Sochi Olympics: Western Games Begin as US Aims for Propaganda Gold [Strategic Culture Foundation]

by Finian Cunningham

Jan 10, 2014

Following the horrific double bombing in the Russian southern city of Volgograd that killed 34 people and injured dozens of others, the United States and other Western countries issued solemn condemnations of the terror attacks.

«The United States stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism,» the White House promptly declared. It added: «The US government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games».

There were also condemnations from the European Union and NATO of the suicide terror attacks on 29-30 December, which caused horrific scenes of carnage in Volgograd’s city center, including the deaths of several women and children.

Yet despite these expressions of outrage and international solidarity, it seems strange that the US and other Western governments are still persisting with their political snub of the Winter Olympic Games due to commence in Sochi on February 7.

President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the French and German Presidents Francois Hollande and Joachim Gauck, have not changed their plans to, in effect, boycott the Games…

The Western leaders have said they would not attend the quadrennial event, and their absence is being widely seen as an unofficial protest over alleged Russian human rights concerns, in particular a law against «gay propaganda» that Moscow enacted last year.

The snub by Western leaders of the Sochi Games is unprecedented. Sure, there have been outright country boycotts of Olympics in the past. In 1980, the US boycotted the Moscow Summer Olympics over the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan; and in 1984 the Soviet Union retaliated by boycotting the Los Angeles Olympics.

But the Western half-boycott of the upcoming event in Sochi is a new development. The US, Canada and European Union members will join 88 other nations to participate in the sporting events, but their heads of state are staying away.

This suggests that the West is playing political games with the Russian host nation. It seems churlish and disingenuous that Western governments are taking up the banner of «gay and lesbian rights» especially in light of the horror perpetrated in Volgograd. There seems to be a distinct lack of moral and political priority.

If we were to go down the road of cherry-picking human rights, then Russia could very easily have chosen to with-hold an official delegation going to the Canadian Winter Olympics held back in 2010 out of concern over Ottawa’s repression and mistreatment of its First Nation people. Somehow the Western disdain over Sochi does not ring true.

But the proof of Western concern – or rather lack of concern – on their stated human rights objections in Russia is the glaring incongruity over the recent Volgograd atrocity…

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