Notice I said "Hillary"
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, praising the former Soviet Union yesterday for its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, said that the attack helped bring women's rights to the fundamentalist Muslim country.
"The Soviets tried to provide more opportunities for women," Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, in a speech billed by her office as "her first major foreign policy address as a U.S. senator."
In quotes picked up by the New York Sun, Mrs. Clinton noted that Afghanistan was "the place where September 11 was conceived and implemented." She then criticized the Bush administration for not focusing more on the former al-Qaeda stronghold.
Contrasting the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan with that of the Evil Empire, Clinton complained, "Too soon the eyes of the administration moved from Kabul to Baghdad."
The former first lady detailed her Thanksgiving Day meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, saying she urged him to implement a high-profile effort to improve maternal health.
Clinton said that such a program would be critical because the people of Afghanistan need to see that America's presence has produced "tangible results" like schools and health clinics - not just electoral and political reforms.
She then suggested that a Soviet-style occupation of Afghanistan, which included the wholesale slaughter of the Afghan people in a bid to install a puppet government, had its merits, since it helped women.
"One of the reasons why we were able to marshal the Mujaheddin and the warlords against the Soviets is because the Soviets tried to provide more opportunities for women," she told the CFR.