Monday, June 04, 2007

Blood, Boiling

Main Entry: 2ex·ploit
Pronunciation: ik-'sploit, 'ek-"
Function: transitive verb
1 : to make productive use of : UTILIZE <exploiting your talents> <exploit your opponent's weakness>
2 : to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage <exploiting migrant farm workers>
- ex·ploit·abil·i·ty /ik-"sploi-t&-'bi-l&-tE/ noun
- ex·ploit·able /-'sploi-t&-b&l/ adjective
- ex·ploit·er noun

It's the second definition that applies here:

But back in Afghanistan, the subjects of her book say Rodriguez and her newfound fame have put their lives in danger. They say they've seen none of the money or help to get them out of Afghanistan that Rodriguez promised them in exchange for having their stories appear in the book.

Tuesday, two Afghan women with a copy of the book arrived in an unmarked car with armed guards and burst into the beauty school. There, they threatened the girls, saying they would pay for defaming Afghanistan.

And the landlord is threatening to seize the school's building for non-payment of thousands of dollars in rent.

As for Rodriguez, she left Afghanistan in mid-May, after selling her share of a coffee house that she bought with proceeds from the book.

You ever have one of those times when you're so appalled you simply don't know what to say? I am having one of those times right now.

Rodriguez says that she knows the women are angry and terrified — but that they should realize that things take time. She also claims the girls misunderstood what she promised them.

She says she plans to give the girls a small part of the royalties from the book, along with 5 percent of her earnings from the movie Sony Pictures is planning.

"I never, never in a million years would abandon them," Rodriguez said. "I had to leave, but I can do more good for them here." She says she has no plans to return to Afghanistan.

When I am dictator of the world, women like Rodriguez will not be allowed anywhere near Afghanistan in the first damn place. But if heaven forbid such women should thwart my decree and go on to pull such exploitative, unconscionable, greed-motivated shenanigans, rest assured that they will, upon being caught, BEG me to be allowed to return to Afghanistan as slaves of the women they did this to, rather than suffer the far less merciful fates I've decreed for them.

Vile. This is just so vile I can't stand it.

UPDATE: I couldn't remember how I'd found this (I am scatterbrained) and was assuming I'd got it from Google News. WRONG! This vileosity brought to you courtesy of Shannon.

UPDATE II: I see I was so pissed off when I posted this that I used "decree" twice in the second-to-last paragraph. I'll leave it, but know that I am ashamed. Ashamed, I tell you.


gennimcmahon said...

There are no words.

Nanette said...

What a stupid, selfish, destructive woman. Vile doesn't even begin to cover it.

I hope this story gets publicized and people refuse to have anything to do with her (including buying her book, funding her movie, la la la) until she makes good on her promises. It may be already too late, though.

And here's something else sick making that I noticed from the story:

As for the women in the book, a Michigan lawmaker says he has asked the State Department to look into their situation. But the U.S. embassy in Kabul says it doesn't issue visas to Afghans, except for official visits.

What? Yet another country we've "liberated" while making sure they are stuck in the hellhole we've helped create for them.

ilyka said...

Yet another country we've "liberated" while making sure they are stuck in the hellhole we've helped create for them.

Well, gosh, why would anyone want to leave the new improved Afghanistan? Clearly anyone who might want to is teh terrorist for sure.

Shinobi said...

That bitch!

I mean, what did she think was going to happen to these women?

Is there anything to be done?

Magniloquence said...


Now I just want to hit someone with a shovel. Preferably her, but there are a lot of people who would do in a pinch.

But, um, more productively... what Shinobi said. Is there anything we can do?

ilyka said...

As for what to do--I'm so far out of my league on that. But this is what I can figure so far:

It depends on whether there's any chance in hell of getting the women out of Kabul (and whether that's what any of them want, though I would think so if they're convinced they'll be killed if they stay, and at least one of them seems to be).

On the issuance of U.S. visas for Afghanis:

Afghanistan, Kabul: The U.S. Embassy provides limited visa services, as follows:

*Nonimmigrant visa services are limited to only the following:
*A visas (Diplomats and Government Officials)
*G visas (Employees and Representatives to International Organizations)
*J visas (only certain USG-funded exchange programs)
*For all other visa types (business and tourism, medical treatment, family emergencies, etc.), Afghan citizens should apply at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

I'm not sure how women who are terrified to leave their homes are supposed to arrange travel to Islamabad, Pakistan, and I'm not confident anyone in our government feels like arranging security for such a trip. If those women are going to get out of there, it's going to be because someone in authority pulled a bunch of strings, hard.

The other angle that could be worked is the Hollywood one. I wonder if Sandra Bullock is fully aware of the background details of this project? Or Sony Pictures? I don't think Hollywood pays attention until there's a flood of bad press, though, and I don't have the power to drum that up.

On the other hand, if wingnuts can get an unflattering Reagan biopic pulled from Showtime just by stamping their feetsies long enough, maybe something could be done to get this to the attention of Sony, and from there to Washington.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Nanette said...

I don't know. I was thinking about maybe contacting all the people who did the original book reviews (a couple of years ago, but still) and seeing if any would give an update - and also maybe starting some sort of Bullock/Sony blogswarm to bring attention to the matter - but then what to suggest people do?

It's possible, of course, to do as much, or more, harm as good when trying to help in places and events where things are so murky and where we don't have any real idea as to the dynamics of the situations on the ground.

Perhaps first contacting RAWA would be a good idea, for a clue if nothing else?

belledame222 said...

they should realize that things take time

Someone needs MLK's "Why We Can't Wait" inscribed on a concrete slab and hurled at her head with great force and velocity.

belledame222 said...

you know...not that this remotely helps with "what you can do," but, tangentially, about a year or so ago, I met a woman at a pagan gathering who apparently had been cameraperson on a documentary (presumably not the same as this Sandra Bullock thing) on the Beauty Academy of Kabul. I'd kicked myself for not getting her number (for entirely selfish reasons, she was cute), but yeah, her perspective on this latest development would be interesting.

Liss said...

Yet another country we've "liberated" while making sure they are stuck in the hellhole we've helped create for them.

Well, gosh, why would anyone want to leave the new improved Afghanistan? Clearly anyone who might want to is teh terrorist for sure.

Incidentally, the same is true for UK visas out of Afghanistan.

For UK visas out of Iraq, you have to go to Jordan.

The American embassy in Baghdad doesn't issue US visas either (so I suppose the same applies).

And Britain repatriates Afghan and Iraqi refugees - after all, both countries are supposedly safe now.

Sorry to rant... the situation is maddening and it's good to see someone else getting angry about it.

liss said...

Oops, and sorry also for not having prefaced comment by saying hello and I really like your blog...