Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in particular, is heavily criticizing the Bush Administration for refusing to make a protest statement at the Games. Barack Obama, too, has belatedly called for the President skip the opening ceremonies. The other major candidate, John McCain seems uncertain about what should be done and has stopped short of any support for a protest.
Primarily, Clinton wants Bush to protest because of the illegal invasion and occupation by China of the sovereign nation of Tibet. Sound familiar? Ironically, similar circumstances did not stop her and others of the Morality Police against China from supporting the U.S. governments adventure into Iraq five years ago.
Hillary Clintons hypocrisy is the very reason why it is absurd to make such political statements at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. How many nations would have boycotted the games (not to mention the opening ceremonies) if a U.S. city had held the Olympics this year?
Rightly or wrongly, our standing in the rest of the world is at an all-time low. The number of countries protesting U.S. intervention in Iraq would have been considerable. Fourteen countries refused to participate in the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984 and who can even remember the trumped-up reasons that the offended nations gave at the time?
And who should decide what constitutes behavior bad enough to be sanctioned by the Olympics? Not Hillary Clinton, that is for sure.
Chinas occupation of Tibet does violate any reasonable measure of human rights abuse. Hillary Clinton hasnt figured it out yet, but the world has a system in place to make the decisions she is calling for. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the organization that holds the responsibility to determine the site of the games and who qualifies for participation.
The IOC certainly knew of Chinas abuses of human rights long before the selection of Beijing as the site for 2008. Tibets ethnic minority and Buddhist monks have been brutalized by Chinese forces since 1950. Maybe the gutless protestors, who have taken pleasure in attacking innocent bearers of the Olympic flame, should be committing violent acts against the committee members, instead.
Reportedly, the death toll from Chinese crackdowns in Tibet is relatively low - maybe a couple of hundred over the last 58 years. If every country that supported a questionable policy resulting in the deaths of at least 200 innocent people were banned from the Olympics, its games would be very sparsely attended every four years - if not deserted. Even the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, has rejected the latest rioting by his countrymen in Tibet and supports the Beijing games.
Lest we soon forget, the original idea of the Olympiad in 776 B.C. was for warring Greek states to lay down their weapons in the spirit of common humanity, promoting peaceful competition to offset the frequent wars and brutal violence that swept ancient Greece.
It seems to me that the reasonable solution is to either hold the Olympics in the spirit of its Greek forbearers with no political considerations or eliminate the games in their entirety forever.
And in the meantime, Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone...