Is the Ironman Triathlon Becoming a Sport for Dictators?

December 4, 2015

By Peter Bogdanich

December 4, 2015

This Saturday, the U.S. triathlon promoter Ironman will hold its first competition in the Middle East. But by choosing Bahrain as its host, Ironman is teaming up with a royal family that has arrested top athletes and thousands of others who called for political reforms.

Bahrain_map_-_2 (1)Ironman’s half-marathon “Middle East Championship” is set for December 5th in Bahrain, an island monarchy located off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. The local partner for the event, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa, is a prince who stands accused of calling for and overseeing the arrest of major Bahraini athletes who participated in demonstrations for democracy and reform.

In February of 2011, thousands of Bahrainis took to the streets of the capital city to call for democratic reforms in largely peaceful protests. Security forces responded with tanks, tear gas, and live ammunition. Dozens of peaceful protesters were killed, and thousands were subjected to arbitrary arrest.

Bahrain_crackdown_Nuwaidrat_14_feb._2011

2011 Bahrain protests. Photo by Lewa’a Alnasr.

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Analysis: A US Diplomat Ignores Israel’s Occupation

December 26, 2011

In a speech delivered last month, US diplomat Andrew J. Shapiro revealed the enormous extent of US military aid to Israel — including his goal of increasing that aid and reducing Congressional oversight.

Freedom Forward Analyst Patrick J. Finn, PhD, has written an insightful review of Shapiro’s speech — as well as what Shapiro failed to mention.  While Shapiro spent an awful lot of time talking about the “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” he didn’t once mention the word occupation.

In his speech, Shapiro also didn’t mention that the gift of US weapons is what helps Israel maintain that brutal occupation of Palestinian communities.

Shapiro is the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs — the man whose team is the US State Department’s “principal link to the Department of Defense.”

Click here to read Patrick Finn’s insightful analysis.