Propaganda Pawns Strike Back

You've likely heard by now that the Bush-Cheney campaign ran ads using the Olympics to push their propaganda about the invasion of Iraq. And you also probably heard that the USOC asked Bush to remove the ads. As was expected, Bush refused.

So how do the Olympic athletes, who are being used as pawns in this game of propaganda, feel about President Bush?
"My problems are not with the American people," Iraq's soccer coach, Adnan Hamad Majeed, told the Associated Press. "They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything. The American Army has killed so many people in Iraq." His star midfielder, Salih Sadir, agreed: "Iraq as a team doesn't want Mr. Bush to use us [in an ad] for the presidential campaign…. We don't wish for the presence of the Americans in our country. We want them to go away."

These are not anonymous bomb throwers sending notes to the media. These are Iraq's favorite sons, stars of the national sport. Yet they all seem to be saying the same thing: America's military is not wanted on our land. Another team member, Ahmed Manajid, demanded to know: "How will [Bush] meet his God having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes." The athlete added that were he not playing for his country he would "for sure" be fighting in the Iraqi resistance. "I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?" Manajid asked.