There is no other way to call the latest cover of Time magazine. Remember when it was all about Osama Bin Laden? Then it was about his minions (did you know? We killed three of his Number 3s! Why do I always think of Robert Wagner wearing an eye-patch when I hear these news?). Then it was all about preventing Afghanistan from becoming a failed state (not that is has not been exactly that for... oh dear, for pretty much forever), but as per usual, when at first, your parameters don't suceed...
... try, try again.
So now it is all about women's rights. Got to protect the women. Got to keep them safe. Open up new ground rules for the Afghan society. And I stated earlier, such goal would be a worthy, even a noble one...
... if it weren't fucking paraded out of the woodwork nine years into the war!
The truth? We didn't give a damn about the women under Taliban rule before. They were mistreated, raped, stoned, whatever you can think of. And we didn't care. We still don't. And Time magazine's Baker doesn't give a fuck, either.
What Baker however does give a fuck about is the fact that she and her war propagandists are running out of arguments. And so, slam dunk the picture of this woman's mutilated face on a cover that perhaps should have been about the 90,000 documents detailing how the war went down the river in a shit can from 2007 to 2009. Or maybe about the fact that more and more soldiers are dying, and we are killing more and more civilians.
But no... Baker went with the feminism defense, pointing straight at the one core group where support of the war has been dropping faster than a baby out of a Chinese womb in the middle of a rice field: American middle class women. You know the kind. Office feministas. Who wear their feminism like a bitter lipstick and find it rather easy to get all riled up when they see something presented to them with their morning latté, but are mostly too blasé and uncaring when it is just out of range, you know, like the Congo.
Yes. We must save the women. It's one of these moral high ground argumentations that are the last, best effort, because there is no proper defense against it. You know, like Reverend Lovejoy's wife in The Simpsons... what about the children? Is there nobody here who thinks about the children?
We have to stay in Afghanistan, because if we don't, a giant horde of Taliban locusts will descend upon the villages and rape, mutilate and subdue the women and female children.
Boom. You got no reply to that, unless you are willing to reveal yourself as moral scum, and you are moral scum. What about the women? Is there nobody here who thinks about the women?
There is only one itty-bitty problem with this argument? The poor, mutilated women we see on Time's cover? Uh, yeah... that happened while we were there, with 120,000 troops and after nine years of pacification (sorry, I am a German, we are not allowed to call it a war, see, if it were a war, it would be unconstitutional, and dear god, regardless of what you think about us, we are still all about the constitution. I know, I know, America has become so much more advanced in disregarding theirs...)
Let me make that clear. 120,000 troops and nine years into this war, we have achieved nothing. Now, what does that remind me of? Oh, yes, the Russians. They were just as successful.
Again, what nobler cause could there be than standing up, even going to war to defend women's right? Or human rights? The rights of everyone to have a life filled with dignity?
Only this is not what Time's story is about.
This is obviously a cover I quickly made up to make a point, yes?
Because if they actually gave a damn, we would be invading Saudi Arabia right now. And maybe the Sudan. Definitely Somalia. Some parts of Kenia as well. Nigeria. Some parts of Angola.
But we don't give a damn.
And Time doesn't give a damn.
They just want to make you think they do.