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A Miracle On The Pitch?

Considering the fact that I was just reminiscing earlier this week about the Miracle On Ice, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on a sporting miracle that may well turn out to be just as significant for the people of Iraq. Even worse than the "malaise" that affected the U.S. in 1980, as recession at home and waning influence abroad sapped American confidence, the tragedy that is modern-day Iraq has brought murder, desolation, and hopelessness to every corner of that war-torn nation.

The Iraqi soccer team defeated three-time champion Saudi Arabia to capture the Asian Cup today, with a team composed of Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish members, defeating heavily-favored opposition all along the way. For one day, at least, the people of Iraq have a public example of successful cooperation to celebrate. Twenty or thirty years from now, will middle-aged Iraqis look back on this team with the same kind of feelings that Americans still hold for the boys of Lake Placid?

I sure hope so.

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