I think the IOC should go itself one step further. China, the greatest human rights violator in the history of mankind, does not deserve to host the Olympic games. Boycotting is not the answer, because then the athletes are penalized. So let me propose a better solution--let's convene another 2008 Olympics in some other country.
I can hardly expect the United States government to take umbrage with the coming of the Olympics to China in August of 2008; the American Establishment has its fingers way too deep in that pie. Since General George Marshall was shanghaied by Mao and Chao in 1945, the American Establishment has never had as healthy a regard for the Chinese common man as it has for China's other "resources". After Richard Nixon worshiped at the throne of Mao in 1972, it cannot reasonably be expected that the American Establishment would call attention to the historical and current atrocities of the Chinese communists. When the first George Bush administration looked the other way in 1989 as Chinese troops massacred 4,000 innocent civilians, I knew the fix was in.
Hillary Clinton, in nothing more than an effort to boost her campaign ratings, asked President George W. Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies to the Chinese games. Her words are mere platitudes. When she was "co-president" from 1993 to 2001, the American relationship with China was no less cozy than it is now.
I think it will be initially difficult to get the athletes to call for a 2008 Olympic venue other than China, especially after many of their reactions to President Jimmy Carter when he declared a boycott of Soviet Olympic games in Moscow in 1980. Perhaps if they come to understand that China's environmental destruction is nearly as vile as its killing, torture, and repression of its peoples, they might change their mind. If they understand that their own health might be at stake, they might welcome the opportunity to compete in London, Los Angeles, or Sydney instead.
Mao Tse Tung prided himself on the destruction of the Chinese people so that he could convey to the outside world that China was economically healthy. In a similar effort, Chinese Communist leaders have evicted 400,000 people from their homes
to make way for stadiums and new highways. Few receive compensation, because in China, most land is “collectivized” and technically belongs to the central government. These injustices have continued to occur despite China’s earlier promises to move towards democracy.Now, with violent repression of Tibet protests in the news, protests are reaching critical mass. I applaud those who have used the Olympic Torch relay, macabrely billed as the "Journey of Harmony" in London, to make their protests known.
Although I do not think a boycott is the best way to confront the China human rights issue, I otherwise agree with Anthony P. Dedousis of the Harvard Crimson:
The eyes of the world will be upon China, as tourists and television viewers from every country tune in. Hundreds of world leaders, including President Bush, will be in attendance. Medals will be won, records will be broken, and nations will rally around their Olympic heroes. But for democracies worldwide, it will be a moment of shame.There is ample time, and there are enough alternative venues, that we can still hold the Olypmics--somewhere else.
The Olympics should go on, but not in China.
China can see that our governments are not serious about correcting human rights abuses there. If they see that individual people are serious, then freedom might actually bloom in China.
Until then, holding the Olympics in China would be a travesty.