The nation was relieved when the Super Bowl went off without any bombs detonating–well, other than Sir Paul McCartney's performance of the worst 9/11 anthem this side of Neil Young's "Let's Roll." (It didn't help that as the former Beatle played "Freedom," dozens of cheerleaders in sequined bikinis jiggled on the field like so many extras from Apocalypse Now's nightmarish USO show sequence).
But given the Super Bowl's experience, it seemed like the Winter Olympics, which get underway this Friday in Salt Lake City, might have a similarly easy time of things. No such luck: First a bomb threat closes a highway to an Olympic venue and then a plane flying to Salt Lake City had to turn back because of a threatening note. It's a reminder that the Olympics, though ostensibly about transcending politics, remains embroiled in them, just as they were back during the Cold War, when almost every event was a proxy battle between communism and the liberal West. The disturbing result: the most ominous Olympics since the 1972 summer games in Munich, when Palestinian terrorists killed Israeli athletes.