Thursday, August 12, 2004

Eat This, Uday 

Whether you're pro-war or anti-war, be happy for Iraq today:

Mens' Olympic Soccer: Iraq 4 - Portugal 2.

Not bad, beating a team that recently made the final of the Euro 2004 tournament.

PATRAS, Greece – By the time they capped it with the final, fabulous goal of this improbable Olympic moment – Iraq 4, Portugal 2 – the south stands here were in full, unbridled glory, unleashing a lifetime of pent-up passion with song, dance and waving flags.

Around 2,500 Iraqi soccer fans had hijacked an old Saddam Hussein song and made it their own, the Iraqi people's own, to celebrate perhaps their nation's greatest and certainly its most unifying sporting achievement ever.

And now they were singing it over and over, high and deep into the clear Greek sky for all the world to hear.

Out was the old: "By our souls and blood we are giving life to you, Saddam, Saddam, Saddam."

In was the new: "By our souls and blood we are giving life to you, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq."

The new Iraq, competing in its first Olympic event since the fall of a tyrannical dictator whose son used to torture this very team, but still living under a difficult and dispiriting occupation, defeated a world soccer power here Thursday.

Do you believe in miracles?

Political comment at the end aside, an article I was happy to see. Neat start to the 2004 Olympics.

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