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View Diary: "Honor" Killings: Two-Day Old Baby Girl Buried (329 comments)

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  •  So what are you willing to do about it? (9+ / 0-)

    Are you willing to assert the superiority of your own cultural values?

    Are you willing to send people to fight for those values?

    Are you willing to send people to kill for those values and to do so in your name?

    Are you willing to advocate the imposition of a morality that is more in conformity to your worldview than that which is generally accepted in the areas where these honor killings are going on?

    Because, like it or not, if you aren't willing to do those things and many worse besides, you won't change this one little bit.

    This isn't to say that I'm against trying to change things.  I just want to make sure that people understand what's involved.

    "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

    by journeyman on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 06:15:57 PM PDT

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    •  "cultural values" my ass (17+ / 0-)

      It's criminal and a violation of basic human rights. It doesn't matter if it's in an Arab country or in Iowa.

      •  Okay. (4+ / 0-)

        So what are you willing to do about it?

        The question stands.

        Are you willing to send people to kill in your name to fix it?

        Mind you, I'm not necessarily against that.  I just want to know if you would support it.

        "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

        by journeyman on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 06:50:46 PM PDT

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        •  perhaps I can't do anything about it (13+ / 0-)

          except to condemn it. But, I certainly wouldn't give it a pass as being the result of a "cultural" value any more than I would call the extermination of German Jews a "cultural" practice.

          •  Is a man murdering his wife a cultural practice? (7+ / 0-)

            Should European countries, Japan, or China, take specific measures aimed at changing American culture so that this happens less often (assuming it happens more often here, which I'm pretty sure it does)? What if the EU or Japan proposed this as a priority in diplomatic relations with the US?

            Of course, like probably most people here, I strongly believe American culture should be changed to reduce misogynistic violence. This is a revolution that needs to happen in our society. But it's not enough just to support this in principle. It's critical that we talk specifics. Donald Rumsfeld supposedly said that American bombs have been one of the most effective tools for liberating Afghan women. Even this seemingly obvious principle that we should struggle to end gendered violence can be misapplied or abused.

            ORGANIZE early, ORGANIZE often.

            by bicycle Hussein paladin on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 07:12:56 PM PDT

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            •  journeyman presents an important question BUT (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slinkerwink, snackdoodle

              only presents limited choices.  

              nonviolent persuasion and education that engages the local hierarchy of power--for example tribal elders--has been effective in changing the practice of female genital mutilation.  Greg mortenson says that engaging the elders is a cornerstone to any change in afghanistan.

              we can object to powerless women and children being exploited and suffering from oppression.  but these individuals are also the ones who suffer when our bombs and bullets tear them to pieces.

              there's no money involved in nonviolence.  and that's reason enough why our military-industrial-lobbying-congressional complex doesn't employ such approaches.

              who said that only politicians and soldiers are the ones to effect change?  for too long, it is these very individuals who have bankrupted our public treasuries, have involved us in quagmires while slaughtering millions of people abroad, and have guaranteed that WE will pay in future blowback.

          •  I was w/you till you went all Goodwin (0+ / 0-)


            GOP = Godless opposition party We Hassle to make America a Vassal (state)

            by Shhs on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 07:52:46 PM PDT

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            •  Actually, I think the question would be apt (0+ / 0-)

              If I had actually an argument in support of cultural relativism.  I did not.  But if I had, the question would have been reasonable.

              The fact of the matter is that the Nazis are a part of history and to place them off limits in any debate is foolishness posing as wisdom.

              "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

              by journeyman on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 04:39:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  So in other words (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You're in favor of the international equivalent of a sternly worded letter.  Except that it's not quite even that much.

            I'm sure oppressed women everywhere will be sleeping easier tonight.

            I am not calling for accepting something on cultural grounds.

            I'm saying that force is sometimes necessary, that in order to live in a moral world, we must sometimes do morally repugnant things.  I want to know if you would support doing such things or if righteous indignation is as far as your willing to go.

            "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

            by journeyman on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 03:42:44 AM PDT

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        •  No one is advocating killing (13+ / 0-)

          That sort of thing tends not to be a good way to persuade people to change their behavior. The diary advocates using nonviolent, legitimate means to campaign against these practices.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 07:58:41 PM PDT

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          •  Exactly right. (3+ / 0-)

            Join Our Countdown To Health Reform! Project I work with Progressive Congress Action Fund, a 501(c)4.

            by slinkerwink on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 08:03:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly how? Details. (1+ / 0-)
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              Progressives will win when the country becomes Progressive.

              by auapplemac on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 12:27:38 AM PDT

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              •  it wouldn't take much. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                organize a group that is informed in the language and culture or at the least, is willing to learn and spend the time learning.  get some anthropologists to give you input.  study conflict resolution and persuasion.  

                go abroad.  meet with the local people there.  live with them.  eat with them.  work with them.  you can't expect to go to another society, tell them what you think is right and how their society oughta be run, and then expect them not to kill you or boot you out.

                with time, if you can find out what the rationale for "tradition" or other behaviors/practices, and where the influence and power lies in the other culture, and where opportunities to intervene are, then you can make some progress.

          •  I can't find specifics about what the bill does (3+ / 0-)

            What concrete measures does it propose for fighting gendered violence? This needs to be made clear. I don't think it's out of line to be mistrustful when a diary opens with an example that plays on fear of one of the groups most mistrusted and misunderstood by Americans today, and then proposes something that, to all appearances, is largely conceptual in content, and is little more than a statement of principle?

            I will probably support this bill when I find out more about it, but I have some problems with this diary. For starters, there are far worse and more prevalent types of gendered violence than honor killings that could have been used for the lede in this diary that don't play on the notion of a world-wide culture conflict between the US and benighted, backward third-world and Middle Eastern countries. It's also misleading to give an honor killing in Turkey as an example of something this bill is meant to address. Turkey takes honor killings seriously and is putting real effort into trying to end them.

            According to this bill, what should we try and get Turkey to do differently? The obvious answer is, we should give it help and encouragement to implement its existing policy. I don't think that's the idea people are going to take away from this diary, though. The impression you get is that Turkey is just letting these things happen and we need to stop them! And what will this bill do about other critical outbreaks of gendered violence, such as the mass-rapes in the Congo?

            ORGANIZE early, ORGANIZE often.

            by bicycle Hussein paladin on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 08:09:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It sure changed Japan's behavior. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It changed the behavior of Germany.

            It changed the behavior of those in the American South who thought that owning people was just fine.

            It changed the behavior of Somali pirates.

            The fact is that fear is a potent weapon.  Force often does fix things.

            Of course, it often also makes things worse.

            Often it makes things much worse.

            That said, it is, contrary to popular belief, sometimes the answer.

            As for nonviolent, legitimate ways, as for the law proposed here, it is largely symbolic.  In some places, like Turkey, where this happened, the law is already on the side of those who would condemn honor killings.  In others, like Congo, the response of the average person is likely to be "the United What?  I've never heard of it."

            As for requiring US aid programs to conform to these standards, that may seem an effective measure but I'm afraid all it will do is to help the one third of the American people who already want to see our already paltry foreign aid programs eliminated.

            I support passage of this law, but I also want people to realize that it may actually have unintended consequences and that real change may require force or the threat of force.

            "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

            by journeyman on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 04:01:25 AM PDT

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      •  Actually it does, Iowa is in our country (6+ / 0-)

        want within our power to change the laws. Turkey where this happened is a secular democracy, a sovereign nation nd able to make their own laws. Turkey is trying to eradicate honor killings and now is face with an increase of honor suicides. "Honor" killings are legal in more than 60 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. If we think this is just a problem in Muslim countries I would point out that Latin America is largely Catholic. Honor killings happen in this country too.

      •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The laws and concepts of basic human rights obviously differ in the places where this goes on.  

        Sorry.  I hate it too.  

        They see me trollin'. They hatin' Don't make my high school civics teacher out to be a liar and expect me to like it.

        by obnoxiotheclown on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 07:42:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Finally, someone posts a simple truth. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snackdoodle, erush1345

          "The laws and concepts of basic human rights obviously differ in the places where this goes on."

          It may be upsetting, ugly and make people pissed off, but this is the pure unvarnished truth.

          •  It may be pure unvarnished truth, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, Bensdad, efraker

            but it needn't be forever. Laws and concepts of basic human rights change -- and many of us have worked hard to bring about such changes.  Slink's just having another go at it with this diary, and I, for one, am happy to have her on the case.

            Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -- Abraham Lincoln

            by Alice Olson on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 10:09:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, no, the laws don't differ. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice, cai, efraker, Susan G in MN

            The people who committed this crime are in jail, including all of the auxiliaries, not just the main perps (it's right there in slink's link). This killing was a crime in Turkey, just like a man shooting his wife or girlfriend, or sexually abusing children is a crime in the US. Just because something is illegal and contrary to what most people see as the values of their society, doesn't mean it can't still happen sometimes.

            ORGANIZE early, ORGANIZE often.

            by bicycle Hussein paladin on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 10:09:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes to all of the above. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  actually, I think (6+ / 0-)

      that economic sanctions cranked up to the "cut off their air" level might work with secondary efforts designed to make it extremely unprofitable to attempt to break the boycotts, but the damage to the general population might be even greater than military invasion.

      Another alternative? An "underground railroad" for women and girls who want to leave for safer places with the right kind of covert action to keep the tribal ends open and automatic "green cards" at the US end might have interesting results.

      If a nation doesn't value the brains of women, they are not in a good position to complain about brain drain.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 07:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no war but the culture war (0+ / 0-)

      I'm reworking an essay I wrote on this topic, likely I will post it here sometime in the near future. It's less a philosophical call to arms than it is a rethinking of how we can fight against traditionalist oppressive cultures in a manner consistent with the best values of our civilization. I don't think anyone needs convincing that we need to eradicate these monsters from this world, the fundamental question is how to do that within the bounds of the progressive commitment to nonviolence and anti-imperialism. I think I have a workable solution, although it's probably not politically feasible.


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