Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Lance Armstrong of International Geopolitics

Sar Shalom

With sports being discussed among Israel-supporters, a reflection on the Lance Armstrong saga might be worthwhile. As anyone who has even casually followed the sport of cycling knows, Armstrong recovered from a bout of testicular cancer to return to elite bicycle racing, winning 7 consecutive Tours de France. People wanted so much to believe in the story of someone recovering from disease in such a grand fashion that they overlooked the signs that Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs, engaging in blood doping, and his machinations to obscure his cheating. Furthermore, the authorities overseeing international cycling failed to penetrate the omertà within the elite cycling community, an omertà which that community allowed only Armstrong to break when it helped him eliminate his competition, allowing the cheating to continue with impunity.

It was not until years after Armstrong's retirement from racing that investigators were able to piece together that proof that Armstrong had indeed cheated in all of his Tour de France wins. Since that proof came so many years after the events, when Travis Tygart of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) discussed the case on 60 Minutes, one of the questions was why it was so important to pursue the case so long afterwards. Tygart's response was that if it was dropped, that the message to future cheaters would be that all they need to do to get away with their schemes is to craft a compelling enough and sympathetic enough personal story.

In international geopolitics, there is a political movement that tells a story that pulls on heartstrings around the world as forcefully as did Armstrong's recovery from cancer. It is a story of fighting for a people who lack a state to represent them in the homeland where their ancestors supposedly lived for centuries. The international do-gooders want so much to help this cause that they ignore every indication that this movement's real aim is that a different group should become stateless. Whenever associates of this movements have rallies supporting fascism, it's omertà in newsrooms across the world. Whenever this movement uses its civilians as human shields for its military operations, it's omertà in newsrooms across the world. Whenever compromises are offered to this movement and the movement rejects those compromises, it's omertà in newsrooms across the world.

The movement that gets this treatment is Palestinian nationalism. Just as with Armstrong, if malfeasance on this scale is swept under the rug because the story is so compelling, the lesson to movements across the world will be that a compelling story confers impunity on all actions.


  1. There's some strong indication that his cancer was caused in part BY his doping. One can only hope that the 'palestinians' efforts at cheating eventually eat them alive unto death.

  2. Yes, the "Palestinian Narrative" of perfect victimhood is a lie.

    I don't know anything, really, about Lance Armstrong - bloop doping? What the heck is bloop doping? - but your analogy is well-taken.

    Anyone who knows much of anything about the so-called "Palestinian National Movement" knows that the PLO was advised by the Soviets in the early 1960s to give up the old-timey We Need to Drive the Jews into the Sea! rhetoric for something more along the lines of, "We are an indigenous people oppressed on our own land by militaristic colonial interlopers!"

    Given that Jews are the closest thing to an indigenous population that the area has, the whole bleeding "narrative" was a lie to begin with and we need to say so in no uncertain terms.

    Part of my problem with what you might term "moderate-left Jewish Zionism," Stand With Us comes to mind, is that I find them a bit too willing to incorporate key bits of the faux "Palestinian Narrative" into their analyses. I do not want to come down on Stand With Us because they do exceedingly valuable work and I have far more faith in them than very many other allegdly pro-Israel organizations. I will take Stand With Us over J Street in a New York minute.

    But they also tend to speak of "the occupation" - although, in fact, it is the Jewish minority in that part of the world that is under siege - and they tend to use language developed by our enemies to erase almost 4,000 years of Jewish history on that land. "West Bank," of course, being the classic example.

    We need to unravel the malicious "Palestinian Narrative" and show it for the tissue of lies that it is.

    All they had to do, after all, was share the land with its rightful owners.

    But they could not for religious reasons.

    This is not a conflict over land.

    It is a religious war by the much larger majority population against the tiny Jewish minority and the Jews are outnumbered by a factor of 60 to 70 Muslim-Arabs for every Jew in that part of the world.

    1. "What the heck is bloop doping?"

      A typo. Will fix that.