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Back in 2008 anti-emo riots broke out across Mexico, and riot police had to be called in to protect them. In the city of Queretero alone, hundreds of people participated in the assaults, which ultimately seem self-defeating. All the beatings did was give the emos the emotional firepower to create even whinier, unlistenable songs.

According to the BBC, dozens of Iraqi youths have now been stoned to death for wearing western-style emo clothes and haircuts. The interior minister reportedly issued a statement last month equating emo culture with Satanism, and that was interpreted by some as a signal that emo kids were fair game.

Much like in Mexico, most Iraqis feel that kids who embrace the emo lifestyle are homosexuals, and they see it as just one more example of Western decadence creeping into their society. I also have to guess most Iraqis are embarrassed by how easily their shithole country was conquered, and kids who embrace the fashions of their conqueror are viewed as traitors.

Unfortunately for Iraqi emos and gays, there is no silver lining, and there will be no happy ending. Iraq is a patchwork of competing religious sects and ethnicities, and in the absence of a despot like Saddam Hussein who kept everyone in line with an iron fist, authority will fall to the conservative local religious leaders.

There is no chance Iraq will now embrace women’s rights, gay rights or any of the other aspects of western liberalism. In most ways, Iraq is becoming even more socially backward than it was under Saddam. Another overlooked point is that Hussein kept a lid on religious extremism because it threatened his power, and he viewed groups like Al Qaeda as a greater threat than we do.

You almost have to ask, why did we take that prick out again?

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