James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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Two booming businesses: Iraqi sex trade and pretty dead white woman porn

Posted by James McPherson on March 8, 2009

Though it may be hard to pick them out among the stories of economic devastation here, new kinds of bad news just keep coming from the  Iraq War. Now, also related to the economy, Time reports that the American occupation of Iraq apparently has benefited one kind of trade there: the buying and selling of girls for sex trafficking:

Nobody knows exactly how many Iraqi women and children have been sold into sexual slavery since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, and there are no official numbers because of the shadowy nature of the business. Baghdad-based activists …  and others put the number in the tens of thousands. Still, it remains a hidden crime; one that the 2008 US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report says the Iraqi government is not combating. Baghdad, the report says, “offers no protection services to victims of trafficking, reported no efforts to prevent trafficking in persons and does not acknowledge trafficking to be a problem in the country.”

The story also reminds us that a woman who is raped in that part of the world might well be killed for “dishonoring” their families. Those victims likely will receive no media attention there, let alone here. Yet in the U.S. the case of another pretty dead (or at least probably dead, since she has been missing for more than two years) American white woman has remained among the top stories for CNN for several days.

Meanwhile, some news media today have reported that the body of another woman was found in the trunk of her own car yesterday, several days after her uncle says she had been reported missing to “unhelpful” police. If only someone had thought to send an angelic prom photo of 22-year-old Denise Figueroa to crime porn whore Nancy Grace, Figueroa’s disappearance might have got some more attention, earlier. Though perhaps not, with that last name.

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6 Responses to “Two booming businesses: Iraqi sex trade and pretty dead white woman porn”

  1. michellefrommadison said

    Nancy Grace hasn’t helped to end the life of any more victims again today, did she? 🙂

  2. […] Third, the victim will be white. […]

  3. Wakefield Tolbert said

    The sex trade has been “booming” to the tune of possibly tens of millions, per many agencies, for decades now and is undergirded in large part by the Euro-American tourist industry.

    One does have to pause that 14 year old Cambodian and Laotian girls are about on par with Thai girls when it comes to knowing the difference between giving white men “yum yum” vs. the old-fasioned “bump bump.”

    Two Anglo-Saxon slangs these poor girls are more than aware of at tender ages.

    It’s been reported, yes. And it has been paid some attention to by Christian relief agencies on the Right and some feminist activists on the Left, like Eve Ensler (of Vagina Monologues fame).

    But it seems of late the story here on Iraq is not quite so obscure of late.

    Americans did this to Iraq. So there are no improvements overall to Iraqi society. We’ve merely traded the Vegas 80’s glory of Hussein and bloody mattress rooms for money for mattress rooms?

  4. […] At the top of the list (with 1,381 views, or 58 more than my name)  is the word “flag,” which apparently takes people to my most popular post. And third, with 667 visits, is the combination phrase, “Sarah Palin bikini.” Fourth is “2012 presidential predictions,” followed by “Iraqi porn.” […]

  5. […] everywhere, not just in those scary foreign places where it has become a weapon of choice for intimidation and social control. Incidentally, even in those places, at least one study suggests “that the […]

  6. […] on issues of race or gender.  (Examples on race can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Examples relevant to gender here, here, here, here, here, here, here, […]

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