The Political Olympics: Moscow, Afghanistan, and the 1980 U.S. Boycott

By Derick L. Hulme Jr. | Go to book overview

4
The International Campaign

We now turn to the international element of the boycott effort. Despite oftrepeated protestations to the contrary, the United States was vitally concerned that it act in concert with as many states as possible; it is only with a firm grasp of this fact that one can appreciate the importance placed by Carter upon international acceptance of the U.S. initiative. The White House possessed no illusions as to the futility of any unilateral action. Not only could such an endeavor produce no positive results, it would subject the nation and the government to worldwide ridicule and to accusations of "warmongering" by the Soviets. The Kremlin's skill and expertise at propaganda dissemination required that a diverse spectrum of states coalesce against the Moscow Games; only such a variegated array of nations could effectively rebut Soviet attempts to paint the boycott in terms of yet another ill-conceived Cold War plot instigated by the United States and designed to undermine the peace-loving efforts of the Soviet Union.

The White House was cognizant of the fact that, in order to inflict punishment on the Kremlin, a boycott had to be both quantitatively and qualitatively supported by foreign states. This required an all-inclusive campaign to bolster the number of states involved, while it also demanded an intensive effort directed at enlisting the cooperation of the preeminent sporting nations. Only such a dual-oriented approach could achieve both the semblance of a global condemnation of Soviet aggression and a significant reduction in the quality of the Games. It was with this strategy in mind that Carter requested over 100 foreign leaders to reject participation at Moscow; 1 this general communique was hoped to elicit support from all areas of the globe, and from as many countries as possible. At the same time, however, the limited amount of dip-

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The Political Olympics: Moscow, Afghanistan, and the 1980 U.S. Boycott
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments iv
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Boycott Decision 17
  • 3 - The Domestic Campaign 21
  • 4 - The International Campaign 43
  • 5 - Consequences of the Boycott 75
  • 6 - Endemic Obstacles to the Boycott 89
  • 7 - U.S. Shortcomings 105
  • 8 - Evaluation of the Use of the Boycott 123
  • Notes 129
  • Selected Bibliography 169
  • Index 171
  • About the Author 181
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