Hillary Says Bush Should Boycott Olympic Ceremony

Hillary Clinton today on the Olympics:

The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.

I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent. Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights. Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.

What's Obama's position? He's conflicted.

< George Bush Not The Worst President Ever? | Media Follies >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Huffington Post Misleading Again (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:45:38 PM EST
    All Clinton said was to not attend the opening ceremonies, not to boycott the Olympics.  She didn't even say Bush should not attend the closing ceremonies.  As for politics, the only reason Beijing got the Olympics was for political reasons because the smog/smoke in Beijing is just horrible for the athletes.

    How telling (none / 0) (#54)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:24:24 PM EST

    What a waste of bandwidth, discussing which form of meaningless symbolism is the best.  Perhaps GWB should just stick out his tongue and say, "Nah Nah Nah Nah Boo Boo."

    comments at huffpost (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by bjorn on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:46:59 PM EST
    demonstrate the hypocrisy of some Obama supporters.  When Pelosi called for the exact same thing as Clinton, everybody is "yeah, way to go."  When Clinton does it the comments suggest she is being false and a shill, and we should not boycott the opening ceremonies.  Obama being conflicted is no surprise since he commonly refuses to say how he feels about anything controversial until after Clinton has expressed her views.

    I'll be the contrarian on this one... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Exeter on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:50:37 PM EST
    I'm no fan of China, but their is somewhat of a mythology -- especially in the liberal community -- about Tibet and the Dalai Lama. If the choice is between China's totalitarian rule and "freeing Tibet" and reinserting the Dalai Lama and his fuedal theocracy, I vote neither.

    Read up on the Dalai Lama (none / 0) (#55)
    by LHinSeattle on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:23:54 PM EST
    I'd rather have him with his "feudal" leadership any day than the presidents we've had, or even the management bosses I've had to work under.

    Historian Michael Parenti (none / 0) (#58)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 01:13:12 PM EST
    has written a very interesting essay on Tibet. Food for thought,as they say.

    Please, Jeralyn, give the girl some credit. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:51:20 PM EST
    Clinton did not call for an outright boycott of the Olympics in general, targeting only the Opening Ceremony.
    She knows how many votes she'd lose if she actually called for boycotting the games themselves.

    her statement made it clear (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:58:19 PM EST
    she is not advocating a boycott of the Olympics but that Bush not attend opening ceremony.

    I did change the headline though.


    Thanks, the headline was the problem. (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:12:57 PM EST
    And of course, Obama is of "two minds" (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:55:07 PM EST
    on the issue, which I read as "let's see if Clinton gets blasted - if not, I can raise my hand and say 'Me, too!'"

    And Nancy Pelosi finally found something she thought should be on that table she can't put impeachment on - a boycott of the opening ceremonies.  Good to know that table has at least one thing on it.

    Boycotting the opening ceremonies seems like a very small statement, but it's something.

    Merkel (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:33:06 PM EST
    Another woman, will not go to the ceremony.  She said the team can go but the world leaders are not obligated.  Guess women stand for what they believe.  

    You nailed it.... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:52:33 PM EST
    I always wondered why I had the inability to stand up for what I believe in...it's my damn y chromosome!  

    At least it's not my fault...a genetic defect.


    hah... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:02:31 PM EST
    Good one, but she was one of the only ones who made a clear decision.  

    I disagree with HRC on this - but... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:10:32 PM EST
    Barack Obama is still a study in being on every side of an issue.

    To whit:

    This is his unforthright statement concerning the Olympics:

    "On the one hand, I think that what has happened in Tibet, China's support for the Sudanese government in Darfur, is a real problem," he said, before adding: "I am hesitant to make the Olympics a site of political protest because I think it's partly about bringing the world together."

    "A real problem"... If you take seriously what the Chinese are doing - is that all you can say - that it's "a real problem?"

    The Olympics are supposed to be ONLY about "bringing the world together" in sport. It is not supposed to be a display of national chauvinism.

    Obama is indeed of "two minds". One for the left and one for the right.

    Obama's not conflicted... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:43:53 PM EST
    ...he just didn't have access to Hillary's answers beforehand so he could say the same thing she did.  People should notice by now that if there's an important question to be answered, Obama says the same thing Hillary does if Hillary goes first.  He ends up sounding like an indecisive/neophitic non-leader when she's not around to copy from.

    To clarify.... (4.66 / 3) (#1)
    by Key on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:38:33 PM EST
    I disagree with Hillary.  I hate it when the Olympics are used for political purposes.

    I'm a Clinton supporter.  I'm actually a delegate to my State's convention in June (Texas) who is supporting Clinton.  But I don't think the Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies.  The issues with Tibet are so much more complicated than we read about in the U.S. press.

    Besides, would a boycott by Bush be a bit like the pot calling the kettle black?  All a Bush boycott would do in the eyes of the rest of the world is make him look like the enormous hypocrite that he is....  On second thought....

    But in all sincerity, maybe we ought to set a good example not by taking our ball and going home (or at least by not pulling our cheerleader from the side of the game) but by working hard to help others in need with real action.

    That's why I like Clinton over Obama after all, because Clinton goes beyond symbolism and takes real action....

    In place of a boycott.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:49:43 PM EST
    issue every American athlete a "Free Tibet" pin to wear if they so choose.

    Make the Chinese do something about it.


    Remember Kuwait? (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:08:41 PM EST
    If only Tibet had oil, we would be fighting China instead of Iraq... not.

    what about (none / 0) (#29)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:48:35 PM EST
    the iconic black power salute during the '68 olympics ?  Smith and Carlos were booed and got kicked out of the games, so obviously some people agreed they picked the wrong forum for protest.  Then we have all that footage of America athletes during the 36 Games that Leni Riefenstahl filmed--not sure I feel pride about American participation in helping Germany showcase its Aryan propaganda.  Then again, there's the 72 Olympics...oy.

    Like you said, I think that some things are more complicated than we read about--or remember.

    (fellow Clinton supporter here: go, Hillary!)


    But (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:31:52 PM EST
    not sure I feel pride about American participation in helping Germany showcase its Aryan propaganda.
    I think the fact that , Jessie Owens showed them a thing or two about the superrace made it all worthwhile, but you do have a point. BTW-Most Americans were not so bothered about the Nazi's in '36.

    Most Americans (none / 0) (#38)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:37:56 PM EST
    were perfectly fine with Smith and Carlos being kicked out of the Games.

    I Know (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:49:49 PM EST
    They knew what they had to lose by their act of civil disobedience, and felt strong enough to take a stand anyway knowing it would not be popular. That is an honorable position, IMO. And kudos to Peter Norman of Australia, who participated in the protest that evening by wearing a OPHR badge.

    History has redeemed.... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:49:53 PM EST
    Smith and Carlos....I would say most Americans today consider them heroes of the civil rights movement...I know I do.  Though at the time they were villified.

    Me too. (none / 0) (#44)
    by itsover on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:16:52 PM EST
    (I disagree with Hillary.  I hate it when the Olympics are used for political purposes.)

    Obama is showing better judgment by being torn.

    If Clinton is sincere, she should just go all the way and call for a complete boycott.


    baby/bathwater (none / 0) (#47)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:56:10 PM EST
    Merkel has it right.  Boycott the opening ceremony, which is about pomp and circumstance.  What you are suggesting is just...silly.

    Lets have the Olympics (none / 0) (#59)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 01:24:01 PM EST
    in libya next time; if it's really about a message and event that transcends politics and divisions -- and nations whose dirt cheap labor costs make it a tremndous magnet for investment capital regardless of an atrocious human rights history.

    It's been a pleasure.... (4.50 / 2) (#4)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:43:34 PM EST
    to watch the circus surrounding the travels of the torch.  I love me some freedom in action.  

    Kudos to all those fine French and British folks voicing their displeasure (and getting gang-tackled by police)at the Chinese regime while their governments look the other way.

    I don't know what a US boycott of the Olympics accomplishes though, seeing as we are in bed with the Chinese tyrants as much as anybody.  "We will boycott the games, but keep the plastic pieces of cr*p coming, we will still buy that sh*t" isn't exactly a strong moral stance Hillary.

    I won't be watching this summer, and I try like hell not to buy chinese goods, as difficult as that is.  That's all we can do, our government ain't gonna do a damn thing to piss off their chinese overlords.

    I don't mind protesting, but I think they (none / 0) (#15)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:59:49 PM EST
    went a bit far in some cases. Did you see the petite woman with the torch caught in the middle? It's one thing to make your voices heard, but putting an innocent person(s) in danger, not cool in my book. Especially when protesting for Human Rights.

    Point taken.... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:07:41 PM EST
    but when you carry a torch for China, don't be surprised when people get surly.  And I don't how innocent you are when you carry a torch for China.  I sell Chinese made goods, I know that makes me complicit to the working conditions in China, and hence guilty of human rights crimes to a certain degree.  If I got heckled on my way to work over it, I'd say I deserve it:)

    That being said, I don't advocate violence against torch-bearers.


    American Goods (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:09:41 PM EST
    Have the same taint, if you want to get techincal.

    Like George Carlin said squeaky.... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:23:37 PM EST
    there are no innocent victims, we are all guilty at birth:)

    They are carrying the torch in the spirit (none / 0) (#22)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:15:16 PM EST
    of the Olympics and Tradition, not China.

    I boycott Chinese goods. USA first and whenever possible. Safer that way, among other things  ;)


    Perhaps that's how they look at it.... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:27:07 PM EST
    I see it as they are carrying the torch to China....if it was handed to me I'd put that mother out.

    Do you find it nearly as impossible as I do to boycott Chinese goods?  Half the time I end up buying the Chinese or simply going without if I can.


    Not hard once you get in the groove (none / 0) (#30)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:49:59 PM EST
    I 'fired' all major companies and the smaller ones they ate up. Food almost all local, personal and other products all natural or homemade, same with pet food (raw feeder) and pet supplies. With a bit of looking I can find USA or from a comparable country on most other things (cookware, dishes, appliances, etc) I did a lot of online shopping in the beginning for research purposes, but now it's just 'normal'.

    Yeah, they are carrying it to China, but the spirit of the Olympics needs to be considered also. I wish something good could/would come out of it, but it doesn't look like it's time yet. I won't be watching it and my standing boycott will continue (who needs Coke when you can make your own soda!). I just don't think the athletes, their dreams and the spirit of the games should go down with those in the wrong. I'm sure there's much conflict going on there.


    Thanks.... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:52:14 PM EST
    I guess I just ain't trying hard enough.

    Carrying a torch (none / 0) (#27)
    by akaEloise on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:45:34 PM EST
    It's funny, that phrase, in its figurative as well as literal meaning.
    There are at least 2,879,636 Americans who carry a torch for China -- that was the 2000 figure; I know it's gone up.  They carry it in their faces, in their DNA, in the stories of their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents.  The ones who built our railroads and worked our mines, the ones we didn't allow to become citizens until 1943.   A few of them, one a friend of mine, will be literally carrying it through the streets on Wednesday.   I don't want people to throw garbage at them.  I don't even want people to throw water on their torch; I don't see how that helps people in Tibet or Darfur or Xinjiang.  
    I carry a torch for China myself, though my family came across the Atlantic and not the Pacific.  I haven't been there yet.  I only speak a dozen words of Mandarin and I get the tones wrong, so they probably don't even count.  But I read Chinese novels in translation, listen to Chinese music, watch Chinese films, look at Chinese art, and don't get me started on the greatest food culture in human history.  I carry a torch for China.   For Tibet and Burma, too, and definitely not for Hu Jintao or any of his colleagues.   But for China, and the Chinese diaspora.  

    Point taken.... (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:13:32 PM EST
    I should be more specific....carrying a torch for the Chinese government is something I could not do.

    I've got no beef with the fine people of China living under the thumb of a ruthless regime.  I wish them nothing but luck in our mutual quest to live a life of liberty, free from tyranny.

    But I do think the protests accomplish something...raising awareness.  The Olympics will bring all eyes on China, and it's important for the world to see it warts and all.  Without the protests, people would only see the samitized version being propagandized by the Chinese government.


    I agree with that (none / 0) (#35)
    by akaEloise on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:26:54 PM EST
    I also just read that the usual online censorship filters may be dropped during the Olympics, in order to permit foreign journalists to file from anywhere.   So everyone in Beijing may get two weeks to do all the Google searches about Tiananmen and Falun Gong and representative democracy that they've been saving up.  Of course, if the Chinese government is able to figure out who did the searches afterward, this might not be such a good idea.  

    Bush will be front row like a Ceasar (none / 0) (#2)
    by Prabhata on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:39:38 PM EST
    at the Colosseum approvingly of how the Chinese handle dissent.

    Obama is conflicted because he might want to attend to demonstrate his unity with the Republicans.

    Hillary is showing (none / 0) (#3)
    by stillife on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:42:20 PM EST
    that she can be tough.  I don't know whether I agree or disagree, but human rights is an important issue.  Darfur is an important issue.  And I know this is slightly OT, but I'm still annoyed about the poison pet food.

    Obama's likely response?  "Well....look.  Uh, I agree with Hillary."

    Talk is cheap (none / 0) (#10)
    by faux facsimile on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:51:22 PM EST
    But I'm sure once elected, Clinton will be happy to take substantial concrete measures to hurt the tyrannical regime that's propping up our house-of-cards economy. Or not.

    Definitely not...n/t (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:44:52 PM EST
    If Bush does not attend, is that a boycott? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Prabhata on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:51:25 PM EST

    It would be nice if we could keep ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:59:30 PM EST
    ...politics completely out of the Olympics. Unfortunately, from the choice of venues to the nationalism in coverage, the Olympics are saturated with politics, with no big changes apparent in the near future.

    That being said, while I'd love to see some protests by athletes in Beijing decrying the lack of human rights throughout China (not just Tibet), I think the last thing we want is the kind of boycott we saw in 1980, when athletes who had trained for years and had one real window to compete didn't get their chance.

    But I certainly don't fault Senator Clinton for saying that some kind of public notice should be taken of the nature of the Chinese regime.

    Glad to see you spending some time here (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by rilkefan on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:36:57 PM EST
    I appreciate your voice.

    Pelosi the "evil" one (none / 0) (#16)
    by indy33 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:01:35 PM EST
     was first to mention this.If we are going to give Clinton credit for this then how about the "horrible and divisive" Nancy Pelosi who suggested this first. I agree that China should be handled with a strong hand, but politicizing a world sporting event that is supposed to be about unity seems wrong to me.(Ask Jimmy Carter) I think the best thing to do would be to stop borrowing money from this corrupt and tyrannical goverment for an occupational war. When we are occupying a country it seems a little hypocritical to criticize others for doing so even though they are horribly wrong. Thats why we must restore Americas standing in the world so we can do whats right without seemingly having a conflict of interest. I am def. not a huge supporter of Pelosi and I think this democratic senate needs to do more but I also think that her comments about the election have been unfairly vilified. She justs wants it to be fair and in her mind the pledge delegates are the fairest barometer. You may disagree with her but its hardly a divisive statement.

    I don't remember a president (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:11:42 PM EST
    Ever showing up for the opening ceremonies anyway.

    What do I know?

    This could provide more insight into how each candidate views the office of the president as a diplomatic carrot.

    Or not.

    But as long as Obama is of "two minds" I'll have to assume that's statesmanship and not triangulation.

    Edgar! Don't you remember the ice (none / 0) (#42)
    by Teresa on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:54:38 PM EST
    skater sitting in the stands with Bush talking on her cell phone?

    No (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:00:51 PM EST
    I really don't follow a lot of stuff.

    I'm not as immersed into the day to day news cycle as others.

    It's wiggles, jakers, reading time, walk time, etc. for me.

    At least until day care and then I have to find a job.


    As much as I'm not a big Obamaphile (none / 0) (#24)
    by akaEloise on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:25:15 PM EST
    I think it's appropriate to be conflicted about this.  There is nothing I would like more in the world than to see a free and democratic China, enabled to be the great world power that it is meant to be,  not just in economic and military terms, but in cultural and social ones as well.  But how to get there from here?  Is it better to recognize and commend the modest, incremental progress the Chinese government has made in the last decade, or to condemn it for how far it has to go?  
    Anyway, I don't think Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies outright because it would be a disastrous loss of face and make the Chinese government feel even more persecuted by the West.  If he were clever -- well, if he were clever none of us would be here, I suppose; but a clever thing to do would be to accept and then explain that since Mrs. Bush is busy preparing for her daughter's wedding, the President will be bringing another guest instead.  Then wait for the lower-level functionary who needs to clear the American delegation's visas to find out that guest is named Tenzin Gyatso.  

    big mistake (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Imelda Blahnik2 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:22:41 PM EST
    I'm in China at the moment. I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day, about the whole Olympics Boycott issue. This friend is a member of a religious minority that over the decades suffered grave persecution, and of course could not openly practice it's faith during the high tide of Maoist socialism. Things are much better now, though not perfect, and have been getting better over the last 20 years. This friend is also a human rights activist and social activist, who does amazing things with poverty alleviation, care for the sick, AIDs awareness, and social development. Truly, he's an inspiration. He is also a gadfly - he advocates for his causes, lobbies and nudges officials at various levels to change their views or policies or at least live up to their own promises. He is not naive about his own government's powers and tendencies.

    He said to me, quite forcefully, that a boycott of the Olympics would only stir up the hate of the Chinese people; "the Chinese people would never forgive this." It would accomplish nothing, in terms of human rights, and only make the Chinese people feel like they are once again being pushed around, humiliated by the Western countries. What makes it worse is that this humiliation would come at a point at which the Chinese people "can stick their chests out with pride," that they are a modern and developed (enough) country to play an important role on the world stage. It would be a tremendous insult.

    And it would accomplish nothing. It would certainly not make the government less heavy-handed in Tibet, quite the contrary. It would not make it ease up on the political freedoms offered its citizens, which believe it or not are increasing.

    Like the angry Tibetans, what this man wants is good government that respects religious freedoms as well as other freedoms. This is what Tibetan Chinese want, it's what the Han majority want, it's what is desired by the Lahu, Hui, Kazakh, Bulang, Manchu, Korean, Uighur, Salar, Naxi, Dai, Bai, Yi etc. etc. minority peoples of China.

    I wish Hillary (Shee-la-lee) hadn't said that. I realize, it's politics, it's a political move made to draw a contrast with Bush, and to force her opponents to take a stand. And the issue of human rights in China is important, as she well understands. But this is problematic in terms of how the Chinese people regard her.

    I also think that while we must promote human rights, the US is in no position to go around symbolically humiliating other countries for their abuse of rights. Torture anyone? Pre-emptive invasion of Iraq? Rendition?


    Thanks for the insight.... (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    I wonder why the embarassment felt by the Chinese people due to the protests would make them rally around their government.  If it were me, I'd be that much angrier with my government for giving my country such a bad name.

    I mean if you don't want to be embarassment on the world stage, don't let your government be an embarrassment.  I don't blame protestors of the Iraqi occupation in Paris for making the USA look bad, I blame the US govt. for making my country look bad.


    I think it's because (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 12:45:55 PM EST
    they generally feel their country is the victim of other countries while we generally don't feel our country is a victim, in fact, just the opposite.

    You can the victim dynamic in so many facets of human nature. It's empowering.


    You're right (none / 0) (#60)
    by RTwilight on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 03:02:50 AM EST
    the Chinese have been screwed repeatedly by western powers for half a mellenium now...it's ingrained into their culture to expect more of the same...can't blame them

    I'm more interested.... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Alec82 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:34:06 PM EST
    ...in what candidates have to say about China's new colonialist misadventure, as covered by the Economist.

     I don't know what Senator Obama means by "conflicted," but here is a list of items associated with China more troubling than Tibet by far:

     1. Burma
     2. Quest for resources
     3. Taiwan
     4. Use of the war on "terror" as a shield for tyrannical abuses of power
     5. Regulation of the internet
     6. Suppression of labor movements

     Just saying...

    I don't think their goal of (none / 0) (#33)
    by Joan in VA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:07:21 PM EST
    extinguishing a culture is any less troubling than anything else on that list. There doesn't need to be a ranking.

    It's a boycott of the Opening (none / 0) (#28)
    by facta non verba on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:46:19 PM EST
    ceremonies, not the Olympics themselves. I would like to see every national delegation march in under a Tibetan flag or a white flag in protest. The IOC has to revisit its policies of putting the Olympics in such a controversial setting. They were perhaps hoping of a repeat of Seoul 1988 where the military regime was ousted in the run up to the games there but China is not South Korea.

    I personally won't watch the games.

    Don't agree (none / 0) (#32)
    by Korha on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:52:08 PM EST
    The last thing the U.S. needs to be doing right now is getting all self-righteous about other country's human rights violations. Especially coming from the mouth of President Bush.

    On the other hand, I think this is a smart political move for Clinton to make. The situations in Tibet and Darfur are tragic and calling at least attention to them is a good thing.

    SF (none / 0) (#52)
    by s5 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:18:39 PM EST
    There's a huge Chinese population here, either the largest or second largest demographic in the city. There's been discussion of any protest or boycott in SF being considered an insult to the Chinese community in SF, which is partly why I was so surprised to see Pelosi take a stand. On the other hand, we're a city that loves a good protest, so I'm not sure what's going to happen. Either way it should be interesting.

    For me, while I think people should take any opportunity to expose China for what it is, the US is just as complicit in their human rights abuses, by demanding everyday lowest prices to keep their factories churning. Hopefully our next president will take a serious look at our trade policy with China. Americans seem to be demanding more protectionism right now anyway, so maybe this is a good time.