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The Olympics And Iraq

Michael Soussan makes a strong case against the International Olympic Committee's decision to ban Iraq from participating in the 2008 Olympic Games:

The country's sin, as described by the IOC, is to have changed the members of its national Olympic committee, awarding posts based on local political loyalties. This is an interesting accusation -- given that the previous chief of Iraq's Olympic effort was Uday Hussein, the son of Iraq's former dictator.

If Uday Hussein was acceptable to the IOC, why is the committee up in arms about the Iraqi government's decision to reshuffle its Olympic management team? The answer is that Iraq's new Olympic managers have not yet been accredited by the IOC. What will it take to get them accredited? Will they have to start torturing their athletes the way Uday used to do, when they failed to perform to his liking?

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at