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August 15, 2004

Then there's this thought for the day...

ATHENS (Reuters) - Iran's world judo champion Arash Miresmaeili refused to compete against an Israeli Sunday, triggering a fresh crisis at the Olympic Games where race, creed or color are barred from interfering in sport.

Now, Miresmaeili appears to have not 'made weight' - or so is the official line out of Athens. Okay. Fine. As a former wrestler, I can understand that. I can't understand a world-class athlete not making weight, but I understand how weigh-ins work. Face-saving excuse. Sort of.

However, in other venues, the Iranians spin a different story...


But in Tehran, the Iranian National Olympic Committee said in a statement: "This is a general policy of our country to refrain from competing against athletes of the Zionist regime and Arash Miresmaeili has observed this policy."

Iran has refused to recognize Israel's right to exist since Islamic fundamentalists toppled the Shah in 1979.

Miresmaeili, who had been due to fight Israeli Ehud Vaks, was quoted by Iran's official news agency IRNA as saying he acted in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Okay, the US boycotted the 1980 Olympics because Jimmy Carter was peeved at the Soviets. Stupid, really, but, okay. We boycotted the whole event. The entire US team. It would appear that from an Iranian perspective, we should have just boycotted events where we would have met the Soviets. Or even the Iranians, give the Hostage Crisis.

The rest has moved to the Flash Traffic.

Of course, that's not our way. We prefer to take our enemies on head-to-head and kick their ass. Or, get ours kicked. Regardless - we take it to 'em.

Of course, in my uncharitable one-time high caliber athlete view - the real reason is this:

Miresmaili didn't want to risk losing to the "representative of the Zionist regime." Didn't want to risk standing on the platform when the Israeli anthem was played, and the Israeli flag went up in the Victory position. Even though the Iranians aren't Arabs, they just couldn't stand the thought of being middle-eastern Muslims whacked by the Israelis, again. 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and numerous other skirmishes in-between and since.

I wonder if he would have gone up against an American Jew?

Now Teheran has carried middle-eastern Muslim insecurity to a new level. Can't successfully face the Israelis in a stand-up fight on the Golan or in the Sinai? Fine, blow up some pizzarias and call yourselves heroes. Here's your raisins!

Now they can't even bring ourselves to face an Israeli toe-to-toe on a judo mat.

How sad is that? Listen up, dudes. Running away from 'em and sneaking around blowing them up isn't going to help your self-esteem. Stepping onto the mat and beating the Israeli would have made you a hero, Arash. Now you look like a gutless coward.

"Who dares, wins."

But you guys won't even dare anymore.

So, pick your sorry asses up, and join the late 20th Century. It's looking like the early 21st is still too hard for you. Of course, you're busy trying to drag the rest of the world back to the late 10th century, eh?

Just strike your tents and go home. Roll up the carpet, and slink back to Iran, you gutless wimps.

How pathetic.

Update: I'm probably being unfair to Miresmaeili, who is possibly just as much a victim of his government as the US athlete's were of theirs. It's made possibly even dumber if, as the Israelis note at the end of this article - Miresmaeili could have won the gold. But the Ayatollahs couldn't stomach/risk it.

Twits. Dumber than Jimmy Carter on this one. And that was a bonehead decision, Jimmy.

The whole article is here.