Colloquially, America goes by "Uncle Sam" and is known to many of its allies as "a beacon of hope." But a country with as many enemies as it has friends is bound to attract a fair share of taunts and insults, too. Below, what everyone loves to call the United States behind its back.

Iraqi and American educators are collaborating to bring Iraqi students to the USA, where they will study at American universities and then return home to help rebuild Iraq's higher-education infrastructure.

International airlines are once again landing in Iraq, the conflict-wracked home to some of the ancient wonders of the world. Specialist tour operators are now stepping into the tourism void, catering to the smattering of tourists with an approach more Indiana Jones than package tour.

The players on Iraq's premier national baseball team saw a baseball stadium for the first time on a recent 10-day visit to the United States, courtesy of the State Department.

America's new Iraqi Cultural Center occupies a slice of rented office space above an AT&T store, overlooking a Five Guys and a Hair Cuttery and a bustling Connecticut Avenue in the capital of the country that scuffed and dinged some of Iraq's antique furniture during its 2003 invasion and resulting tenancy. Washington: Capital, also, of Irony.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, two major regional powers bordering Iraq, have been a focal point for talks between competing Iraqi factions since the March 7 elections. Damascus, a crucial player in regional politics, is keen not to be overshadowed by Tehran and Riyadh.