Tag Archives: Middle East

Political interference in the Olympics is unacceptable (sometimes)

We loathe the “Olympic movement.”  That fact that it even ascribes that moniker to itself is evidence of its rot to the core—the corruption, venality, hypocrisy, and arrogance displayed by Olympic officials at the international levels rival those even of the United Nations.

So we found this article confusing:  “The IOC suspended Kuwait in 2010, saying there was evidence of political interference in the country’s sports movement,” but has resolved the issue so Kuwaiti athletes were allowed to compete under their own flag in 2012.

That point is hard to understand.  Are we to believe that Kuwait in 2010 was the only example in the world of “political interference in the country’s sports movement” or a lack of “independence of its sports movement”?  For all Gulf Cooperation Council countries, at a minimum, there is no difference between the public and private sectors when it comes to athletic development (or any other endeavor).  Olympic participation is completely controlled by the government.

How about the example of Greece.  How can that country’s Olympic Committee get away with kicking Voula Papachristou off of its Olympic team for a “racist” tweet?  Her case was steeped in political maneuvering.  Opinion leaders in Greece had targeted her for some time as a “known racist” and a notorious “supporter of right-wing political parties.”  So, in her case, the Olympic ban was basically an attempt to hound such a person out of mainstream society.

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Intelligent economic development in the UAE

This is a rare case in which an Arab country (especially in the Gulf) is part of any significant global supply chain.  (There are few examples at all of a GCC company producing anything that successfully competes globally.)  The UAE is probably doing this at a loss, and we’ll see how it works out (how long before the first Boeing crashes due to a defect in this part?), but, still, quite an accomplishment.

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