The idea of the Olympics as a "family of nations reunion" is revolting. Just as the United Nations, the Olympics mask the hard truth that there is no family of nations, just self-interested actors. It usually takes anti-Semitism to highlight when the mask slips.
In 1972, Avery Brundage wrote off 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Arab terrorists during the Olympics, saying the Games had to go on. In 2004, Olympic officials allow a team representing a fantasy "Palestine" to participate in the Games; the team walked in carrying olive branches (as opposed to their usual implements: guns, backpack bombs and child shields) to thunderous applause. Meanwhile, the Israeli team was met with complete silence. As one Israeli journalist put it, "It's the opposite of what the Olympics are supposed to be."
So perhaps we should be thanking Miresmaeli for underlining once again that the Olympics are not about friendly competition, but about masking the fact that we don't live in a "family of nations" world.
Too bad that the absence of a "family of nations" goes unrecognized by Democratic candidate John Kerry. To him, America is merely one member of a family of nations -- and do we really want to abandon our family? This seems to be Kerry's main criticism of the Bush administration: that under President Bush, America has alienated members of our family. Washington state Gov. Gary Locke raised this point at the Democratic National Convention: "A safer America is not an America standing alone. It's an America standing with our allies standing inside, not outside the family of nations."
If there is a family of nations, it's a vicious, homicidal, perverted, degraded, dysfunctional, inbred group of mongrels. But more likely, the "family of nations" is a myth. And if even the Olympics can't hide the fact that the "family of nations" is a naively feverish, phantasmagorical vision, how can John Kerry and his followers stand behind such a patently false idea?