Maybe I’m missing something, but from what I remember, the United States spent billions of dollars to invade Iraq, a nation that did not attack us, to supposedly spread freedom and democracy. What does such “freedom” look like in Iraq after a decade of war? Here is an article by Jack Healy written in today’s New York Times:

But the news that young men in tight T-shirts and skinny jeans are being beaten to death with cement blocks and dumped in the streets has threatened to overshadow the new palm trees and fresh paint. The violence offers a reminder that the government has been unable to stop threats and attacks against small religious sects, ethnic groups and social pariahs like gay men.

An Interior Ministry security officer said that in the past two weeks, officials had found the bodies of six young men whose skulls had been crushed. Reuters reported the toll to be 14 or more, citing hospital and security officials, while rights groups say that more than 40 young men have been killed, but have provided no evidence for this figure.

Human rights advocates say the threats and violence are aimed at gay men and at teenagers who style themselves in a uniquely Iraqi collage of hipster, punk, emo and goth fashions. The look, shorthanded here as “emo,” has flourished on Baghdad’s streets as an emblem of greater social freedom as society has begun to bloom after years of warfare. But it has drawn scorn and outrage from some religious conservatives, and is often conflated with being gay.

I’m not sure that this is what our brave soldiers fought and risked their lives for. The new Iraq appears significantly more dangerous for LGBT people than the dictatorial version run by Saddam Hussein. After all the blood and treasure spent by the United States, Iraq is looking very much like Iran, with religious fanatics and radical mullahs having too much power and influence. Iraq can either be a secular country or can continue down a path of sectarian violence. If it chooses the latter, it will likely be headed towards civil war, with the U.S. too exhausted to step in and stop the violence. We can only hope there are wise leaders in Iraq to put the breaks on such madness, before it is too late.