Are the Sochi Games in Danger? If you believe this report from the UK paper The Telegraph then the answer is yes. Unfortunately, organized violence at the Olympic games is not an unknown event. The hope of the Olympics is to bring people together despite all else that may be going on in the world or between nations. To get people who would just as soon kill each other to release that anger in a less violent and destructive manner and perhaps get them to talk to each other. If you think pursuits such as golf, skiing, bicycling, baseball, football, etc are trivial pursuits of no worth to society think again. Men will compete and if that competitive nature is not channeled into pursuits such as sports then men will find other ways to let that competitive nature get out.
The details of the talks were first leaked to the Russian press. A more detailed version has since appeared in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which has Hezbollah links and is hostile to the Saudis.
As-Safir said Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.
Note, the source of this threat to the Olympic games comes from a Lebanese newspaper which we are wise to consider as unreliable as a satellite of Syria which has every reason to discredit Saudi Arabia and Sunni Islam. Still the recent attacks targeting a train station about 400 miles away from Sochi lend credence to at least the notion that potent forces are planning to attack the games. While attacks against Olympic games are not unheard of (Munich ’72 and the Atlanta ’96 games) they rare. The Olympics must present a nice target:
- The world is focusing on the games
- The event is huge, giving those who would attack the games a better chance security will miss them by pure luck
- Russia known for its heavy hand in dealing with such attacks may feel constrained by the huge amount of foreign nationals and international attention
- Even if Russia does not restraint itself in the event of an attack, their response is likely to hurt or kill a number of innocents, which suits the Chechens just fine
In any event, it is out of our hands and is completely up to those who would attack the games and the Russians charged with carrying out and protecting the games. The best case is the bad guys decide not to be bad, the next best case is the good guys stop the bad guys. No matter how this plays out remember Life gives no one guarantees about anything.