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If Only It Were Really This Simple

by @ 8:26 am on April 11, 2008. Filed under 2008 Summer Olympics, China, Foreign Affairs

I’m usually a fan, but I’ve got to say that I think Chris Core is being hopelessly optimistic when he takes this position on the Olympics and the protests following the torch around the world:

Ok, what is the deal about attacking the Olympic Torch? Have people lost their minds? Yes, I get that some activists are upset because China dominates Tibet, and the Olympics are going to be held in China this year. Maybe China was a bad idea, but it’s too late now, so please stop it! Now, wherever that wondrous Olympic procession goes, that passing of the torch, these idiot demonstrators are threatening to extinguish the flame! The ETERNAL flame! What do they not get about the world “eternal”? And so, in city after city, including in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, events are being canceled or truncated. What kind of a message do these nuts think they are sending?

The whole point of the Olympics is for a few weeks to put aside our political differences and compete in athletic events just for the fun of it. And for pride of country. These athletes have been training their whole lives for these couple of weeks. The modern Olympics goes back over 100 years and the ancient games go back almost 3,000 years. During all that time the people of the earth, who, trust me, had many political differences, managed to get along and hold these games. At the height of Nazi power, Germany held the Olympics in Berlin and we and the other Western countries attended and played nicely. So you are telling me that today, in 2008, over an issue that maybe one per cent of the world even knows about (China’s domination of Tibet) that we cannot let it go?

There are actually a couple points worth addressing here.

First of all, what’s so bad about the idea that here, in the United States of America, people are voicing their opinions, loudly, and speaking out against an evil regime and it’s evil repression of the Tibetan people ? Frankly, I’m more embarressed by the tactics of the officials in San Francisco and their willingness to allow the Chinese security thugs to dictate what is considered an acceptable protest than I am by the protesters who are doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights. And if their protests result in the exinguishing of the flame, who the heck cares it’s a flame, and the fact that the IOC chose to legitimize a dictatorship this year removes whatever moral respect that flame might have had.

Second, the Olympics have always been about politics. That may not have been the original intention, but that’s what they quickly evolved into. The Nazi’s turned the 1936 Olympics into a glorification of their ideology of hatred and the so-called Aryan race, and the world let them do it. For nearly 40 years, the Olympics were pretty much a proxy for the Cold War itself — with most of the attention being paid to the medal counts between the United States and the Soviet Union. Even the end of the Cold War didn’t end the politics as we’ve seen fights over who represents whom in the former Yugoslavia. To put it plainly, as long as their are nation-states and international politics, there will be politics associated with the Olympic Games.

Rather than being outraged by the protests, Americans should be outraged by the fact that the IOC finds it perfectly acceptable to silence athletes so that they don’t “offend” their Chinese “hosts.”

This whole thing is, as I’ve said, just one big mistake.

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3 Responses to “If Only It Were Really This Simple”

  1. tfr says:

    Not to mention that the “eternal” flame gets extinguished during the closing ceremony. I’m in total agreement – this selection of China was just a bad idea.

  2. Matt says:

    Don’t the Chinese thugs extinguish the flame when there’s any trouble as well?

  3. Jenny says:

    “evil regime and it’s evil repression of the Tibetan people”.. your comments make youself so naive. Have you ever been to China? You are talking like you know most of chinese are suffering under the Chinese government. Stop talking like you are one of them suffering inside China. There are 1.3 billion people in China. Most of them getting their daily life improved in these 30 years. The government has been done a lot for the local ppl. It’s not an easy job take care of 1.3 biillion ppl’s living. It’s true that there are here or there unfair things happened in China, but so do other countries. US doesn’t do a better job than China. Look at what US has done in Iraq. China has many other problems to solve other than those “So-called” democratic systems. What the government really needs to do at the current stage is to let everyone in China get better living standard. pple shouting for democratic systems are those outside of china and most of them have never gone to China and have little knowledge of China. What they believe is what they get from the western mass media. Most of western reporters have bias on China. Just see what they have reported for this torch relay in San Francisco. I was personally there to see the torch. There are much much more people there to support the torch relay than protestors, but the press just interviewed those protesters and never focus on the people supporting the event. The reporters should be shame on themselves to report those biased information to the public. The protesters were there to compare how much they got paid to act as a protester. This is what you are talking about the free speech and human rights which can be bought by using money. What a good business world!

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