Iraqis were rightly jubilant that they, against overwhelming odds, beat Saudi Arabia in the final of their football match played in Jakarta earlier today . As the young woman commented in an interview on Radio National's Breakfast program this morning, it was great for the Iraqis to celebrate for once - in other words, something positive amongst all the war and misery presently afflicting Iraq.
Not so happy news for Iraqis is the ever-continuing exodus from the country, as veteran reporter, Patrick Cockburn, reports in The Independent:
"Two thousand Iraqis are fleeing their homes every day. It is the greatest mass exodus of people ever in the Middle East and dwarfs anything seen in Europe since the Second World War. Four million people, one in seven Iraqis, have run away, because if they do not they will be killed. Two million have left Iraq, mainly for Syria and Jordan, and the same number have fled within the country.
Yet, while the US and Britain express sympathy for the plight of refugees in Africa, they are ignoring - or playing down- a far greater tragedy which is largely of their own making.
The US and Britain may not want to dwell on the disasters that have befallen Iraq during their occupation but the shanty towns crammed with refugees springing up in Iraq and neighbouring countries are becoming impossible to ignore.
Even so the UNHCR is having difficulty raising $100m (£50m) for relief. The organisation says the two countries caring for the biggest proportion of Iraqi refugees - Syria and Jordan - have still received "next to nothing from the world community". Some 1.4 million Iraqis have fled to Syria according to the UN High Commission for Refugees, Jordan has taken in 750 000 while Egypt and Lebanon have seen 200 000 Iraqis cross into their territories."