Thursday, July 31, 2008

complete lack of accountability and the IOC

my sister is boycotting the Olympics. her post is great, and to summarize it wouldn't do it justice, so, please read it in the original. i will take one piece out of it to set up this post, though: Amnesty International has demonstrated that the Chinese government has failed to keep its promises of human rights reform, and from the looks of things, it hasn't even tried. the IOC and the rest of the world had hoped for more when allowing China to play host, and this failure threatens to undermine the spirit of the Olympic Games in a major way. now the issue has hit home a little more directly for me: the Washington Post reports that the IOC is allowing the Chinese government to filter Internet access at the games, even though the IOC and Chinese government had specifically pledged to allow unfettered Internet. according to an IOC official, "The pledge of unrestricted access applied only to sites related to the Olympic competitions."

that's bulls*&t. am i surprised? no, not really, just upset. i'm not surprised that the Chinese government isn't allowing unfettered communications. i'm also not surprised, as my sister notes, that the U.S. government isn't taking much of a stand against it. not only are American athletes still competing in the games, but also President Bush will be attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing. whether we like it or not, China has become a serious power in the world and is not to be trifled with. even my periodic short-term attention span hasn't made me forget the impressive and very scary Chinese anti-terrorism exercises that made the rounds of the Internets not long ago. and for some time now China has been an economic power not to be trifled with.

but, war isn't THAT imminent. as the human rights leaders of the world (well, before the Bush administration), we owe it to the rest to set an example. i'm not sure what the right answer is. at a minimum, President Bush should not be attending the opening ceremonies, and it should be deliberate and overt, as a protest against the broken promises of the Chinese government... but good luck getting that to happen. i don't know that i want to deprive our athletes of the opportunity to compete in the games - it only comes along once every four years, after all. maybe that is what it would take to get worldwide attention to the issue, and to get the Chinese government to feel something resembling shame. but would even that be enough, or is it already too late?


Blogger Roxane said...

Thanks for the link, Bro. IMHO, it's never too late to do something... But obviously, Bush isn't going to reverse course on this or any other matter in which he's made a mistake. I hope that at least one of our athletes there on the ground takes a stand and ends up in a Chinese hoosegow -- now THAT will draw some fire! I'm sure that lots of journalists will end up in jail, but watch -- no one'll care about that.

I'm left to ask: how the hell did China win the Olympics, anyway? IOC, where are you? And Obama, WTF???

4:32 PM  

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