I Know Why The Caged Virgin Sings

Because she, Ayaan Hirsi Ali that is, gets to have Hitchens author hyperbolic, self-gratulatory gush-jobs on her behalf.

But women like Haifa Zangana can never expect Hitchens do the same for her. And the reason why? Because Ms Zangana writes about the plight of women in “liberated” Iraq.

But you are free to read her article on Comment Is Free.

On October 27 2004, Liqa Abdul Razaq, a newsreader at al-Sharqiya TV, was shot with her two-month-old baby in the Aldoura district of Baghdad; Layla al-Saad, dean of law at Mosul University, was slaughtered in her house; Maha Ibrahim, editor in chief of Baghdad TV, was killed on July 3 2005, shot by US military gunfire.

The Iraqi journalist Raeda Mohammed Wageh Wazzan of the regional public TV station Iraqiya was found dead on February 25, five days after masked gunmen had kidnapped her and her son in the centre of the northern city of Mosul. She was shot in the head.

The cruel murder of Atwar Bahjat, one of the country’s top television journalists, was the latest.

Those women were killed for giving a voice to the voiceless, but other women are differently abused in the “new Iraq”. Under the democracy that is still so highly acclaimed by Bush and Blair, women face arrest just for complaining.