Olympic countries must stand ground
If “our security cannot be assured, the French team will stay at home,” declared French Sports Minister Laura Flessel, regarding the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Way to show the terrorists and bullies of the world they have not achieved their goals.
Certainly the French government and all governments are right to be on guard for the sake of their athletes, as North Korean saber rattler Kim Jong Un will be a little close for comfort during the Winter Olympics. But the fact of the matter is no one’s security is ever assured — anywhere.
Truth be told, many (not all) of the security measures put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks here in the United States were much more to keep American citizens calm than to deter any attack. And given the extraordinarily high-profile nature of the event, the number of governments involved and the resources available for security measures, the Olympic venue in South Korea will probably be among the most “secure” places in the world for two weeks in February.
Let us not forget there will be huge contingents of Chinese, Russian and American athletes on site as well.
It is understandable that France is skittish. There have been more than 920 injured and more than 250 killed on their home soil in terror attacks since 2000.
But imagine the message delivered, to North Korea and to our friends in South Korea, if France does not show up. Worse, imagine if other countries follow their lead.
That kind of intimidation, fear and national isolation is precisely what people like Kim, or the vermin in ISIS, are seeking.
France must not let such evil frighten them into forcing athletes who have trained their whole lives for this moment to stay home.