Sunday, October 21, 2007

The World Sport

Football (Soccer) is THE world sport. We as Americans are very arrogant to think that the average Iraqi gives a hoot about baseball, the NFL or hockey. They care only about their brand of football which is the premier and most popular sport world wide. It is such a simple game and all a kid needs is one ball. You dont need gloves, tees, pads, bats, goalie sticks, pucks, ice skates or any of the other gear that only the rich nations of the world can afford. you just need a ball, some spirit, and the will to play.
I was at the Ur Market and came across this pick up game with some of the friendy Iraqis and an American Soldier. Well, they were friendly in the day, who knows what the hell they do at night but today was all about football. They tried to encourage me to play but I told them I am too old, too fat, and too slow. They just laughed. What you don't see in these photos is the onlookers. In the spirit of Opsec I did not photo the soldiers or older Iraqis who were watching. That is to protect the Iraqis more than anything else.
I have stated before that if we really want to win we have to win the heads of these people. The soldier playing here today is doing a much more valuable service by simply playing soccer than by going on patrol or sitting in a guard tower. He is reaching across the ocean, in a literal and figurative sense as no matter what the language, religion, education, or name, this simple game of pick up football is a bridge across it all. These pics are not great but I snapped them with my pocket camera.


Blogger BWJones said...

Precisely! The other thing is that Arab and Persian nations (little over half the planet) are *young* countries. Recent census reports are that Iran is over 50% under the age of 25 and if we play our cards (or pickup games) right among other foreign policy decisions, these are the folks to influence, and not the radical elements who tend to be older.

Cheney's little speech today leaves me worried though that these guys simply do not get it and are throwing away yet another failed foreign policy legacy...

8:57 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/22/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

7:42 PM  

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