Powerful Women


cartoon published on womensEnews.org

It has not escaped the media–or me, for that matter–that the new initiative in Libya, working in concert with our Allies, was spearheaded by three powerful women in the US administration.  Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power argued for and succeeded in persuading the international community to use military action to help Libyan rebels. First of all, I have to admit that I wish we didn’t  take notice of this.  Does the fact that they are women have anything to do with this?   What I surmise is that it is about using our power for humanitarian purposes, not simply for our “interests.”

I am treading on thin ice if I propose that these three women believe in military action for humanitarian reasons because they are women. There are plenty of men who feel that way. But I wonder if there is a military tradition, handed down by generations of men, that speaks of only using our military for self-interest (World War II excepted). It takes new eyes to do things differently, and in Clinton, Rice and Power, we have new eyes and minds to see things differently. My hope is that they, and all the other great minds in the international community, can help Libya and can get us out of there quickly. Only time will tell.

And we can also question, as a reader just suggested: is this really a humanitarian mission?

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About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men, http://www.narrativemagazine.com/store/book/women-men
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