I really appreciated this editorial from the Washington Times. I appreciate most editorials from the Washington Times. Nevertheless, this one captures a great deal of my own sentiment regarding China as host of the 2008 Olympics.
AS CHINA’S COMMUNIST leadership conceived it, this year’s Olympic Games were to mark the country’s debut as a global power, with a booming economy and rapidly modernizing society. Instead, it’s beginning to look as though the Games could become a showcase for violent repression, censorship and political persecution by a regime that has failed to rise above the level of police state. Though they present themselves as worldly and reformist, President Hu Jintao and his leadership group seem unable to grasp how the policies they have pursued in recent months have undermined the honor of staging the Olympics and risk destroying China’s international prestige.
Of course, we all know that this a facade. French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has mentioned the possibility of boycotting the opening ceremonies. Even the EU is taking up the matter of a full boycott in response to the events in Tibet. Strange that Europe should display more gumption than the US in such matters.
I hate to sound wishy-washy. Sometime I really love George W., but sometimes he really frustrates me. His embrace of Putin and his refusal to come out stronger against the latest Chinese brutality really leave me speechless.
Unfortunately, the Chinese leadership may have been encouraged by Western leaders — including President Bush — to believe it could maintain these policies and still hold a successful Olympics. Though French President Nicolas Sarkozy has now said publicly that he would not rule out boycotting the opening ceremony in Beijing in response to the repression in Tibet, Mr. Bush has not altered his ill-considered statement that he would attend the games as “a sports fan.” Yesterday, the White House reiterated that the president plans to attend the opening ceremony, gratuitously signaling to Mr. Hu that he need not fear that imprisoning dissidents or beating Tibetan monks will affect even that most political of Olympic events.
I guess it’s easy for me to sit here and hope against hope that the President will make stronger statements against the thugs in Beijing and Moscow. I understand the political game. But how long do you let it go on, and where do you draw the line in the sand? Reagan didn’t feel the need to appease the USSR, and he brought it down. What has changed that we are not able to do this? Maybe the fact that China has an economic stranglehold on the US?
I have a feeling that explains it, but eventually it will come to blows. Anyone who believes that China and the US are not on a collision course is seriously deluding themselves. The question is “when”, not “if.” I don’t feel that we do ourselves any good by continuing to enable the police state in Beijing. Events as prestigious as the Olympics only lend credibility to this dictatorship and give them increased economic pull on the global stage.
At some point, someone is going to have to ask the question – “When is enough, enough?” All we are doing at this point by fostering this communist atrocity is making it stronger -day by day. We feed it our dollars and euros and pounds. We’re only making things more difficult for ourselves in the future. For – if anyone believes that the engagement of China, so notably embraced by Richard Nixon, is going to work – they are sorely wrong. Only guts, fortitude and resolve will solve the China problem.
At this point – we’ve almost guaranteed the fact that the China resolution won’t be pretty. Why continue to make it worse?