Monday, August 29, 2005

Men Who Reuel The World

Reuel Marc Gerecht, sufragette:

"PAUL GIGOT: Reuel, you've written that,Americans of a feminist disposition should realize that equal rights between the sexes is not a pre-condition for the growth of democracy."

REUEL MARC GERECHT: Well, historically, it should be easy to see that in the west. If it were a precondition, then western democracy certainly wouldn't have started -- wouldn't have succeeded -- because we didn't give women the right to vote until 1920. It's important to remember in Iraq -- you are not going to have democracy take root, and have the traditional communities -- the Shiite and the Sunni communities -- support it. And there is definitely a greater Islamic identify in those communities.

However, I have heard no one in Iraq say that women shouldn't have the right to vote. I think people have to realize is what you want is to begin a public debate. You want the democratic process to move forward. Then, later then can start having these debates about where the red lines are, where in fact women's rights begin. It's a moving line, but the most important thing is to get the traditional communities on board so they support the democratic process, and then let the great debates begin.

PAUL GIGOT: Of course, women played a very prominent role in the elections in January, turning out in really big numbers. Was that a one-time event, they're likely to say, "From now on, we won't vote," or "We won't participate?"

REUEL MARC GERECHT: No, I suspect you will see it over and over and over again, and I suspect many of those women who actually turned out to vote are not necessarily incredibly hostile to the notion of having Islamic law have some part to play in family law."
Or there's this, from his book, The Islamic Paradox:

"Advancing democracy and women’s rights may actually be at odds in much of the Muslim world, especially in Egypt where Islamic fundamentalists and religiously oriented associations dominate social life...

But democracy can obviously start and survive in societies where women are second-class political citizens and in their personal relationships with men, to brutalize Balzac a bit, are instruments de plaisir et l’honneur et la vertu de la maison. If this were not the case, Anglo-American, German, French, and Japanese democracies could never have developed."
So if they want to institute Islamic laws allowing slavery into their constitution, that's jake with us, too, eh, Marc? Here he is on Russert's Beat the Meat, with more of that hard-nosed realpolitik:

"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."
Gerecht is a former CIA somethingorother, one of those people who so easily wave their hands and pronounce godlike verities about the lives of people he will never know and whose lives are nothing more real to him than movie scripts. Today he was in yet another sideshow, this time on NPR, blatting the same rehash about how the founding fathers blah blah blah until I wanted to pick up the nearest hard object and put it through the radio. I'll bet he has some trenchant analysis on abortion and birth control, too.

How dare he sit there on his multiple media toilets and shit out this bloated, self-important scat about how half the human beings in a country really don't need rights, they can wait, it will all work out in the long run, but right now they are expendable because they're powerless and can't do much about it anyway, and we won't let their inconvenient needs get in the way of some neo-con jerk-off fantasy.

Fuck you.

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