Does spreading democracy mean Iraqi women may turn to selling their bodies for money? The answer is, yes! From freedom, springs choices. The problem in Iraq though is not democracy. The problem there results from thousands of years of repressive values, laws and sanctions that deny people — particularly women — choices. The traditions in that part of the world make it (currently) impossible for women to subsist. So, when legitimate means to earning a living are denied them, of course some women would turn to illegitimate means to feed their families. Given choices such as college or vocational training, most women would choose legitimate professions.

Democracy is not the problem sir, but rather the answer to the problems in Iraq. It is the catalyst for dialogue and positive change in prevailing attitudes.

It will replace loathsome beliefs and practices with equality, prosperity, hope and sustained progress. The introduction of democracy has already weakened and will eventually replace social norms, cultural edicts, archaic laws, political and religious dogma and everything else that represses people and progress.

It won’t happen overnight but as long as the people of the United States remain willing and are welcomed mentors, the Iraqi women will some day realize the full range of options that are enjoyed by women in our country. And, let’s not forget that even after hundreds of years of democracy, women in the USA are still allied in an effort to continuously improve equality-freedom.

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