TFN went to Toronto on business this week, and I took her to the train station in Windsor. First we went to a great little Irish pub for some fish and chips and steak and Guinness pie.
As we sat in the front of the bar, things started to get a little crazy in the street out front, as people streamed by in cars and vans, yelling, cheering… and waving the Iraqi flag.
Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, I got very worried that this may have something to do with events in Iraq or in the U.S. We are, I don’t need to tell any of you, at war with Iraq. Whether or not you agree with it (I don’t, but that’s not the point of this), I was faced with the image of Iraqis celebrating in the street while I was in another country. The implications are thus: if this street celebration were due to war-related events, there was a good chance that the border, located about a mile away from where we were at, would close. I would end up stranded in another country for a bit (a big bit, depending on the nature of the event). I like international travel, but I wasn’t in the mood for that.
In the end, the celebrations had nothing to do with the war. The Iraqis celebrating in the street were celebrating a victory, but one from the soccer field. Iraq beat the Saudis in their first ever Asia Cup.
It’s nice to see this kind of celebration and nationalism related to events that happen on the football field. It’s sad that circumstances forced me to think the worst at first.
Why can't we fight wars on the soccer field instead of on the battlefield? Perhaps we're heading that way. Did it ever occur to you that there may be an ulterior motive for our buying Beckham into the U.S.? Other than that he comes with a Spice Girl I mean? Maybe we're working toward building a soccer team to end war with.
I doubt it though. Even if that were the plan, with Iraq's victory, we're a long ways out from having a team to send out to win. Years probably. (Hmmm... then again, that sounds like the way things are anyway.)
That's a dilemma. Ask yourself this: if we could send a soccer team to Iraq tomorrow, to play and loe to Iraq, with the end result being everyone shaking hands and saying amicably, "You win, Iraq. You're clearly the better in this competition. We're going to pack up and head home." Wouldn't that be preferable than the loss of many more lives, both American and Iraqi, as this war trudges on. What if we could end the war that way, sans soccer team? Simply say, "you win," and go home.
Of course that won't work, though. Even if we could walk away now, we're obligated to help clean up the mess we made. When you were a kid, if you went over to someone's house to play, made a mess, and left without helping to clean up, you didn't get invited back. America doesn't want to be that kid. We're already the bully, among a bunch of other things.
Sorry, I didn't mean to get so political, so I'm going to end the post and regroup before I start talking about one of my favorite things - bikes and bike-related things.
Also, unrelated to this event, it took five minutes to get across the border into Canada, and close to an hour to get back in the U.S. That’s just the state of things right now.