We should boycott the Olympics 

In just over two weeks, the Olympic Games will open in Beijing with a massive display of pomp and ceremony. World leaders, including President Bush, will attend the opening festivities Aug. 8 and literally embrace the leadership of the Chinese government.

For a president who tried to build a legacy upon fighting against dictators, this is yet another display of hypocrisy. The president of the United States should be playing no part in this propaganda display by a cruel and vicious regime.

In fact, our athletes shouldn’t even be present for this 16-day infomercial for totalitarianism. We should be boycotting these Olympics as a protest against the Chinese government.

President Jimmy Carter endured much criticism when he courageously led a boycott against the Moscow Olympics as a protest against the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. But it was the right thing to do. President Bush should have shown the same courage this time, but in an administration based on cowardice and capitulation to the Chinese, a sudden show of determination by Bush would be as out of place as Michael Jackson propositioning a waitress at Hooters.

Bush has no problem in stirring up military tensions around the world. He led a misguided war against Iraq that made the world a more dangerous place. He started an invasion of Afghanistan that, so far at least, has been underfunded and has failed to achieve its main goal of locating Osama bin Laden.

And, if only he’d had the political support to do so, he’d gladly have started wars in Iran and Syria, if not the entire world.

So here is a president who claims to despise repressive dictatorships. Except China and Saudi Arabia. In other words, dictatorships are bad unless there’s an economic benefit in tolerating them.

It’s hard to find a more repressive government in the world than China’s. Freedom of speech, religion and assembly are unknown there. Dissent is crushed by military force on a routine basis by the Chinese with nary a word of protest from the United States.

If possessing weapons of mass destruction is a criteria for assessing a dangerous government, then China’s 850 nuclear weapons should merit consideration. But our government doesn’t seem to care.

It seems like boycotting the Beijing Olympics would be a natural action to take against such a dangerous and cruel regime. But the idea was never even countenanced for a second.

The reason why is so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be mentioned. With the approval of this administration, China is holding the United States economy hostage. We’ve borrowed untold billions of dollars from China in order to purchase oil and to fund the Iraq war. China could crash the U.S. economy overnight if it chose to do so.

Cheap imported goods from China have flooded the market and have further crippled the ability of American firms to compete in the manufacturing sector. With no guilt about exploiting slave labor, the Chinese can produce goods at little cost — and Americans happily purchase the goods.

This administration has become so dependent upon cheap Chinese goods and upon its financing of our budget deficit that we dare not speak a word of protest against our new masters.

We are so dangerously bound to China that our entire foreign policy is subject to their approval. Without Chinese support, there could have been no war on terror. Any future crisis would force us to seek Chinese consent before taking action.

This means that we are powerless to help the millions of Chinese who are oppressed, tortured and enslaved by their government. We can’t even speak out against these policies without risking our economic security.

And we especially cannot boycott the Chinese propaganda event that is the 2008 Olympic Games. Boycotting the event would send a powerful signal to China that we oppose their policies of denying human rights to its citizens. It would deprive the Chinese government of what it seeks most: legitimacy on the world stage.

Instead of taking a courageous stand, our president is allowing himself to be used as a prop in the opening ceremonies. Imagine if FDR had traveled to Berlin to embrace Hitler during the 1936 Olympics. This is similar to what Mr. Bush is doing: cozying up to a genocidal dictatorship.

So let the American media and corporations fawn over the Beijing Olympics. I won’t be watching a minute of them. To me, every medal handed out during those games, whether bronze, silver or gold, will be only one color: red.

As in soaked in blood.

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