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View Diary: Why should we boycott the Olympics? (34 comments)

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  •  As bad as this is, it a cultural problem in Russia (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, cbfromco, VClib, joe from Lowell

    and how that is going to be solved by an Olympic boycott is beyond me.  Should other countries boycott the US because of Tyvon Martin?  There are better ways.  

    This person got beat up--does that mean that years of training by hundreds of US athletes should be wasted?  That all other countries that do attend will have an asterisk on their metals saying "but the US did not compete"?  

    "If Jesus had a gun he'd still be alive today." Homer Simpson, 2013

    by quiet in NC on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:34:35 PM PDT

    •  First, I am in favor of the boycott (6+ / 0-)

      This is a line in the sand for me, Russia should not be allowed to showcase itself while this is going on. It's inhuman and inhumane and wrong on so many levels.

      On the Olympics, I saw them up close from beginning to end here in Utah. The whole shebang is about money, not just a few shekels but real 1% money. The athletes are an excuse and yes, there will be glory and gold for a few of them but the IOC could give a shit.

      They just want to get together and rub shoulders and make their deals. Why do you think Mittens was brought in here to cover up what goes on with every site that is chosen? He understands them.

      IMO, they should cancel and move it to Vancouver, they want it and can do it. I'm with George Takei.

      "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

      by high uintas on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:56:52 PM PDT

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    •  A unilateral boycott would indeed be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, Mannie

      useless. But there are other pathways that have a real shot at making Russia take notice, and there's no reason we can't lead the way (including by boycotting, as long as it's intended as a stepping stone to one of these):

      --A boycott of a large enough multilateral scale to render the games a political, financial, and cultural disaster.

      --The IOC moving the games to another country (thereby not hurting our athletes).

      --(My favorite solution): The IOC allowing the games to go on as planned, but ban Russian athletes from participation.

      Hope you fall on your burger and fries.

      by cardinal on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:23:14 PM PDT

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      •  I get it--you care about LBGT rights... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2, VClib

        but what about the rights of the athletes--does any of that matter?  Boycott, boycott, boycott...sounds pretty simplistic and selfish to me.  Lobby the IOC to move the games--I'm fine with that.  Anything beyond that is incredibly futile.  Do you really think the Russian gay-bashers give two shits what the US thinks of them and will change their attitude overnight becuase we hurt their feelings?

        "If Jesus had a gun he'd still be alive today." Homer Simpson, 2013

        by quiet in NC on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:38:57 PM PDT

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        •  A few hundred athletes (3+ / 0-)

          can't be inconvenienced by something this major? What gives them such special privilege?

          No one makes a big fuss when political crises force cancellation of concert tours, scientific exchanges, foreign study opportunities, business trips, and tourism. To this day free travel to Cuba is prevented for political reasons. Lots of people have been asked to make sacrifices. Why can't a few hundred athletes?

          If you really think it's important to send a message to Moscow that homophobic pogroms are unacceptable to international civilized opinion, then it's important enough to require a few sacrifices. Switching from Stoli to Smirnoff doesn't impress me as a very significant sacrifice.

          •  Jessie Owens kicked Hitler's nuts. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, happymisanthropy, Kickemout

            Be better...that is how you win.

            "If Jesus had a gun he'd still be alive today." Homer Simpson, 2013

            by quiet in NC on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:59:11 PM PDT

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            •  My bad... (0+ / 0-)

              Given the topic here, I suppose I picked a very in appropriate analogy above.  Sorry about that. But Jessie Owens did seriously embarrass old Adolph while the whole world was watching. Seventy-seven years later and everybody still knows about the incident--that says something.

              "If Jesus had a gun he'd still be alive today." Homer Simpson, 2013

              by quiet in NC on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:10:38 PM PDT

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              •  Jesse Owens is a hero, but (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Horace Boothroyd III, Mannie

                he did not cause Hitler more than a moment's embarrassment. The 1936 Olympics in no way isolated or deterred Hitler. On the contrary-- two years later most of the West was still appeasing him at Munich, either because they underestimated him or because they actually preferred him as a counterweight to Stalin.

                The 1936 Olympics should have been boycotted.

                •  It's becoming quite clear. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Horace Boothroyd III, Mannie

                  I thought I'd find more support here for treating the anti-homosexual laws in Russia as serious enough to warrant international outrage. But Americans just can't be convinced there is anything more important in the word than sports events.  

                  •  You are missing something... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Actbriniel

                    the Olympics are a major souce of pride for a great many countries and their citizens.  You want to take that away.  I get it, in the US the olympics are too commercialized for your taste and you don't give a flying fuck about them--but that doesn't mean the same is true for every other country or every other person.  Excuse me for being truthful here, but about the stupidest thing I've heard in quite some time is your comment "the 1936 Olympics should have been boycotted".  Really?  Take away the pride every black person on the earth with access to a newspaper or radio felt that day?  Really?  People here are thinking with a single issue mind in a diverse and multifaceted world.

                    "If Jesus had a gun he'd still be alive today." Homer Simpson, 2013

                    by quiet in NC on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:57:57 PM PDT

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                    •  I suggest you read the Wikipedia entry on (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mannie

                      the 1936 Berlin Olympics. They were shameful. German Jews were banned from competing (except for one politically selected token exception). The US rep fro the IOC, Avery Brundage, was a Nazi dupe who declared that all talk of boycotting was part of a "Jewish-Communist conspiracy." Most IOC bureaucrats were pro-Hitler and pro-Mussolini. Most American Jewish athletes boycotted anyway; there was much more talk in the US of boycotting than you would imagine. And the 1936 Olympics were indeed a propaganda triumph for Hitler: Leni Riefenstahl, director of "Triumph of the Will," made them the subject of another Nazi propaganda film.

                      Jesse Owens' victory was the only proud moment progressives could take away from the Olympics. But the notion that it had any major impact on Hitler is complete speculation; all we know is that Hitler refused to shake Jesse's hand. The fact that Nazi credibility wasn't at all damaged is shown by how Britain and France conducted themselves at Munich in 1938.

                      The Olympics are indeed a source of pride to nations-- particularly host nations. Hosting the Games provides despotic regimes the opportunity to display their power and gain international respectability. And that's why boycotting the Sochi Games is the single most effective protest the word could make against the new homophobic regime in Russia.  

        •  People say "boycott!" here in (0+ / 0-)

          reaction to most everything. If a bunch of people refuse to watch the Olympics on TV, it will accomplish nothing, for gay rights or anything else. Boycotts require hitting your counterparty in a very substantial economic way.

        •  That's why I (0+ / 0-)

          made three suggestions, none of which involve a unilateral boycott.

          Hope you fall on your burger and fries.

          by cardinal on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:28:26 PM PDT

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