Boycott the Beijing Olympics?

At this moment, a boycott of the Beijing Olympics would seem pretty unlikely. It took a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan for the U.S. and other countries to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics. (The Soviets repaid the favor in 1984, staying home from the Los Angeles games.)

On the other hand, a lot of people around the world harbor feelings of discomfort toward the newly muscular China. An interesting article by Howard Beck in today’s New York Times tells of Cleveland Cavaliers’ reserve Ira Newble, who read an article in USA Today about the violence and death in Darfur and decided to take action:

The result is a letter, signed by Newble and most of his teammates and released last week, that takes aim at China, which supplies the Sudanese government with money and weapons. China, in turn, is a major importer of Sudan’s oil.The letter reads in part, “We, as basketball players in the N.B.A. and as potential athletes in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, cannot look on with indifference to the massive human suffering and destruction that continue in the Darfur region of Sudan.” It concludes with a plea to the Chinese government “to use all available diplomatic resources and economic pressure to end the agony of Darfur, and to secure access for U.N. peace support personnel.”

I am guessing that Newble, who averages 3 points a game, isn’t even a candidate for the U.S. Olympic basketball team. And the letter of protest wasn’t signed by Newble’s famous Cavs teammate LeBron James — who, along with the N.B.A. itself, has business interests in China. (That’s why, if you remember, James is studying Mandarin.)

Still, the Beijing Olympics are more than a year away, which is a long, long time. (Just ask Obama/ Romney/ Clinton/ Giuliani/ Edwards/ McCain et al). There is a lot of anti-China noise in a lot of quarters, and if Newble’s earnest protest somehow catches fire among some N.B.A. players who do have the juice with the U.S. basketball team, then anything might happen.


amit

That's the big dirty about China. Despite being embaced by the west it is still a totalitarian state that doesn't tolerate dissenters.

VBS.TV has a very interesting set of segments about Sudan and the Chinese involvement there :

http://www.vbs.tv/shows/index.php?show=Inside%20Sudan

furiousball

Did the 1980 and 94 boycotts do anything besides make some competitions less competitive? I don't see what sports has to do with politics. This isn't the view of a sports fan, IMHO, the Olympics (save ice hockey) are the most boring thing ever aired on TV, but in reality what did the US gain or accomplish from the boycott, was there any effect at all on the former USSR's stance in Afganistan? Did their boycott in 1984 do anything either besides save some airfare for their crumbling economy.

frankenduf

I'm with furiousball- the olympics are intentionally independent of politics- no offense to Mr. Newble, but if the criteria is not to host the olympics wherever weapons are sold, we would have to have them on Mars

chappy8

The Olympics free of politics? The very selection of a host city involves lobbying and bribing of international federations and often use of public funds to build infrastructure. Sounds like politics to me...

Also, check out http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Olympics/faq2.html
The earliest Olympic games were often proceeded by an international truce among the Greeks. Also, sounds like politics to me...

Now that said, I agree that there is really nothing to be gained by a boycott.

MRDOUG

Well seeing how he did all of his research on the Internet I am sure Mr. Newble is a SME in this matter. I think he would be better off looking for a tithing from his teammates to buy guns for the oppressed to help level the playing field.

sd99

I wonder if Mr. Newble is informed about the arms dealings of the country he currently plays (and lives) in.

jagger

Don't boycott the Olympics!

Email the letter below (written by Eric Reeves, www.sudanreeves.org) to Steven Speilberg, who has signed on as artistic director of the 2008 Olympics, and ask him to please pull away, as
China is bankrolling the genocide in Darfur.

Email: Speilberg c/o
Richard_Miller@dreamworksstudios.com

“There are far too many places where hate, intolerance, and genocide still
exist. Thus Schindler's List is no less a "Jewish story" or a "German story" than
it is a human story. And its subject matter applies to every nation.”

Steven Spielberg

Perhaps the most acclaimed director of our time, you have said that you made Schindler's
List partly because you were so disturbed by the events in Bosnia, as well as genocidal
destruction facing the Kurds. Now, having accepted a prominent and influential role as
artistic director for the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, you
must decide whether you remember your ambitions in making Schindler's List.

China, you now understand, is complicit in the Darfur genocide, orchestrated by the brutal
regime in Khartoum. This regime survives only because of massive Chinese commercial
and capital investment, as well as large-scale weapons sales by Beijing. China has also
provided unstinting diplomatic support for the Khartoum regime within the UN Security
Council, paralyzing efforts to mount an effective international protection mission.
You have a choice, then, Mr. Spielberg. You can suspend all artistic cooperation with
the Beijing Olympics project until China uses its unrivalled leverage with the
Khartoum regime to secure access for a desperately needed UN peace support
operation in Darfur, one that can offer protection to acutely vulnerable civilians and
humanitarians. Or you can remain complicit in the propaganda efforts of a Chinese
government that helps to enable genocide in Darfur. Can this really be a difficult
choice?

Sincerely,

Thank you!

Read more...

Rajagopal. H

The fundamental Principle of Olympic gmnes is based on the accdeptance of Human values.
Sending Contingents to Beijing would amount to endorsing China's blatant disregard for Human Rights and illegal ocupation of Tibet and the colonization of many parts of central Asia in this 21st century. The free world should not repeat the same msitake that happened in in 1936 when contries participated in 1936 Olympics in Nazi Genmany, thereby endorsed Hitler's rabid ralcial policy against Jews.
Olympics may not have politics, but human beings who participate are not machines. They value moral and ethical principles.

M. T.

The Chinese Communist regime is carrying out genocide against Falun Gong practitioners in China, and worldwide. It has truly earned the name of "Genocide Olympics."

Falun Gong is suffering from a brutal eight-year persecution by the CCP which would rival the Holocaust. Last year, it was discovered that practitioners are being held in concentration camps throughout China as unwitting organ donors for the Chinese military's lucrative organ trade business. Often, the practitioners are still alive when their organs are removed, after which the bodies are cremated so that no physical evidence can be found.

A report confirming the CCP's organ harvesting of practitioners was published last year by two independent Canadian human rights attorneys, one of whom was Canada's former minister for Asia Pacific. (See www.organharvestinvestigation.net.)

Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is an ancient spiritual practice from China that teaches the universal principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. (See www.falundafa.org.) It was introduced to the general public in China in 1992, where it spread rapidly by word of mouth, and enjoyed enormous popularity as the No. 1 form of qigong practice in China. By CCP's records, 70 to 100 million people learned the practice; which has since spread to over 60 countries.

The practice incorporates gentle qigong exercises and a set of teachings that emphasizes high moral standards as a path to better health and well-being. Falun Gong has no political aspirations other than to stop the genocide.

The persecution was begun in 1999 by former CCP President, Jiang Zemin, who was jealous of the enormous popularity of the gentle practice. Practitioners not only in China, but worldwide, are pursued, threatened and harrassed for believing in Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. The CCP even founded an agency called "610" dedicated to the capture of Falun Gong practitioners - operating much like the Gestapo.

It is important that the world understand the evilness of the CCP. It has destroyed China -- decimated China's natural environment and its 5,000 year cultural history; as well as terrorized and brainwashed its people. The CCP has killed 65-80 million Chinese people in its 60 year history -- more people dead than both World Wars combined. It is not a friend to human society; but rather willfully engages in violence, manipulation and deceit to achieve its goals at the expense of all existing social systems, and everything that is good under Heaven.

For a detailed look at the history and nature of the CCP, see ninecommentaries.com. Since the publication of the "Nine Commentaries of the Communist Party" in 2004, over 24 million Chinese people have quit the CCP. The CCP is now facing its own demise by virtue of this mass exodus. You can denounce the CCP at declaration.epochtimes.com.

Read more...

Amy

i am from Beijing and i just happened to see this article. I don't really understand what the author was talking about, but i do understand that Olympic is a sport event, and chinese governmnet is doing its best to make it a good game. i don't see any political issues in it. Chinese people love sports and we would like to share out understanding of the spirit of sports with the world. Therefore, it is kind of unfair to relate it with politics or anything like that. I wish i could see a grand Game in Beijing in 2008 .
Chinese people are friendly and nice! Believe me.
:)

We love our homeland

I am a man from Bejing.
After reading this article, I and most people here will just think the author misunderstand China too much and has few knowledge of our country.
But I believe he or she will understand, that nobody will accept any bad talking on his life when he or she lives a good life in his house, so we Chinese are.
Just like a word, " all roads to Roma", right?

YANGXIAOJUAN

I am from China, a country which is trying to make others understand her with all her efforts. However, her voice is not heard.Human rights problem, "tibeten problem","taiwan problem",do you want to know what we think? Every country and nation has her own stories and history, you could not understand it thouroughly unless you know all that. So please shut up before you know anything about real China,'cause that's not a prober way to evalue and comment a nation,actually, a great nation. You could see that your words hurt us.I believe you could understand China really better if you come to China, and i am sure you will feel her loveliness,as well as greatness. "one world, one dream",for peace.
Well,welcome to China,anytime,anyway!

BLT

Haha, which country is the largest arm dealer in the world? My dear fellow Americans.????????????????????????

david m lewis

boycott steven spielberg movies

Jill

can you boycott U.S. first? looked what it did to the world these years.

Ashley D.

Isn't it interesting how this boycott has developed since this blog was published? Just a thought...

amit

That's the big dirty about China. Despite being embaced by the west it is still a totalitarian state that doesn't tolerate dissenters.

VBS.TV has a very interesting set of segments about Sudan and the Chinese involvement there :

http://www.vbs.tv/shows/index.php?show=Inside%20Sudan

furiousball

Did the 1980 and 94 boycotts do anything besides make some competitions less competitive? I don't see what sports has to do with politics. This isn't the view of a sports fan, IMHO, the Olympics (save ice hockey) are the most boring thing ever aired on TV, but in reality what did the US gain or accomplish from the boycott, was there any effect at all on the former USSR's stance in Afganistan? Did their boycott in 1984 do anything either besides save some airfare for their crumbling economy.

frankenduf

I'm with furiousball- the olympics are intentionally independent of politics- no offense to Mr. Newble, but if the criteria is not to host the olympics wherever weapons are sold, we would have to have them on Mars

chappy8

The Olympics free of politics? The very selection of a host city involves lobbying and bribing of international federations and often use of public funds to build infrastructure. Sounds like politics to me...

Also, check out http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Olympics/faq2.html
The earliest Olympic games were often proceeded by an international truce among the Greeks. Also, sounds like politics to me...

Now that said, I agree that there is really nothing to be gained by a boycott.