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US to lobby for aerial bombing as new Olympic event

by AP Sunday, Sep. 15, 2002 at 11:25 AM

In a surprise move, the US Olympic Committee will lobby to add aerial bombing as a new Olympic team event.


USOC to Lobby for Aerial Bombing Olympic Event

by Associated Press

September 13, 2002, 12:32 AM EDT

COLORADO SPRINGS,CO--In a surprise move, US Olympic
Committee President Sandra Baldwin announced today plans
to begin discussions on introducing a new Olympic team
event, Aerial Bombing. Said Baldwin, "We feel that this
event could represent an exciting opportunity for synergy
between the traditional Olympic events, which promote
universal values of excellence in athletic achievement,
with the new atmosphere of international cooperation in the
fight for the democratic values which America stands for."

When asked to respond to the surprise announcement,
European delegates to the International Olympic Committee
were critical but noncommittal. "We are sceptical that
this event would really contribute to the values of the
Olympics," said International Olympic Committee President
Jacques Rogge. "We feel that this proposal must not be
presented in a way that would suggest unilateralism,
but must be framed in a true spirit of international
cooperation in keeping with the Olympic tradition,"
he added.

Indeed, it appears that the key controversy which will
face the proposal centers on target selection. Sources
close to members of the IOC state that European Olympic
commissioners will insist on UN Security Council review
of all targets in such an event. American delegates have
not yet made clear their willingness to submit targets to
UN oversight.

"We envision that most targets in this event will be
limited to remote villages, sparsely populated. In
the event that cities are targetted, we will insist on
guidelines for use of precision munitions that limit
collateral damage to an absolute minimum," stated USOC
chair Baldwin. However, it is not yet clear that these
reassurances will satisfy critics. Said one Italian
IOC delegate who chose to remain off-the-record, "We
are disgusted with this proposal by the Americans. They
are trying to drape their warmongering in the colors of
Olympic internationalism. They just want to do the same
thing they did when they added basketball to the Olympics:
come up with a tailor made event that will guarantee
them total dominance, just so they can swagger in a bevy
of gold medals. Everyone knows that no other country
could really compete with the Americans in an event like
this. Furthermore, I fail to see what is so athletic about
pushing a button from a thousand meters and vaporizing a
thousand peasants below."

Peace activists were immediately critical of the American
proposal. "We feel that this proposal is yet another
demonstration that the US is on the wrong side of world
public opinion," said Fr. Daniel Berrigan, the well-known
priest and American political dissident. "Rather than
trying to settle international disputes peacefully and
cooperatively, the US is trying to find more excuses to
resort to force," he added.

British delegates responded with caution to the American
proposal. "We feel that it is important for Britain to
support proposals that contribute both to the Olympic
spirit and a lawful international order," a British IOC
commissioner said. "Obviously, however, we must be careful
in the matter of target selection for such an event. We
look forward to a fruitful dialogue with our American
counterparts on this aspect," he stated.
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