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Hannah Dvorak-Carbone hdvorak at cns.caltech.edu
Wed Jan 27 12:26:25 EST 1999

This issue is definitely worth knowing about and discussing, but please do not 
pass on this petition by email.  I tried writing to the person who started it 
(after receiving the petition from another source), and got an answer from some 
sort of autoresponder software that explained that the person who started it 
didn't realize what they had gotten themselves into, the Brandeis mail system 
was swamped with mail as a consequence of this message, and so that account was 
now closed.  With that message were pointers to some interesting web sites 
explaining how any sort of chain letters, including well-meaning petitions, 
just clog up the internet; furthermore, an electronic "signature" on such a 
petition is pretty much worthless (as you may have suspected).  If you're 
interested, one such site is http://ciac.llnl.gov/ciac/CIACChainLetters.html.  

In article <EFE2907E8C at bio.tamu.edu>, jfrugoli at bio.tamu.edu says...

[most snipped to conserve space]

>>In signing this, we agree that the current treatment of
>>women in Afghanistan is completely UNACCEPTABLE and deserves
>>support and action by the people of the United States and the U.S.
>>Government and that the current situation overseas will not be
>>tolerated.  Women's Rights is not a small issue anywhere and it is
>>UNACCEPTABLE for women in 1998 to be treated as sub-human and so
>>much as property. Equality and human decency is a RIGHT not a
>>freedom, whether one lives in Afghanistan or the United States.

Besides, this petition is just poorly written anyway: if you read the first 
sentence of the above statement carefully, it literally says that "the current 
treatment of women in Afghanistan ... deserves support" which is clearly not 
the intended message.

Having said all that - is there anything that we in the West can do about the 
reprehensible situation in Afghanistan?

- Hannah Dvorak-Carbone

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