"No, the US didn't go into Iraq, or Afghanistan, to liberate women. Indeed, by the standards of the region Iraqi women were not badly oppressed - notwithstanding the hundreds who were executed by Saddam's son, Uday, for "dishonouring" their country (which meant speaking out about corruption in government). Nothing was done by Western governments to help the women of Afghanistan until Osama bin Laden became a threat. While South Africa was subjected to years of sanctions over the oppression of blacks, no sanctions are applied to countries because they condone or promote the oppression of women.
Yet if there is ever going to be a peaceful world there are few things more important than lifting the status of women. The hatreds of bin Laden and his kind will not be assuaged; but in general, fundamentalism wanes as prosperity increases. . And as a United Nations report notes, a large part of the reason so many countries in the Middle East are overpopulated, economic basket cases is the repression of women ... . (i)f there's a war on, we should be clear about who is the real enemy of civilisation. Despite the reservations any liberal would feel for some policies of the present Administration (and the doubts about its competence), the enemy is not America.