I haven’t posted in a while, so I thought this would be a good post to get back in the swing of things.
One would think that by now people in the U.S. would be experts regarding Iraq. Since George W. Bush talks so much about “bringing freedom” to the Iraqis, saying things like “the safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad”, I assume all law-abiding, patriotic citizens should at least know something about Iraq’s culture, its geography, languages spoken, not to mention everything about the daily struggles of the Iraqis. Yeah right, and first thing tomorrow morning, I’m buying a Jaguar for myself and a Porsche for my wife.
It is so incredibly frustrating that the average American is completely ignorant of the current human crisis and refugee situation in Iraq. If this were the 1930’s, with no TV, print, or internet, I would understand, but nowadays information is at the tip of the fingertips, one search engine away.
Child prostitution is an increasingly widespread phenomenon in Damascus. Out of economic desperation, Iraqi refugee women and girls are forced into these roles. Frequently, women who have lost their husbands or girls who have lost their fathers resort to prostitution to support their families. And sometimes families that have no other financial resources sell their daughters into the sex industry. It is a tragic and horrifying reality.
There are no official figures as to how many of the Iraqi refugees work as prostitutes. But Hana Ibrahim, founder of the Iraqi women’s group Women’s Will, told The Independent that she puts the figure at 50,000. No one knows how many of the prostitutes are children.
Take a guess if this has EVER been discussed, or at least mentioned, in the mainstream media, with the seriousness this deserves. You certainly won’t hear it from the likes of George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. They just don’t to talk about the problems, and even if they do, they certainly won’t address the causes of it:
The increased trafficking and prostitution is yet another result of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. There are roughly 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, perhaps 2 million within the Middle East. UNHCR estimates that 50,000 Iraqi refugees arrive in Syria each month. This situation represents the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since 1948 and is currently the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world. Syria has been accepting more refugees without visas than any other country in the world. On Sept. 11, however, the Syrian government announced new visa restrictions that will sharply decrease the numbers of Iraqis wishing to enter Syria.
50,000 Iraqi refugees each month. That’s over half a million last year just to Syria alone. Syria has done a lot for Iraqi refugees, yet you really don’t hear much about it. What you do hear is that Syria might get a can of good ol’ butt whoopin’, shock-and-awe style, if it doesn’t do what the U.S. wants. If George W. Bush really cares that much for Iraq’s people, then he must be bending over backwards helping Iraqis, right? Wrong:
[…]In a July 2007 press statement, Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program, states, “The Syrian authorities have responded very positively to the Iraqis’ needs, but they and the Jordanian authorities should not be left to bear the weight of this crisis alone.” He went on to scold nations who had previously committed to providing financial assistance but had yet to cough up the funds.
But a lack of money is not the only problem. Refugees International underscores that offers from the international community to resettle Iraqi refugees have also been scarce. For example, the United States initially promised it would accept 7,000 Iraqi refugees by October of this year, yet, to date, has accepted only 133. Sweden, which had allowed thousands of Iraqis to resettle, has recently closed its borders to them. The silence of other nations on this issue is deafening.
7,000 measly visas for Iraqi refugees that are fleeing violence, civil war and ethnic cleansing, and of those only 133 have been accepted. Is this the high standard the U.S. currently has in place for the refugees in the very same fucking country it is “liberating”? I mean, give me a fucking break. It’s not like the U.S. has never helped refugees before. In 1975, President Ford brought to the U.S. 131,000 South Vietnamese that had worked for the Americans.
We can do a lot better. But I digress. The average American, especially those belonging to that elusive “28%” of the population that still backs Bush in whatever fantasy he spits out of his mouth, doesn’t have a clue as to what an average Iraqi refugee has to live with:
According to the UNHCR, Iraqis arrive with three to five months’ worth of savings. Due to a scarcity both of resources and of housing, they live in overcrowded neighborhoods outside of Damascus, such as Jeremana, often cramped seven to a room with few furnishings. Iraqis are not allowed to work in Syria, so when their funds run out, they are unable to support themselves. Consequently, many work illegally. Yet these jobs are difficult to come by and poorly paid, and workers frequently face discrimination. A report published by UNHCR and UNICEF last year states that an estimated 450,000 Iraqis in Syria “face aggravated difficulties” related to their “ambiguous legal and unsustainable income.” As their savings dwindle, the situation of Iraqi refugees is bound to deteriorate further. Sybella Wilkes, the UNHCR Regional public information officer in Damascus, says that “64 percent of the people who have arrived here have run out of savings.”
Bassam Alkadi, of the Syrian Women’s Observatory, agrees that the economic desperation is leading to an increase in prostitution. “The standard of living for Iraqis,” he says “has gone downhill very quickly.”
Yet according to Dubya, freedom is on the march. Sometimes I wish I were more eloquent so I can convey my thoughts and emotions better, but such is not the case here. The Iraqi refugee crisis is something I, along with others that truly give a damn about human rights, have been discussing since before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. One of my main gripes, though, is the hypocrisy that people have towards all of this. They care about the Iraqis, yet don’t want or don’t care to find out what’s really happening. It is all horseshit. Just admit it - this war has nothing to do with WMDs (guess who still believes that nonsense), democracy, or human rights. The average American does not understand or care much about human rights, and neither does Dubya.
Who are you going to believe, me or the president of the United States? Hint: I have been known to be right on occasion.
15 Responses to “Iraqi Refugees forced into Prostitution”
Every time a country loses a war, prostitution looms it’s ugly head. It is a part of war that is to be expected. Maybe that is a reason not to go to war in the first place. To try to put the blame on the American administration for events that occur after every war is a little ignorant on the part of the author. Perhaps the blame rests with the people who allowed the war to commence in the first place. All of this could have been avoided if Saddam had allowed inspectors into his country before the war. Blame him.
Hey Nerf, I just love your version of compassionate conservativism. Just an FYI… Saddam DID allow inspectors into his country. It was George Bush who kicked them out so bombing could commence. Does the name Hans Blix ring a bell? But I can understand your point of view, you’re probably one of the 28%’ers who still think Saddam planned 9/11, but that’s ok, not everyone in this country is capable of following and comprehending reality.
Nerf Berfel Said: Blah..Blah..Blah.. All of this could have been avoided if Saddam had allowed inspectors into his country before the war. Blame him.
I know I shouldn’t mess with a troll, it’s like stepping in dog doo. but just one quick comment. We’re not blaming the “American administration for events that occur after every war” We’re blaming the Bushco administration for attacking and occupying a sovereign country for no reason but oil and corporate profits. Also the inspecters were in Iraq before dubya’s war, they just had to be pulled out so they wouldn’t be caught in Bushco’s blitskrieg. Blame Saddam? No, I blame Dick and George. The worst administration in the history of my country. Only thing they do good is cronyism and corporations. Now to clean off the Troll doo..
I sure hope Hugo Chavez doesn’t look to the Chavizist on here for support. You have tarred and feathered 13 million people without a shred of actual evidence, and are pointing to them for all the ills of the world. It is ridiculous to say jews are responsible for the prostutition in syria of Iraqis, even if it is clear that there were jews in the US responsible for the steering of policy that lead to the disaster. There is no way that the 99 jews living in syria (this is an actual number, not a joke, though it is 4 year old and may have changed) are pimping out 50000 iraqis. Syria and the Iraqis need our help, not ludicrous nazi fantasies about who’s running the world. If you think Jewish individuals in the world have too much power in the media or government or enterntainment, emulate them: work hard, build strong communal links and take care of your neighbour. Push your family and friends to succeed, don’t sulk and act jealous because some people have figured out how to succeed.
Oh and i third the taring of th 28%er on here. There is no way that you could be that misinformed about the weapons inspectors here, but more importantly, its not Saddam’s fault that the US decided that it would violate international law, and launch a war of agression. Thats the standard i beat my wife cause she didn’t cook for me line, and typical of the red state fascists that still support the bush administration
Great job on exposing something that the general media doesn’t. Men fail when war is declared. They become beast and animals and many, many atrocities to innocent lives occur. Did you guys see the child on CNN.com that was burned very badly by insurgents just outside his home in Iraq? He is in the US now and getting free treatment in California by a burn center. But, he didn’t deserve that, did he? Good job.
Prostitution of any woman is abominable. But who is to blame here? Bush? The US? Britain? WHat are the Iraq people doing? Nothing except blowing each other to bits while trying to get as many 1st worlders at the same time. By blaming the US gov’t while at the same time screaming for them to get out of Iraq shows how stupid people can be. You may be right that the US should have stayed home. You may be right that they should drop every thing and leave the Middle East to figure everything out for themselves. But by blogging here that the persecution and disgusting treatment of children and women is based on the US involvement is silly. What about the Muslim beliefs and practice that all women are chaste until marriage? If they held their own Koran rules in strict obeyance like they do when it comes to blowing themselves up and killing countless innocents, then child prostitution wouldn’t exist would it? Why don’t you pasty professional protestors attack the sick and twisted people that believe religious INTERPRETATIONS of a book put together by a swami who thought he was a god is a good reason to blow up people?!!!? You all have your priorities messed up that is obvious. And until you recognize that, despite all the US’s shortcomings and faults, at least they respect the rule of law, and try to avoid countless civilian casualties. Their terrorist opponents do not. They thrive on killing children. Murdering honest working class folk. Decapitating innocent members of the media just to scare the world. How can you support or minimize the damage caused by their hatred? Remember, if they ever got half a chance, they would slit your throat or cut your stomach and make you eat the entrails on video, just to make a “statement” that Jews never had a Holocaust. Get real, wake up. No one is right in this war, but those that kill indiscriminately are waaay out of line and are 100% wrong.