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'Most people hate America', Iraqi Olympian


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Unwilling participants

Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads featuring team

Posted: Thursday August 19, 2004 12:50PM; Updated: Thursday August 19, 2004 1:28PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Bush campaign was contacted about the Iraqi soccer player's statements, but has yet to respond.

 

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 their team for his own gain when they do not support his administration's actions in Iraq. "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."

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

Oh come on.. aren't there enough REAL LIVE facts to get G W Bush out of office... if Kerry and his supporters have to lie and distort people's words as much as Bush has been then will it really matter who wins the election?

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Guest Merlin

RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

There is a big difference between "many" and "most", glutes. Why does everything have to be distorted? Notice that the guy being quoted says the people of Falujah are some of the best in Iraq. A little strange don't you think? It suggests that he is Sunni, as Falujah is a Sunnit town. The Sunnis clearly want the US out so that they can take over by force and reestablish a Sunni dictatorship a la Hussein.

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

> The Sunnis clearly want

>the US out so that they can take over by force and reestablish

>a Sunni dictatorship a la Hussein.

 

Unlike the Shiites, who want to invite US troops into the Najaf mosque to sing "Kumbaya" during morning prayers.

 

Or the Shiites in Basra, who managed to add $2 to the price of a barrel of oil by threatening the small supplies that manage to get out of the country more than a year after Cheney said the country could pay for its own reconstruction with oil revenues.

 

Or the Shiites in Sadr City, about as big a part of Baghdad as Brooklyn is of New York, who have their own government where neither Allawi nor Bush military force is welcome.

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

>There is a big difference between "many" and "most", glutes.

 

Yeah? What is it?

 

>Why does everything have to be distorted?

 

What's the matter? Don't you like the taste of your own medicine?

 

 

>Notice that the guy

>being quoted says the people of Falujah are some of the best

>in Iraq. A little strange don't you think?

 

What's strange about that? Fallujah isn't a small town, it has a population the size of Newark's. The principal reason for the trouble there is that American soldiers fired on protesters and killed 17 of them last year. The tribal tradition of the area demands that these killings be avenged. Did that part of the story slip your mind?

 

 

>It suggests that he

>is Sunni, as Falujah is a Sunnit town. The Sunnis clearly want

>the US out so that they can take over by force and reestablish

>a Sunni dictatorship a la Hussein.

 

Yeah? Has it also slipped your mind that the new president of Iraq is a Sunni?

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

>What's strange about that? Fallujah isn't a small town, it

>has a population the size of Newark's.

 

Yes, but does it have a bisexual governor?

 

>Has it also slipped your mind that the new president of

>Iraq is a Sunni?

 

Of course, "President of Iraq" is worth about the same as a bucket of warm piss. Puppet Prime Minister Allawi is a Shiite.

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

Sooo, as this article hit the regular press today, it's no longer just a dubious left-wing blog report.

The version I just read was a little different, and left out most of the quotes from the Iraqi soccer team. It presented put a bit more weight on the question of Bush's using the Iraqi soccer team's success for his own self-promotion. It also questioned the press's motivation in the interviews of the athletes, whether they were being asked leading questions, quoted properly, etc.

I love it when The Press examines it's own motives before the public! It's like a 15 minute self-contained orgasm!

In any case, even though the version I justr read does not include most of the quotes from the above article, I personally thought that what the players had to say was perfectly legitimate, fairly well-spoken, and intelligent.

Bush has absolutely no right to capitolize on their success.

That is the point at hand, and I would hope that as the Republican Party runs this ridiculous ad, that NBC will run interviews with the Iraqi football team DIRECTLY after it.

Without commercial interruption.

 

Trix

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

Indeed note it, How DARE I put a headline that doesn't accurately reflect the content of the body of the message. How slimy I must be.... how petrified must I be to not rely on the facts as they exist to make my point.

 

(I assume you're talking about me.... though as seems to be an epidemic lately no one has enough respect for anyone's name to bother to spell them correctly around here)

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

>Indeed note it, How DARE I put a headline that doesn't

>accurately reflect the content of the body of the message.

>How slimy I must be.... how petrified must I be to not rely on

>the facts as they exist to make my point.

>

 

 

very very good...you have taken the first step to realizing what a putz you are,acceptance.

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Enlighten me oh worthy sage.....

 

>very very good...you have taken the first step to realizing

>what a putz you are,acceptance.

 

You obviously know this road better than I... tell me what are the next few steps to having the sort of self awareness that you so jealously guard?

 

 

"Deserve Victory"

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RE: Iraqi Olympian: "EVERYONE hates America!!" Read this article for the quote.

 

>>What's strange about that? Fallujah isn't a small town, it

>>has a population the size of Newark's.

>

>Yes, but does it have a bisexual governor?

 

You win the prize for "Stupidest Question of the Day." You can pick it up at your local Republican Party headquarters.

 

>>Has it also slipped your mind that the new president of

>>Iraq is a Sunni?

 

>Of course, "President of Iraq" is worth about the same as a

>bucket of warm piss. Puppet Prime Minister Allawi is a

>Shiite.

 

Being president of Iraq got the man a ride in a golf cart driven by Bush himself during this year's G8 summit meeting in Georgia. That's something he'll be able to dine out on for quite some time.

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