Wrap Your Sharia Around THIS, Allah..

This is a breath of fresh air...I love this article on so many, many levels...talk about "leading", and changing people's minds by "example"..check out THIS quote...

It's standard procedure for this Army civil-affairs unit, but there's a subtle feminine touch. Major Paine is a woman. So is Captain Callaham. So is the psychological operations Spc. Andrea Vivers, who hands out pro-government propaganda and Beanie Babies donated by an American Girl Scout troop.

The conversation with Afghan villagers is neighborly, but the subtext is gently radical: I am woman - now, let's rebuild your country

"You would hope that seeing women from America doing these jobs would have an effect," says Paine, commander of the US Army's civil-affairs unit at Kandahar air base. "Afghans are not used to seeing females in the military. When we first arrived, we used to ask the village leaders, 'Do you have a problem working with women?' And they said, 'We understand that's your culture and we will work with you.' And for our part, we try to work with them in their culture."

Intentional or not, some see a delicious irony in having female soldiers operating here in Kandahar. After all, this was the birthplace of the Taliban, the hard-line Islamist regime that forced women to quit their jobs and wear head-to-toe veils. Today, in villages where mothers and daughters still flee at the arrival of any stranger, Afghan men are getting an object lesson in women's empowerment. If they want to work with the US, occasionally they will have to work with American women and treat them as equals.

Whether this lesson has any lasting effect, however, is an open question. The two-year-long American presence has not set off a feminist revolution - no veil burnings, no street protests, no student movements demanding women's rights. Experts say that Afghan culture has a time-tested resistance to outside influences.

"My impression is that they view Americans as another species of animal, and one of the characteristics of this animal is that they let their women work as soldiers," says David Edwards, an anthropologist at Williams College and specialist on Afghan culture. "The Afghans see the Americans and say, 'They drink, they eat pork, they don't fast during Ramadan. There's a whole package of things they do that we don't do.' "

Go HERE for the whole article...

by Eric on November 04, 2003 | Comments(0) | Military Stuff

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