UPDATE – As we celebrate Independence Day, we need to ask ourselves: have our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were supposed to free those citizens, actually improved the lives of people in those countries, especially women? Alas, the answer appears to be “no.” UPDATE: We haven’t even given the Iraqis any of the JOBS our invasion created there!

Despite Western intervention, the women of Afghanistan continue to suffer. In BBC News, Soutik Biswas writes that for months, a female government official in Afghanistan has been receiving threatening letters saying she may be the target of a suicide bomber.

Biswas quotes Shukria Barakzai as saying, “I am going crazy. My friends are telling me to leave the country. My husband is worried. After all, I am also a mother and a wife.” She is being targeted not only because she is a woman, but because she has had the courage to speak out against the country’s warlords.

She quotes former gynocologist Soraya Sobhrang, who runs the women’s rights department of the Human Rights Commission, as saying, “[Tribal councils] are still deciding the fate of the women in most rural areas. Most of the judgements go against the women?All this drives people into the arms of the Taliban. And the women become the worst sufferers again.”

UPDATE: According to the July 4 LA Times, we now have more private contractors in Iraq than we have troops. We have over 180,000 contractors there, mostly Americans and workers from other foreign countries. Would our soldiers suffer fewer insurgency attacks if we hired Iraqi workers and paid them in US dollars?

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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