USOC wimps

Lileks:

The only thing worse than a victorious American at the Athens Olympics? A proud one. The United States Olympic Committee has requested that our athletes curb their enthusiasm, since we are, you know, uh, hated. Says the London Sunday Telegraph:

"American athletes have been warned not to wave the U.S. flag during their medal celebrations at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, for fear of provoking crowd hostility and harming the country's already-battered public image. ... U.S. Olympic officials have ordered their 550-strong team to exercise restraint and avoid any jingoistic behavior."

Said Mike Moran, a USOC consultant: "If a Kenyan or a Russian grabs their national flag and runs round the track or holds it high over their heads, it might not be viewed as confrontational. Where we are in the world right now, an American athlete doing that might be viewed in another manner."

Please. You'd think President Bush had announced that our Olympians have a God-given right not only to grab the flag but to use the pole to knock the losers senseless.

Apparently if an athlete grabs an American flag and runs around the stadium, it will enflame the European Street. And the Arab Street, the Asian Street, the African Street, the Central and South American Streets, the Canadian Rue, and various other roads and alleys from assorted islands and subcontinents. The world simply is not able to take the sight of an American waving a flag in victory.

It would remind everyone that the United States spent months getting U.N. approval for a resolution authorizing force against Iraq, and we actually backed up the U.N.'s empty words with action – over the objections of France, which had been in bed with Saddam for so long they were no longer sleeping together, just reading until one or the other fell asleep.

...

Earlier this year the U.S. Olympic soccer team was having a qualifying match in Mexico; they were up against Canada; and they won. The United States won, whereupon the crowd started chanting "Osama! Osama!"

Seventeen Mexicans died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Twenty-four Canadians died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

You remember that big apology from Vicente Fox, don't you? No?


Fox should apologize, but the US should not be afraid of waving the flag.

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