Sesame Street.

By now mostly everyone should be aware of the awful situation in Fullujah, Iraq. Four people were burned alive and then dragged around the town and then hung from a bridge. The Coalition of Freedom cough has completely lost control of the town and is now engaged in a large military operation to take it back.

It’s sad and awful. But don’t cry, because sunshine is right around the corner.

Just one day after the Fullujah uprising, Paul Bremer, The Administrator for the Coalition Provisional Authority or what I like to call “Puerto Rico of the Middle East,” was busy with another kind of liberation problem, the future of Iraq’s Olympic Team.

“Today’s Olympic ceremony is truly another reminder that Iraq is back,” said Ambassador Bremer. “Around the world, sport is a powerful and expedient way to transcend the many boundaries often created by complex issues like politics, race and gender equity. The recent success of the Iraqi Olympic Movement is a clear indication that people of Iraq have tremendous pride in their national identity and their ability to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s greatest athletes on the Olympic stage. We are proud of them and wish them great success, under their new logo, in Athens.”

Meanwhile in Fullujah, citizens were still celebrating the four American bodies strung from the bridge. Reportedly there wasn’t much rejoicing for the new Olympians as much as there was for killing Yankees.

But let’s not bring down the entire country just because of one tiny uprising — back to Spectacle de Logo.

Designed in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee, the logo features a green silhouette of a date palm tree encircled by a green wreath of palm leaves. Iraq is a land noted for its countless species of date palms. Also, inside the circle are the Olympic Rings in the five colors which represent the five continents and the words “National Olympic Committee of Iraq” in both English and Arabic.

That’s great but I still think there’s more to Post-Sadam Iraq than dried fruit. Never mind all that rich history of Iraq (or the region thereof) as the center of the world back in Biblical times. And why would English be included in an Iraqi national symbol? The last time Iraq used English for anything was for milk factory propaganda for a western television audience. It’s pathetic that our leadership feels the need to have their hand on everything Iraq.

So much for liberation.

PS — Tom points out the new Iraqi symbol has similarity to that of the Nazi Africa Corp of World War II. Nice!