Context is important. In the United States, I support legalizing prostitution. If a citizen wants to sell their body for money, it should be their right to do so. As a libertarian, I've spoken these same words many times. The context feels right. In a country free of the religions morality police, the ideal of legalized prostitution is an ideal end state.
On the other hand, forcing women to resort to prostitution because our nation has completely ruined the economic and societal underpinnings of one of the oldest cultures on earth is a national shame. My heart broke when I read a story about Iraqi mothers resorting to prostitution to feed their children. In this context, prostitution is simply evil.
The women are too afraid and ashamed to show their faces or have their real names used. They have been driven to sell their bodies to put food on the table for their children -- for as little as $8 a day.
"People shouldn't criticize women, or talk badly about them," says 37-year-old Suha as she adjusts the light colored scarf she wears these days to avoid extremists who insist women cover themselves. "They all say we have lost our way, but they never ask why we had to take this path."
I shudder. My heart beats faster in my chest. I realize that I am angry. I think about my wife and children. What would I do to keep them fed and safe? I have only love and compassion for these poor women. How did we allow Bush to bring this pain down on the heads of innocents?