News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: War Porn: Occupation, Sex, Prostitution

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

War Porn: Occupation, Sex, Prostitution

Several years ago I linked to articles that report the rise of prostitution among young Iraqi girls. Many of these prostitutes serviced US military men in Iraq.

As usual, the press has ignored this story, as it has much of the reality on the ground, such as the sexual hrassment of femake US soldiers by their male comrades, the use of chemical weapons in Falluja, the atrocities committed by US soldiers, the toll on civilians of the air campaign and so on.

Now a story out of Syria, where almost a million Iraqi refugees have fled, documents a flourishing sex trade that exploits penurious Iraqis. Reuters writes:

A score of young Iraqi women in tight, shimmering gowns shuffle across the nightclub dance floor under the hungry eyes of Gulf Arabs at nearby tables.

The band blasts out Iraqi songs into the early hours as the watching youths join the dancing or summon girls to sit with them -- there is little pretence about what gets transacted at this neon-lit nightspot half an hour's drive north of Damascus.

The dancers, some in their early teens, do not want to talk, but one said she had no other way to support her family. "My father was killed in Baghdad and our money is finished," muttered the dark-haired girl in a black and silver dress.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR calls it "survival sex", a desperate way to cope for Iraqi refugees whose savings have run out since they escaped the violence at home.
As I noted before, the human toll of war expands far beyond destruction of lives and property. It destroys human spirits.

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