How can one reconcile recent reports of brave, independent Kurdish women defending their ancestral land with earlier accounts of widespread honor killings of girls and women in Kurdistan? Can one claim that the female fighters and the murdered girls came from different social strata or different regions? Or has the war changed everything? And for how long?
I’m thinking of millions who were, objectively, slaves to the Stalinist system pre-WWII but displayed clear signs of courage, independent thinking, inventiveness, and a sense of responsibility while fighting Nazis, only to slip back into indifferent obedience in peacetime. I recall that some Soviet soldiers experienced the war as a liberating experience and its aftermath, as a time of broken hopes and soul-crushing serfdom.