Monday, April 7, 2008

One for the protesters

"Organizers canceled the final leg of the Olympic run through Paris after chaotic protests Monday, snuffing out the torch and putting it aboard a bus in a humiliating concession to protesters decrying China's human rights record."

All I can say, is good for those protesters.

I won't be watching the Olympics this year, whether the flame finally gets to Beijing or not. I hope that this thing gives the aging tyrants of the Middle Kingdom a whole lot of heartburn, if soul-searching is too much to ask for.

They may be able to crush all dissent in their own country and pretend that all is well, while they deny the Tiannamen Square massacre and their soldiers beat up monks, stifle Uighers and persecute Falon Gong. But they don't rule the rest of the world and they don't deserve any international respect.

The Olympics has embarrassed itself twice now in history, first by serving as a platform for Hitler's posturing in '36 and then by showing up in the gulag of the late unlamented USSR in 1980. Perhaps the third time is the charm?


Janice Thomson said...

I agree 100% ECD. The Olympics has definitely lost its appeal for me.

Chase March said...

I think that the Olympics are beautiful. It is about pure sport and nothing else, at least it should be.

Athletes train their whole lives for this. Think of the harm the protestors are doing to them. And choosing not to watch harms the athletes as well.

This is ridiculous. They are better things to protest in the world. I understand the issues in China and think that we have a right to protest them. This just isn’t the way to do it. It is harmful to people that have nothing to do with Chinese policy and practice.

I’m sorry, ECD, but I totally disagree with you on this. I blogged about this subject today as well.

eastcoastdweller said...

Chase, you do have a point. Where would one draw the line?

A lot of people are very angry about the war with Iraq.

Would their feelings that the US and its allies are responsible for the deaths in that country, be ethically sufficient to justify a disruption if the Olympics were being held, say, in the US this year?

We say the Olympics are all about sports. But host nations, it cannot be denied, blatantly use them as a spotlight for the glory of their nation.

So long as governments do that, it seems to me that people who oppose serious policies of that government have a point in protesting -- and it is hypocritical of said host nation to claim offense thereby.

Perhaps the Olympics really should be just about sports -- stripped of all pageantry and propaganda value. By both hosts and critics of the host.

Rebecca said...

Then there was the Munich debacle.

I was brought up watching the Olympics. I think my mother considered, and instilled it, as a matter of national pride...THIS nation. I don't know yet whether I will watch the Olympics, assuming they get off the ground.

I don't have a problem with the entire world protesting in this very visible forum. Nothing else seems to have captured the attention of the powers that be in China. I live in New York City, and used to work near the United Nations for years. Tibetans protested almost daily for a very long time, and probably still do.

Let us not forget, hosting the Olympics is a privilege. As such, it should be earned. China, with its treatment of Tibet, violations of human rights, not to mention the export of deadly foods, hygiene products and toys, has decidedly NOT earned it. They do not deserve this spot on the world stage at this time.