Saturday, August 14, 2004

They Kill Us for Their Sport 

Via Zemblan patriot J.M.: Sure, we signed the Olympic truce, but that was months ago; how were we to know we'd have a schedule conflict? The real games are in Najaf -- and although we expect some serious competition in the riflery, bazookery, and suicide-bombery events, we are a mortal lock to win the gold in air-to-ground missilery:
The United States said Thursday that its military operations in Iraq are not covered by the so-called Olympic truce that it signed on to last year at the United Nations.

On the eve of the opening of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the State Department said US soldiers now fighting in Iraq would not be bound by the terms of the truce that calls for all nations in conflict to observe a traditional ceasefire during the Games.

"I reject the notion that somehow we are violating any Olympic principles by what's going on in Iraq," deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said. "I don't think there's a connection between the truce and what's going on in Iraq."

On November 3, 2003, the United States was among 190 of 191 UN General Assembly members to co-sponsor and adopt a Greek-submitted resolution entitled "Building a Peaceful and Better World Through Sport and the Olympic Ideals," the key component of which was the truce.
Of those 191 nations the only holdout was Iraq, which was otherwise occupied at the time.

The AP reports that over 450 world leaders and dignitaries, including Pope John Paul II, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former President Bill Clinton, have signed the initiative. Even Tony Blair is on board:
British Prime Minister Tony Blair signed the Olympic Truce at the birthplace of the games Saturday, even as his troops in Iraq were breaking with the spirit of the document that calls for a halt in worldwide conflict during the competition . . . .

Asked why U.S. forces were not observing an Olympic cease-fire, Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters Friday that while the idea was a noble one: "The world does not stop entirely for the Olympics."

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