The Asian Cup final: US foreign policy contrasts

Did anyone notice the political underpinnings of US foreign policy in the Iraq vs Saudi Arabia Asian Cup final? It was not an ordinary match and not just because Iraq won, setting off a rare moment of unity in that war torn country.
One could not ask for more contrasting US foreign policy stances towards each country.
Saudi Arabia has been the recipient of continued US largesse even as reports suggest that the country supplies the most number of insurgents to the Iraq civil war. And then there is the small little problem of 9/11 being carried out by terrorists, a majority of them, Saudi Arabian nationals. But the fact is the Bush and Clinton administrations bought over by oil money, are thick with the Saudi Arabian aristocracy, and have treated them with kid gloves, even as Saudi Arabian money fuels a wave of fundamentalist schools set up across the world.
Contrast this with the almost inhuman sanctions against Iraq during Saddam’s times, resulting in one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the world. Now, Nuri Al Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister is being left twisting in the wind as the Bush administration gradually changes the political frame, blaming Maliki for failing to meet benchmarks. This is as Bush has repeatedly declared Iraq to be the central front in the GWOT.
It is small wonder that Mohammad Younus, the Iraqi striker and star in his country’s win, used the triumphal occasion to air his opinion of the war. “I want the Americans out of Iraq, ” he said. As for the White House, the last time George Bush had talked about giving “freedoms” to the Iraqi soccer team during the 2004 Olympics, he was met by universal derision by the Iraqi players and their coach. This time around there was not one word from the White House on the Iraqi success.

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4 comments on “The Asian Cup final: US foreign policy contrasts
  1. Great post. And I watched the final with a lot of the political stuff in mind. There’s another point–part of the Iraqi joy at the victory is also due to the fact that it was against SAUDI ARABIA, whom many Iraqis blame for sending over terrorists to their country. The Saudis are definitely not loved by Iraqis–that is one thing the populace shared with Saddam.

  2. Great post. And I watched the final with a lot of the political stuff in mind. There’s another point–part of the Iraqi joy at the victory is also due to the fact that it was against SAUDI ARABIA, whom many Iraqis blame for sending over terrorists to their country. The Saudis are definitely not loved by Iraqis–that is one thing the populace shared with Saddam.

  3. Mohammad Younus is an asshole.
    As captain of the Iraqi National Football Team, he could have appealed to all Iraqis, in particular, the Sunnis (and he is a Sunni), to stop fighting, unite as Iraqis and help move the country forward.
    Instead, he decided to take the easy way out and take pot shots at the US. And it’s a pity he didn’t call for Iraqi’s to expel Al-Qaida and other terrorists from Iraq- you know, those people who car bomb the Iraqis on a daily basis- the same people who you refuse to label as terrorists?
    Very disappointing from Mr Younis.

  4. To Peter of Melbourne,
    he’s not a complete asshole.
    it’s very well-known here in iraq that US troops are supporting sunni insurgents in one way or another.
    In Baquba, north of Baghdad, US Troops ordered iraqi troops (that were protecting iraqis from Qaida) to leave the area. And now, Qaida are killing families daily in that area.
    In Dawra, Baghdad… US Troops did the same thing with a combination of Iraqi Troops and Local Militia, and the result was continuous death without any protection from US troops.
    Besides, the country didn’t have a civil war before the US Invasion.
    Moreover, our national borders is open to F**king Saudis and Syrians and others… and US troops won’t control it or let us control it…why? because they want to gather all Qaida supporters in iraq.
    And the Result?? More death in Iraq everyday.

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