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Friday, August 08, 2008

Beijing Duck


I guess the Genocide Games begin today in China. As I blogged in April (and repeat some of that post here), I think it's time to re-think the Olympics.

It's a travesty that China is hosting the games, and its the worst sort of dark comedy that the IOC actually believed all the promises the Chinese government made them back when they were bidding to host the games and is now shocked, yes shocked that the Chinese government is now reneging on many of those promises.

I do feel sorry for the athletes, but in my book human rights are more important than sport, and we need to stop and ask ourselves whether it is morally right to ignore political repression, cultural genocide and the complete muzzling of all speech and dissent for millions of people, just so a few thousand people can play games for a few weeks, the rest of us can watch, and the television networks and Coca-Cola can make heaps of money. When criticizing the host government gets its citizens five years in prison, I think it trivializes the concept of human freedoms to say we'll look the other way so that somebody can run a 100-yard dash.

The problem does not begin and end with the China Games, of course. It began back in 1936 when Nazi Germany hosted the Games. The theory that the Olympics foster international understanding, and the notion that awarding the games to a certain country will have any effect whatsoever on their internal political policies, is an utter crock of bullshit. Nice idea -doesn't work.

So let's rethink the idea of the Olympics completely -they're too damned expensive for most countries to build facilities for anyway. The answer is to have all countries contribute to building and maintaining an international Olympics facility in Greece, and use it for every Olympics. Let every "nation" participate, and yes, I mean every "nation", not country. Nations of peoples- united ethnically and culturally, have been around for millenia, even as national boundary lines get re-drawn every generation. Let's cast aside the absurd argument about, for instance, "which" China gets to come. Let them both come. Let Tibet send a contingent, along with any other ethnic group that can claim "nation" status. That would include groups such as our own Sioux nation. Why not? I think that would be a blast.

9 comments:

Mrs. Chili said...

I really, really want to watch diving and gymnastics, but I'm abstaining from ALL Olympic coverage this time around, and for just the reasons you list. If we don't use EVERY tool available to us for promoting human rights and freedoms - ESPECIALLY the tools that don't involve troops and guns - then we're just not walking the walk. I'm sorry for the athletes, too, but no one's getting MY viewing time on this one.

Colonel Colonel said...

I feel bad about being such a killjoy, but I just don't feel right watching any of this. It's being sponsored by a brutal, repressive, genocidal regime, and it just feels wrong. wish I could be more positive and upbeat, but i can't.

Beach Bum said...

I agree with everything you wrote. But I think a large part of how everyone is looking the other way over China's transgressions is sheer terror of the huge economic, and one day, military dragon finding itself. I think a great many of the high and mighty in this country have seen the hand writing on the wall concerning how China will one day be the world superpower with the good old USA playing a second fiddle like Britain or France does now.

Mike said...

Very well said Colonel. I simply cannot believe we didn't tell China to bugger off.

It's sad really.

anaglyph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anaglyph said...

You really have to wonder why they gave it to China in the first place. I don't believe for a moment that it had anything at all to do with 'fostering international understanding' or China's politics. The Games have been for many years just a huge Commercial Opportunity and the rest of the world has come to realize that China is a Huge Exploitable Market. As simple as that if you ask me.

This whole idea of the Olympic Games transcending politics is complete baloney. They've been political since at least WW2, probably not uncoincidentally with the dawn of television...

1:34 AM

here today, gone tomorrow said...

I'm boycotting them, too. Very, very well said, CC. And I like your idea, too.

I just finished reading the Dalai Lama's autobiography, "Freedom in Exile." Eye-opening.

Malicious Intent said...

I have been a fan of the Olympics, have tried very hard in the past to over look the politics of it all, because if you ignore everything that has a politica overtone to it, there is little left to look at.

But as I have watched China get ready for the Olympics over the past year I have been completly disgusted. One day I saw a story of how they were handling their problem with wild dogs and cats. Basically clubbing them, tossing them into a pit (often still alive) and dumping lyme on them with a nice topping of dirt. Nice. Really makes me wanna buy my tickets to see the Olympics.

Then ther is the pollution. Which is not only just an embarrassment on their part and affects the entire planet, but I read where one triathaloner (spelled that right??) dropped out because he feared for his health. Breathing in that air and having asthma while trying to push your body to the limit. Not good.

As you and others pointed out there are many reasons why we should NOT watch the Olympics this year. I really have no interest and that is pretty damn sad.

Malicious Intent said...

I have been a fan of the Olympics, have tried very hard in the past to over look the politics of it all, because if you ignore everything that has a politica overtone to it, there is little left to look at.

But as I have watched China get ready for the Olympics over the past year I have been completly disgusted. One day I saw a story of how they were handling their problem with wild dogs and cats. Basically clubbing them, tossing them into a pit (often still alive) and dumping lyme on them with a nice topping of dirt. Nice. Really makes me wanna buy my tickets to see the Olympics.

Then ther is the pollution. Which is not only just an embarrassment on their part and affects the entire planet, but I read where one triathaloner (spelled that right??) dropped out because he feared for his health. Breathing in that air and having asthma while trying to push your body to the limit. Not good.

As you and others pointed out there are many reasons why we should NOT watch the Olympics this year. I really have no interest and that is pretty damn sad.