Practice What You Preach

Russia is not very gay-friendly. That’s putting it mildly.

The 2014 summer Olympic games will be held in Sochi despite a frightening number of very real gay hate crimes being committed all over Russia. Vladimir Putin himself recently gave a speech in which he said that Russia would not tolerate “being genderless or fruitless” (I personally consider myself VERY fruity, actually, so that shouldn’t be a problem).

When speaking to MSNBC about the issue, gay actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein (you’d know him from Independence Day, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Disney’s Mulan) was very candid in talking to Chris Hayes about Russia’s new ban on “gay propaganda”. The language of the law is so ambiguous that police can toss anyone in jail for the most minor support of gay rights. Fierstein gave Vladimir an out that the dictator doesn’t deserve when he said that Putin is only in it for the money – that it’s right-wingers and their popularity that’s driving this mess.

Fierstein is falling victim to a belief that people are inherently good. Human beings are not. Putin is likely every bit as anti-gay as the new laws suggest, and it has more to do with his communist beliefs from his days in the KGB than with any religious or political ideal. Communism – like the Nazi brand of fascist socialism – needs new workers to survive. People have to procreate and add more able bodies to the force of “the people”. Gay people cannot procreate and are therefore useless to the greater good, so they must be done away with.

It astounds me that so many people fail to understand that concept. What’s more, gay leftists like Fierstein are far more willing to pin the blame on “right-wingers” than to acknowledge the truth – an act that goes against his stated mission to make people face the realities of anti-gay Russia.

Fierstein is right in making the parallel between 1936 Germany and today’s Russia. In 1936, the world gave a squishy “we don’t like your anti-Jew campaign” response to the Games being held in Berlin. Rather than boycott the games, they allowed Hitler to get away with just taking down the propaganda – then when everyone went home, Shoah began. More than six million Jews and upwards of eight million other “undesirables” (including homosexuals) were butchered. The anti-Jewish propaganda began in Nazi Germany much the way anti-gay propaganda is starting in today’s Russia. An undercurrent of belief that gays are filthy, lazy, and destructive to the country’s morals has given rise to a government movement. Laws banning gay couples from adopting preceded laws banning public support of any form of gay rights. Public attacks on gays are becoming more violent and more popular. It will continue to escalate until and unless other people stop talking and actually do something.

He is wrong to suggest that religion alone or a certain political ideal that many gay liberals believe is mirrored here in the US is responsible for this kind of thing. Like it or not, Russia, like Iran and most of the Sharia-loving Muslim nations in the Middle East, believes that the gay rights movement DOES come from the West. They believe that it’s a problem that we gave them. He can get angry with that fact all he wants. It does not negate the truth that he’s refusing to face.

We should be boycotting the Games. We should be standing up to Russia on this issue. We won’t now any more than we would have in Berlin in 1936 because the Games are more important. Fierstein, however, is like the rest of the gay left. He is far too willing to blame the conservative movement for this problem. In so doing, he (and Dan Savage like him) encourages the people who openly hate me for being a lesbian who is conservative. The people who push me around, throw drinks in my face, pick fights with me, and send me death threats take their cues from men like him.

When you learn to control your own hate, you can preach to the rest of the world about controlling theirs. Clean up your own act before you get on that pulpit.

A Massacre Best Forgotten

This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes after a 21-hour standoff in Munich during the XX Olympiad. The International Olympic Committee, however, has steadfastly refused to hold a moment of silence to remember the athletes and coaches who were kidnapped, beaten and then killed.

They’ve held moments of silence before. In 1984, a moment of silence was observed for war-torn Sarajevo. At the close of the 1996 games, they held a moment of silence for the victims of the Centennial Park bombing (which took place during the games). In 2002, less than a year after 9/11, our colors were carried in straight from the ashes of Ground Zero and our tattered flag was raised amid a moment of silence. THIS year, a moment of silence was observed along with a video tribute to Brits who died during the transit bombings the day after London won the 2012 games. Never, not once, in any Olympiad since 1972 has the IOC allowed a moment of silence to remember the innocent sons, husbands, and fathers from Israel who were slaughtered by terrorists. They’ve allowed commemoration for everyone impacted by jihadi terrorism except for Israelis.

It seems to me that the IOC’s message is clear: the Israelis deserved it. We’ll play along just enough to get by, but deep down we believe they deserved it because they’re dirty Jews and we’re hoping that the Palestinians eventually just kill them all.

I might be taking it a bit far there, but how else can I interpret their utter lack of recognition for one of the most brazenly inhumane terrorist attacks in modern history? They’ll hold a moment of silence for everyone BUT the Israelis? Really? What else can we glean from that?

Guri Weinberg, the son of slain wrestling coach Moishe Weinberg, recently wrote a very strong-worded op-ed about his interaction with the IOC. Guri is now an actor; he was only a month old when his father was murdered at the Olympic village. He, along with other widows and children of the slain athletes, has long hoped and argued for a moment of silence to remember their calm bravery before their deaths. It was hoped in 1996 that such recognition would finally come to pass, but when the group met with Alex Gilady – who at the time was a member of the IOC’s Radio & Television Commission and is the Senior VP of NBC Sports today – they were met again with disappointment. He told them his hands were tied, then made an astonishing comment: if they held a moment of silence for the Israelis who had died that day, they would also have to hold a moment of silence for the Palestinians who had died during the botched rescue attempt.

Those Palestinians weren’t athletes. They were terrorists. They were there to use collateral damage to chastise the IOC for not recognizing Palestine as a member and force Israel to release more than 200 other terrorists from jails all over the world (it’s worth noting that among the prisoners were a pair of German Neo Nazis from the group that had helped the terrorists get fake ID’s and detailed info on the Olympic village and where different athletes were being housed). I’m absolutely floored that anyone in the IOC would actually believe that recognizing that event would also require paying homage to the terrorists who carried out the act.

The day after the massacre, all of the flags in the Olympic stadium were lowered to half-mast. Each and every Arab nation represented demanded that their flags not be lowered for dead Jews. Since the massacre, Iranian athletes have become famous for withdrawing from events where they would have to compete against Jews. The IOC claims to want to uphold the “spirit of the Olympic Charter”, yet when extreme unsportsmanlike behavior rears its ugly head, they back down and slink away as if they are completely impotent.

In a telling move, Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, said, “Sports are meant for peace, not for racism… Sports are a bridge to love, interconnection, and spreading of peace among nations; it must not be a cause of division and spreading of racism between them [nations].” That statement leaves me in a fury. He said that in a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, the coward who openly refused (almost mocked) to allow a moment of silence during the 2012 opening ceremony in London. In that same letter, he referred to the massacre as the “Munich Operation” and did not acknowledge the loss of innocent Israeli life with so much as a glimmer of humanity. Such innuendo makes me wish Israel would simply say “to hell with this ridiculous ‘peace’ process” and clear out every Palestinian camp and neighborhood.

Mahmoud Abbas is currently the head of the PLO and the president of the Palestinian National Authority. He didn’t get there by sitting on his laurels. Abu Daoud, now the only surviving planner of the attack, wrote in his autobiography that Abbas funded the operation and knew exactly what they were going to be doing. Abbas’ hands are just as bloody as Yasser Arafat’s were, and our government officials still try to talk to him as if he really wants peace. He, along with every Arab nation that sits on the IOC, is perfectly happy to pretend that it either didn’t happen or was justified – and the IOC is happy to oblige.

Every single delegate to the IOC who does not stand up and scream bloody murder about these injustices is an accomplice to them. I include the US delegate in that.

More From China

I really appreciated this editorial from the Washington Times. I appreciate most editorials from the Washington Times.  Nevertheless, this one captures a great deal of my own sentiment regarding China as host of the 2008 Olympics.

AS CHINA’S COMMUNIST leadership conceived it, this year’s Olympic Games were to mark the country’s debut as a global power, with a booming economy and rapidly modernizing society. Instead, it’s beginning to look as though the Games could become a showcase for violent repression, censorship and political persecution by a regime that has failed to rise above the level of police state. Though they present themselves as worldly and reformist, President Hu Jintao and his leadership group seem unable to grasp how the policies they have pursued in recent months have undermined the honor of staging the Olympics and risk destroying China’s international prestige.

Of course, we all know that this a facade.  French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has mentioned the possibility of boycotting the opening ceremonies.  Even the EU is taking up the matter of a full boycott in response to the events in Tibet.  Strange that Europe should display more gumption than the US in such matters.

I hate to sound wishy-washy.  Sometime I really love George W., but sometimes he really frustrates me.  His embrace of Putin and his refusal to come out stronger against the latest Chinese brutality really leave me speechless.

Unfortunately, the Chinese leadership may have been encouraged by Western leaders — including President Bush — to believe it could maintain these policies and still hold a successful Olympics. Though French President Nicolas Sarkozy has now said publicly that he would not rule out boycotting the opening ceremony in Beijing in response to the repression in Tibet, Mr. Bush has not altered his ill-considered statement that he would attend the games as “a sports fan.” Yesterday, the White House reiterated that the president plans to attend the opening ceremony, gratuitously signaling to Mr. Hu that he need not fear that imprisoning dissidents or beating Tibetan monks will affect even that most political of Olympic events.

I guess it’s easy for me to sit here and hope against hope that the President will make stronger statements against the thugs in Beijing and Moscow.  I understand the political game.  But how long do you let it go on, and where do you draw the line in the sand?  Reagan didn’t feel the need to appease the USSR, and he brought it down.  What has changed that we are not able to do this?  Maybe the fact that China has an economic stranglehold on the US?

I have a feeling that explains it, but eventually it will come to blows.  Anyone who believes that China and the US are not on a collision course is seriously deluding themselves.  The question is “when”, not “if.”  I don’t feel that we do ourselves any good by continuing to enable the police state in Beijing.  Events as prestigious as the Olympics only lend credibility to this dictatorship and give them increased economic pull on the global stage.

At some point, someone is going to have to ask the question – “When is enough, enough?”  All we are doing at this point by fostering this communist atrocity is making it stronger -day by day.  We feed it our dollars and euros and pounds.  We’re only making things more difficult for ourselves in the future.  For – if anyone believes that the engagement of China, so notably embraced by Richard Nixon, is going to work – they are sorely wrong.  Only guts, fortitude and resolve will solve the China problem.

At this point – we’ve almost guaranteed the fact that the China resolution won’t be pretty.  Why continue to make it worse?