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Iraq Not To Go To Beijing

July 24, 2008

With all the talk lately about how dramatic the success of the “surge” has been in reducing violence and moving the Iraqis towards meeting those 18 benchmarks, I found it a little surprising and disconcerting to see this headline appear on Drudge: Iraq banned from Beijing Olympics

The reason?

The team was already the subject of an interim ban after the Iraqi government replaced the country’s Olympic committee with its own appointees.

Under the IOC charter, all committees must be free of political influence.

Iraq had been planning to send a team of at least seven athletes to the Olympics which start on 8 August.

Two rowers, a weightlifter, a sprinter, a discus thrower, a judoka and an archer were in the frame for the trip to Beijing.

“The deadline for taking up places for Beijing for all sports except athletics has now passed,” said IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies.

“The IOC very sadly has now to acknowledge that it is likely there will be no Iraqi presence at the Beijing Olympic Games, despite our best efforts.”

In other words, the Iraqis couldn’t manage to scrape together a viable NOC (perhaps having something to do with the fact that their previous president had been kidnapped and remains missing), even though they had athletes trained and ready to compete. I know its just the Olympics and all, but that isn’t exactly a great sign of progress.  In fact, since the Iraqi soccer team finished a surprising 4th in the 2004 Athens Games, this development could be symbolic of a step backwards.  After all, along with 200+ others, even the tiny nation of Tuvalu managed to complete this simple task, giving her 12,000 citizens someone to root for come 08/08.

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Update: Yay! 2 Iraqi Athletes Set for Beijing After IOC Lifts Ban

BAGHDAD, July 29 — Two Iraqi athletes will be allowed to participate in the Beijing Olympics after a last-minute pledge by the Iraqi government Tuesday not to interfere politically in the country’s Olympic movement.

Five members still didn’t make it in (missed the registration deadline), but I suppose 2 is better than none.   Hopefully the deal is on the up-and-up, or I may have to admit that good ol’ Tex has a point.  (h/t Gateway Pundit, via Memeorandum)

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56 comments

  1. Once again Rotsheld risks to wake up tied without paints, his children robbed poisoned and they would even be forced to prove that they are his children. Who is that freak? Where is my own father and where is his property and finances? I was treated in a very similair way. I also was robbed, forced to be at line of poorness. One and the same scheme was….

    [blah…blah…blah…5 pages of crap. Thanks Anna, but I’ll give you the blog pimp emblem for the effort – CZ]


  2. Now THAT I haven’t seen before. Holy shit!


  3. Yeah, too bad Anna is a spammer, same story, many blogs…


  4. Poor Anna…the good spammers at least provide a link. This one appears to have no other purpose other than to depress me (ironically, the email she left was behappytoo@yahoo..). Into the memory hole she goes!

    On second thought, I’ll leave some evidence that she stopped by…as a momento.


  5. Poor Chen Zhen, dont worry if you a killer of Anna politkovskaya in russia you can have a medal.


  6. I think you made it mad, Chen.


  7. Oh its on now. I had to delete some more.

    If the Russians are going to invade, I’m sure as shit going to defend this place and go all ‘Red Dawn’ on their asses.

    Wolverines!!!!


  8. The previous post Saddam committees were disbanded after charges of corruption. I imagine the post Saddam committee never raped athletes girlfriends in front of them as Saddam’s son did but the government saw an issue and tried to do the best they could.
    The “independence” of National Olympic Committees is a joke.The history of the “national” teams seem to allow for the situation Iraq was in. East Germany/ Soviet Union mean anything to anyone ?
    For an organization that exists to have some unity via sports to ban the athletes of Iraq shows how pathetic the IOC is. The action is more than a statement against Iraq it is tha clarion call of pathetic bureaucrats. The freakin’ Iranians have their national basketball team in the States (CO.) playing against the NBA rookie teams. (2-4 games scheduled I think) That is what the Olympics should be focused on. Instead the IOC is awash in the graft of every “independent” committee from Salt Lake,Nagano , Beijing,London and likely every host city in history. This entity is a disgrace!!!!! Do I sound a little ranty ?


  9. Alfie,

    You got that right. If my buddy the General, ever looking for some way to spin Iraq in a bad light (perhaps the most raging case of BDS I have personally witnessed), understood just how corrupt the IOC is, he’d be embarrassed to have written this.

    Alas, identifying corrupt organizations actively pursuing the lefty’s utopian view of one world gov’t isn’t my friend’s strong suit.

    But I would like to point out the simple fact that this years hosting country is so democratic than they lovingly massacred about 800 students not 19 years ago at Tiananmen Square.

    The fact that Beijing was even awarded the Olympics is a disgrace and you would think might be recognized by even the most skewed of free people. But the intense hatred of George Bush trumps rational thought.

    Perhaps the IOC can award Mogadishu the 2016 Olympics and continue their long standing tradition of “objectivity.”


  10. My intense hatred of George Bush actually seems to be trumped by my extreme hatred of Chen every time he runs his pie hole about Iraq. I picture him relishing the fact he found some article on Iraq and the Olympics. Without even the slightest amount of research, perspective and critical thinking, he runs to his Copperhead blog and whistles happy tunes about America being defeated in war while he types away. Errrrrrrrrrrrrrr! What does being against a war have to do with hoping your fellow Americans lose one?

    Dude…..you drive me away from any cause you might otherwise have!


  11. Oh good god Anna!

    Anyways,Dead Rabbit.

    As far piehole running, you didn’t make a single verifiable claim; including your claim that Chen wants us to lose the war.

    All he was trying to do was counter all the overlypositive media about Iraq with some cold hard facts, which are very simply that Iraq is still a rough place with its problems.


  12. I’m not sure what attracted disfigured Russian chicks to this post, but I’m gonna delete the crap from here on in.

    Anyway, I think Tex and rabbit are reading a bit much into this. I’m simply wondering out loud what could have happened that resulted in Iraq going from such a strong showing at the Olympics 4 years ago to being banned this time around. A corrupt IOC? Sure, that’s an argument I suppose. But perhaps before hurling claims of BDS at me you guys should put together some semblance of evidence that this was the reason why Iraq was barred in this particular instance. There are going to be more nations represented at Beijing than ever before (was 205, now 204); does that paint a “corrupt” or “pathetic” IOC? Not to me. So what is it? Its a reason to keep the situation in Iraq in perspective.

    Look, I don’t know why you guys jump to these conclusions. I want things to get better in Iraq, I really do. I’m resigned to conclude, given the ample evidence that we aren’t leaving anytime soon, that the quicker we clean up the mess we created, the sooner we can put the boondoggle behind us and bring the troops home and divert our resources elsewhere. Did I think that the invasion would be a giant mistake from the beginning? Sure. Do I think we continue to waste lives and countless billions on it? Yep. But I don’t understand why people insist on thinking of what transpires over there in terms of “winning” and “losing”. As I’ve stated a few times on this blog, I think the argument can be made that we’ve already “won” and “lost” (depending on perspective), so these accusations that I report with glee some evidence that we’re “losing” just slide right off of me because I’m using a different paradigm altogether. It’s a cost/benefit analysis of our tactics and commitment at this point. So far, we’re getting a pretty awful return on our investment, so on occasion I like to post some big picture thoughts to bring the people who ramble about “victory” and “surrender” back into my world.


  13. Let me get this straight. You’re depicting the media’s coverage of Iraq as “overly positive”? This war has been portrayed as hopeless since ’04! Give me a break. You don’t even want me to start talking about “verifiable” claims about the defeatist coverage of Iraq. Even the success of the surge was reported only after the right wing outlets ran with the story for months.

    However, fair is fair. I too was running my pie hole about my claim about Chen wanting us to lose the war. It’s a gut instinct mixed with a little inductive reasoning (Many of my friends hold Chen’s views on Iraq and I KNOW they hate good news about Iraq).

    You’re right, it totally is unverifiable, but I swear to God I know, deep in my gut that Chen hates hearing about military success in Iraq. Alas, I should probably avoid making such claims because I hate when others do it.

    And by the way, I’m not a jingoistic, nationalistic uncritical meat head (just a regular meat head). The invasion of Iraq was probably a strategic mistake in terms of geopolitics. It certainly has been a sacrifice that can’t really be summed up with words. But the war is a morally upstanding one. Saddom wasn’t just a sadistic tyrant who broke the terms of the first Gulf War, he played an insane game of chicken with us pretending he had WMD. All of this in the wake of the towers falling. It was a head on collision and Saddom’s fault.


  14. rabbit-

    And by the way, I’m not a jingoistic, nationalistic uncritical meat head (just a regular meat head). The invasion of Iraq was probably a strategic mistake in terms of geopolitics. It certainly has been a sacrifice that can’t really be summed up with words. But the war is a morally upstanding one. Saddom wasn’t just a sadistic tyrant who broke the terms of the first Gulf War, he played an insane game of chicken with us pretending he had WMD. All of this in the wake of the towers falling. It was a head on collision and Saddom’s fault.

    Ummm…the solution to the game of “chicken” was supposed to be aggressive inspections forced by ultimatum, which I believe is what the UN intended with 1441 and the majority of the Dems had thought was going to work with the AUMF. Bush used the inspectors as part of the dog and pony show to get his invasion. Not exactly morally upstanding on his part.


  15. Ironically, from the “cost benefit analysis” side of things, Chen and I are in agreement. Yet, I think Chen and I would end up in a bar brawl if we talked about Iraq. I question Chen and his ilk if they would ever admit they are wrong if Iraq stabilized into the first Arab democracy (not counting the West Bank) and a staunch ally in the Middle East. 30 years from now, would Chen tell the grand kids how he was wrong about the war? However, if Chen’s hypermiling hobby keeps getting more rigid, grandkids may not be in the cards.


  16. There are going to be more nations represented at Beijing than ever before (was 205, now 204); does that paint a “corrupt” or “pathetic” IOC? Not to me. So what is it? Its a reason to keep the situation in Iraq in perspective.

    Um Chen, with all due respect? Tell me before today exactly what you know about the IOC before I make you look like a clueless buffoon?

    Do you know how dumb you’re sounding right now?


  17. So, Chen, do you really believe this war wasn’t Saddom’s fault at all? 50-50? 20-80? Dude, HE was the guy who pretended he had WMD. HE was the one who fluanted the the terms of the first war. Hell, Clinton was close to invading Iraq…pre-9/11!


  18. Ummm…the solution to the game of “chicken” was supposed to be aggressive inspections forced by ultimatum, which I believe is what the UN intended with 1441 and the majority of the Dems had thought was going to work with the AUMF. Bush used the inspectors as part of the dog and pony show to get his invasion. Not exactly morally upstanding on his part.

    Kind of along the lines of starving Iraqi babies while your inspection teams enriched themselves with oil contracts, Chen?


  19. dead rabbit-

    After 9/11, I think Saddam did pretty much everything he could do to avoid the invasion without completely losing face.

    Tex-

    I don’t know much about the IOC, I’ll admit. So go ahead with your smack down, and I’ll award you the Wonder Palm™ if I feel you deserve it. This is the Chamber, after all. But your response better include some reasoning as to why Iraq was banned. Simply citing random evidence of corruption won’t cut it. I want a theory (that makes sense) explaining why corruption led the IOC to shun the Iraqis, and not the record 200+ other countries for this Olympics.


  20. Chen,

    There’s 40 years of recorded corruption of the IOC. Educate yourself…here’s nine months of only one such scandal.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/297030.stm

    So before we reason, perhaps you need a little background about the creeps you’re defending.


  21. Thanks for fixing my boo boo…

    My last post went into infinity.


  22. “I think Saddam did pretty much everything he could do to avoid the invasion without completely losing face”

    That statement is so utterly and mind boggling wrongheaded, I’m rendered speechless.


  23. So General,

    Do you think IOC angels that you’re defending, the same ones who permitted Iraqi to participate in the Olympics when Odai ran the nation’s Olympic committee and was accused of torturing athletes who came up short, is a fair panel do you?


  24. dead rabbit-

    That statement is so utterly and mind boggling wrongheaded, I’m rendered speechless.

    Well, while you’re thinking of something to say, may I suggest grabbing yourself a gravatar? It would be neat.


  25. Tex-

    Do you think IOC angels that you’re defending, the same ones who permitted Iraqi to participate in the Olympics when Odai ran the nation’s Olympic committee and was accused of torturing athletes who came up short, is a fair panel do you?

    hmmm..let me see if I can finish your argument for you here. You’re saying that Hussein was bribing the IOC before, but now that ship has sailed?

    How the heck did they get in back in ’04 then?


  26. hmmm..let me see if I can finish your argument for you here. You’re saying that Hussein was bribing the IOC before, but now that ship has sailed?

    No, I’m simply showing you the character and the judgement in the makeup of the members of the IOC. I know you find it convenient that any fault in ther world must ultimately rest with George Bush – but the fact is, the IOC are a bunch of corrupt, petty demogogues.

    Why is that so difficult?


  27. I just noticed I spelled demagogues wrong…too many senior moments on a Friday night.


  28. Tex-

    No, I’m simply showing you the character and the judgement in the makeup of the members of the IOC. I know you find it convenient that any fault in ther world must ultimately rest with George Bush – but the fact is, the IOC are a bunch of corrupt, petty demogogues.

    Why is that so difficult?

    So the theory you’re going with here is that its completely the IOC’s fault, and this news in no way points to any kind of FUBAR sectarian situation in Iraq whatsoever?


  29. FUBAR maybe in the sense that the Iraqis didn’t kiss the IOC’s ass; or maybe they’ve got their share of demagogues too.

    But in no way do I think this is a poor reflection on the U.S., nor do I think it is an admission of some failure on account of the war.

    I simply know how petty the IOC is.


  30. I think you’re missing the point of this post Tex. I’m not defending the IOC or blaming Bush. I’m simply stating that this news is evidence that the political situation in Iraq is still very dire, if they can’t even get past their squabbles to adhere to some very minimal requirements and send their athletes to the MF’in Olympics.


  31. I’m simply stating that this news is evidence that the political situation in Iraq is still very dire, if they can’t even get past their squabbles to adhere to some very minimal requirements and send their athletes to the MF’in Olympics.

    Perhaps; but like my friend there going by the name of dead rabbit, I too picture a young blogger that seems to delight in any difficulty Iraq experiences; whether political, demographic, or spiritual.

    We shake our collective heads in disgust and question exactly what side are you rooting for? The more time goes by, the more I recognize I have little in common with much of this country anymore.


  32. The Iraqi NOC case wasn’t allowed to be presented by the Iraqi govt. The two year lapse of reestablishing the “legal” quorum was seemingly (in the minds of Baghdad)was moot due to the action they took.
    I would only say that YES the IOC sucks.
    That in the Tigris River the rowers are still rowing.
    I’d also float out my curiosity of who is doing the killing,threatening of Iraqi athletes.


  33. Author is not in area of real fakts and information.


  34. C’mon Anna! Give me a link to something…anything. Russian p0rn. Viagra. Online gambling….something. ‘Cause you’re really starting to freak me out spamming for no apparent purpose. That sob story earlier almost made me want to throw some spare change in your jar, but I don’t see one of those either. What gives?


  35. I want to drink your soul, Chen.


  36. General,

    I think I’ve found your soulmate for you. LOL! A girl that thinks like you do.


  37. Of course Saddam was in the wrong. So are all the Dictators in the world. We just don’t go in after them all. OTOH, once Clinton had become a ‘lame duck’ Pres. he had started pressuring the UN about Iraq and Saddam’s flouting of the weapons inspections.

    Who knows. I have a relative who is retired State Department and when I talk to him I realize that we might as well be ants relative to those with the real knowledge of the inner workings of all things governmental. However, as far as the reported news went Bill Clinton was increasingly taking a hard line towards Saddam regarding the WMD and the no fly zone. He didn’t use the broken record method to discuss it that W. did, but still.


  38. silly rabbit, trix are for kids…


  39. foiled again


  40. An extra 20,000-30,000 troops brought security to a nation of 25 million.

    That is the fantasy promoted by the right-wing flagwavers.

    High school dropouts that not smart enough to attend a real university, are not capable of taming the proud Iraqi people.

    The American government bribed the Sunni fighters into calming down, and then allowed the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad. There can’t be a civil war when the other side has been wiped out.

    The Prime Minister of Iraq has said he approves of Obama’s plan to withdraw in 16 months. Will the radical Republican Party heed the wishes of the Iraqi government? If everything is A-OK like McCain says, why not leave?


  41. King-

    I’m don’t think it was the troops and the bribes alone.

    I know that I post things (like this thread) that leaves people guessing as to where I might stand on this whole affair, but the truth is that I’m one of those that thought that if you’re going to do it (the invasion) you’re going to need a heck of a lot more troops. I’ve questioned both the wisdom of the invasion itself and the strategy afterwards, but I was encouraged to see that Bush was finally forced politically to pull his head out of his ass and make a change in this direction. I’ll credit Petraeus and the paradigm of basic principles of counterinsurgency that he brought with him. Too many people on both sides view what we’re doing over there as trying “win the war”, when I don’t think that Petraeus views it through that lens. The bribes, extra security forces, change in ROE, etc. were all about securing the peace. See my post We Won The War, But Are Losing The Battle Against The Insurgency
    May 25, 2007


  42. The most violent area of Iraq was the al-Anbar province where hardly any troops were added. Why are you lumping in the bribes with the “surge”? The two strategies have nothing to do with each other. Violence is still rampant throughout Iraq and has merely returned to 2005-2006 levels.

    Please explain how you can be anti-war and pro-surge at the same time.


  43. The “surge”, as I understood it, was a component of the broad strategy of counterinsurgency that Petreaus and Kilcullen employed. So, I’m not lumping them, just citing them as examples of ingredients of the big cake(if you will).

    And I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that I was “pro” surge, per se, as I definitely had my doubts.

    I’m for any strategy or course of action that improves the overall situation (and when I say that, I’m talking BIG picture; both short and long term cost/benefit kinds of things. Kinda hard to wrap one’s mind around since this adventure has such far-reaching and unknowable consequences), and I don’t think that is mutually exclusive with the belief that the invasion was idiotic in the first place.


  44. The Awakening Councils were formed before the surge was conceived. They were born organically as a response to outsiders, not as part of a grand strategy dreamed up by neoconservatives.


  45. OK, well, I see that I might have been somewhat mistaken, but at least I was making the distinction. It is often confusing because of complexity of the situation and the way the components overlap, along with the way the media reports it. I guess I’m right in the sense that they are seperate components and that Petreaus and Kilcullen support them, but perhaps wrong about where the particular concepts were hatched. Ultimately, someone is responsible for managing how our forces and resources are used on the ground over there, and if that’s Petreaus, it would appear that in the very least he’s keeping the violence from getting worse. Whether all this is sustainable over the long term remains to be seen, I suppose.


  46. “High school dropouts that not smart enough to attend a real university, are not capable of taming the proud Iraqi people.”

    Do you believe that Chen?


  47. Do you believe that Chen?

    Well I didn’t post it. But, no. I kinda assumed that was Tex bait.


  48. General,

    Have you asked Anna out for a date yet? You’re not going to “stiff” someone that’s in to soul drinkin’, are you?

    I guarantee you that few guys get an invite like that…you’d have blog material for a lifetime.


  49. Well I didn’t post it. But, no. I kinda assumed that was Tex bait.

    Good observation General…that is exactly what it was which I chose not to take. Never mind, as usual, King was again too stupid to make a derogatory comment without a grammatical error.

    Hard to believe colleges are so hard up that someone out there accepted a numb nuts like that.


  50. I am reluctant to give Petraeus any credit at all, he is a war criminal in an occupied country. And he does not deserve any credit. The ethnic cleansings and the bribed Sunni fighters explain far more of the “decrease” in violence to 2005-2006 levels than an extra 20,000 troops. Now is the time to realize that the Iraqi people’s elected leader, al-Maliki, supports the Obama plan. I hope Obama sticks to his guns and obeys the Iraqi people.


  51. Have you asked Anna out for a date yet? You’re not going to “stiff” someone that’s in to soul drinkin’, are you?

    Hard to determine sarcasm here, but just in case, that was rabbit with the soul drinkin’ line.


  52. I want to drink your soul, Chen.

    LOL…I see the benefit of the recommended “gravatar.” Funny as hell.

    Obviously my observations about “The Chamber” are as sharp as King’s observations about the war.


  53. Yea, he pulled a “Goodbye Natalie” 😉


  54. Ummm General,

    Looks like your dire wishes have been dashed; though I must admit, sending two athletes isn’t exactly a swarm – but at least Iraq is represented. And I’ll bet they get the second biggest ovation.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news;_ylt=AjLNUfdt0JZMS3NOaXs0ghWVTZd4?slug=ap-iraq-olympics&prov=ap&type=lgns


  55. Tex-

    Noted in the update. Not sure why the spam filter blocked your comment, but that’s why I caught it on memeorandum before I saw that you had linked.


  56. Five members still didn’t make it in (missed the registration deadline), but I suppose 2 is better than none. Hopefully the deal is on the up-and-up, or I may have to admit that good ol’ Tex has a point.

    I never thought in my lifetime I would see those words in writing from the master blogger himself; though I noticed you had to cover the bases with a ‘may’.

    Chen, you’re a piece of work. Tell your mother there’s some crazy, old man out on your website that said “she was right.” 😉



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