Saturday, August 21, 2004

ATHENS, Greece - Iraqi soccer players reacted angrily Friday after being told that their nation's Olympic participation was mentioned in TV commercial by the re-election campaign for President Bush.

The players called on Bush to stop using them to win votes in the United States.

“Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign,” midfielder Salih Sadir was quoted as saying. “He can find another way to advertise himself.”

“Our purpose is not to politicize the football team in any way,” Mark Clark, a consultant for the Iraqi Olympic Committee, said. “It seems the story was engineered.”
“It is a little naughty,” he said. “The players are not very sophisticated politically; they are a little naive. Whoever posed these questions knew that the reaction would be negative.

I'm guessing those soccer players just totally blew Clarks chance at getting an invite to the Ranch.
Another Iraqi player asked: “How will (Bush) meet his God having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes.”

Now that really is naive. Bush will meet his God with a bottle of bourbon and a ton of your oil money dude. And Mark Clark was going to to take you to the Ranch with him but no-o-o, you had to go and be naive.
“It is possible something was lost in translation. It’s a free, new Iraq, and the players are entitled to their opinions but we are disappointed.”

Iraq’s soccer players once lived in fear of Uday Hussein, son of toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, who used to beat the soles of their feet or throw them in prison for slip-ups on the pitch.

Under current coach Adnan Hamd, they have defied the odds to reach the quarterfinals at the Athens Olympics, where they will play Australia on Saturday.

Hamd said, “The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the stadium and there are shootings on the road?”

Abbas, the swimmer, finished his military service two weeks before the war began in March 2003. "Thanks to God," he said.

He was sitting in his family's home in a quiet section of Baghdad when the bombing began. No one he knew was killed or injured. When the war ended, he trained for one week in Iraq's Olympic-size indoor pool. But then, he said, U.S. soldiers took over the pool and he no longer could swim there. He attended the world championships in Barcelona without training, he said, and didn't get a chance to swim again until this February, when he moved to Canada. Clearly, this was not the preferred way to prepare for the Games.

I think Clark is probably right about something being "lost in translation" I think what was actually said was "FUCK NO! That lying, murdering, weaselly thief, Bush may not use as a campaign tool!" Really, I wonder how "whoever posed these questions knew that the reaction would be negative."

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