From the UK Telegraph:

American athletes have been warned not to wave the US 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….The plan is part of a charm offensive aimed at repairing the country’s international reputation following the deepening crisis in Iraq and damaging revelations of torture and mistreatment of detainees by US forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Given Saddam’s actual rape and torture of his own people (i.e., raping of 13 year old girls by his sons; chopping off of tongues and beheading for disobedience; throwing handcuffed dissenters off the tops of building; whips and slashes that make Mel Gibson’s Christ-flick seem like kindergarten; thousands upon thousands murdered) while for nearly a decade U.N. bureaucrats under Kofi Annan moved billions into Swiss bank accounts in the “Iraqi oil money to U.N. crony Swiss Bank account” program, while the useful idiots at CNN drank champagne as they profited over Saddam’s manufacture of Iraqi corpses–only a fool would have the gall to even hint that America’s reputation has anything to do with Abu Ghraib prison.

“American athletes find themselves in extraordinary circumstances in Athens in relation to the world as we know it right now,” said Mike Moran, a veteran former spokesman for the US Olympic Committee who has been retained as a consultant to advise athletes about the correct way to behave.

“Regardless of whether there is anti-American sentiment in Athens or not, the world watches Americans a lot now in terms of how they behave and our culture. What I am trying to do with the athletes and coaches is to suggest to them that they consider how the normal things they do at an event, including the Olympics, might be viewed as confrontational or insulting or cause embarrassment.”

It is precisely because the world watches how Americans behave that America’s athletes should set the opposite example. Despite its contradictions America is still the freest country on earth (heaven knows for how long given its anti-American intellectual climate). If anyone should be ashamed it should be the supporters of Saddam’s regime.

Cartoon by Cox and Forkum

Humilty as a response for achieiving a long-range goal is to commit a moral fraud for the sake of flattering the of others. For an athlete to act humble for winning a gold medal is to spit in his own face. It is to dishonor his own accomplishments. Observe Aristotle’s comments on the man of pride:

He must also be open in his hate and in his love (for to conceal one’s feelings, i.e. to care less for truth than for what people will think, is a coward’s part), and must speak and act openly; for he is free of speech because he is contemptuous, and he is given to telling the truth, except when he speaks in irony to the vulgar. He must be unable to make his life revolve round another, unless it be a friend; for this is slavish, and for this reason all flatterers are servile and people lacking in self-respect are flatterers.

The model for American athletes to follow is that of Mel Gibson in The Patriot: to wave the American flag proudly. Returning back to the UK Telegraph article:

“What I am telling the athletes is, ‘Don’t run over and grab a flag and take it round the track with you.’ It’s not business as usual for American athletes. 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.”

Why the double standard? Why is it that athletes of every present and former third world dictatorship can flaunt their countries’ flag proudly, but the athletes of greatest country on earth–economically, politically, and morally–may not? No matter what American’s do they will be condemned: if American athletes do not show pride it is their own admission of guilt; if American athletes do show pride it is proof of the evil of American arrogance. American’s are dammed by the “international community” if they do, and they are dammed if they don’t.

Cartoon by Cox and Forkum

It is entirely second-handed for Americans to base their actions on the irrational beliefs of others. The only thing that makes such a setup possible is America’s moral sanction. It is far time that Americans withdraw that sanction. Given the moral cowardice and turpitude of America’s congressman and diplomats, it is doubtful that the U.S. will withdraw from the U.N. But, America’s athletes–the greatest in body, but not necessarily in mind–may take an intellectual, and profoundly moral stand: by withdrawing their moral sanction by refusing to appease the envy and ignorance of others.

The U.S. should have first taken out Iran, but that they deposed of Saddam Hussein without the permission of the U.N. is no grounds for condemnation, but for applause. Despite all his European defenders, Hitler had no right to exist–and despite all of his European supporters neither did Saddam have any right to exist either. Hopefully, Arafat and the monsters who rule Iran will be next–but then I am expecting far too much from President Bush, who waivers between the moral “cowboy” attitude of American self-assertivebess and the altruistic, immolation of Christian “turn the other check” self-sacrifice. The latter is shamefully evidenced in Bush’s rule of permitting Americans to die, in order to save a pile of bricks used to protect terrorists who slaughter American troops, because those bricks are declared as a “holy site” of Islam. The proper viewpoint is that if any terrorist attempts to kill Americans while hiding in a “holy site”, is to make that site into one big hole.

…And at an Olympic football qualifying match in Mexico earlier this year the American team was subjected to sustained barracking by a section of the crowd, including chants of “Osama, Osama”.

Given the fact of September 11th this is proof of why Americans should wave the flag proudly–and why the trash who made such smears should be ignored.

…The irony is that finishing the Games as the most powerful nation is unlikely to endear them to the rest of the world.

The may the “rest of the world” be damned. American athletes–wave your flag proudly–and if you are silent, let it be in remembrance of your fellow American athlete Pat Tillman.

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