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Beijing-Bound Bush Should Be Ashamed

Original post made by Jane, Professorville, on Jul 12, 2008

The president will be paying homage to China's autocrats — not American athletes — when he attends the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Representative Dana Rohrabacher said “I think that a president who has said we are conducting warfare in different parts of the world in order to promote democracy and human rights loses credibility when he announces that he is going to attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in a country that is the world’s worst human rights abuser,” , the plain-speaking California Republican.

Joe Madison was even more direct: “This is the equivalent of a president going to Nazi Germany in 1936. This is absolutely wrong.”

There will be no competitive events held during the opening ceremony. Moreover, there won’t be that many American athletes there anyway. Most of them will be staying away from China until the last possible moment to minimize exposure to the capital city’s chemical-laden, particle-heavy atmosphere.

If his goal is to cheer America’s finest competitors on August 8, he should instead go to their training camp in nearby Japan

Comments (7)

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Posted by ng
a resident of Hoover School
on Jul 12, 2008 at 3:42 pm

It’s sad that the pollution in China is so extreme. Something like 7 of the 10 most polluted cities in the world are in China.

China has gone so far as to temporarily close factories and so forth to reduce pollution during the Olympics, but it’s still very bad. And there is that massive “algae bloom” due to dumping waste into rivers, what a travesty. Hundreds (thousands ?) of Chinese people have been enlisted in an attempt to clean it up so the water competition (sports) can take place.

I’m glad the games are in China, to draw attention to the ongoing dire consequences of rapid industrialization, unencumbered by apparent concerns of stewardship for people, waterways and the planet in general.

Like this comment
Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 12, 2008 at 4:27 pm

How Do Chinese Citizens Feel About Censorship?

by Laura Sydell

Listen Now [5 min 55 sec] Web Link

Weekend Edition Saturday, July 12, 2008 · Thousands of westerners are about to converge on China for the 2008 Olympics. When they log on to the Internet there, they may discover that connections — especially to certain foreign news sites — won't work. They'll be bumping up against what protesters have called the "Great Firewall of China."

Like this comment
Posted by Athens, not Beijing
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 12, 2008 at 7:26 pm

I will boycott every single product advertised during the Olympic games. China is currently trying to scuttle attempts to bring one of the Sudanese butchers to trial. China's government has used it's earthquake tragedy to deflect it atrocious behavior in Tibet.

Besides, the Olympic games have become a joke, with double-digit IQ sports commentators trying to tear jerk the audience with human interest stories that make any thoughtful viewer want to gag.

Like this comment
Posted by Athens, not Beijing
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 12, 2008 at 7:28 pm

"It’s sad that the pollution in China is so extreme. Something like 7 of the 10 most polluted cities in the world are in China."

It's a further sad fact that a significant percentage of that pollution travels in the atmosphere, all the way to America, and beyond.

Like this comment
Posted by thinkin'
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2008 at 7:04 am

Question to those who think Bush, or any other leader, shouldn't go to the Opening.

Do you think only Democracies should be allowed to have Olympics? If so, I agree.

If not, then should all democracies boycott all Olympics held in non-democracies?

If not, then how should it be decided which dictatorships are boycotted and which ones aren't, since by definition a dictatorship trumps at least some human rights by the nature of being a dicatorship.

Like this comment
Posted by Apollo
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2008 at 9:17 am

thinkin' --
How about non-polluting ones, for starters? It IS a sporting event, after all. The Olympic Committee lost sight of that fact and blew it when they selected a city (not to be confused with country) that's bad for the health of the athletes.
There ought to be a vetting system to the selection criteria, with a suitable venue for the athletes and spectators coming before politics. Had they ruled out cities in this order, China’s political structure would be a mute point.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 13, 2008 at 11:26 am

I don't think Bush should go. There is a legitimization, something that happens when the U.S. president bows down to the Chinese.

China's human rights abuses need more publicity, not less, yet with the passing of Tom Lantos, who will speak out on this?

I think China is laughing all the way the bank, they don't care about polluting the entire world, either.

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