Boycott the Olympics

April 21, 2008

by Roz Kohls

Let’s hope President Bush doesn’t go to the opening ceremony for the Olympics in Beijing, China. He doesn’t have to announce his intentions now, but when the times comes, Bush should just not show up.

It was a mistake that the International Olympic Committee selected Beijing for the honor. China may be turning capitalistic, but it’s still a totalitarian country, and doesn’t deserve to have its image burnished by hosting the games.

Recently, the people of Tibet had an uprising in an attempt to throw off the yoke of Chinese oppression. Oppressing the people of Tibet is only one of many crimes China inflicts on its people. Hundreds of thousands have been thrown into jail for practicing Falun Gong and Roman Catholicism, as well as being political dissenters. There is also the suspicion that prisoners have been executed for their organs.

So far, the tour to carry the Olympic torch around the world has been a public relations disaster. The Chinese, which rarely release photos to the news media, recently circulated a photo of a supposedly Tibetan thug beating up on a 27-year-old woman carrying the torch from a wheelchair on the tour in Paris. The thug, who broke through the line of French police to get to the woman, wore a Tibetan flag bandana on his head so the people looking at the photo would think he was from Tibet.

Journalists found another photo, however, taken earlier than the attack on the woman in the wheelchair. It shows the same man with the bandana standing with a group of men carrying Chinese flags for the procession. If the man was really Tibetan, he certainly wouldn’t be with the group carrying the Chinese flags. The attack on the woman in the wheelchair had been staged.

Fortunately, the earlier photo was circulated secretly in China, so many Chinese people know the truth about what their government officials are doing.

Staging such a phony incident shows Chinese officials are worried about what the ordinary rank-and-file citizens think about the international protests and calls for boycotts of the Olympics.

If only Chinese officials worried enough to take their boots off their people’s necks.