Tamim Ansary has a great article in Salon about the aspirations of Afghan women and the reality of rural Afghan culture. He makes the important point that forcing Western values onto rural Afghans is a non-starter, and then goes on to make some very reasonable suggestions about roles women might play in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. I think it’s important not to allow one group of people (say, men) to force a lifestyle on another group of people (say, women) that they don’t want. However, that’s equally valid if you substitute “Westerners” and “Afghans” into the equation. In other words, forcing women to wear burqas is obviously wrong, but so is looking down on Afghan women if they choose to wear them.