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INSIDE THE SYSTEM
The goodwill games

March 29, 2002 | Page 4

A "FRIENDLY" basketball game between U.S. and Afghan teams last week ended with one U.S. player kicked in the head and a spectator shot in the leg.

During the game, an American player fell on the court near the seating area of the stadium in Kabul. According to a peacekeeping force spokesman, a spectator then kicked the player in the head.

When an Afghan guard with the U.S. team tried to push the crowd back, his Kalashnikov went off--hitting an Afghan spectator in the leg, the spokesman said.

The match occurred on the second day of a four-day tournament in the Afghan capital. The American team, which included soldiers, U.S. Embassy personnel and one British player, pulled out of the tournament after the incident.

But this isn't the first example of violence at a "goodwill" sporting event in Afghanistan. In February, a riot erupted at the stadium where peacekeepers and Afghans were playing a soccer match. Afghan police fired shots in the air to disperse a crowd that was pushing to get in.

--Associated Press, March 22, 2002

Barrett's Spirit of Racism Day

MISSISSIPPI GOV. Ronnie Musgrove recently proclaimed "Spirit of America Day" in his state. Too bad he didn't realize that the proclamation he signed was for a program sponsored by a white supremacist.

Richard Barrett, a leader of the white supremacist Nationalist Movement, filed papers with the governor's office asking Musgrove to proclaim "Spirit of America Day." Barrett ran for governor in 1999 and criticized Musgrove as a "shill for the Black Caucus."

"We did not know he was involved," said the governor's spokesperson. All "Spirit of America" honorees shown in a program booklet are white.

This isn't the first time Barrett has gotten support in high places for "Spirit of America Day." Former Gov. Kirk Fordice also recognized the program in the 1990s. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) sent a letter in 2001 commending a student honored in the program.

In 1997, then-President Bill Clinton sent a letter congratulating students who were being recognized.

--Associated Press, March 5, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"IF WE had had the leadership of a George W. Bush back in the Vietnam War days, we probably would not have lost that war."
--Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas)

"I DON'T want to see this country to go that way. You know, what happened to the Greeks. Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo, we all know that, so was Socrates."
--President Richard Nixon in a 1971 taped White House conversation recently made public

"DOPE? DO you think the Russians allow dope? Hell no. Not if they can catch it, they send them up. You see, homosexuality, dope, uh, immorality in general: These are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and the left-wingers are pushing it. They're trying to destroy us."
--Nixon again

"I WOULD have expected, you know, a little more--I would call it 'self-censorship'--on the part of the Israeli media."
--Right-wing Israeli official Ranaan Gissin, after Israel's media showed footage of soldiers injuring a Palestinian woman and ripping apart Palestinian houses

"THE ONE mistake that I know was made was when people shot at American forces doing their job on the ground in Afghanistan."
--Gen. Tommy Franks, refusing to say the U.S. military made a mistake during a botched raid that killed 21 Afghan civilians

"THE ONLY thing I know, 100 percent for sure, is that my husband is an honest, decent, moral human being who would do absolutely nothing wrong."
--Linda Lay, on her husband, former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay

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