The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Time Magazine, U.S. Government Using Afghan Women to Sell War?


The new Time magazine cover featuring a young Afghan woman with her nose
missing and the headline "What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan?" has
been challenged by many critics, including:

* FAIR -- "Time Magazine: We Cannot Leave Afghanistan"

* Greg Mitchell -- "What ALSO Happens If We Leave Afghanistan"

* Feminist Peace Network -- "Time Magazine Once Again Trots Out the Tired and Inexcusable 'We're in Afghanistan (and Have to Stay) to Protect Women' Mantra"

The following, who have focused on Afghan women, are available for interviews:

NAHID AZIZ [currently in France]
Available for a limited number of interviews, Aziz is an Afghan
woman who is a professor of clinical psychology at Argosy University in
Washington, D.C. She is also vice president of the group Afghan Education for a Better Tomorrow.

She has written several pieces on Afghan women for Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

Kolhatkar is co-author of the book Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. She is also co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a U.S.-based nonprofit that supports women's rights activists in Afghanistan.

She said today: "This is the same type of justification that the
Soviets used (among others) to explain why they should remain in
Afghanistan: to save Afghan women from the 'backward' fundamentalists.
Foreign armies have always sought to protect Afghan women from violence
by fomenting violence themselves. But in the end, just like the Soviets
did backroom deals with radical misogynist groups, the U.S. has been
empowering non-Taliban misogynist fundamentalists since the start of
this war. There are incidents happening every day in Afghanistan of
women and girls being harassed, raped, flogged and killed by pro-U.S.
warlords and local commanders that are not working with the Taliban --
these incidents are rarely covered by the Western media. In many ways
the U.S. occupation has actually made things worse for Afghan women.
Afghan women activists I work with prefer to resist two threats to their
security (the Taliban and the U.S.-backed central government) instead
of three (the third being the U.S./NATO occupation) and have long called
for U.S. forces to leave. Time magazine is playing to age-old racist
stereotypes: that brown women need a foreign white army to save them
from their men."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.