There are many searing images from Afghanistan. The faces -- so young -- of the soldiers receiving their bronze stars for valor in combat. The mountains of Kabul against a fiery orange sky, but the faces and the eyes that I will always remember are of females who fled to a shelter.
The girls and women who have escaped to a shelter, their lives put indefinitely on hold. Fifteen-year old Sekeena had no idea when her mother took her to the beauty parlor that she was being sold to a man for $1,000. She was only 12 at the time. After being beaten and having her head shaved -- the ultimate cultural insult -- she escaped. Fourteen-year old Deeya fled when her father promised her hand in marriage to a man who was fifty-five.
Following the fall of the Taliban many got their first taste of freedom, education and possibility, and it seems particularly cruel to have it suddenly snatched away. Protecting human rights alone may not justify a massive military commitment, but whether you support this war or not, remember these people.
As the Afghan government, with the tacit approval of the United States extends a hand to the Taliban - will we turn our backs on the future of this country? Will the nations of the world allow the new-found rights of girls and women to become a casualty of brokered peace?