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Iraq Won’t Be Going to Beijing

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Posted on Jul 24, 2008
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Sectarian battles for control of Iraq’s national team between Shiites and Sunnis have led the International Olympic Committee to block Iraq from participating in the Summer Games in Beijing. The ban was upheld Thursday after the Iraqis failed to meet a deadline to appeal the decision, thereby losing a chance to generate considerable PR and/or pride for the wounded country.


AP Via Google:

In May, the [Iraqi] government dissolved the National Olympic Committee. Among the claims was it was illegitimate because it lacked a legal quorum—but four members of the committee, including its chief, were kidnapped two years ago and their fates are unknown.

There is also a potential sectarian rift. Iraq’s Youth and Sports Ministry is dominated by Shiites, while the NOC includes several holdovers from the Saddam-era Olympic Committee, once run by his feared eldest son, Odai.

The International Olympic Committee denounced the order as “serious interference” in what is supposed to be an independent body and demanded the government respect the NOC’s autonomy.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 25, 2008 at 1:53 am Link to this comment

Seems odd to me that they won’t be going doesn’t it?  Is this because the ONLY Iraqi competition this year was going to be the wheelchair bound fencing team.  It certainly appears to be the case.  Is America afraid this is going to have a negative effect on their reputation?  Maybe someone ought to enlighten the nutcases in charge that THE WORD IS OUT.

In fact the word was OUT to the rest of the world decades ago, but only more recently starkly revealed to the majority of the American public.  Remember…

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20080708_iraqs_paralympic_athletes/

I don’t think the American public would endorse this under-handed attempt to “save face”.

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By broadbrush, July 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment
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How this decision advances olympic principles escapes me. It will also exacerbate internal strife within the diverse elemnents of Iraqi society and that will serve no goood purpose. In situation like these only the atheletes suffer thereby defeating olympic ideals.

Perhaps individual atheletes in these situations could be allowed to participate as individual and not as representatives of the abusing nation.

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