Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boycott The Olympics?

It’s a tough call. Should we boycott the Olympics in Beijing this summer? This column explores both sides; the pros and cons of boycotting the Olympics. And this column is in favor of a boycott.

A boycott would ruin everything for the athletes who’ve spent their lives training for this event. Why should they be derailed by a political situation that they didn’t contribute to?

On the other hand, China is one of the world’s worst police states. Since the mid twentieth century they’ve slaughtered millions of their citizens and wrecked the lives of hundreds of millions more. Why should they be granted the honor of hosting the 2008 Olympics?

To steal a phrase from one of my fellow bloggers: What say you?

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Anonymous Mark said...

I agree with both columns, but overall, I think the first suggestion -- boycott the Opening Ceremony, but leave the decision to the last minute, giving the Chinese gov't a chance to change its ways. That is practical.

Of course, in sentiment I've gotta go with the second column. The Olympics should never have been given to China in the first place. But then, it's a pretty flawed institution, so what can you expect?

April 8, 2008 at 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this any worse then 36 Berlin?
76 Moscow and 2004 Sidney?

We could say something about all those countries


April 8, 2008 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I'm pretty much in agreement with mark. China won't change until it becomes economically worthwhile to, but 1)the athletes will be the ones getting screwed, not the governments of China, the US or anyone else and 2)China shouldn't have been awarded the games in the first place but human rights isn't all that high of a priority in the West except when politically expedient.

Hell, aside from hoops, I never watch any of the summer stuff.

April 8, 2008 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Pete M said...

I'm absolutely categorically against boycotting the Olympics. This event shouldn't be politicized. Its also a bad precendent to set.

What if we held an Olympics and the entire world boycotted it because of our war-mongering government? We certainly aren't showing ourselves to be on a higher moral plane than China in this area.

The whole idea of the Olympics is to have a non-partisan, non political sports event.

For once I toatally agree with President Bush, he should attend the opening ceremonies.

If people feel they want to protest, they should go instead to WalMart or other China front companies and demonstrate there, or refuse to buy Chinese goods.

April 9, 2008 at 8:13 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

I'd say you better watch it, mister. Chimpy has to go to China for around a billion dollars A DAY. We better STFU, if we know what's good for us.

April 9, 2008 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Two separate issues here. 1. No, they should not boycott the Olympics for the reasons stated. But 2. China should never have been granted the games in the first place. The selection process has become a business venture and that process needs to be reformed so that this type of things doesn't happen.

April 9, 2008 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

JollyRoger has an excellent point - we're in debt to China up to our eyeballs. The POTUS should boycott the opening ceremony to protest China's human rights abuses. However, since Bush is the current POTUS, that would be SLIGHTLY hypocritical.

April 9, 2008 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger rockync said...

I've particularly had a problem with China since the Tienamen Square protests. I was incensed when China was granted most favored trade status. And I think we are now paying for the greed behind this move. Poisoned pet food and toothpaste, lead paint in childrens' toys, all scary stuff. I believe that the Olympic committee should consider how well host countries handle safety issues and large groups. Beating protestors in Tibet into submission doesn't exactly foster the hope that "a good time will be had by all."

April 9, 2008 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

We've sent China our manufacturing jobs, why not our athletes?
let's over look Tianamen square, Tibet, poison pet food, lead laced children's toys and remember that the Olympics are really about athletes competing for the chance to get contracts with advertisers to sell more crap (made in China!) to the American television watcher.

April 9, 2008 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

Tom I say that we are buying China products daily and our President has put this country in the hold from the continuing borrowing of money to support his war.

How or by what standards do America stand on to deny China anything?

Amnesty International say that China is responsible for more than 80% of all executions documented in the world and holds thousands of political prisoners without charge or trial.

That does not stop America from borrowing money or buying their cheap and unsafe products.

I agree with Pete M said. "If people feel they want to protest, they should go instead to WalMart or other China front companies and demonstrate there, or refuse to buy Chinese goods."

I will just throw in the fact that our President thinks that it's OK to borrow their money for this war. Let's start the protest with that as well.

April 10, 2008 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former athlete, I think it's unfair to cancel the Olympics because in the end it's the athletes who will suffer. But if the IOC has awarded China the games (with their terrible human rights record and all) then maybe in 2012 Israel can host the games.

I for one am boycotting the Olympics but I will be in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup.


April 10, 2008 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I'm basically not in favor of boycotting the Beijing Olympics. What I would be in favor of is giving the Summer Olympics to some small, impoverished or little-recognized nation every four years, and the rest of the world pitching in to build the necessary facilities. Instead of someplace like Chicago in 2012, why not someplace like Peru, or Guyana, or maybe Croatia or Cambodia? Since the Olympics have become utterly commercial, why not give them to nations who need economic boosts? If the Olympics are about international brotherhood and coopeation, I don't believe they need to be hosted only by nations who have money and military power. Why not spread some of the wealth along with the goodwill? If a nation is not demonstrating goodwill, then why on earth should it be allowed to host the Olympics? I think that should rule out the U.S. and China for hosting any Olympics any time soon.

It would be great if countries had to compete for the honor of hosting the Olympics based on their goodwill and humanitarian efforts. Nations that invade other nations without provocation and occupy those nations for years? Sorry. Nations that suppress religious freedom and political speech? Sorry.

This hereby begins the campaign for Mauritania to host the summer games in 2012, and for Lima, Peru to host games in 2016! Heh. How, in today's world of money and corruption, could something as idealistic as that EVER happen?

April 10, 2008 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thanks everybody for your comments. I didn't reply since I really don't have an answer to this; but it's an issue that needs discussion. I'm sure there'll be a lot more debate about it as August gets closer.

April 10, 2008 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Let them get their medals and break precedent by encouraging the athletes to speak out on their real feelings about the politics - or lack of politics - of China.

April 14, 2008 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

If we're trading and "olympicking" with China, shouldn't we be doing all that with Cuba too? The hypocrisy of our government is amazing.

April 15, 2008 at 2:43 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Robert: That sounds like an excellent Solomon kind of solution. The athletes could participate but still have a chance to express their views. But that makes too much sense; Bush and/or the IOC would probably forbid it.

Carlos: Yup, the hypocrisy couldn't be more blatant. "Oh my God, Cuba is a Communist country that violates human rights! Boycott!" and "Hey, look at all these cheap products we can get from China, plus we have a billion potential customers for our products."

April 15, 2008 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous me said...

Boycotts always end up hurting the wrong people - think Libya, and Iraq with the golden palaces and dead babies.

Play / attend the games, and get your voices heard.

Come to think of it - if the olympics never went to China, will this many people be seriously and passionately debating the human rights records?

April 16, 2008 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

That's an interesting point, that without China hosting the Olympics there wouldn't be this much attention focused on Chinese human rights violations.

April 16, 2008 at 7:37 PM  

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