Debate Magazine

The Lance Armstrong of International Geopolitics

Posted on the 28 May 2015 by Mikelumish @IsraelThrives
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 bloop 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.

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