Rice and Moore are not twenty-first-century Jackie Robinsons, and their acceptance into this bastion of exclusion has nothing to do with women’s liberation and is utterly disconnected from the reality of daily life for millions of American women.
Condi Rice as a symbol of female power? Only if by power, we mean the power to put thousands of Iraqi women in graves all in the name of a war based on lies that she actively promoted.
Then there are the birth defects suffered by the children of women in Iraq. In 2009, the Guardian reported that doctors in Fallujah were were “dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants, compared to a year ago, and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting.”
A hospital spokesman, Nadim al-Hadidi, told the Inter Press Service, “In 2004 the Americans tested all kinds of chemicals and explosive devices on us: thermobaric weapons, white phosphorous, depleted uranium…. we have all been laboratory mice for them.”
There were also, under Rice’s watch, 10,917 reported sexual assaults in the the US Armed Forces (the Department of Defense estimates that under 10 percent of assaults are reported). As the Guardian reported, “A female solider in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by military fire.”
In an eerie echo of the Representative Akin controversy, these women, if impregnated during their assault, could not get an abortion on a US military base. Rice, who claims to be pro-choice, never raised a voice on behalf of these women.
In a sane world, Rice would be awaiting trial at the Hague. Instead, she gets to play golf at a club that, incidentally, didn’t allow African-Americans until 1990.