Thursday, July 24, 2008

Iraqi Athletes Banned From Beijing Olympics

A sad situation has developed for the five athletes of Iraq who hoped to participate in next month's Olympic games in Beijing as the International Olympic Committee has voted to ban all athletes from Iraq because the government of Iraq missed an important deadline to address issues of governmental interference in what was supposed to be an Olympic effort independent of any official Iraqi government interference. It is just another sign that life is not normal in Iraq, and the Shiite dominated government of Iraq continues to operate in a ruthless sectarian manner that has failed to be fully inclusive of the Sunni minority.

In May, the Iraqi government dissolved what was supposed to be Iraq's independent Olympic organization. Many claim this may because the Shiite religious dominated government tends to side with the Iraqi Sports And Youth Committee opposing the Sunni members who are still left over from the old Odai Hussein dominated, Saddam-era Iraqi Olympic Committee. Further complicating matters is the fact that four key members of the Iraqi Olympic Committee have been kidnapped and never found.

John McCain and his followers continue to whitewash all the continued problems in Iraq and continue to proclaim premature success there only because the "Surge" reduced American combat deaths from previously very high levels. But a normal country doesn't have four members of their Olympic Committee kidnapped without a trace of what happened to them or use religious sectarian issues to prevent their athletes from participation in the Olympic Games. This only illustrates what a troubled nation Iraq continues to be and how much the war in that country has harmed the peace in that nation. It is a shame that the athletes of Iraq will have to pay the price for all of this. But the Iraq War has left more 1.2 million Iraqis dead, and another 2 million as refugees in the Mideast region, and the Olympic problems are only yet another problem for this very troubled nation which is very far from being at peace.


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