Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Iraqi Soccer

Everyone in the world seems to be quoting the disgruntled Iraqi soccer players. These fine gentlemen think that President Bush shouldn't be allowed to brag about the fact that, should the Iraqi soccer team not win Olympic gold, they won't be tortured upon their return to Baghdad. Go figure. Their quotes, taken mostly from a Grant Wahl Sports Illustrated article have been widely circulated, culminating this week with one of the players, Salih Sadir, being quoted on Newsweek's Perspectives page.

But has no one bothered to read Wahl's entire article? Toward the end we learn that Ahmed Manajid, who seems to be the ringleader of the malcontents, isn't just your average Iraqi citizen.

Manajid is from Falluja. What's more, he has a personal grudge against George Bush, because, as he tells Wahl, his cousin was killed by coalition forces.

Manajid's cousin wasn't killed by accident--he was fighting as an insurgent. So were several of Manajid's friends from home, who are also now dead. Asked if he would be fighting as an insurgent were he not playing soccer, Manajid tells Wahl, "For sure."

These facts might be worth noting, no?


Anonymous said...

What do you expect? Bush invaded his country and slaughtered his friends and family members. If Sadam's sons really killed and tortured athletes who did poorly why would they keep going back to the olympics. Something to think about, no?
Army Veteran 1966-1970

Anonymous said...

I think that comment is actually the most disturbing part of the article. The ESPN series made it quite clear how sadistic Uday Hussein was towards the soccer team, and the article mentions that they all hated Uday passionately. What's this guy, a direct beneficiary and someone who saw the evil firsthand, doing saying that he'd be in the insurgency against the people who removed the evil Hussein regime?

But I'm sure some school getting paint is "the real story of Iraq", instead of the idea that we're radicalizing Iraqis into people who hate the US enough to become terrorists.