Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cancel the Olympics

Who's idea was it to hold the Olympics in China?

It sure seems like a boneheaded move now. Equally as dumb is George Bush's plan to attend the opening ceremonies in Beijing. But then Bush seems to be the gold medal winner when it comes to embracing bad ideas.

This is not a food story, although we have written plenty about China's record of exporting tainted food and toxic toys to the rest of the world. China keeps saying it is ready to join the ranks of civilized nations, and we keep wanting to believe it. But then China ups and shows its true colors, swooping into Tibet to crack batons over the heads of unarmed monks.

Do the Chinese really think nobody is watching?

China is on its way to setting a new Olympic record as most polluting nation. Its government still cannot be trusted to honor anything resembling human rights. There is nothing approaching democracy or rule of law in China. In recent days, one of the country's most prominent civil rights and environmental activists, Hu Jia, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on trumped up charges of "subversion." His real crime seems to be blogging about what he really thinks in a country that refuses to recognize free thinking as a legitimate sport.

China is brazenly unabashed when it comes to ignoring international standards of decency. Even Secretary of State Condoliza Rice, who otherwise embraces George Bush's warped approach to world affairs, was moved to call Hu's conviction "deeply disturbing." Said our number one diplomat: "It is exactly the kind of decision that we have tried to convince the Chinese is not only not in the interests of human rights and in the interest of rule of law, but actually not in China's interest."

Hillary Clinton has called on Bush to boycott the Olympic ceremonies, but Bush the decider is sticking to his guns. Bush is great at sticking to his guns, especially when he is hopelessly wrong. But Americans need to ask themselves, How could we have sunk so low? Could it be the billions of dollars in trade that China represents? Have we become so craven? (Don't answer that.) Or could it be that China is now one of the largest foreign holders of all the debt we high-living Americans are ringing up? In fact, George Bush's war in Iraq--12 billion dollars a month--is being fought on credit, most of it supplied by the Chinese.

Currently, China holds more than $1 trillion in U.S. assets, nearly $500 billion in U.S. treasury notes. That puts the communist regime right behind Japan as the biggest U.S. creditor. Once a land of impoverished rice farmers, China now is in a position to sink the already foundering U.S. dollar should it ever decide to divest itself of the U.S. paper it has accumulated. Forget the nuclear button: China could pull the plug on the U.S. economy with a phone call to its broker.

That's where our mad WalMart shopping binge has landed us. George Bush is not going to Beijing so much as leader of the world's most powerful nation as the guy who got in over his head and is being propped up by a government that mocks American values.

And don't expect the International Olympic Committee to take a stand. "We are not a political organization, I am not afraid to tell you," said Hein Verbruggen, head of the IOC inspection team to Beijing. "We should not speak out on political issues."

What's that you say? People are rioting in Paris? Snuffing out the Olympic torch? Heavens, we don't want to offend our gracious host country by speaking out on political issues. Or was that human rights issues?

No American can watch these Olympics and feel good about it. They should just cancel the whole thing.


E :) said...

Couldn't have said it better. Hear hear.

The fact that the IOC is ignoring what the Chinese government is doing, arguing that the Olympics is "not political" is total nonsense. Sport can be such a wonderful unifier and I can only hope that this Olympics can ultimately be used to cause change. The fact that China got the games in the first place is a disgrace... But that's another story.

WhiteTrashBBQ said...

Nothing is going to change in China. They have the USA by the short hairs.

I wouldn't boycott the Olympics. Too many athletes spend their entire life training to get there.

I would call for an overhaul of the Olympic selection committee.

Ed Bruske said...

We may not be able to change China, but we can change the way we react to China. The last thing we should be doing is validating the policies of a totalitarian regime by sending our president to the opening ceremonies. Other world leaders are starting to drop out.

The olympics have become little more than a media gang bang. The issues are bigger than individual athletes. They can compete somewhere else. It's time to put the olympics to sleep.

earth heart said...

So very, very well said. I couldn't agree more.