Anger as Bush bids to exploit Olympic games

This post was written by marc on August 22, 2004
Posted Under: Bush,Politics

The Guardian

President George Bush stood accused of appropriating the Olympic movement for political means last night, amid reports he was planning to visit Athens later this week to watch some sporting events, including a potential gold-medal winning bid by the Iraqi football team.

According to unconfirmed reports in the US, the White House is examining the logistical and security implications of Mr Bush travelling to the Greek capital in time for Saturday’s football final. Iraq, whose progress to the semi-finals of the tournament has been one of the games’ most captivating stories, will meet Paraguay tomorrow night for a possible place in the finals.

The Greek foreign ministry confirmed last night that the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, will be in Athens for the closing ceremony.

But it is the potential presidential visit to the games that will fuel a dispute between the election campaign of Mr Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, and the US Olympic Committee over an advert which links Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s participation in the games with the US administration’s “war on terror”.

The advert, which has been broadcast in the US for the past week, begins with footage from the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, during which 13 Israeli athletes were killed by terrorists, and continues with a narrator saying: “Freedom is spreading through the world like a sunrise. And this Olympics there will be two more free nations and two less terrorist regimes.”

As the flags of Afghanistan and Iraq flutter in the breeze, it concludes: “With strength, resolve and courage, democracy will triumph over terror and hope will defeat hatred.”

Under American copyright law, only the US Olympic Com mittee has the right to use the Olympic insignia, images and trademarks for marketing purposes.

Initially, the committee reportedly called for the advert to be withdrawn, but its spokesman retreated from that last night.

“We have contacted the president’s election campaign team and asked them to forward us a copy of the advert. Once we have reviewed it and determined the type and extent of the use of the Olympic name, we will decide how to progress,” a spokesman, Darryl Seibel, said.

The committee might want to avoid a confrontation with Mr Bush, but it appears that the objects of his affections have no such qualms.

To the embarrassment of their media handlers in Athens, members of the Iraqi football team have reacted furiously to the news that their efforts are being used to aid Mr Bush’s efforts to win a second term in the White House.

The team’s coach, Adnan Hamd, told Sports Illustrated magazine: “My problem is not with the American people. They are with what America has done; destroyed everything. 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?”

One of the team’s midfield players, Ahmad Manajid, accused Mr Bush of “slaughtering” Iraqi men and women. “How will he meet his God having slaughtered so many? I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that make them a terrorist?” he said.

Mark Clark, the spokesman for the Iraqi Olympic squad in Athens, accused journalists of taking advantage of the players. “They are not very sophisticated politically. Whoever posed these questions knew the answers would be negative. It is possible something was lost in translation. The players are entitled to their opinions but we are disappointed,” he said.

Mr Bush, not hitherto known as a keen football fan, has made repeated references to the performances of the Iraqi football team in his campaign speeches.

After its unexpected 4-2 victory over Portugal, he told a crowd in Oregon that the fact the team was in Athens was fantastic, adding: “It wouldn’t have been free if the United States hadn’t acted.”

Reader Comments

uhm, if i recall, iraq did have athletes in the last olympics. just another ploy to garner votes. this administration makes me sick. they all do. when will the people wake up and see for their own eyes and make up their own minds instead of relying on the government and the media to do it for them. i think there are more important things bush can do than visit the games: find bin laden.

#1 
Written By charlie chingas on August 22nd, 2004 @ 9:19 pm

Bush killing Iraqi men and women?? Freedom to go to the stadium?? What about the millions of Iraqis tortured under Saddam’s regime simply for disciplinary reasons??

I’m getting out my B.S. detector for this one – GONG GONG GONG…

#2 
Written By David on August 23rd, 2004 @ 6:04 am

Bush killing Iraqi men and women?? Freedom to go to the stadium?? What about the millions of Iraqis tortured under Saddam’s regime simply for disciplinary reasons??

I’m getting out my B.S. detector for this one – GONG GONG GONG…

#3 
Written By David on August 23rd, 2004 @ 6:04 am

one click would suffice. millions of iraqis tortured under blah blah blah? what about the thousands of innocent women and children killed because rich boy saw something he wanted? personally, i’m not an olympic fan.

#4 
Written By charlie chingas on August 23rd, 2004 @ 12:50 pm

Wills, you can rest assured that the number deaths is not that high. If it were the liberal media would be parading the dead corpses on the nightly news. And Saddam killed a couple 100,000 people.

#5 
Written By THE TRUTH on August 23rd, 2004 @ 1:44 pm

something very few people know: when someone is removed from the battlefield, then dies, it is not considered a combat casaulty. as a matter of fact, once they are removed of the ‘groun’ and placed in a humvee, if they die, guess what? not a combat casualty. chew on that. and, so much for ‘the truth’.

#6 
Written By charlie chingas on August 23rd, 2004 @ 4:14 pm

What no one really relizes is that Iraq is going to turn into another Isreal. Untill we send 100% of our army over there. Yes saddam was a “evil-doer” and he killed many people, but if you were in a blood infested hatefest you would too. Saddam kept the peace over there by using fear. If that costed a couple thousend Iraq lives it doesn’t amount to the rate of lives that are being lost in Iraq now.

#7 
Written By Joshua Gillogly on August 23rd, 2004 @ 6:05 pm

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/809E8529-86DB-4A93-8AEA-21AED3A713B2.htm

You guys are a bunch of tools. Here is 17,000+, another 15,000+ in Kurkuk, 5,000 Kurds in 39 bombings. Wills that is 37,000 in just three graves. Hard to count the teenage girls who were raped by the two dickhead sons and than doused with honey and fed to Uday’s 27 pitbulls. That one is probably a lie, who can trust the girls father to tell the truth. Women raped in front of their husbands and children, teenage girls raped in front of her parents. Wills, you are one big fucking idiot. Charlie, who cares if a guy is in a Humvee, or a bunker. When he dies, he dies. What was your point.

The firm whose marquee I use lost 82 people in the WTC on 9/11 (100% of the New York branch). I had a trader call my desk, as he was stuck in the elevator in the first tower who said he could not reach anyone upstairs. One of my employees listened to the guy cry as my employee desparately tried to get ahold of the traders wife. The man’s last words were, “Scott, get a hold of my wife and tell her that I love her and the kids.” The whole bunch of you guys are phony fucking idiots. You say you are for human rights, that is a crock of bullshit. Prior to us going to the middle east women were shot in the middle of soccer fields on Friday night for showing their ankles in public.

Josh, Saddam kept the peace over there with FEAR, and if that cost a couple of thousand lives it does not rate to what we are doing. Josh, you are a sick fucking pup.

You guys are fried.

#8 
Written By THE TRUTH on August 23rd, 2004 @ 7:06 pm

i guess that’s nothing compared to the lives that are being taken by the US. as long as it’s us doing the killing, it’s ok? do you guys even know what it’s like to be in combat? i do. it’s no a joy ride. and my point about the combat casualites, truth, is that not ALL american casualties are being counted, only the so called ‘battlefield deaths.’ what about the suicides? and you know what truth? name calling only hurts your side. that’s how you get people to listen to you, call them tools. and i don’t disagree about saddam and his former regime. but you know what, there are other guys worst then him out there. why not go after them? because they don’t have oil?

#9 
Written By charlie chingas on August 23rd, 2004 @ 8:21 pm

Charlie, I got angry and let my vocabulary get the best of me. But reading post by guys who would have coddled Hitler, and where was the outrage when we were overthrowing Milosevic. Wills is one warped guy. Saying that Saddam did not kill many people until he was hit with the numbers, and then saying, “Okay, I was too lazy to look up the numbers.” He is the guy who was saying that Saddam did not have WMD, and that Rummy was lying. Now he knows that Rummy sold Saddam the WMD. It cannot be both Wills. Make up your mind. He is not discussing any facts that he has, he is spewing crap that he knows nothing about. I think that he gets his news from Josh.

Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. Mohammed Atta met in Hamburg with Iraqi officials two months before 9/11. This reported by the Germans. Abu Nidal was found assinated in Baghdad just months before we invaded. For you late comers, Google Abu Nidal. He was a lead terrorist in the middle east throughout the 80s and 90s. Iraq has no ties to terrorist like Clinton has no ties to sex with that woman. Quit being so stupid, even if it just for sport.

#10 
Written By THE TRUTH on August 23rd, 2004 @ 8:51 pm

“Iraq has no ties to terrorist like Clinton has no ties to sex with that woman”

Umm.. tom lol, you do know that everyone in the whitehouse besides cheney and bush say that iraq and al-quada have no ties right? tom you go by the truth but since your sopossed to be the truthfull person you can never prove anything.

#11 
Written By Joshua gillogly on August 24th, 2004 @ 5:04 am

wills has a point. and don’t take this posts personally, truth. you’re bigger than that. if people don’t agree with you, does not make them wrong. and wills, he must be a journalist. only today’s journalist are very apt at spinning. back to the olympics, i recall iraq being in the last olympics. why the big deal now? the country is far worse than it has been. and no, we are not and should not be the world police, although some people would have us believe otherwise.

#12 
Written By charlie chingas on August 24th, 2004 @ 7:36 am

Wills, why did we take Milosevic out in Kosovo? And were you outraged?

#13 
Written By tomocius on August 24th, 2004 @ 2:25 pm

This is quickly becoming a game of “If my guy does it , it’s okay. But, if your guys does it, it’s wrong. Saddam was a butcher. There were conditions attched to the cease fire during the first Gulf War. Saddam did not adhere to the condition of the surrender. As far as I am concerned that is the story in a nut shell. The Reason that Abu Nidal was killed is because he very existance in Baghdad was enough to bring the wrath of the US down on them.

So, in order to kill the argument I will admit that Saddam was Great family man. An upstanding member of the community. He kept the peace, with a little fear, but as a father I even know that a little fear over those that you try to control is a good thing. He had nothing to do with terrorism, he had no weapons of mass destruction. I actually think that for all of the peace he kept that it is a shame that nobody put his name up for the Noble Peace Prize.

I have bigger issues with someone on this site. I’ll be right back.

#14 
Written By tomocius on August 24th, 2004 @ 3:10 pm

Libertarian, I can where that hat. I am moving to a topic that I am a little more passionate about. You have dragged me off to a subject that I care very little about. You all say that Bush is trying to become a dictator, and you say it like you hate it. But you all love the Iraqi dictator.

#15 
Written By tomocius on August 24th, 2004 @ 4:04 pm

Its aight wills. He is just a typical antichrist, he loves satan and he loves to bang goats. Oh and tom before you comment on how neither of those things are true you need to back up your statments that any of us said bush was a dictator and we loved the iraqi dictator.

#16 
Written By Joshua Gillogly on August 24th, 2004 @ 5:22 pm

“And yes, Rumsfeld gave Sadam either mustard or vx nerve gas, I can’t remember which, during the Iran-Contra scandal”

It’s Iran-Contra, not Iraq-Contra. Giving gas to Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war was unrelated to the Iran-contra dealings. Iran-contra was where we sold weapons to our enemies (Iran) in exchange for them helping us free hostages and then gave that money to Contra rebels. Iraq was not involved, except for the obvious link of being at war with Iran.

#17 
Written By Mance on August 25th, 2004 @ 10:05 am

Wills asks, “Where is your proof that he had weapons of mass destruction?”

Here is my proof … a guy name Wills on a blog wrote, “Rumsfeld gave Sadam either mustard or vx nerve gas, I can’t remember which, during the Iran-Contra scandal.”

Which is it Wills, either we gave him the stuff, or he never had it. It can’t be both.

#18 
Written By tomocius on August 30th, 2004 @ 6:48 am

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