How You Know We Won in Iraq: PORN!

Nothing shouts American victory more than the freedom Iraqi street vendors have to sell their wares: DVDs full or lovely porn, and they proudly have all types.

From the AP here:

The nude women on the DVD cover in a Baghdad street stall say it all: Change, whether you like it or not, is afoot in Iraq.

Hundreds of porn DVDs are stacked elbow-deep on a wooden table in Jassim Hanoun’s ramshackle stall on a downtown sidewalk. His other tables have Hollywood blockbusters, like “King Kong.” But not surprisingly, it’s the sex that sells best.

“I’ve got everything,” Hanoun says of his sex selection, flashing the kind of impish grin only a 22-year-old in tight jeans and slicked-back hair can pull off with any real conviction. “What do you want? I’ve got foreign films, Arab, Iraqi, Indian, celebrities – whatever you like.”

The porn, in an odd way, has told the story of Iraq’s security and political situation since Saddam Hussein’s ouster in 2003. It emerged in the anything-goes atmosphere that erupted in the vacuum immediately following the U.S. invasion – then went back into hiding amid the anarchy when armed militias roamed the capital through 2008, targeting those they saw as immoral.

Its reemergence since then reflects how security has improved but also how the fragile government is busy with more pressing issues than spicy videos.

With politicians deadlocked the past five month trying to form a new government, whether Hanoun stays in business depends less on customer demand than on who takes the reins of power and if security is maintained.

The openness with which porn is sold in some of Baghdad’s streets is almost unheard of in the Arab world.

A progressive society where differences are worked out with speech and not guns or beheadings are the best thing for the Iraqis. But in Iraqi porn, do they remove the burkas?

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