Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Nicholas Kristof's NYTimes editorial today lambastes the FBI and the Bush administration for not signing an international women's rights treaty. His reason why it should be signed is that women in Pakistan and certain other countries suffer deeply.

What has that to do with US signing the treaty? Shouldn't Kristof instead ask for Pakistan to enforce the treaty? Surely it would be more effective (if hypocritical) for the US to pressure other countries to enforce the treaty even without signing it. In fact, it seems that's what the US is already doing, at least in Afghanistan.

Perhaps Kristof believes the US would have more success in these international efforts if it were not perceived as hypocritical. But he does not make that argument. Instead, he uses heart-rending examples of battered or tortured women in Pakistan to make the direct claim that -- like Pakistan! -- the US must sign the treaty.

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