Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Myopia In Beijing

George W. Bush to sportscaster Bob Costas in Beijing on 8/11/08:

First of all I think the Chinese are being great hosts, the venues are fantastic, and our team's fired up and so am I.

Three news items:

On August 11, 2008 five individuals, all members of Students for a Free Tibet, were arrested by police 10 minutes after beginning a protest consisting of one individual "narrating a theatrical street protest in Tianamen Square "as the other four wrapped themselves in Tibetan flags and staged a 'die in.' " This protest was one of three pro-Tibet demonstrations that have produced arrests since the games began.

Olympic speedskater and leader of a group of Olympic athletes named Team Darfur, Joey Cheeks, has had his visa revoked by the government on the mainland. Cheeks "had planned to attend a United Nations Olympic celebration and some charity events but wasn’t planning any big Team Darfur demonstrations.... One of Cheek’s key initiatives was urging the international community to persuade Sudan to observe the ancient tradition of the Olympic truce during the Beijing Games" to halt the violence which thus far has resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000, and displacement of 2.5 million, Sudanese.

The Chinese government, the major importer of Sudanese oil, now apparently is training Sudanese fighter pilots and "supplying arms to Sudan for use in Darfur, in breach of a UN arms embargo."

President George W. Bush to Bob Costas on 8/11/08:

And my administration has been engaged with both sides in this, trying to get a cease-fire.... It was just interesting to me that here we are, you know trying to promote peace and harmony, and we're witnessing a conflict take place.

Unfortunately, Bush was talking about only Russia v. Georgia (in which the aggressor now has agreed to a cease-fire, its military objectives met). GWB's attitude toward the regime in Beijing? "We were honored yesterday, when the President, Hu Jintao, invited my dad, and me, and Laura, and my sister, and my daughter, my brother, for dinner or lunch. It was a great gesture of kindness...."

Appeasement, Bush-style.

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