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Iraqi women deserve rights

"Women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy," Reuel Marc Gerecht insists. "We need to put (women's rights) into perspective" when considering the new Iraqi constitution. ("Meet the Press," Aug. 21.)

As a former CIA Middle East specialist and current director of the Middle East Initiative at the proudly conservative Project for the New American Century, Gerecht must know best. He reasons that Iraqi women do not need social rights because American women did not have the right to vote until the 20th century.

Using that standard, Iraqi men who do not own property also do not need guaranteed rights. After all, originally only "landed" American males could vote. And since slavery was part of our early democracy, perhaps Iraq could designate either the Kurds or Sunnis as slaves without too much objection from the Bush administration.

Or is it only women's rights that conservatives deem expendable? All while U.S. military men and women risk and lose their lives in Iraq for "democracy."

Julene E. Fisher

West Valley City