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Fearless
20th August 04, 02:38 PM
I found this article here:
http://www.mma.tv/TUF/index.cfm?ac=ListMessages&PID=1&TID=469753&FID=2&p=84

PATRAS, Greece -- Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir scored a goal here on Wednesday night, setting off a rousing celebration among the 1,500 Iraqi soccer supporters at Pampeloponnisiako Stadium. Though Iraq -- the surprise team of the Olympics -- would lose to Morocco 2-1, it hardly mattered as the Iraqis won Group D with a 2-1 record and now face Australia in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."

"The ad simply talks about President Bush's optimism and how democracy has triumphed over terror," said Scott Stanzel, a spokesperson for Bush's campaign. "Twenty-five million people in Iraq are free as a result of the actions of the coalition."

To a man, members of the Iraqi Olympic delegation say they are glad that former Olympic committee head Uday Hussein, who was responsible for the serial torture of Iraqi athletes and was killed four months after the U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq in March 2003, is no longer in power.

But they also find it offensive that Bush is using Iraq for his own gain when they do not support his administration's actions. "My problems are not with the American people," says Iraqi soccer coach Adnan Hamad. "They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything. The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the [national] stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

At a speech in Beaverton, Ore., last Friday, Bush attached himself to the Iraqi soccer team after its opening-game upset of Portugal. "The image of the Iraqi soccer team playing in this Olympics, it's fantastic, isn't it?" Bush said. "It wouldn't have been free if the United States had not acted."

Sadir, Wednesday's goal-scorer, used to be the star player for the professional soccer team in Najaf. In the city in which 20,000 fans used to fill the stadium and chant Sadir's name, U.S. and Iraqi forces have battled loyalists to rebel cleric Moktada al-Sadr for the past two weeks. Najaf lies in ruins.

"I want the violence and the war to go away from the city," says Sadir, 21. "We don't wish for the presence of Americans in our country. We want them to go away."

Manajid, 22, who nearly scored his own goal with a driven header on Wednesday, hails from the city of Fallujah. He says coalition forces killed Manajid's cousin, Omar Jabbar al-Aziz, who was fighting as an insurgent, and several of his friends. In fact, Manajid says, if he were not playing soccer he would "for sure" be fighting as part of the resistance.
"I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?" Manajid says. "Everyone [in Fallujah] has been labeled a terrorist. These are all lies. Fallujah people are some of the best people in Iraq."

Everyone agrees that Iraq's soccer team is one of the Olympics' most remarkable stories. If the Iraqis beat Australia on Saturday -- which is entirely possible, given their performance so far -- they would reach the semifinals. Three of the four semifinalists will earn medals, a prospect that seemed unthinkable for Iraq before this tournament.

When the Games are over, though, Coach Hamad says, they will have to return home to a place where they fear walking the streets. "The war is not secure," says Hamad, 43. "Many people hate America now. The Americans have lost many people around the world--and that is what is happening in America also."

LLL
20th August 04, 02:41 PM
Well oh no, let's send in the bombers...

Osiris
20th August 04, 02:43 PM
But wait, they LOVE Americans. Right?

Stold3
20th August 04, 02:52 PM
I'm sure they were all much happier under the Hussein regime. I mean, sure, he killed a lot of iraqis but at least he isn't white.

Osiris
20th August 04, 03:00 PM
Seriously, I think thats the gist of it.

WingChun Lawyer
20th August 04, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Stold3
I'm sure they were all much happier under the Hussein regime. I mean, sure, he killed a lot of iraqis but at least he isn't white.

Read again, they weren´t happy then, they aren´t happy now. But they specially aren´t happy at the deaths and instability brought by the US army. It seems they believe, and I tend to agree with them, that that was an unnecessary war that caused and is causing too many deaths.

It would have been different if Saddam were gassing the kurds when the USA invaded.

Chupacabra
20th August 04, 03:00 PM
DAMN THE WHITE MAN

Stick
20th August 04, 03:03 PM
Very interesting.

katana
20th August 04, 03:07 PM
Well there are over twenty people on that team and the reporter only quoted a couple of them. What did the other players say when asked? Hmmmm...I guess that's off the record. These Iraqi blogs commented on this topic already:


From: http://iraqataglance.blogspot.com/

"I received many e mails and read some comments regarding the Iraqi Soccer Olympic Team, some readers are upset because of few words of some players and the coach..
Well..at first you have to remember that the players are a part of the Iraqi people! And you can find the same criticism among ordinary Iraqis, some of them are happy with the liberation others have no comments others are angry, you can’t say that ALL Iraqis are happy..there are Bathists, Saddam’s relatives, ordinary people, oppressed and others…so you don’t have to be upset because of someone said ‘America destroyed my country’! I think you are wiser than that!
I remember many players shown on the TV many months ago talking about what Uday Saddam was doing and the types of torture they endured and that they are free now and not afraid of anyone…and can represent their country.
The reporters did not meet those players…so you did not hear or read what you were looking for…..that’s it!
‘You don’t deserve what we’ve done for you’
‘Why we are there if you hate us’….and many other nonsense…
One or two guys DO NOT represent the whole country…keep this in your mind."


From: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

" I read this story and I felt very upset and then I got many mails asking for my comment on it.

I really think that the Iraqi Football Federation should give the 2nd player (Ahmed Manajid) at least some advice on to how much he can express his own opinions in public, as he is representing Iraq right now.

However I have great doubts about the article. Looking at the address of the article and reading through it, it seems to me that the reporter was looking for a particular answer rather than just reporting. What would you expect as an answer for asking athlets about a politician, any politician using their achievements for advertising his campaign. Also we have no idea how this question was presented!

Another point is that when someone wants to draw a conclusion from several comments he tend to pick the ones that lead to his conclusion in a strong way, yet all the reporter could come up with were comments from 2 players and the coach out of 22 players and several trainers, medical staff...etc So if those were the 'best' comments he could get, I'm interested to know what were the comments of the others since the comment from the 1st player (Sadir) was actually not that bad!

I believe if he found a worse comment other than that he would've post it, don't you think so? Finally I'd like to put this report about 3 athletes together with this picture that you all had probably seen but some of you seem to have forgot about. Maybe we can get closer to the truth by taking two sides of the story?"

Osiris
20th August 04, 03:46 PM
Yes, Im sure some of them are quite pleased.

Jsun102
20th August 04, 03:47 PM
fucking fuck i hate republicans

katana
20th August 04, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Jsun102
fucking fuck i hate republicans

Who's a republican? I'm not.

I want the US out of Iraq as soon as possible. Having the press constantly mention everything that is going wrong, but largely ignoring things that are going OK, does not contribute to settling things down.

What's wrong with presenting both sides of the story anyway? Especially when that other side of the story is from Iraqis in the country who felt the news article was biased?

Stick
20th August 04, 04:13 PM
Things going wrong is news, things going ok is not.

Osiris
20th August 04, 04:13 PM
Dai is correct.

Jsun102
20th August 04, 04:16 PM
I was referring to ol' Dubya.

I'm just totally overwhelmed bye his self-touting, claiming that his "victories" in the middle east have brought about such a wonderful air of happiness and freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fine katana, let's have him present both sides of the story. If he's going to claim that he's done great things for the two middle eastern nations, he should also let those Iraqis and Afghanis who disagree with him be heard in his slimy campaign advertisements.

Gelid Light
20th August 04, 04:18 PM
There is nothing going right with Iraq. The US wanted to set up another Sunni regime in Iraq and a boatload of Shiite poor got mad about it. Suddenly they're "terrorists". Let's see, imposing authoritarian rule, torturing and murdering prisoners, killing political opponents...Yes, the Iraqis should thanks us for getting rid of Saddam. Kill the ingrates!

katana
20th August 04, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Dai-Tenshi
Things going wrong is news, things going ok is not.

Really? So the Iraqi olympic soccer team doing well was news wasn't it? Or was it only news because he found a couple people to say something bad about a situation that is really good (Iraq even having a soccer team)?

Remember that Uday Hussein used to oversee the Iraqi Olympic and Soccer teams. He used to beat them ruthlessly when they lost to the point where they no longer could find people to compete. Why don't they report that this team can now play win or lose and not have to worry about having their feet beating with a stick for losing when they return?

That Uday, what a card:

http://www.cnnsi.com/si_online/news/2003/03/24/son_of_saddam/

katana
20th August 04, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by Jsun102

Fine katana, let's have him present both sides of the story. If he's going to claim that he's done great things for the two middle eastern nations, he should also let those Iraqis and Afghanis who disagree with him be heard in his slimy campaign advertisements.

I'm not defending Bush. I wouldn't want to be used in an ad either. But having a Sports Illustrated writer quote a player as saying he'd be gladly fighting and killing american soldiers if he could isn't helping anyone. I mean how necessary was that to report? Is he working for Al Jazeera now?

Jsun102
20th August 04, 04:32 PM
Why not look at it from another standpoint. The Iraqi player having said what he said, would it have helped anyone if the reporter had omitted his statement that he does not support what Bush is doing?

Either way, it was said, it was interesting, and it was relevant (is there anyone more qualified to comment on advertisements manipulating the Iraqi soccer team's wins than a member of the Iraqi soccer team?).

This is just as relevant a news topic as was the Iraqi judoka's decision not to fight an Israeli.

katana
20th August 04, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by Jsun102
Why not look at it from another standpoint. The Iraqi player having said what he said, would it have helped anyone if the reporter had omitted his statement that he does not support what Bush is doing?

Either way, it was said, it was interesting, and it was relevant (is there anyone more qualified to comment on advertisements manipulating the Iraqi soccer team's wins than a member of the Iraqi soccer team?).

This is just as relevant a news topic as was the Iraqi judoka's decision not to fight an Israeli.

I agree with the article about the political use by Bush. It is tacky to do without permission. I think the comments from the player about going back to join the resistance added little to the story though and could incite people to follow his lead and put troops in danger.

Jsun102
20th August 04, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by katana
I think the comments from the player about going back to join the resistance added little to the story though and could incite people to follow his lead and put troops in danger.


So you would have preferred if part of the player's statement were edited out of the article?

I sympathize with the troops and I wish them all safety, but considering the amount resistance they have faced, and the amount of danger they are already in, this athlete's statement could not do much more to "incite people to follow his lead."

In addition, there is more than enough murder and destruction (not to mention the establishment of American oil fields) going on back in Iraq to "incite them."

Stold3
20th August 04, 04:55 PM
". But they specially aren´t happy at the deaths and instability brought by the US army. It seems they believe, and I tend to agree with them, that that was an unnecessary war that caused and is causing too many deaths."

If they're angry about deaths and instability, why the fuck are they still fighting?

Jsun102
20th August 04, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Stold3
If they're angry about deaths and instability, why the fuck are they still fighting?


I don't think I could just drop all of my beliefs and convictions and fold over if i was in their situation.

Also, might it be because the US army is still killing them?

Stold3
20th August 04, 05:11 PM
Excuse me, but is the fighting NOT the cause of the deaths and instability of iraq?

"Also, might it be because the US army is still killing them?"

You have it backwards

Gelid Light
20th August 04, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by katana
I'm not defending Bush. I wouldn't want to be used in an ad either. But having a Sports Illustrated writer quote a player as saying he'd be gladly fighting and killing american soldiers if he could isn't helping anyone. I mean how necessary was that to report? Is he working for Al Jazeera now?

Katana is right. Comments made by foreign athletes that are unfavorable to the Bush administration should be censored.

Jsun102
20th August 04, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Gelid Light
Katana is right. Comments made by foreign athletes that are unfavorable to the Bush administration should be censored.

...haha

Hannibal
20th August 04, 11:28 PM
Those fucking stupid Iraqi's. They have such a short memory. Their stinking country should be so greatful to America, Great Britan, Australia all the coilition forces for freeing it from Mr Husain.

I suppose they would rather have him back in power. ANd have their former dictator persecute millions of Kurds and his own people aswell as stealing all foreign aid that was issued. And not one word of thanks !!!!

Instead you have a counrty full of bastards who are blowing up and shooting those poor soldiers after all the hard work they have done. It makes me sick. The least they could have done was to say a simple thank you.

bushi51
21st August 04, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by Hannibal
Those fucking stupid Iraqi's. They have such a short memory. Their stinking country should be so greatful to America, Great Britan, Australia all the coilition forces for freeing it from Mr Husain.

I suppose they would rather have him back in power. ANd have their former dictator persecute millions of Kurds and his own people aswell as stealing all foreign aid that was issued. And not one word of thanks !!!!

Instead you have a counrty full of bastards who are blowing up and shooting those poor soldiers after all the hard work they have done. It makes me sick. The least they could have done was to say a simple thank you.

Xango
21st August 04, 03:10 AM
In other news, the Iraqi soccer team fails to bring home the Gold this year.

The bastinado is not expected to result.

Gelid Light
21st August 04, 09:01 AM
So by default, American policy vis a vis Iraq and the Middle East is proven to be intelligent, just, and humane.