Mon Sep 30, 2013, 07:49 PM
stevenleser (25,247 posts)
Transcript from the Hall of Shame portion of my show regarding the IOC-Sochi Olympics
Again, this starts here http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lesersense/2013/09/29/michael-reagan-on-obamacare-william-hartung-on-iran at the 54:42 mark
In second place for even Worse nonsense this week we have the International Olympic Committee
That might sound strange to some of you but bear with me
You can understand a politician or organization making a mistake on an issue if something like that issue had never come up before.
In the runup to the 1936 Olympics, among members of the International Olympic Committee there was a debate as to whether the Olympics should be moved from Berlin to another country because of Germanyís anti-Semitism. Among those who were thinking along those lines was Avery Brundage, president of the American Olympic Committee (AOC). Back during that debate, Mr. Brundage stated:
"The very foundation of the modern Olympic revival will be undermined if individual countries are allowed to restrict participation by reason of class, creed, or race."
After a brief and tightly managed inspection of German sports facilities in 1934, Brundage stated publicly that Jewish athletes were being treated fairly and that the Games should go on, as planned.
We now know that was a mistake, but we have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. Few people knew in 1936 and in the runup to those Olympics what would happen to Jews in Nazi Germany. The rhetoric was there, there were some abuses, and the Nuremberg laws had been passed a year earlier, but the Holocaust and final solution were five plus years away. With the benefit of history, some may look back and can say, the world should have seen it coming, but that really is a viewpoint aided with the knowledge of history.
We can forgive Brundage and various other IOC officials for their failure to predict what was to come in Germany.
What I cannot understand is for todayís IOC to be so willing to give sanction to the Sochi Olympics with the history of the 1936 Olympics as a guide.
The treatment of those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community in Russia right now is uncomfortably similar to the treatment of Jews in Germany in 1936. In some cases, itís actually worse. I donít recall members of the clergy in the mid 1930ís in Germany joining in joyously in physical attacks on Jews. That is happening today in Russia. Hatred towards and attacks against LGBT people has been given sanction by the Russian Orthodox Church. Indeed there are multiple reports of Russian Orthodox Church priests and bishops taking part in crowds physically attacking gays in Russia and Georgia. Combined with the laws passed targeting the gay community in Russia, and those persecuting gays have been given both legal and moral ecclesiastical sanction to their attitude and actions. That sanction having been given, itís not hard to see why many of us, me included, believe some wide ranging pogrom against gays in Russia is very likely.
It is therefore difficult to believe the recent stamp of approval given the Sochi games by Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission.
As reported by the CBC, Killy said the commission considered the issue carefully and in the end was fully convinced that Russia will respect the Olympic charter, which prohibits discrimination of any kind. He said the IOC had received written assurances from Russian officials there would be no discrimination.
"The Olympic Charter states that all segregation is completely prohibited, whether it be on the grounds of race, religion, color or other, on the Olympic territory," he said in French. He went on to say "That will be the case, we are convinced. Another thing I must add: the IOC doesn't really have the right to discuss the laws in the country where the Olympic Games are organized. As long as the Olympic Charter is respected, we are satisfied, and that is the case."
Again, I just have to point out, this sounds very similar to the statements by various Olympic committee members in the run-up to the 1936 Olympics. The words of George Santayana echo loudly here. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
The International Olympic Committee is runner up this week in our hall of shame for infamous nonsense.
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