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Any views? Should westerners boycott these Olympics? Any parallels with Berlin 1936?

So far the people of London, Paris and San Francisco don't seem to be very keen.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 5,255
i've been following this for a few months now...

my personal feelings are that the athletes should not be punished due to the location of the games. these men and women have worked hard for years to make it to the games. the games should go on.


the opening ceremonies, the torch running, and/or anything that brings revenues or advertising $$ to China should be boycotted. the idea is to let China know that we, as citizens of the world, will not condone mistreatment of human beings.

Tibet is only one symptom of the cancer that is Today's China.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 5,255
(from october 2007)

Beijing's lust for oil and gas perpetuates atrocities in Southeast Asia and Africa.

The slaughter in recent days of Burmese Buddhist monks and other pro-democracy demonstrators by a ruthless military dictatorship and the ongoing genocide in Darfur by Sudanese Janjaweed militia are taking place more than 4,000 miles apart but both atrocities are intimately connected to the amoral foreign policy of China. This policy is based on Chinese President Hu Jintao's stated doctrine of "just business, with no political conditions."

To implement this doctrine, China regularly trades its veto power at the United Nations for access to the oil and other natural resources of rogue nations like the Sudan, Burma and Iran. China has this veto power because it is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council - it only takes the veto of one council member to block U.N. sanctions or military interventions.

In Africa, China has used its U.N. veto power to protect the Sudanese government from sanctions against the genocide in Darfur. As a result, China now benefits as the largest importer of Sudanese oil while much of the Sudan's oil revenue flows right back to China to purchase advanced weaponry used in committing the genocide.

In the Middle East, China likewise is using its veto power to protect Iran from sanctions related to Shiite Muslim Iran's quest to develop nuclear bombs to drop on Israel - or perhaps one of its Sunni Muslim neighbors like Saudi Arabia or Egypt. In exchange, China has received a very lucrative deal to develop Iranian natural-gas reserves, which are the second-largest known in the world.

Regarding Burma (or Myanmar), China used its veto power last January to protect the ruling military junta from a Security Council resolution that would have forced that regime to release political prisoners and cease its assaults on Burma's ethnic minorities. Now, as Buddhist monks and nuns are being caged behind barbed wire in their temples and their fellow pro-democracy protesters continue to be slaughtered in the streets, China is once again protecting Burma's military junta from U.N. sanctions.

The reason why China wants to protect Burma's dictators is "blood for oil" - straight up. A petroleum-hungry China wants to import the lion's share of Burma's natural-gas reserves, which measure over a half-trillion cubic meters. Far more important strategically, Beijing also wants to build a $2 billion oil pipeline from Burma's coast on the Bay of Bengal to China's Yunnan Province.

The Burma-China pipeline is a critical project because it would allow China to take delivery of oil from the Middle East without tankers passing through the very narrow Strait of Malacca linking the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. This waterway is a key chokepoint that could easily be shut down by the U.S. Navy in time of conflict, over, for instance, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Adding imperialist insult to pro-democracy injury, China is rapidly burdening Burma with a very heavy debt - thereby forcing Burma to mortgage its future and natural resources to China. As in the Sudan, much of this borrowed money purchases Chinese weapons to keep Burma's military junta in power. A good chunk of these borrowed Chinese funds also help finance a lavish lifestyle for the ruling elite, and there is virtually no "trickle down" for the Burmese people, who rank amongst the poorest in the world in a country blessed with a wealth of natural resources.

The military butchers of Burma will never yield to democratic forces as long as China has their backs. For their part, China's hard-liners won't condemn Burma's military government for its brutal suppression of the demonstrators for fear that such a condemnation would come right back to Chinese soil. Indeed, should those same type of pro-democracy voices be raised once again in China, it would then be hypocritical for China to conduct a similar crackdown, a Tiananmen Square redux.

In this political stalemate, neither Burma nor China will change their blood-for-oil bargain in the absence of outside pressure. The most pressure that can be exerted right now on China is to threaten a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. If such a threat could stop China from using the United Nations as a tool of commerce rather than an instrument of peace, it would be well worth the while of the United States and Europe and other countries of the world to speak in that common voice.

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 520
About a week after my last trip to San Pedro(February), and the usual severe depression set in, the ol' girl said, "why don't you go to China and watch them cut rice". Actually she just wanted me out of the house. I did give it some thought and looked at the travel stuff. All of them were the same,, "Ride around town in a bus and walk the wall". Not For Me. At least in Korea you could rent a car and drive through the country and watch the women pull a plow. My fear is that the streets in China will be LINED with cops, "keeping the tourists in line". Not For Me.

I'll be happy to discuss my avatar with anyone who knows what it is.
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,281
We should not boycott. It's going to tough, but let out athletes beat them just like in 1936 Berlin and show what a democracy can do. All the athletes have been training for many years to try and be the best in the world and to wait another 4 years will eliminate many. Do we only compete in countries that we are in total agreement with? This is an anthletic competition and not a political forum, although many try and make it one since the entire world is watching.

"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,955
Agreed. The best thing for the Chinese people is to see the rich diversity of talent and values throughout the world. Use the stage as an opportunity to boycott diplomatic events as SJ advocates.

I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 107
I don't think that I have an opinion on this one way or the other, but I can tell you that I went to Beijing for 10 days and how they scaled up to teaching English in school and mandating that everyone be able to speak English before the Olympics is scary. I think that it is going to bite them in the behind because the younger generation is now almost so-American that it is going to be impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. It wouldn't be my choice of movies for teaching, but using movies and television programs is one of the major tools they are using to Americanize their vocabulary. The Chinese I met would do anything to socalize with Americans and wanted to talk about what it is like to live here. They have even gone so far to change their way of writing from vertical symbols to arranging them horizontally. Time will tell.


Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,888
What! China has weapons of mass destruction? They are brutal to their people? They support and protect terrorist countries? They kill innocent people?
GWB had better invade right away!

And it sucks that since 1980 a boycott is always brought up.
It's an event to showcase the greatest athletes in the world.
Look at the past 10 Olympics.
1964 Tokyo-didn't they bomb us 2 decades earlier?
1968 Mexico City-oppresive government, etc
1972 Munich-unfortunately a few countries should have boycotted the way it ended.
1976 Ok, everyone likes Canucks.
1980 Moscow-we did boycott, regretably. Anyone remember why?
1984 LA-Lots of countries hate us!
1988 Seoul-Any number of countries had a reason to boycott.
1992 Barcelona-ETA terrorists, etc
1996 Atlanta-How many countries disagree with us?
2000 Sydney-Didn't they treat the Aboriginies badly?
2004 Athens-there were lots of protests by workers in Greece over wages.
So every year some polititian in some country can find a reason to boycott over some issue.

Let the competitors play and put the politics on hold.

Last edited by reaper; 04/08/08 03:07 PM.
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 471

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,955
Yes reaper!

The U.S. boycott in 1980 was due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet bloc boycotted the 1984 olympics -- just because.

There's always a reason...

I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.
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