Opinion | These Women Confront Dictators. Why Can’t We?
My answer is that we should balance our interests and our values. We have seen the limits of raw idealism in Libya, but also the limits of raw military power in Iraq and Afghanistan. We sometimes achieve change by dropping bombs, yes, but sometimes by supporting education and human rights, including women’s rights. The Taliban shoot Malala Yousafzai because they understand that in the long run, the biggest threat to extremism is not drone overhead, but a girl with a book.
Tawakkol Karaman, a Yemeni woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership during the Arab Spring, told me that the world was waiting to see if Biden would press for the release of detainees and uphold women’s rights. “The world is watching American policy to ensure that Trump is an unusual case in American foreign policy, and not an American viewpoint,” she said.
The world is depicted. Barack Obama believed in human rights, but allowed hundreds of thousands of Syrians to be slaughtered because he was concerned about going into a swamp.
Egypt’s oppressive regime is already challenging Biden Taking relatives into custody Egyptian American activist Mohammed Solton. It is unclear whether Biden has helped pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar or disliked the dictator in Venezuela, let alone to end a cultural massacre in China’s Xinjiang region.
But we can at least find our voice. The Trump administration condemned abuses in Venezuela, China and Iran, but if you only care about human rights in countries you don’t like, then you don’t really care about human rights. And under Trump, disrespect for democratic rights abroad, such rights were insulted at home.
We should take inspiration from brave women like Minna and Amal in Egypt, or al-Hathloul in Saudi Arabia. If they can equip thugs and dictators abroad only by being equipped with principles, then certainly we can too.
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