The US has been at war with Iraq now for over ten years, having first initiated the war with the collective goal of “liberating” the nation back in 2003. The results unfortunately do not come close to achieving that goal whatsoever, if anything conditions have only worsened since before the beginning of US occupation in the area. The US war against Iraq was not only considered to be illegal by many, but it was deemed illegitimate on several fronts. It grossly violated the United Nations Charter, Geneva Conventions, and other international treaties and laws. Worst of all, is that the war was based on lies and after a decade of warfare and U.S. “liberation,” the country is now devastated and rampant with unemployment, poverty, violence, and crime. The fall of Iraq after the U.S. invasion has now also fueled a sharp rise in prostitution and sex trafficking throughout the area. We can see the same problem occurring in other locations as well that have been riddled with warfare, such as Syria and other places. To be fair, sex trafficking and these issues have always plagued this geographical region, however with the ongoing war on terror and rise of ISIS, we are seeing unprecedented systematic sexual violence in the area.
As a result of the growing instability in the region, thousands of young girls have been sold into sex trafficking rings in the area, or forced into prostitution. There are even young girls that are being kidnapped from refugee camps or some being sold into sham marriages. Sex trafficking in the area is helping to play a large financial role in the support for ISIS in the region. One 15-year-old victim who was allegedly kidnapped from a Yazidi community in Iraq, managed to escape from ISIS fighters and share the story about what happened to her and her family. She claims that she was captured and sold as a sex slave by ISIS fighters to three men, her family members were killed, and that she somehow got the chance to escape with other female survivors and they headed to the Khanke refugee camp. Her story is just one of many from victims who have seen their life deteriorate following the U.S. invasion overseas.
It is alleged that ISIS profits at least $3 million every single day thanks to its oil smuggling, human trafficking rings, extortion efforts, and more. This also isn't including the weapons and funding that they get from the West. It isn't known exactly how many women they currently have enslaved for their financial gain, but it is believed to be in the hundreds if not thousands. Many young women who suffer going through the economic turmoil from these wars, are eventually sold as a commodity, many end-up in prostitution, and others are married off at a price. Of those women who are sold for marriage, they are often left abandoned, are sexually exploited, and severely abused. Aside from the victims who are living in the area, there are many young girls also being recruited online from around the world to come join ISIS in the Middle East. To the surprise of few, these girls arrive to find out that they are quickly abused and taken advantage of.
If anything, West intervention has only made the situation worse overseas in many ways. Not only has this ongoing warfare caused turmoil for the people there, but these actions have also hurt the U.S. and its reputation; they've risked the economic prosperity of their own people in order to chase ghosts around the world. Sadly, Harper looks as if he is itching to follow in the same failed footsteps. When it comes to the suffering of these many women and individuals in that area, it is rather obvious that military conflict isn't going to solve this issue that is so deeply trenched in the lives of the people there. If military conflict continues, we should expect to see more of the same.
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