As I watched the opening ceremony of the 30th Olympiad, the parade of nations, I couldn’t help but wonder how some countries scored an invitation… countries whose devotion to fair play and sportsmanship, might fall a tad short of the Olympic ideal.
At the ’48 games in London, Germany and Japan were ‘persona non grata’, for the part they played in World War Two. Despite suffering a well deserved thrashing at the hands of the Allies, they were tagged as “aggressor nations”, still unworthy to play with others.
Yet, on Friday night, as the world looked on, delegations from “black hat” nations were warmly welcomed, as they strode proudly into the stadium.
There was Ahmadinejad’s, Jew hating Iran. Kim Jong-un’s, sabre-rattling North Korea… and unbelievably, Bashar al-Assad’s, blood-soaked Syria!
Might these be classified as “aggressor nations?” Do ya think!
There were many others of course, Communist states and dictatorships, monarchies and theocracies… oppressive, misogynistic, world hoods, always plotting to expand their influence.
It’s an ugly fact, that from time to time, dealing with these “devils” is unavoidable. Because of our need for goods, or for national security reasons, we may not have much of a choice… but do we have to PLAY with them, invite them to the party!? Put me down, for NO!
Major international events, like the Olympic Games, should be open to free and democratic societies, ONLY! And never AGAIN, should the undemocratic be awarded the games!
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) should no more invite nations like Iran, than I would invite the neo-Nazi skinhead living down the street, (if there was one) to a backyard bar-b-cue!
There are those who argue, that by “playing” with these despotic nations, we’re afforded the opportunity to influence them, help them see the “light”… win their hearts and minds.
Tell that to a billion plus, oppressed Chinese, whose leadership, by the way, along with Russia’s new Czar, Putin, are still onside with the Syrian butcher, Assad!
Any good parent will tell you, you don’t reward bad behavior… maybe the IOC should speak to one.
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