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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Exploit, no matter what

I've gotten a big kick out of watching the Iraqi soccer team at the Olympics. I'm a soccer nut anyway, and they play an excellent game, scoring beautiful goals like yesterday's bicycle kick. And while the players' statements in Sports Illustrated seemed to have stopped NBC from joining the Bush campaign in somehow claiming American credit for the team's success, it hasn't stopped them from ignoring reality.

NBC commentator Pat O'Brien just did a piece on the Iraqis living in Greece, and how many of them got together at a cafe in Athens yesterday to watch the game with Australia. He said soccer had drawn them all together--Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites. After showing their celebrations when the goal was scored and when the final whistle blew, O'Brien concluded (paraphrased): "When the Olympics were held in ancient times, all wars were put on hold for the duration of the games. And for one day, at a cafe here in Athens, that same spirit still lives today."

What the bloody Cheney? While surely there have been serious ethnic/religious conflicts in Iraq, due in large part to the American-backed installation of Saddam's Sunni Baathist party decades ago, the current fighting is entirely the fault of the US (and seems to have united the various Iraqi factions, as well). And the Bush administration clearly has no respect for Olympic tradition: US Pounds Militants Outside Mosque in Najaf.

Hopefully the Iraqi soccer team will win the gold medal, and at the medal ceremony, hopefully televised live on NBC, they'll get on the podium and raise a banner saying "Hey Bush! Go Cheney yourself!"