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Feminists Poised to Highjack the Iraqi Reconstruction Effort
May 6, 2003
by Carey Roberts

Over the years, Iraq has been accused of some of the most shocking human rights violations. These persistent abuses were one of the justifications that President Bush used when he launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Once the hostilities ended, President Bush requested a sweeping $2.4 billion humanitarian package to aid in the reconstruction of that country. But if radical feminists get their way, men will be shunted aside by these humanitarian relief efforts.

And if you hadn't noticed, the groundwork already has been laid in the court of public opinion.

First, feminists have been arguing for years that women are the primary victims of armed conflicts, a hare-brained claim which ignores the fact that three times more men than women die of war-related injuries.

Now, reports are appearing that highlight the plight of women in Iraq. For example, a recent U.S. State Department Fact Sheet states, "Saddam Hussein's brutal regimen has silenced the voices of Iraq's women, along with its men, through violence and intimidation." This statement carries the fatuous implication that women and men have suffered equally.

And UNICEF features a photographic essay that depicts "The Situation of Women and Children" in Iraq. But UNICEF did not see fit to show any heart-rending pictures of Iraqi men.

And while it is true that some Iraqi women have been subjected to torture, rape, and killings, there is no question that men have suffered the greatest atrocities.

When Saddam imposed a crackdown on alleged deserters from the Army, it was men who had their ears lopped off. When 600 civilians were gunned down in Basra for not having ID cards, almost all of them were men. And when Amnesty International published its ghoulish report, "Iraq: Systematic Torture of Political Prisoners," almost every example involved male victims. And Saddam's infamous meat cutter machine -- you don't hear about any women who were fed into that.

The media also contribute to the women-as-the-greater-victim myth, as well.

On February 23, cartoonist Bill Garner ran his drawing on the editorial page of the Washington Times. The cartoon, called "Saddam's Bodyguards," depicted Saddam surrounded by a group of veiled women and their infants. But no credible report has ever shown that Saddam enticed women into his quarters in order to preempt a bombing attack on his person.

On March 28, Aly Sujo wrote an article in the New York Post entitled, "Saddam Forces Kids into War." Sujo made a valiant effort to disguise the true sex of these juveniles, repeatedly referring to them with gender-neutral terms such as "child combatants," "young fighters," and "child warriors." Only once in the full-length article did the truth slip out -- that these "youngsters" were indeed all boys.

Even Paul McCartney has allowed chivalry to overcome common sense. McCartney recently claimed on BBC radio that "After the war finishes, it's the civilians -- mainly women and children -- who get blown up." Mr. McCartney, you would do better to stick with your love ballads. Because according to a recent Red Cross report, 93% of landmine victims in Afghanistan were boys and men.

Iraqi males -- young and old, civilian and combatant -- were the primary victims of Sadaam's brutal regime. But as feminist groups pressure the Bush administration to fund programs that favor women, don't expect to hear much about that in the weeks and months ahead.

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