WASHINGTON -- March 18 --
Kolhatkar and Ingalls are co-directors of the Afghan Women's Mission and have just returned from a trip to Afghanistan. Kolhatkar said today: "Any victories for women's rights have been tremendously exaggerated. Unfortunately, little has changed since the fall of the Taliban. A recent United Nations Development Program report ranked Afghanistan's education system the worst in the world. A few people trained as teachers are providing token stories for the benefit of TV cameras and to help 'prove' that Bush's war in Afghanistan was justified."
Responding to the news that Zalmay Khalilzad, who had been the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, is to be the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ingalls said: "Khalilzad's policies in Afghanistan have consistently been to undermine democracy by doing closed-door deals with warlords, denying the Afghan people the justice they desperately seek."
Ahn is a member of Korean-Americans United for Peace and program director for peace and international solidarity at the Women of Color Resource Center. She said today: "By the late 1990s everyone knew that the Agreed Framework was in jeopardy. North Korea cannot be blamed, solely, for the collapse of the Agreed Framework. The U.S. must also share responsibility for its failure. ... Instead of offering any new solutions to the problem, the administration just continues to preach to the North Koreans about their 'bad behavior' -- presumably with the hope that this will bring them back to the six-way talks. This is either incredibly naive, or it is rhetoric designed to keep the North Koreans away from the six-way talks to further their isolation, I believe."
Author of the book "Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of 'Market Socialism,'" Weil said today: "Condoleezza Rice will fly into a China that is increasingly polarized along class lines, with a modest but significant revival of the Left, and prepared to confront the United States over Taiwan. ... Despite, or because of, continuing extremely rapid economic growth, the Chinese are ever more sharply divided between those reaping riches at the top of society, and impoverished workers and peasants at the bottom. Demonstrations now break out with regularity, as the government tries to contain the looming crisis. For the first time since the Mao era, small numbers of leftist students are going out to the factories and villages to make contact with the working classes and offer them support. Close to 100 Chinese intellectuals and activists joined an equal number from the U.S. and around the world to protest the imprisonment of two workers for three years each in Zhengzhou in Henan province for passing out a leaflet criticizing the capitalist 'reforms' and official corruption."
Weil continued: "At the same time, the National Assembly just passed a law strengthening its hand in opposing moves by Taiwan toward independence, setting up a future confrontation with the U.S. over this issue...."