Monday, March 31, 2008

Bush Promotes The Chinese Regime

Reuters reports on March 31, 2008 that Senate Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has asked President Bush to consider boycotting the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, China. In an interview to be telecast on ABC's Good Morning America on 4/1/08, the longtime critic of the Communist regime is quoted as saying "I think boycotting the opening ceremony, which really gives respect to the Chinese government, is something that should be kept on the table." She stated "I think the president might want to rethink this later, depending on what other heads of state do."

At least one head of state already has decided what to do. Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided against attending the opening ceremony, reminding us of the remarkable turnaround in German government and society since the end of World War II.

There is a strong argument, though little support, for going much further. In her article entitled "Boycott Beijing" posted on slate.com on 3/24/08, Anne Applebaum counters the standard arguments against boycotting the upcoming Olympics. Boycotts may accomplish a great deal, she notes, as in that of South African athletes from international competitions which helped end apartheid. Additionally, the Olympics can be not only a force for good but also for evil, as in the propaganda coup scored by Adolph Hitler when Nazi Germany hosted the 1936 Olympics. And the Games are perhaps the best place for demonstrations, inasmuch as "the modern Olympics were set up with a political purpose: to promote international peace by encouraging helalth competition (among) nations."

But the least the leader of the Free World can do is to skip the opening ceremony. Instead, White House spokesman Emily Lawrimore said the President "has also made it very clear that the Olympics will shine a bright light on China regarding a variety of issues. These games will provide China with an opportunity to put it's (sic) best face forward."

In a rare if unintended display of honesty, the Administration is not even bothering to pretend that the Games will focus attention on the brutal regime in Beijing, its military buildup, its arguably incomparable air pollution, aid to the Sudanese government in support of genocidal militants, or any other characteristic of this near-fascist state. Rather, they are delighted the Red Chinese will enjoy the fruits of valuable propaganda: "an opportunity to put its best face forward." It's a fascinating position for a President who, when speaking of the Persian Gulf, feigns a fondness for democratic states.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea! Let's have our President boycott the Chinese Olympics to protest China's human rights record, while at the same time we're torturing suspected "terrorists" while denying them due process.

Frankly, I'm shocked that Pelosi suggested something like this in the first place. Either she's trying to trick President Bush into making himself look like (more of) a hypocrite, or maybe she's simply found a way to rationalize the harsh reality of how we treat these prisoners.

Anonymous said...

Pelosi sure likes to talk about things being on and off the table, like when she said "Impeachment is off the table." She's been a killjoy ever since.

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