Monday, June 05, 2006

Trafficking in bullshit 

Well our hard working civil servants at the U.S. State Deparment have done it again. Now they are out to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking and prostitution from the world - or so they say:

The United States warned key ally Germany on Monday that it should do more to stop a tide of sex workers arriving for this month's soccer World Cup, and accused 12 nations of failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.

"The U.S. government opposes prostitution," which is legal in Germany, a State Department report on global human trafficking said. "These activities are inherently harmful and dehumanizing."

Reading this the only thing I could wonder was have the folks at Foggy Bottom never heard of Nevada? But lets not hung up on that. After all State Department employees are hired for their expertise in international relations. So they can be forgiven it they might not know what states actualy make up the United States.

But here is a little quiz for Oil Wars readers. And no cheating by reading on. If you were to sit down and make a list of the countries you would criticize for prositution and human trafficking what ones would it be?

Thinking of this myself I thought of the Dominican Republic (lots of prosititution and sex tourism), Brazil (lots of prositutution and sex tourism), Thailand (sex tourism is a good chunk of their economy). Cuba might also make my list as would Colombia which has had lots of reports of women being taken abroad under false pretenses and then being forced into prositution. Oops, almost forgot, a good chunk of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union should be on this list. And I have seen that some of the eastern Europeans have wound up as sex slaves in Israel so maybe they should be on the list too. Lastly, I've always heard Japan has a lot of prostitution so they should not be left out. And of course, if one counts where the sex tourists or "Johns" come from then places like Canada, Britian, Germany and the good old USA should probably be on the list.

Ok, I have my list. Hopefully you all have your list too. So lets look at who made the State Deparment list apart from the already mentioned Germany:

The report lists Iran and Syria among the dozen nations that the United States said do not adequately address trafficking problems. The State Department said those countries could be subject to sanctions.

Apart from Arab ally Saudi Arabia and the Central American nation of Belize, the rest of the list of violators reads like a catalog of nations at perpetual odds with the Bush administration: Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, Laos, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

Countries that fail to crack down can be subject to a variety of sanctions, including the withholding of some kinds of U.S. foreign aid. The United States will not cut off trade and humanitarian aid, the report said.

Countries that receive no such assistance can be declared ineligible to take part in cultural and educational exchange programs.

Two countries have been sanctioned since the reports began — Equatorial Guinea and Venezuela.

Uh, yeah, when I think of prositution and human trafficking the places that would immediately jump out would be Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Zimbabwe?!?!?!?!

Of course this list is so absurd that even the AP reporter couldn't help but notice that "the rest of the list of violators reads like a catalog of nations at perpetual odds with the Bush administration".

So there you have it. Be nice to Bush or we will call you human traffickers and whore mongers. All I'll say is if Venezuela ever publishes a list of bullshit traffickers I know who should be on the top of the list.


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