Mobile version Today: 30.09.2014 Last update 17:16 | Select date RUS | ENG | SRB
 
 
home sitemap write a letter facebook twitter
Add to favourites RSS


ONLINE JOURNAL
About us
Authors
Contacts
    Obama Launches His War, Finally  
    All Factors Point to CIA Aerially Assassinating Brazilian Presidential Candidate  
    MH-17: Beware of the «Chameleon»  
  HOME PAGE WORLD BUSINESS HISTORY & CULTURE COLUMNISTS  
 
 
 
EDITOR'S CHOICE
 
Ron Paul: Obama Has Started 'Immoral and Illegal' War in Iraq and Syria
 
The Unspoken Consequences of Bombing Syria
all articles
 
 
 
 
NEWS
 
 
Putin to Meet With Jordan's King Abdullah II October 2: Kremlin...

Putin to visit Serbia on October 16 — Kremlin...

US stocks fall amid Hong Kong unrest...

Hong Kong leader urges protesters to stop "illegal actions"...

Youths March in Yemen's Sanaa in Protest of Houthi Invasion...

Afghan, US officials sign long-awaited pact to ensure troops stay past 2014...

Turkey prepares for bigger role in fight against Islamic State...

Catalonia independence referendum halted by Spain’s constitutional court...

Criminal case launched against Kiev govt., military...

Lawmaker: genocide of Russian speakers in southeast Ukraine monstrous...

US-led airstrikes will not defeat ISIL: Peshmerga...

Argentina Accuses US Court of Violating International Law, UN Charter: Foreign Ministry...

NATO’s 16-country military manoeuvres begin in Slovakia...

Russia launches criminal case on genocide of Russian speakers in south-eastern Ukraine...

Real breakthrough reached at 4th Caspian summit — Putin...

all news
 
 
 
FACEBOOK
 
 

 

 
 
 
back print
 
COLUMNISTS

Sochi Olympics: Western Games Begin as US Aims for Propaganda Gold

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 10.01.2014 | 00:00 Comments: 2
 

Following the horrific double bombing in the Russian southern city of Volgograd that killed 34 people and injured dozens of others, the United States and other Western countries issued solemn condemnations of the terror attacks. 

«The United States stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism,» the White House promptly declared. It added: «The US government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games».

There were also condemnations from the European Union and NATO of the suicide terror attacks on 29-30 December, which caused horrific scenes of carnage in Volgograd’s city center, including the deaths of several women and children. 

Yet despite these expressions of outrage and international solidarity, it seems strange that the US and other Western governments are still persisting with their political snub of the Winter Olympic Games due to commence in Sochi on February 7.

President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the French and German Presidents Francois Hollande and Joachim Gauck, have not changed their plans to, in effect, boycott the Games…

The Western leaders have said they would not attend the quadrennial event, and their absence is being widely seen as an unofficial protest over alleged Russian human rights concerns, in particular a law against «gay propaganda» that Moscow enacted last year. 

The snub by Western leaders of the Sochi Games is unprecedented. Sure, there have been outright country boycotts of Olympics in the past. In 1980, the US boycotted the Moscow Summer Olympics over the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan; and in 1984 the Soviet Union retaliated by boycotting the Los Angeles Olympics. 

But the Western half-boycott of the upcoming event in Sochi is a new development. The US, Canada and European Union members will join 88 other nations to participate in the sporting events, but their heads of state are staying away. 

This suggests that the West is playing political games with the Russian host nation. It seems churlish and disingenuous that Western governments are taking up the banner of «gay and lesbian rights» especially in light of the horror perpetrated in Volgograd. There seems to be a distinct lack of moral and political priority.

If we were to go down the road of cherry-picking human rights, then Russia could very easily have chosen to with-hold an official delegation going to the Canadian Winter Olympics held back in 2010 out of concern over Ottawa’s repression and mistreatment of its First Nation people. Somehow the Western disdain over Sochi does not ring true. 

But the proof of Western concern – or rather lack of concern – on their stated human rights objections in Russia is the glaring incongruity over the recent Volgograd atrocity. 

The bombings were obviously aimed at striking a devastating blow at the Sochi Games. The White House statement above acknowledges that. No group has claimed responsibility, but it is all but conclusive that the attackers belonged to the so-called Caucasus Caliphate based in the nearby North Caucasus regions of Chechnya and Dagestan. The fundamentalist jihadist group led by Doku Umarov had already issued warnings that it intends to use «all means necessary to derail» the Olympic event. 

Such terror threats are not empty bluster either. Before the latest double blast, Volgograd was hit with a suicide bomber in October when six people were killed on a bus. That massacre was attributed to Umarov’s jihadists. Although Volgograd is some 700 kilometers northeast of the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the former is a key transport hub between Moscow and the southern region. It therefore represents a prime target for Umarov’s followers to strike at the Olympic venue.

Previously, the same jihadist network has carried out deadly suicide bombings on Moscow’s transport system in 2010 and 2011, killing dozens of people.

Disrupting the Sochi event is seen as an opportunity to inflict a powerful political blow against Russia’s international image. President Vladimir Putin has invested much in the prestige of the Games, and acts of terrorism will be a way to detract from Moscow’s authority.

Undeniably then, the terror attacks in Volgograd are an assault on Russia’s sovereignty and its ability to host the Winter Olympics. By any definition of the official Western lexicon, the Winter Olympics are in the crosshairs of the War on Terror.

Yet Western leaders – who claim to be fighting a War on Terror – are showing an unseemly lack of solidarity with Russia by choosing to elevate «gay rights» in their decision not to attend the Games next month. Such a dereliction of political support in the face of wanton terrorism against another state is at best misplaced, and at worst it betrays an unconscionable ulterior motive.

Indeed weeks before the latest Volgograd terror attack, the White House announced that its low-level delegation to Sochi would be fronted by former tennis player and gay icon Billie Jean King. Another member of the official US delegation is hockey player Caitlin Cahow who is also a gay rights advocate. 

As the British Guardian noted of that White House selection: «Barack Obama is sending Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with his choices to represent the United States as delegates at the Winter Olympics in Sochi».

So, in contrast to the adage about not mixing sport and politics, Washington and its allies seem very much intent on using the Sochi Games as a political propaganda event to undermine Moscow. 

This fits in with a wider Western political agenda of low-intensity aggression towards Russia. Despite vaunted claims of seeking a «reset» in relations between the US and Russia under Obama, Washington has gone out of its way to do everything to ratchet up tensions with Moscow. The Magnitsky Act sanctioning Russian officials over alleged human rights violations, the reneging on nuclear disarmament obligations, the blatant interference in Russia-Ukraine affairs over EU partnership, and the lionizing of released embezzler-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky – are but a few of the issues that Washington and its European allies have pushed into Moscow’s face over recent months. 

In the coming weeks, we can expect more such political gaming from the US as the Sochi Olympics approach – with the undeclared agenda of trying to score propaganda points over Russia. There is more than a sneaking feeling that Washington is reeling from being outplayed by President Putin on a range of other issues, including the Edward Snowden whistleblower affair and over the Western regime-change failure in Syria. 

As a sign of what lies ahead are American media reports that Putin has ordered a ban on public protests in Sochi during the Olympic Games following the Volgograd bombings. The move to restrict demonstrations is entirely understandable given the grave risk of terror attacks and the evident horror visited upon Volgograd. But the US reports chose to highlight these Russian security measures as «a crackdown on gay rights». 

Such crass insensitivity goes to show that if there were an official sport for «propaganda slaloming» at Sochi, the US would surely take gold. 

It might be pointed out, too, that if Washington were really sincere in its solidarity with Russia and its willingness to provide «full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games» then it could make this practical contribution: hand over all its military intelligence files on covert jihahist networks that the US and its Saudi ally have been funding and arming in the North Caucasus for the past 20 years.

 
Tags: European Union Canada Russia US
 

 
Rating: 4.6 (25)      Your rating: 1 2 3 4 5     
 
Send by e-mail

Социальные комментарии Cackle
Comments
 
To add a comment, Login or Register
 
 
 
OUR COLUMNIST
    Grigory STAVRIDIN

Hungarian Factor. Transcarpathian Fragment of Ukrainian Patchwork

The “strange armistice” in Donbass and the upcoming parliamentary election in Ukraine have made pale the events in Transcarpathia, the region where the situation can hardly be called tranquil. The radical Ukrainian nationalism has become decisive for shaping the new regime’s policy, the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the mobilization of Ukrainians to fill the ranks of those who take part in the punitive operation against Novorossia – all told these factors have given impetus to separatist trends in the Transcarpathian region. Ukrainian MPs have granted self-rule to parts of two eastern regions while Budapest strongly supports the demands of Hungarian minority to grant special status to Transcarpathia. 

30.09.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
TAGS
 
 
 
Aeroflot AFISMA African Union Africom AIPAC Al Qaeda Al Shabaab Al-Jazeera ALBA Amnesty International Anonymous APEC Arab League ASEAN ATAKA Atomstroyexport Bank for International Settlements Bank of America Barclays Basel Committee BBC Bilderberg Club Black Bloc Blackwater Boco Haram BP BRICS CELAC Center for Responsive Politics CEPAL Chevron CIA CICA CIS Citigroup CNN Committee of 147 Committee of 300 Council of Europe Council on Foreign Relations Crescent Crescent Petroleum CSTO Customs Union DARPA Davos DEA Defense Intelligence Agency DIA Dragon Family E.ON Eager Lion ECOWAS EDA ELNET Enbridge Pipelines ETA EU EULEX EurAsEc Eurasian Union European Commission European Court of Human Rights European Union Exxon Mobil Facebook FAO FARC FATAH FBI FDA Federal Reserve FIFA Financial Action Task Force Financial Stability Board Fitch Franklin Templeton Freedom House FRS FSB FTA FUEN G-4 G20 G7 G8 GATA Gazprom GECF Glonass Goldman Sachs Google Greenpeace GUAM Guardian Gulf Cooperation Council Hague Tribunal HAMAS Heritage Foundation Hezbollah Hizb ut-Tahrir HSBC Human Rights Watch IAEA IEA IHRC IMF International Criminal Court Interpol IOC ISAF Islamic jihad Islamic Revolution Guards Corps ITERA Jamestown JP Morgan Jundullah KFOR KLA Ku Klux Klan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Lukoil Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mercosur Microsoft Missile defense Missile Defense Agency Moody's Morgan Stanley Mossad Most-Favoured Nation Mujahedin-e Khalq Muslim Brotherhood Nabucco Naftogaz NASA Nation of Islam National Security Agency NATO NDAA NDI NED Non-aligned Movement NORAD Nord Stream NORTHCOM Northern Distribution Network NSA OECD Oerlikon OIC OPCW OPEC Open Government Partnership Organization of American States OSCE OTW movement OUN / UPA PACE PACOM Pan-Europa movement Pentagon PJAK PKK PRISM PYD Red Cross Renova Republican Party Rosatom Roscosmos Rosneft Rosoboronexport Ruhrgas RusAl RWE SABSA Scientology Shanghai Cooperation Organization Shell Siemens South Stream Southern Command Standard & Poor's Statoil Strategic Nuclear Forces Stratfor SWF SWIFT Syrian National Council SYRIZA Taliban Tamarod TAPI TeleSur TNK-BP Total Transneft TTIP Twitter UN UN International Court UNASUR UNESCO USAID Valdai Club Visegrad Group Wall Street Westinghouse Wikileaks World Bank WTO Yukos “Mass Atrocity Response Operations”
 
 
 

Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal www.strategic-culture.org.


 

 

 
 
© Strategic Culture Foundation

RSS

Main Politics History&Culture Archive Authors Popular
  Economics Columns About Contact

Яндекс.Метрика

 

Finian CUNNINGHAM


all articles