Tag Archives: Iranians

Does the World Cup Unite us?

cr

Quick answer; it could.  If only the politicians and power mongers would let it.  In a world filled with violence and hatred, I am one of those who truly believes that the majority of the people watching care more about their country scoring a goal than any territorial conflict or prejudice against people.  Despite my belief that FIFA may very well be corrupt, a belief somewhat influenced by The Netherlands’ inability to break through and win it all, I truly believe this tournament, FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brasil, can do a lot more good than harm.  In fact, I don’t even think it is close.  I am not naive.  As a Jew and as an American, I know there are people who hate us.  But wouldn’t it be great if all the battles and anger could be left on a soccer pitch?  I know my prejudices towards countries like Holland, America and England are based on personal experiences that make me root in favor of their success, just as my prejudices against Iran, Algeria and France are also based on my experiences or perceptions.  However, wouldn’t it be great if it stopped there for everyone.  I wouldn’t gloat over the death of Iranians, but I certainly gloated over their defeat in a World Cup match.  When I say I hate Cristiano Ronaldo and I hate Portugal, it is because he strikes me as arrogant and I see Portugal as a villain in international soccer tournaments, not because I hate the country or people.  On the contrary, I have Portuguese blood.  My mother’s maiden name is Rodrigues-Lopes, a Portuguese name.  And my hatred for Ronaldo wants me to see him fail in football, excuse me, soccer, not fail in life.  And yes, as a Jewish man and Zionist I would much prefer Palestinians dancing in the streets because Israel didn’t qualify or because the U.S. got eliminated, not because of a successful terrorist attack that killed Jews.

The good news, I believe the majority of the planet would agree with this sentiment.  They just need to fight to create governments that feel the same way.  It may be a pipe dream, but to quote my favorite line from the movie Flashdance, “when you lose your dreams, you die.”

 


Breaking News: Malaysia Flight 370 tells us we’re not as smart as we think we are

missing-malaysia-flight-370-plane-may-have-flown-into-indian-ocean-lead12 days have passed with 26 countries searching, billions of dollars being spent, and all sorts of resources being used, such as military and space technology, and still no sign of Malaysia flight 370.  Everyone has a theory, and of course we have all sorts of experts chiming in, but the reality is that we do not know where this plane is or has been since it disappeared.

There’s a trust factor we all try to have when listening to law enforcement officials.  After all, with their extensive experience and immense responsibility, if they are saying something publicly, it must be based in truth and reality, right?  The post 9/11 world has seen security precautions never before seen.  Nevertheless we find out that there were two passengers, Iranians no less, on the plane with stolen passports.  Thankfully, through the infinite wisdom of experts and security personnel, we’ve been assured that those two passengers were definitely not terrorists.  After all, Iranians with stolen passports are the last people you’d consider terror suspect, right?

We know the plane took a sharp left turn before it vanished off the screen.  Well I feel better.  Thank goodness our developed technology can show us that much, right?  Maybe I’m being unfair.  After all they have been able to narrow the search down to an area of a little smaller than the continental United States.  Also of great relief is the fact that so many intelligence officials think it is more logical that the plane is in the ocean than on land.  Sarcasm aside, when someone can’t find something, and says it is definitely not in a particular place, unless it is somewhere they never go, I always ask the same question.   If you have no idea where it is, how can you be so sure where it isn’t?

The whole point I am trying to make is that any uneasy feeling anyone is feeling right now is more than justified because of what we now know that most of us lay people did not know 12 days ago.  First of all we know that we can indeed lose a commercial airliner.  We know that a plane can fly long distances without being detected by flying below the radar.  We think we know there was foul play, which either means that Malaysia’s security is highly suspect, or that their airline had at least one crew member very organized and ready to commit an act of terror or mass suicide.  We know that passports can get stolen, reported and still used to board an international flight.   Most of all we know that with all our experts and costly intelligence and security mechanisms, we are just not as smart as we thought we were.

I would say we also learned that we are not all that safe no matter where we are, but I think most of us probably already knew that.  Even without the experts telling us.