Saturday, August 09, 2008

Spirit of Sport, Spirit of War

The thin, comradely veneer of international sportsmanship that is promoted by the Olympic Games has been pierced on the very first day of the Games by Russia's invasion / intervention in South Ossetia. Gymnastics competitions, scull races, and fencing are no match for the bloody demands of neo-imperial spheres of influence, ethnic tensions, and the scramble for natural resources. This video from al-Jazeera International speaks to how thin a tissue for peacemaking that the Olympic spirit is:

Talk of the "Olympic spirit" has always struck me as a marketing scheme concocted by the Olympic Committee. One need only reflect that the original Olympic games were held by the Greeks, who constantly fought among themselves.

If you really want peace, look to diplomacy, look to international law, look to a balance of power with every country having the weapons to fight off its stronger neighbors. Don't look to sports.

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