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Olympic race to the White House
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-04-12 09:26:34
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Here it is again… something about Barack Obama that makes me stop and think, ‘What did he say?’ This time it was all about the Beijing Olympic Games and his call for President George W. Bush not to go to China for the Opening Ceremony. The news was everywhere and some agencies even had a ‘Breaking News’ warning, yet Obama was not the first, nor the second and he wasn’t even the thousandth to say so! So what's the big deal?

Do you know what’s makes it stranger? The fact that Hillary Clinton had said exactly the same just days before and nobody said much, it was sort of, fine, Hillary says not to go and who gives a damn! Actually, Hillary was one of the first to talk about it, without going to extremes of course and also began talking about a boycott, which was well before people started organizing demonstrations in San Francisco and before Obama found out that Tibet must be free, since China violates any sense of human rights.

However, in this issue there is one side we all keep forgetting. It is not George W. Bush to blame for Beijing organizing the Olympic Games; I’m saying that because we are nearly blaming even the weather changes on him, the man is a menace and it will take years for Americans to recover from his presidency, but he’s not responsible for everything. Those responsible for this decision are not Merkel, Sarkozy or Berlusconi, but the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC is responsible for the fact that a country with no respect at all for Olympic values is going to host the Olympic Games and this is exactly what we often forget to mention. Their responsibility expands dramatically from no respect to what they represent to the doping increase in the Olympic Games, yet all they say is just poor excuses.

I think that history will mention the name Jacques Rogge as the man who assassinated the Olympic Games; he’s the world’s assassin in the sense that the man got money to kill this constitution. For him the value of television rights, adverts, promoted products are worth more than the values of freedom, peace and friendship, basically the Olympic values!

In the Ancient Olympics the important thing was to participate, but for the Modern Olympics Mr. Rogge believes that the most important thing is to make superhuman records that bring adverts. For Mr. Rogge it didn’t matter how many people are getting killed, how many people are tortured in camps for opposing the state, it doesn’t matter how many people suffer every day; for Mr. Rogge the only thing that matters is how much.

Mr. Rogge and his Olympic Committee are so deep in corruption and bribery that even Mugabe looks like an angel in front of them. That’s the reality and that’s who should be blamed, the people who actually handed the Olympic Games to China and, yes, the Olympic Games have had dark moments before, such as Hitler’s Olympics in 1938 and Brezhnev’s Olympics in 1980!

I have the feeling that I slipped from what I started saying with this article. The majority of people have felt from the beginning that there are a lot of issues with this Olympics and it is natural for them to expect their representatives to express exactly these worries. However, you see the Olympics are such a big thing and, despite those dark moments, they do unite ordinary people. Over the past few days we have seen these ordinary people uniting and it has been following the route of the Olympic torch. It began in Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympics, followed by Athens, Paris and London, and now it is in San Francisco. People are demonstrating their opposition to the Beijing regime and their will to help for a free Tibet; and that somehow brought the politicians in.

Hillary reacted far before the torch ever reached American soil. She understood exactly what was going on and she sensed what the people were expecting from her. Obama, from his side, was waiting till the torch reached America to see how American people would react and the preparation in San Francisco showed him the way for the announcement he later did.

From the beginning of this race, not the Olympics, but the one for the White House, I keep having this weird sense when it comes to Barack Obama. Fine, he says some very good things; fine, he is photogenic and really intelligent; but why when he says something do the media drum all the way? Why, when he comes third or fourth, does it become a big issue and when Hillary says it first then it is in small letters at the bottom of the news?

For days we been hearing about Hillary’s tax returns, but have you ever heard about Obama’s tax returns? I’m sorry for the sarcasm but I have the feeling that there is a …doping problem in this race to the White House!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-04-12 11:39:06
Indeed, Mr. Rogge wants the cake and eat it too. He keeps insisting that sport has no place in politics, at the same time he says that the Olympic movement and the IOC’s decision to award the 2008 Olympic games to China has been a force for reform in China. Some reform! The naked truth is that China has abysmally failed to deliver on its promises to use the games to improve its human rights and freedom of religion situation. It is predictable that nothing will have changed by August 8. Mr. Rogge should have remembered Mao’s words to the Dalai Lama: “Religion is poison.” Had he done so he wouldn’t have had to say now that : "… it is very easy with hindsight to criticise the decision. It's easy to say now that this was not a wise and a sound decision…but the IOC expects China to fulfill its moral obligation to make good on its pre-Games promises.” Any logician worth his salt can see the contradictory nature of those two statements. In fairness to Mr. Rogge however, it should be pointed out that when that decision was made, Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch was still president of the IOC.

Emanuel Paparella2008-04-12 11:58:53
On the issue of Barack lateness in proposing a boycott; there is no doubt that he is a Johny come late, but as the saying goes: better late than never. Here is what the President of the US Catholic League Bill Donahue had to say on the issue recently:

“Of the three presidential candidates, only Sen. Hillary Clinton has shown leadership on this issue. She has not only been decisive, she has made the right decision by urging the president not to go to the opening ceremony. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-04-12 12:00:24
"Here are the facts: An estimated 70 million Chinese have either been murdered or intentionally starved to death under the Communists; Tibet was literally stolen from the Tibetan people by the Communist thugs; plans to plunder Taiwan have never been jettisoned; genocide is ongoing in Darfur because of Chinese gamesmanship; and the religious persecution of Tibetan monks and the Catholic clergy has been going on for six decades.

Despite all this, McCain and Obama think it’s too early to come to a conclusion on whether Bush should go to the opening ceremony. Well, it is not too early for Catholics to decide that only Clinton has got this issue right.”

Emanuel Paparella2008-04-12 15:15:08
Indeed, what Bill Donahue says is true; however he would be the first to acknowledge that a complete judgment of a candidate cannot rest on one issue only; and that moreover, the vision for which people hunger may ultimately count more than many details or whether or not one can pick up the phone at 3AM while forgetting what happened in Bosnia at 11PM.

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