Politics has crawled into the London Olympic Games. Some countries are taking the occasion to question British foreign policy; others reject possible hidden agendas. The result: the Olympic Spirit may not shine so bright this summer in London.
Last week, for instance, yet another diplomatic row broke out between Argentina and the United Kingdom over a TV advertisement commissioned by Argentina’s Government, showing Argentine Olympic Hockey Team captain Fernando Zylberberg working-out and running through the streets and fields of Port Stanley/Puerto Argentino in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands.
The ad’s slogan is strong: “To compete on English soil; we are first training on Argentine soil,” the insinuation being that the Malvinas Islands are Argentinean territory.
The ad ends with a message from the Argentine President’s Office paying tribute to “our heroic dead and veterans of the Malvinas War” between Argentina and the UK.
Immediately, the advertising agency which prepared the spot – New York-based Young & Rubicam – issued a statement saying, “It has come to our attention that our agency in Argentina created an ad for the Argentine government that has deeply offended many people in the UK and around the world. We strongly condemn this work and have asked the Argentine government to pull the spot.”
Hopefully, Argentina’s government will not pull the spot, particularly after recent heated diplomatic exchanges over the Falkland/Malvinas which pitted both countries in a brief 74-day war in 1982.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague accused Argentina of using the upcoming Olympic Games for political aim, pointing to President Cristina Kirchner’s diplomatic failure in claiming sovereignty over the islands. In turn, Sebastian Coe, president of the 2012 Olympic Games Committee, criticized the ad saying the Games “are not a political affair” but rather a gathering “to celebrate sports.”
They’re probably both right: the Argentine government’s unrealistic and lukewarm strategies over the Falklands are poor at best.
As the undersigned wrote to the London Telegraph on May, to balance things out maybe Young & Rubicam should issue a further statement saying something like, “It has come to our attention that the UK continues to illegally occupy the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, something that has deeply offended many people in Argentina and around the world. We strongly condemn this occupation which should cease, and will ask the British government to pull out of the Falklands/Malvinas.”
The ad was secretly filmed on the Falkland/Malvinas on March 18, when Zylberberg posed as just another runner in a marathon held that day on the Islands.
But this is not the only case where the Olympic Games, due to start July 27, have attracted political turmoil.
On May 1, Iran’s global news service PressTV complained that “the London Olympic Games have turned into a political game even before the start of the events, with…(its) official website removing the countries’ capitals from their profiles on the orders of Israel… The official website had described Israel as a country without a capital…(because) the space for Israel’s capital… had been… left empty as Jerusalem (Al-Quds) was listed as Palestine’s capital.”
To get around this, PressTV reports that “as of 1 May, 11:18am GMT, the profile of the countries listed on the website do not contain any information about their capitals.” PressTV also point out other misgivings Iran has about attending the Games after “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Mohammad Abbasi said they would not attend the London Olympics after it was revealed that Olympic athletes and their coaches would have to undergo fingerprints and face-scans being taken by UK officials.”
Willingly giving critical personal information to UK officials – knowing that it will probably reach UK spook agency MI6, and from there find its way to MI6’s Israeli Mossad and CIA partners – is clearly not a good idea for any Iranian national.
Regarding Syria, the report says that while the International Olympic Committee extended an invitation to the president of the Syrian Olympic committee, Mowaffak Joumaa, the British government warned that Joumaa could be refused entry to Britain.
More British double-talk at a time when the United Nations has just adopted a resolution saying the Olympic Games are an opportunity for “building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”?
Conflict with the Olympic Committee began last year when Iran threatened to boycott the London Games in protest over its “London 2012” logo, created by famous designer Wolff Olins. Iranian authorities pointed out that Olins’ artistic “2012” can be too easily rearranged to spell the word “Zion”:
Is the word “Zion” – one of the Biblical names for Israel – embedded into the London 2012 Olympics logo? Not so, says the International Olympic Committee (IOC): “The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else…” whilst a spokesman for the London Olympic Organizing Committee added: ”It was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation. We are surprised that (Iran’s) complaint has been made now.”
Iran, however, believes otherwise.Many wonder whether it may not be yet another sign of the huge power wielded by discrete organizations and lodges promoting globalist agendas closely tied to Israel and its allies.
Be that as it may, one can understand Iran’s sensitivities over this issue considering that it is a country under permanent threat of military attack by Israel, the US, UK and EU countries.
If “Zion” is in fact embedded into the 2012 Olympic logo, that would offend hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world who suffer hardship and violence at the hands of Israel and its Western allies.
As with British foreign policy in general, double standards and hidden agendas seem to have even reached the London Olympic Games.
Adrian Salbuchi for RTAdrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina. www.asalbuchi.com.ar