Thursday, March 27, 2003

That other useless international organization...

Sports Illustrated reported last week on the reign of terror imposed by Uday Hussein—Saddam's oldest son—as head of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee. Here's what happened to an Iraqi boxer who failed to win a regional competition:

With a wave of Uday's arm the manacled boxer was led into the room by Iraqi secret service. Sitting behind a dark wood desk beneath an oversized portrait of himself, Uday began his tirade. "In sport you can win or you can lose. I told you not to come home if you didn't win." His voice rising, he walked around the desk and gave the boxer a lesson. "This is how you box," he screamed as he threw a left and a right straight to the fighter's face. Blood dribbled from the athlete's nose as Uday launched another round of punches. Then, using the electric prod he was famous for carrying, Uday jolted the boxer in the chest.
There are dozens more stories like this one, yet the International Olympic Committee has sat on its hands for months, refusing to even consider expelling Iraq from the Olympic movement. Canadian IOC member Richard Pound went so far as to cast aspersions on evidence of Hussein's torture, saying the IOC has "to make sure this is not all tied to the Iraq-U.S. dispute, that we are not being used for propaganda." Apparently, Pound has no problem with Iraq—and dozens of other dictatorships—from using the Olympics for political propaganda.

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