May 29, 2007

Women's Liberation, Iraq War Style

By day the road that leads from Damascus to the historic convent at Saidnaya is often choked with Christian and Muslim pilgrims hoping for one of the miracles attributed to a portrait of the Virgin Mary at the convent. But as any Damascene taxi driver can tell you, the Maraba section of this fabled pilgrim road is fast becoming better known for its brisk trade in Iraqi prostitutes.

Many of these women and girls, including some barely in their teens, are recent refugees. Some are tricked or forced into prostitution, but most say they have no other means of supporting their families. As a group they represent one of the most visible symptoms of an Iraqi refugee crisis that has exploded in Syria in recent months.

--The New York Times
This sort of vice is usually one of the effects of war. But it's ironic that we have invaded Iraq, which under its secular dictator had allowed relative freedom to at least the women of the élite, fostering a civil war that has driven out that élite, and now in some cases forced their daughters into prostitution.

Nostra culpa, nostra maxima culpa. I say this as a supporter, albeit somewhat skeptical, of the war at its outset.

I have long predicted a stream of Iraqi refugees to our shores, which our government hasn't allowed yet to any extent. And of course, having demonized the not very appetizing Baby Assad, we're not about to spend money in his country.

Why don't I hear the clamor--come liberate us, and turn our daughters into whores!

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