When politicians fail to plan more than their sound bites and how to impliment their ideology through political strategy, it isn't the politicians who face the worst consequences of their decisions and their policies.
Um Ahmad, as she was known to the girls, had it all planned out. From Baghdad to the border and on to Damascus and a new life, Mona and her three Iraqi friends didn't need to worry about a thing. The job in the textiles factory outside the Syrian capital would pay $300 (£160) a month, travel for the long journey was already arranged, a place for the girls to stay was ready and waiting and - best of all - Um Ahmad would pay Mona's father one month's salary in advance.
For the 26-year-old eldest daughter of eight children whose parents faced a daily despair of car bombs and poverty in their Baghdad slum, the offer sounded too good to be true.
Within a week of arriving in Damascus, Mona - whose name has been changed to protect her identity - had been plied with alcohol by Um Ahmad, required to dance for "friends of the factory owner" and had lost her virginity. Unable to return to her family due to the perceived shame she had brought upon them, Mona began her new life in Syria as a prostitute working for Um Ahmad, dancing in bars outside Damascus and having sex with clients.
It's far too easy for politicians to plead ignorance when they only wanted to listen to people who told them what they wanted to hear. Just as ordinary citizens aren't allowed to plead not guilty by reason of ignorance, we should never allow politicians to escape accountability for the results of their actions.
Whether the politicians failed because they didn't care about the side effects of their actions or because they didn't do their homework, the result should be the same.
Like teenagers, politicians need to be held aocountable so they will learn to act like responsible adults.
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