One area that we hardly talk about at all with respect to the occupation and control of Iraq is the dire situation that womyn* in Iraq are currently facing. They are especially troubled because not only do they have to worry about the "regular" security issues that you hear about on the news (violence, bombings, raids, etc.) but they also have to worry about other security threats that they face b/c they are womyn (such as kidnappings, rape, pressure to veil, etc.). They played the voices of Iraqi womyn explaining the situation and the way the plight of Iraqi womyn is often buried under what are considered to be more important concerns (setting up an official "figurehead" type of government and then addressing "womyn's" issues later). These issues that fall through the cracks of news coverage and our discussions about the way things are going on in Iraq. I see news coverage on Iraq still leaving out many of the issues that are just as important to the future of Iraq as who runs the country. The fate of over half of the population of the country we destroyed for a few million more barrels of oil will more than likely once again fall through the cracks of the powerful government officials and the major (read corporate) media. I often find myself wondering what we as mere individuals stuck in the throes of the richest country in the world can do to help those who are falling through the cracks as we speak. Sometimes I feel so powerless w/ the way that our political system goes b/c we're told that we should make our voices heard on election day, as if every other day of the year is for us to shut up and deal w/ the crap that those elected (or selected, depending on how you see certain recent election results) by a minority of us dish out. Voter turnout in our elections is usually between 25% and 35%, and a majority of that slim constituancy decides who makes the laws that tell you and me what to do. I feel that we should do more than just go to a voting booth on one day and pick from the handful of people that are set there for us to pick (this isn't to say don't vote, but don't just vote and do nothing else). So, I found a way that you can help the womyn of Iraq without lifting your fanny off your chair in front of your computer (this, of course, depends on if you have to get up to get your wallet/purse). I found the website for the Iraqi Womyn's Rights Coalition, and they have a link so you can donate directly to them online to help them build shelters and provide supplies to help womyn in Iraq forge productive lives for themselves in this uncertain time. I'm sure that however much you would want to donate would be appreciated. Here's the link:http://www.equalityiniraq.com/english.htm
Sorry for sounding preachy. Donate if you want to. Don't if you don't. I just figured that I would provide people the opportunity to help those whose lives our government has destroyed.
*I use "womyn" instead of "woman" or "women" as a discursive attempt to disassociate womyn's identity from that of men. It's a part of Simone De Beauvoir's argument about womyn's identity being seen only in terms of what they aren't (they aren't men, so they're womyn).