The Obama administration raised not a peep in protest when Iran joined the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The secretary of state, whose 19 million cracks in the glass ceiling have made her (in her own mind, at least) a feminist role model of some note, finds it beyond her ability to block such morally obscene developments. (Her quietude on women’s rights and human rights more generally is tragic, really, since she is “actually within her reach to become the voice of the world’s voiceless, with a whole Human Rights Bureau designated for that very job just down the hall — [but] she never has managed to get really full-throated about it.”) So how’s the Iranian regime treating its women these days? We have this report about Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 40-year-old Iranian woman:
She was initially sentenced to 99 floggings for extra-marital sex. Her sentenced was later changed to death by stoning in accordance with Sharia laws stipulating that punishment for adultery is death by either hanging or stoning. In their letter, which was distributed via the Internet, [her two children] expressed their hope that waves of protest around the world, particularly by Iranian expatriates would lead authorities to retract the brutal punishment. “Help to prevent this nightmare from becoming reality. Save our mother. We are unable to explain the anguish of every moment, every second of our lives. Words are unable to articulate our fear,” the letter stated. It was distributed in nine languages, including Hebrew. … Iran’s penal law stipulates that women sentenced to stoning are buried up to their chest and then pelted with small stones until they die. The law forbids the use of stones which may cause instant death.
If the UN were not a noxious circus and Hillary and Obama had not forfeited America’s moral standing at the altar of “engagement,” Ashtiani and her children might not need to go pleading on the Internet for assistance. There was a time when America stood shoulder to shoulder with the world’s oppressed peoples — and when regimes faced consequences for their brutality. Perhaps in the future that will be the case again. For now, Ashtiani and her children are on their own.