Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tags, Other Prospects and Soccer

Tags Gone Wrong: The Washington Post’s Anthony Shadid profiles Wamidh Jamal Omar Nadhme today. Nadhme, a Sunni Muslim, is also tagged as an ‘Arab.’ Although Nadhme’s personal General Security file (captured from Saddam’s archive) has been scrubbed clean of any embarrassing non-Arab origins, his paternal uncle Badee’ (a lawyer whose General Security file starts in the era of the monarchy) is described as a ‘Sunni Kurd’ with socialist leanings from the ‘Wandawi family.’ Furthermore, I wonder why Shadid didn’t push Nadhme on further details concerning his career under Saddam, an era glossed over in the profile? Was Nadhme involved in the ‘Studies Department’ of the General Security Directorate? Did he author, along with the likes of Baghdad University professor Hamdiyya Smeisim, treatises on controlling ‘Violence in Soccer Stadiums’ and analyzing current anti-government jokes and rumors? Did he write ‘reports’ denouncing left-leaning fellow academics to the regime?

We'll Always Have Beirut: This sentimental story about three Baghdad College alumni vying for premiership that ran in the New York Times today under Dexter Filkins’ byline missed another important piece of background linking Ayad Allawi, Adel Abdel-Mahdi and Ahmad Chalabi: Lebanese Shia familial links. Allawi and Abdel-Mahdi both have Shia Lebanese mothers, and Chalabi is married to a Shia Lebanese lady. If Chalabi becomes Prime Minister, then Allawi and Abdel-Mahdi could always vie for Nabih Berri’s job as Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament—a job once held by Chalabi’s father-in-law. Hey, if Saudi-national Prince Alwaleed bin Talal can fancifully posit himself as the Sunni successor to Rafiq Al-Hariri’s PM seat (Alwaleed’s maternal grandfather was ex-Lebanese PM Riyadh Al-Solh), then Allawi and Abdel-Mahdi should give Berri a run for his money.

A FIFA Lobby in the Making: The ‘Sunni’ Al-Tawafuk list (‘The Consensus,’ no. ‘618’) headed by the seemingly senile former head of the Sunni Religious Endowment Adnan Al-Duleimi is appealing to younger voters by heavily showcasing its candidate for Baghdad Province and former soccer star Ahmad Radhi. Radhi first made his foray into politics in late July 2004 when he ran for one of 40 seats for Arrasafa (Baghdad’s east bank on the Tigris River) in the run-up for the 1000-plus member National Assembly conference that convened on August 18, 2004. There were about 800 people in attendance at a Baghdad University auditorium that day to pick out 40 members out of 400 competing candidates—half of those in attendance had put up their names, including Radhi.


Radhi keeping his eye on the ball, and then doing nothing...typical

Radhi used to annoy the hell out of me; he never ran at the damn ball! Too good for breaking a sweat?! But he did score Iraq’s single goal in the 1986 World Cup, and thus enjoys cult status among Iraq’s soccer-crazed population. [More bullets were fired in Baghdad when Iraq qualified for the Athens Olympics Soccer Games than when Saddam was captured.] Radhi was arrested last year over accusations that he was plotting the murder of another soccer icon, Hussain Said, who had beat out Radhi for chairmanship of the Iraqi Soccer Federation.

However, with all this hype surrounding Radhi’s bid for a parliamentary seat on the ‘618’ list and all the posters of his face adorning Baghdad’s streets, one would have assumed that he ranks higher than no. 32 on the electoral slate. A nice touch would have placed him at no. ‘8’—his jersey number from the good old days.

3 Comments:

Blogger masher said...

Hey do you know where i can find a 1986 Iraq National Team Photo? From the world cup, etc.. Cannot find anything online.
-matt

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