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Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Olympic Event: Political Correctness

...and the New York Times has scored a perfect 10 with its coverage of the second suicide bombing in Russia in 24 hours with their article entitled "Second Blast Hits Russia, Raising Olympic Fears".  Yet nowhere in the lengthy article did they even allude to the 1972 Munich Olympics.

For those of us who remember the 1972 Olympic Massacre in which most of the Israeli Olympic team was murdered by a PLO terror group calling itself 'Black September', it seems inconceivable that there could possibly be any discussion of the Olympic Games and their vulnerability to terror attacks without some mention of Munich.  

After all, even though previous modern Olympic games had been tarnished by political manipulations (e.g. the 1936 summer Olympics hosted by Hitler in Berlin), 1972 was the first targeted with political violence.

And yet, in the New York Times article discussing the world's concerns about Russia's security preparations for the Winter Olympics to be held in the Caucus city of Sochi, the Munich Olympic massacre isn't mentioned, even parenthetically.

It seems that the Times has joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in not wanting to "alienate other members of the Olympic community" by mentioning the Palestinians in an unflattering light.  After all, they are now part of the big, happy Olympic family of nations!

Here's a bit of fun Olympic trivia for those who are interested in such things:

  • According to Abu Daud, the Palestinian mastermind behind the Munich Olympic massacre, the funding for Black September's Munich attack was approved and provided by Mahmoud Abbas (the current President of the 'moderate' Fatah led Palestinian Authority). [source]
  • The day after the Munich Olympic massacre, the IOC decided that despite the killing of most of a participating national contingent, the games had to continue... and they quickly organized a memorial service attended by 80,000 spectators and 3,000 athletes in the Olympic Stadium. However, in his speech at the event praising the strength of the Olympic movement and equating the attack with the recent arguments about encroaching professionalism and disallowing Rhodesia's participation in the Games, IOC President Avery Bundage made no reference whatsoever to the murdered Israeli athletes. [source]
  • During the memorial service, the Olympic Flag was flown at half-mast, along with the flags of most of the other competing nations. However ten Arab nations objected to their flags being lowered to honor murdered Israelis; so the Olympic organizers allowed those nation's flags to be restored to the tops of their flagpoles.  Once the memorial service was concluded, all of the flags were returned to the top of their flagpoles and remained there for the rest of the Munich games. [source]
  • Once the Munich games resumed, many of the 80,000 people who filled the Olympic Stadium for West Germany's football match with Hungary carried noisemakers and waved flags, but when several spectators unfurled a banner reading "17 dead, already forgotten?" Olympic security officers removed the sign and expelled those responsible from the grounds. [source]
  • Many people mistakenly assume that all of the Black September terrorists were killed during the botched German rescue attempt at the Munich airport.  In fact, three of the eight terrorists survived with relatively minor wounds and were arrested and held for trial in Germany.  However a month later the PLO hijacked Lufthansa Flight 615 and threatened to blow up the plane with all aboard if the three Munich terrorists were not released.  Germany, likely relieved at being presented with the opportunity to avoid the international scrutiny over their handling of the Olympic attack that a trial would entail, immediately released the terrorists and they were flown to Libya where they received a hero's welcome and held a triumphant press conference. [source]
  • The IOC has refused repeated requests from Israel to observe a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games in memory of the slaughtered Israeli athletes and coaches.  The reason given is "it would be inappropriate" and that it might offend some olympic participants.  Obviously it is never made clear which participants might find the condemnation of the massacre of an Olympic team by terrorists, 'offensive'.
  • Individual athletes can be disqualified, and even banned for life, from participating in the Olympics for a range of offenses, including using performance enhancing drugs and other banned substances.  However,the Palestinian Authority (the current incarnation of the PLO which planned, approved and financed the Munich massacre), has been sending teams to represent 'Palestine' at the Olympic Games since 1996.  

The New York Times is far from alone in their deliberate obfuscation of Munich as 'patient zero' of the epidemic of the Olympic games being targeted by terrorism.  But to be fair, they are in good company with most of the world's media, and of course, the OIC, in willfully ignoring the very essence of what the Modern Olympics was supposed to echo from its ancient past:

Specifically, from 776 BCE until 394 CE, the ancient Olympic Games were held every four years despite international warfare whose brutality would dwarf today's relatively sterile conflicts.  What made this possible was a remarkable idea called an Olympic Truce.   The truce (Ancient Greek: ékécheiria, meaning "laying down of arms"), was announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure the host city state was not attacked, and athletes and spectators could travel safely to the Games and peacefully return to their respective countries. During the truce period (lasting up to three months), wars were suspended, armies were prohibited from threatening the Games, legal disputes were stopped, and death penalties were forbidden.  [source]

In 1990s the modern OIC revived the tradition by calling on all nations to observe the Olympic Truce.  Heck, the UN even issued resolution 48/11 of 25 October 1993, making the Olympic Truce all nice and official. [source]  But like most well-meaning modern declarations and UN Resolutions, this one wasn't worth the paper on which it is written.  

And because newspapers like the New York Times balk at the mere mention of the attack on the Munich Olympics, much less actually holding the guilty party up for international condemnation! (because, you know, it might offend many of the participating nations), the very idea of a modern Olympic Truce will remain just that; an idea.

Instead of the Olympics being a sacrosanct event that would call down the world's wrath on whoever might violate them, terrorists around the world now train and prepare for the Olympic Games every bit as diligently as the athletes. After all, there is little to be lost by targeting the games, and if history is any teacher, quite a bit to be gained!

An Australian Army General named David Morrison recently delivered a scorching speech which is recommended watching for any thinking person.  But it was most remarkable for the fact that his central point transcended the subject.  In fact one single sentence from his speech could just as easily have been talking about the topic I've been writing about today:

"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept".

General Morrison was talking about sexual harassment in the ranks.  But his point is just as cogent to the world's willingness to walk past certain kinds of religious and political violence so as not to upset practitioners of a certain religion or school of political thought.

In my humble opinion, the New York Times should receive an Olympic medal in this Political Correctness event they have so soundly endorsed by willfully ignoring the genesis of Olympic terrorism; the 1972 Munich massacre.

Posted by David Bogner on December 30, 2013 | Permalink


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For the first time since 1972,I`m very concerned that a serious terrorist act is a real possibility at the Olympics. The terrorists have moved on from targeting athletes to attacking civilians and spectators,much harder to prevent and contain.Munich 1972 can`t be swept under the carpet,and will continue imapact the Olympics despite PC.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 30, 2013 6:13:20 PM

Excellent piece. I was a 12-year-old living in Italy when the massacre happened. I remember it vividly.

Posted by: Yaron | Dec 30, 2013 10:02:37 PM

Brilliant post. The New York Times is good for two things these days, and two things only: (1) their crossword puzzle, and (2) their comics page. Whoops - there is no comics page. So: The crossword puzzle. All the rest is a disappointing sheaf of pandering to the popular narrative, suitable only for use as birdcage liner or fishwrap.

Posted by: Elisson | Dec 31, 2013 10:49:51 PM

You left out two details:

-Avery Brundage was an anti-Semite who fought to keep the Olympics in Berlin in 1936 and kept Jewish athletes off the American team. He was richly rewarded for this, and 36 years later kept his reputation intact.

-The hijacked Lufthansa plane had no passengers. It seems pretty clear that Germany colluded in the "hijacking" in order to have an excuse to release the prisoners. Germany's record before, during, and after the attack stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: Nachum | Jan 1, 2014 11:57:36 AM

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