Saturday, March 22, 2008

What if They Held an Olympics Games and No One Came?

Two Chinese officials requesting Nepalese police apprehend the American taking this photo and take his camera away.

In the summer of 1989, I was supposed to go to China on a school trip. Unfortunately, the Chinese government had a different idea, as it became their policy to "dissuade" the thousands of protesters demonstrating in the highly visible center of Tiananmen square for media reform and an open dialogue with government. Eventually, the tanks and guns showed up and a lot of people got killed. Just like my hopes of seeing the Great Wall that summer.

Now, almost 20 years later, it looks like China will be banning live broadcasts during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. This is on the heels of the expulsion of the last two foreign journalists from Tibet on Thursday. All of this is in response to the anti-Chinese demonstrations/riots that occured in Lhasa.

Do I know everything that has been going on? Of course not. Do I necessarily agree with the Dalai Lama? Nope. Is it possible that the protests were co-opted by violent separatists?  Undoubtedly.  And this is precisely my point. I don’t  know a lot about the situation right now, specifically because there are no foreign journalists reporting. The only news you can find out of China is staunchly party line. At least the Germans are showing some kind of backbone here. Germany’s development minister has called a halt to upcoming talks with China in light of the current situation. All Condoleezza Rice could muster was a weak, ’You guys should shake hands and make nice.’ As a matter of fact, Bush is planning on attending the games... even after everything that has been happening.

I have an idea... Fuck China. Despite the fact that IOC President Jacques Rogge reportedly stated that no countries have called for boycott of the games, maybe that’s something we should be thinking about. Perhaps I’m being a little simplistic, but then again, what better statement could we make? It’s not like we are realistically going to start imposing economic sanctions on them. Hell, next we’d have to start insisting that the Saudis treat their women and homosexuals better or we wouldn’t buy oil from them.

But skip the Olympics... that puts a big asterisk next to the results of the 2008 games, doesn’t it? And if a few other countries that believe in free speech and human rights get in on it too... who knows?

Or maybe we’re all just going down the shitter... playing with our leaden Chinese toys.

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