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I have dealt with this before, in real life, and I always have to sort of catch my breath and think about how to approach it -- whether this is really an opportunity for a little gentle education, or a comlete waste of time. I have encountered both.
This is sort of a long story, but a few years ago, I ended up in the same remote hunting lodge (don't ask, it was an accident, I don't hunt) as a group of hunters and their wives from Fresno. The staff mentioned to them that I'd just returned from Iraq, and so over breakfast the father and one of the sons asked me about it.
But they didn't ask many questions. Dad jumped right in with his opinion: You know why they're fighting us over there, right? Because we went there to free their women.
What?! Honestly, it would have astonished me if I hadn't already heard that particular talking point coming out of the mouth of a US soldier in Baghdad, who really should have known better.
Stop. Breathe. Do I engage with this man? Does he really want to know the truth?
Well actually, I told him, you know, Iraq's not really like Afghanistan was. The women were doing OK there before, for a Middle Eastern country. There were female university professors, there were businesswomen, female civil servants, female scientists, female neurosurgeons. Now they're having a problem. Now they're being killed because they dare to work. Now they're being forced to wear the hijab when they leave home, even if they're Christians. But they never faced anything like that before.
They just sort of looked at me. They didn't argue, just got quiet. I really don't know if it sank in. I had to go, I couldn't stick around for much of a chat.
But anyway, I know how you feel. So I'll give it a shot.
So, in effect, the Palestinian Authority is in a state of constitutional meltdown and Abbas and his new PM are Western puppets with as much legitimacy as Karzai and Allawi.
Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
Yes I am for real, although it depends on your definition of what real is? The purpose of what I wrote Jerome was a "snapshot" of what happened to me that day and how it affected me. I will be honest that by the time Clinton left I was no longer a fan. I felt he let us down by not doing anything in healthcare and alternative energy and was basically coopting Republican initiatives to salvage his legacy. That is not why I voted for him twice.
"Because we went there to free their women."
How could you not have lost it? I would have come up with a few one-liners. This is a very civil blog so I will restrain myself.
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