The latest victims of Obama's "realism": Afghanistan's women

Afghanistan’s women are, apparently, the latest casualty of the Obama administration’s tilt toward realpolitik: ignore human rights violations — whether they’re in China, Russia or in the quiet misery of an Afghan villager’s home — in pursuit of larger foreign policy goals.

This contradiction between political rhetoric and policy reality has often been the American way. But now we have Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. When she was first lady, she championed the rights of women oppressed by the Taliban long before most Americans had ever heard of that radical regime. Clinton took the helm of the State Department vowing to elevate the cause of human and economic rights for women and girls — a pledge she made again in The Hague this week at the end of a major conference on Afghanistan that was aimed at securing greater international cooperation on the desperate and disparate crises there…

The secretary was not asked specifically about the new [Afghan] law. Among other provisions, it guarantees that married men can have sex once every four nights and wives must submit. In effect, it legalizes marital rape. Sobhrang worries there may be worse to come. “They are talking about child marriage,” she says.