Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Greeks have a word for it

Secretary of State Powell had intended to go to Athens to attend the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. A rather odd decision but no worse than Prime Minister Blair’s to attend the opening ceremony and stand around lobbying for London for the 2012 Olympics.

However, about 1,500 Greeeks took umbrage and marched to the American embassy in protest. Upon which (and presumably in response to a request by the Greek government who may have feared worse) Mr Powell has sent a message saying that he was, after all, too busy to attend and thanking the Greek government for providing such good security for the Games. Actually, much of the secuirty was provided by NATO but let that pass.

According to AOL News:

Many Greeks had wondered why Powell planned to visit this weekend, knowing his presence would likely provoke protests. Until Powell announced his visit, there had been none of the anti-American demonstrations that were feared in the run-up to the games.
Well, big of them.

It seems that both the Afghani and the Iraqi teams were cheered by the crowds at the opening ceremony, while the American team was considerably less well received, being representatives of a nasty imperialist power.

One does have very warm feelings towards the Afghanistan team, which consists of five athletes, two of whom are women. And it was delightful to see the Iraqi football team perform much better than in the past, when sportsmen who failed to do as well as expected were personally tortured by the psychopathic Uday Husseyn.

Among all that pleasure, would it not be a good idea to remember who made it possible for Afghanistan to have an Olympic team and for Iraq to send a team who could compete without any fear? And what sort of support did the coalition receive from Greece either in Afghanistan or Iraq? A great deal of abuse from the government and around 5 per cent support for the people.

The Greeks do, indeed, have a word for it. The word is hypocrisy.

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