Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boycott the Beijing Olympics

Update March 22/08:
For what it's worth, the National Post agrees with me.

I think the world should turn its back on the Chinese and spurn the Olympic Games. The government of China has clearly demonstrated that it does not possess any of the values espoused by the Olympics. By their actions in Tibet they are showing that they are thugs.

They can't admit to the truth even in the face of evidence. Today they are admitting that the security forces have shot four Tibetans. That's two short of the evidence presented by Students for a Free Tibet. And many many short of the independent reports coming out of Tibet. Go to this site. But be prepared to see some gruesome photos. And that's just the brutality of the last few days. Never mind what has been perpetrated over 50 years.

What galls me the most is the way the Chinese have lied. Barefaced. As if they really expect the world to believe what they are saying. Is there anyone who truly believes that the man who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 is the one who is responsible for encouraging violent protests in Tibet?

Mostly I am indifferent to the Olympics. I don't pay much attention to them. So, it's easy for me to say boycott the games. Actually, I am in a sense opposed to the Olympics because I believe the organizers themselves have betrayed the ideals of the games. As far as I'm concerned, they're now more about money than any kind of sportsmanship. Be that as it may, we all want our bread and circuses, no? So, let the games begin.

Or rather, let them not begin this time around. Let us tell Beijing that the Olympic games are reserved for nations that show themselves to be civilized.

For a long time I fell for the argument that we should not make the athletes who train so hard and dream so abundantly of gold pay the price of upholding political or humanitarian principles. They're just athletes, it's said. They have nothing to do with politics.


I heard that argument again today. "We should not make the athletes into political pawns," someone said. And that's when the scales fell from my eyes.

What do they think? That China does not see these Olympic Games in political terms? Capturing the Olympic Games was a political and propaganda coup! The athletes are already political pawns, whether the IOC wants to admit it or not. And furthermore, the athletes have always been pawns in the Olympic money game. They are economic pawns. So I ask you, what is the essential difference between being a political pawn or an economic one?

And I'll tell you the difference. None. Except that money always seems to trump human rights. Why else are we falling all over ourselves in the rush to trade with China?

Let's for once do the right thing instead of the profitable thing.

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