Karen Hughes, one of the now infamous and apparently unquestioningly loyal women in Bush’s inner circle, is getting a harsh dose of reality. As she travels around the world as a diplomatic envoy, she, and one presumes the Bush Cabal, is finding out that repeating a standard, well scripted text does not change reality and is only treated as though it were real here in the U.S.
Last month the Washington Post reported, “that a group of Turkish women’s rights activists confronted Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes” on her first trip in the new job “with emotional and heated complaints about the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, turning a session designed to highlight the empowering of women into a raw display of the anger at U.S. policy in the region.” That trip took her through Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey.
Her current trip to Indonesia is engendering the same sort of response from women there. According to Reuters, “U.S. goodwill envoy Karen Hughes got a earful from a group of mostly female Indonesian Muslim students on Friday, who expressed anger at the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and attacked Washington’s foreign policies.”
This is significant at least in my analysis because it points out that women are angry and are refusing to play the largely male established rules of polite politics. Women speaking to a woman about real world impacting policy is being covered in the media. And of course this is also significant in that the Bush inclusion of women in his inner circle and senior level appointments was probably partially done to effect perception of his administration as a diverse and fair one. No one is falling for that either.
The Bush facade is crumbling and it is ironic that Islamic women acting with authority and autonomy are pointing out the ugly truths that reside beneath that false front.