Mixing sport and politics has always been considered rude, especially when speaking of Olympics.
However, today’s sport competitions, including the Olympics in Athens are very tied with politics much.
The sensational performance of the Iraqi soccer team was immediately used for George Bush’s election campaign purposes. Probably, nothing different could be expected. It is tempting to use the attention of several millions of people-spectators watching at the Olympics for about 3 weeks.
The election campaign staff of George Bush tried to gain as much as possible from the excitement of the Olympics. First, a newsreel was made to Claim Bush’s contribution in Iraq and Afghanistan’s participation in the Olympics. The voice says, “In 1972 there were 40 democratic countries on the globe. Today there are 120 of them. Freedom is being spread all over the world as the light of the Sun at dawn. Two new free countries will take part in this Olympics. And the number of terrorist regimes have been reduced by two”.
As for the performance of the Iraqi soccer players, George Bush said in his speech to the voters in Oregon, “The image of the Iraqi soccer players participating in the Olympics, isn’t it fantastic? They would not have been free without the US contribution”.
There were rumors that George Bush had an intention of coming to Athens for the final of the soccer competition to support the Iraqi team. The Iraqis still have to compete for passing into the final with the Paraguay soccer team. The White House was quick to denounce the rumors of Bush’s arrival at the Olympics. However, there are no doubts that if the Iraqi team succeeds and got into the final, this fact will used for the purposes of Bush’s election campaign.
Bush’s aides seem to have little concerns on the opinion of Iraqis. Although the Iraqi soccer players strongly oppose to any mentioning their team in Bush’s campaign ads.
Chief coach of the Iraqi soccer team Adnan Khamad said in a Sports Illustrated interview, “I have nothing against ordinary Americans. However, they support the policy of their government in Iraq, and this policy results in destroying everything we have. US soldiers are constantly killing the citizens of my country. How can we say about freedom if I see Americans killing somebody every time I going to the stadium”.
One of the Iraqi soccer players, Akhmed Manadzhid (native of Al-Fallujah) said in an Al-Jaseera interview, “I don’t understand how George Bush will appear before God after he caused the deaths of thousands of Iraqi men and women. After the Olympics I will take weapons and go to defend my motherland. After all, if an enemy attacks the US, will defending the USA be called terrorism?”
This is an opinion of the “liberated Iraqis”. However, their opinion will hardly appear in Bush’s campaign ads…