Debra Hyde at Pursed Lips has an important discussion [link has unfortunately vanished] about the difficulty of discussing appalling abuses that have a sexual component. It’s a real problem for this blog.

Anyone who has a rich fantasy life can find an erotic component in almost any tale of sexual atrocity. And, since horror is often an unwelcome emotion, the temptation to eroticize horrific stories by translating them into more palatable fantasy terms can be overwhelming. The downside is that the story itself is often trivialized in the process — if one gets too busy picturing Uday Hussein’s pony girls in the mind’s eye, one could forget to empathize sufficiently with their terror, shame, and humiliation. Worse, one could forget to be outraged by Uday’s behavior.

For this reason, sexual atrocities are featured much less often on this blog than they might be. It’s unseemly, at best, to treat actual human suffering as mere fodder for an erotic fantasy — and almost any discussion of real world sexual suffering in the context of this blog is subject to that risk. And yet, having a category of stories about sex be off limits to a sex blog is, itself, rather perverse.

Debrah’s article suggests a path through the maze. She acknowledges, first, the impossibility of discussing such events without the discussion having a pornographic quality. But then she points out that pornography is not always erotic, having a long history as a protest and propaganda tool aimed at political change. And she suggests that we not shrink from such uses of pornography, but rather embrace its power to incite moral outrage. She’s a wise woman.

That’s a lot of preamble for a short block quote about a professional government rapist. Perhaps if Jonah Goldberg had read Debra’s blog, he would have managed a little less flippancy in this story:

There are some professions American colleges simply don’t prepare you for. Consider Aziz Salih Ahmed. He works for the Iraqi government. His technical specialty? He’s a “violator of women’s honor,” according to his Iraqi identity card. In other words, he rapes women. Presumably he likes it. But he does it on the government’s dime so whether he likes brutally raping women or not, he’s probably good at it or at least he’s good enough for government work.