Historically the olympic spirit made the countries at war to sustain truces during the games, but now the Olympics are just a Public Opinion distractions from the wars of the world to the sports, and a perfect opportunity to the powerful to do and undo whatever they want getting unnoticed or at least less noticed than normally. That’s a real danger now for Syrians flying from their country to Jordan, Lebanon Turkey or Iraq or resisting at home in Aleppo, Damascus or Homs.
According to the Al Jazeera correspondent in Aleppo, the Northern city who is the scene of the biggest battles in the last days, the place is almost in state of siege with the roads still open but no gas to go out by car or reach the airport or other cities. In other parts of the county people fly constantly even under attack. Syrian troops on Sunday killed two non-Syrian men as they tried to cross the border into neighbouring Jordan, said AFP, “The Syrian army ambushes all those who try to flee to Jordan.”, said Zayed Hammad, head of the Ketab and Sunna Society, which provides aid to more than 50,000 Syrian refugees. He said that 5,000 Syrians have arrived in three days. Jordan has 140.000 refugees already, said.
All this is happening but the public attention is in London with the “swimming war” between Phelps and Lochte and more other wonderful and cheerful events. And the world needs happy events, forget the Crisis, the wars, the violence. Problem: the war, the violence and the crisis are still there.
This remembers me the situation in Barcelona 92‘ when Croatia, the land of my family was in war. I went there to report and back in Spain talked with some of the athletes, like the basket ball representation. It was a very intense time to me. The situation was very different, The Croatians had already their independence and could compete as a country with a very good teams above all in tennis handball and basket, and they had the opportunity to explain what was happening back at home. But no one was willing to listen. People were more interested in sports and scores. The dead people back at home was too complicated and too gruesome to let them talk about it too much time.
The problem in Syria is different there is not a war of independence, I wouldn’t say a civil war neither. Is an uprising crushed by a totalitarian regime without a success that had as a result a bloodshed and a violent and long resistance.
Now, during the Olympics, I think is “the” time to look very intently at Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories, and the region in general, but particularly at Syria, to watch the movements of the regime in Damascus that had to remove troops from the Golan Area (Border with Israel) in order to defend Damascus and attack Aleppo and to don’t forget the drama of the dozens of thousands of refugees in turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. And to watch what would do Syria with its arms of mass destruction after the threats against the neighbour countries and the apparent evidences of the use of chemical arms against citizens in Homs recently denounced by the activists.
A big event, Public Opinion distraction, is a big danger in a war like this one.