Jerry Springer phenomenon; their partners have either been unfaithful or have left for another man or woman. Over the last three months, I have had a brief exchange with a few Iraq-war veterans. One of them also found his wife had run away with another man, after coming back from Iraq. You put your life at risk for your country, and the least you would expect is some level of appreciation, support and loyalty from your wife or husband, but apparently those values are in short supply in the US for returning soldiers.

I did not want to make political mileage out of his personal misfortunes, but I wondered if this man will ever realise that his mission in Iraq actually coincided with the behaviour of his wife. According to George Bush, he was fighting for ‘freedom’ in Iraq which obviously includes sexual freedom, something that his wife had just practised. She was enjoying herself with another man as a liberated woman, to the detriment and grief of the man who fought for that ‘freedom’, her husband, such a cruel irony!

This reminded me of an incident with my work colleague some years back. He was a devout Communist, after having a few jibes at Islam he said he was off to see his kids. I replied loudly: “are you sure they are yours”! He went silent, face turned red, the rest of the people in the room started to laugh and some could not understand my abrasive response. So I explained communists do not believe in the traditional family unit but a public one, there is no sacred relationship with one partner, it is a free for all, as everyone is there for public consumption.

He did not challenge my statements and clearly felt his core ideological values contradicted his basic instincts. Inevitably his ‘comrade’ girlfriend eventually exercised her beliefs in non-exclusivity and walked out on him. A few days later I found him reading books on Islamic Sufis, and Islamic history, after that he never made any more jibes against Islam in my presence. It is difficult for people to see their own contradictions, even when they contradict their basic instincts, until they are brought home to them so graphically, and this is why Communism was doomed to fail.

Capitalism poses a different set of problems, its proponents do not deny human instincts, but they use it to exploit others, creating injustice, exploitation and oppression. Hence, it is very clear that Western leaderships have no real commitment to their stated core values such as freedom, human rights, democracy; these notions are convenient tools, often used as an excuse to justify the ugly aggression of the Western capitalist states, to satisfy their real commitment to profit. If anyone honestly believes in a principle they would apply that consistently, even to their detriment, and not on the basis of expediency.

There are numerous examples to illustrate this point but I have chosen the example of women’s rights. Mainly because values such as democracy, requires a state or government to exemplify but women’s rights can be partially exemplified by individuals. If nations proclaim to uphold such values, surely its citizens must also reflect those values.

How often we hear the arrogant assumption, as they level charges against Islam and Muslims as oppressors of women. Let us assume for a moment that this is correct; therefore conversely, the accuser, i.e. the West, must be the guardian of women’s rights, as they have enthroned themselves with the authority to point fingers and judge others.

If the above assumption is true, I would expect those regimes and their citizens to be the greatest sympathisers and defenders of Muslim women; especially those wearing the Hijab, since their oppression is proportionately linked to their adherence to Islam. Yet, after 9/11 and 7/7, the so-called guardians of women’s rights had no qualm in targeting the Muslim women in Hijab (Head Scarves) in the streets of New York, London, Sydney and other places; this is after lecturing how the women in Hijab are oppressed. Clearly, deeds often expose what they hide with their tongues; consequently the mythical chivalrous knights of Europe and the West exposed their ugly nature, out came the racist beer-drinking-hooligans, physically attacking women in the streets, whilst the educated amongst them attacked those same women from their pulpits in their parliaments and legislatures.

Consider another example, suppose on a sinking ship, a group of feminists with young daughters are given a choice of residing on two islands, one filled with devout Muslims, and the other filled with beer guzzling, US and British soldiers, like the ones serving in Iraq. Which island would the women chose? There is no doubt, they would recognise their own propaganda, and make an objective decision bearing in mind their own safety is at risk. Indeed, when one is forced to confront reality, it brings them out of their fantasy and self-created shell of lies.

The politicians and commentators lecture about women’s right, only in the context of Islam bashing, even though it may be more applicable elsewhere. If you listened to their ranting, you would think, women are only oppressed in the Islamic world, everywhere else they are living in paradise. So effective has been this propaganda, even the Muslims have started to believe in it, it has become part of the syllabus of the handicapped moderates. Thus, they talk about reforming Islam instead of reforming themselves; anyone is brought on TV as an expert on Islam except for those who adhere to it.

If the West was really driven by women’s rights, they would have recognised how their soldiers are raping their own women (rape and sexual abuse is reported to be rife within the US military), it is so endemic that sexual assaults continues to rise [2]. Their soldiers would have thought twice about raping and/or sexually abusing the Iraqi women and children in places like Abu-Ghraib, yet shamelessly they continue to fly the flag of women’s ‘rights’. The West would have led by example by restraining men in their societies from attacking defenceless women in Hijab, in their own streets.

If there was any real commitment to women’s rights, they would have stopped their men from travelling to poor countries and exploiting the flesh of women in poverty. But I guess now they would argue this is part of globalisation and fits in with the free-market paradigm, thus, women’s right’s like Iraq’s WMDs are simply not relevant any more! Do you remember how women’s rights were raised just prior to attacking Afghanistan, when the Taliban became really evil? Yet the attack was launched from their military bases in Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, were laws regulating women and men are just as stringent, if not more so, so where was the consistency and lauded values?.

For the die hard lovers of Freedom and Western liberalism, please read with delight that a US soldier emailed me (email domain “@us.army.mil”) to express his satisfaction at killing Iraqi civilians (which includes women and children), because he got his revenge. These are the low life executors of your freedom and liberality, which you are subjecting the Islamic world to. Amongst such ‘noble’ soldiers there is no mention of bringing women’s rights, democracy, and freedom to Iraq, not even removing Saddam was that important. But when exactly did the Iraqis attack the Americans? Of course they didn’t but a ‘sand nigger’ is just a ‘sand nigger’ to these soldiers of women’s rights, human rights, democracy and freedom.

In fact, the Muslims would argue: the existence of groups catering for women’s rights in the West is an evidence of a system that is inherently flawed and a system that inherently oppresses women; hence it is only natural that in such an environment women’s rights groups would surface at some point. So they have, proving that oppression of women in the West was and is real. Therefore, how are they in a position to lecture others about the subject?

In any case, women’s rights is much less to do with getting voting rights, education or equal pay, the idea has almost lost its real purpose, it is now primarily used as a political tool to denigrate the opponents of the West. Attacking Islam and Muslim’s using women’s rights issues, helps to divert attention away from the real oppression at home. Just like those who constantly bark about the retaliatory ‘terrorism’ of their victims to cover their own criminal acts of state-terrorism, consuming many more lives.

Notes:

[1]. This was broadcasted on BBC TV sometime last year.

[2]. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060317/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/military_sex_assaults