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Thread: Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads

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    Default Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads

    [img]http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2004/olympics/2004/writers/08/19/iraq/p1_sadir.costa_*****.jpg[/img]

    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."

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...x.html?cnn=yes

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    Quote:

    "We don't wish for the presence of Americans in our country. We want them to go away."

    This is turning into a real mantra these days.

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    I wonder what would happen to them if they had voiced any kind of negative opinion about Uday.

    Yet another bit of proof that athletes by far not the smartest people on average.

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    Default Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads

    The more and more i c this kinda of behaviour by iraqis the more i think we should put Saddam back to power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aartamen
    I wonder what would happen to them if they had voiced any kind of negative opinion about Uday.

    Yet another bit of proof that athletes by far not the smartest people on average.
    But they are "liberated" Iraqi's or doesn't their opinion count because it's different to your's

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    "I'm glad my serial killer neighbor is being arrested but those flashing lights and sirens are waking up the whole neighborhood. I want them out of here."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bootneck
    "I'm glad my serial killer neighbor is being arrested but those flashing lights and sirens are waking up the whole neighborhood. I want them out of here."

    Yes those ice-cream van's are annoying

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    Well done to the Iraqi team, I was on the edge of my seat for the game against portugaul and was doin the snoopy dance and siging Ole Ole (etc) at the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by expat007
    Well done to the Iraqi team, I was on the edge of my seat for the game against portugaul and was doin the snoopy dance and siging Ole Ole (etc) at the end.
    You should have taken pic's, then the psyop's team's could have dropped them over Najaf, that would have ended it right there, crazy dancing Irishmen eeeeek we give in, no more sir

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    Senior Member SeanAshi's Avatar
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    So damn unappreciated these days....

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    In fact, Manajid says, if he were not playing soccer he would "for sure" be fighting as part of the resistance.


    Yeah, ok. "honest! I really would be fighting those dirty dirty Americans...but you see I have to kick this little ball around this field right now!"

    Like most hipocrytes - they want it both ways - freedom to speak out, but they won't fight for it. They want the Americans gone, but won't do anything about it.

    They don't give a rat's ass about their precious Najaf. If they did, they'd be home "fighting for it" instead of seeking personal glory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moughoun
    Quote Originally Posted by aartamen
    I wonder what would happen to them if they had voiced any kind of negative opinion about Uday.

    Yet another bit of proof that athletes by far not the smartest people on average.
    But they are "liberated" Iraqi's or doesn't their opinion count because it's different to your's
    And it is because they are "liberated" Iraqi's that they can now voice their opinion
    Didn't see much of that 3yrs ago

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    Default Re: Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads

    Quote Originally Posted by goldman
    The more and more i c this kinda of behaviour by iraqis the more i think we should put Saddam back to power.
    Amen brotha. Lets get him out of his cell and send him back to Eye-Rack.

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    An appreciative Iraqi's athlete

    Najah Ali: Iraq's little boxing surprise

    Ten months ago, light flyweight Najah Ali wasn't on the Iraqi boxing team, because there was no such thing. On Aug. 18, the 4'11" 106-pounder won his first Olympic bout in convincing style, 21-7, over a heavily favored opponent, North Korea's Kwak Hyok Ju, who is 5'4".

    In his first major international fight -- he only has about 35 bouts to his name total -- Ali controlled matters from the outset, leading 9-3 after one round. The shortest man in the Olympic boxing tournament danced around the ring agilely and snuck inside his taller opponent's reach to land frequent, powerful shots.

    He did it with sharp right jabs, quick feet that kept him out of danger, and a singlet with the words "Iraq Is Back" on it.

    He also did it with the support of Maurice "Termite" Watkins, a former American pro fighter, used car salesman, rattlesnake killer and insect exterminator who traveled to Iraq on a contract to exterminate flies plaguing a U.S. Army facility in Baghdad.

    Watkins ended up coaching several aspiring Iraqi boxers. Ali was the one who impressed the coach the most and asked what the chances were of making it to the Olympics.

    "I said basically it was slim to none," Watkins recalls, according to the Cincinatti Post. "That it was maybe one in a million. He slammed his hand down, pointed his finger at me, and said, 'Great, we don't need the million. All we need is the one. Let's make this happen.'"

    Although Ali failed to qualify for the Games directly, he got his wish in the form of one of five IOC exemptions provided to his troubled nation.

    The inexperienced boxer received additional help from USA Boxing's head coach Bash Abdullah, who invited him to train with his team. Ali returned the favor by inviting Abdullah to join Watkins in his Athens corner.

    And now, like his fellow Olympians on the Iraq soccer team, Ali is surprising the world and giving his nation a reason to rejoice.

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    Now I don't feel sorry for them when Uday cut off their fingers when they lost a game.

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