Some radical feminists and anti-war liberals have very short memories. It's just three years after Saddam Hussein's ouster and some would have us believe the tyrant was in fact a protector of women's rights in Iraq. That Iraq under Saddam actually had progressive, pro-women policies that are now being "rolled back" thanks to the Bush administration.
This is an execrable lie fostered by blind hatred of the President.
The truth is that after the first Gulf war Saddam reverted to tribal Islamic traditions concerning women. Women lost their jobs, were not allowed to drive, and were not allowed to leave their homes without a male relative escort. The practice of honor killings was reinstituted and men were excused for killing female relatives in such matters. An estimated 4000 women died in honor killings in the following years. Women were not allowed to attend school, and literacy among women fell to 23% by 2000.
In 2000, Saddam's Islamofascist brigades killed 200 women's rights activists, calling them prostitutes, and dumped their heads on their relative's doorsteps for public display.
And then there are the hundreds of thousands of people killed and dumped in mass graves including infants with their mothers. And there was the common practice of raping and torturing women in order to extract information from male relatives, which occurred tens of thousands of times, thousands of cases where women were raped and tortured to death.
A brutal dictator who tortures his own people cannot be a champion of women's rights. To pretend otherwise is to dishonor the memory of the thousands of innocent Iraqi women who died in a senseless brutal reign of terror. It also does a grave disservice to the men and women of this country who died or were injured to liberate Iraq.