Iraqi soccer match defeats terrorists
On the 14th of July, Iraq beat Palestine 4-0 in a soccer match. This was the first match since prior to the 2003 invasion. So what does this mean for Iraq? It means they are one step closer to being at peace.
Every day, explosions happen in and around Baghdad; as well as in other cities around Iraq. Every day, someone is killed. However, for a fleeting moment in time, all danger seemed to cease in the microcosm of the soccer stadium. Inside the stadium, everyone was focused on one of Iraqis favorite activities; enjoying time with friends and family. So, with the smell of victory still in the air, fans poured into the streets cheering and celebrating. On the surface, the celebration painted the sporting victory, but the undertones were of this small defeat against terrorism.
Beating terrorism isn’t always tangible. Finding Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), catching terrorists, and finding caches of weapons; are all something that can be counted, touched, and photographed. But it is the act of not emplacing an IED, which cannot be photographed. It is the act of a car bomb not being parked in front of the stadium, which cannot be photographed; it is the act of an explosion not detonating, which cannot be filmed. These non-tangible acts, are the acts that go unnoticed, and usually uncelebrated.
On June 30th, the Iraqis commemorated the first step in coalition forces leaving Iraq. Although never publicly spoken, the average Iraqi will tell you, “It is safe with the coalition forces here. We wish they would stay. They catch a lot of bad people.”
But on July 14th, without the help of Coalition Forces, the Iraqi military stood on its own two feet, and prevented terrorist acts during a day of sportsmanship, celebrations and festivities.
It reminds me about how fortunate we are to live in a country like America. We don’t worry about our family being blown up by an IED. We don’t worry about going to sporting events, and being blown up by a car filled with explosives. And we don’t worry about a sniper trying to kill us, as we park our cars.
So during one soccer match, in one city, in one neighborhood, in one stadium, the Iraqis felt safe and secure; A victory over terrorism.