The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Say No to the Communist Olympics
Now that the Winter Olympics of Turin (or Torino) have ended, the eyes of Olympic watchers are turning to the next Olympic host city, which for now is still Beijing, the capital of Communist China. Not content with the Hitler Olympics of 1936 and the Brezhnev Games of 1980, the International Olympic Committee chose to fete a dangerous, anti-freedom, and murderous dictatorship yet again. However, we can still show our determination not to let freedom be slighted by either the IOC or the Chinese Communist Party. The democratic world can demand that the 2008 Games be moved, and that if they are not moved we (the U.S., Canada, and the rest of the democratic world) should not let our athletes step foot in Communist China for the Games, but instead will conduct an alternate sporting event on our own.
Why am I raising the issue now? For starters, it would take time to move the Olympics, or to establish the alternate event. An alternate city must be chosen and made ready in either scenario. Additionally, the Communists will soon begin a two-year propaganda warm-up for the Beijing Olympiad, so it would be best to make the case against it sooner rather than later.
The reasons for moving or boycotting the Games are clear. No regime has more blood on its hand than the Chinese Communist Party. It has murdered over 60 million people in just over a half-century. Moreover, its murderous ways (contrary to popular belief) have not let up one iota, as shown in the persecution of Falun Gong and the Hanyuan County massacre.
Additionally, Communist China is a menace to the democratic world. The regime is the largest benefactor of terrorism on earth. To this day, it has propped up the Stalinist regime of Kim Jong-il, who has himself starved millions to death in northern Korea. Just recently, the regime granted itself permission to conquer the island democracy of Taiwan, and recent reports reveal that the Communists will do just that by 2012 at the latest. The fact that the upcoming Olympics are a critical part of the pre-war propaganda campaign should be reason enough to move the Games .
Of course, not everyone is looking to move or boycott the games. In part, this is due to historical amnesia on the Berlin Games of 1936. While in America that Olympiad is best known for Jesse Owens four gold medals, in Europe it was seen as a Nazi organizational triumph and geopolitical bonanza. Moscow was headed for the same glory with the 1980 Olympics until President Carter pulled the U.S. out of those Games (easily one of the most admirable acts of his entire political career).
Another fallacy used to defend the Communist Olympiad is the theory that the 1988 Olympic games somehow pushed South Korea toward democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The protests against the South Korean regime took place in 1987, not 1988. The pressure to democratize came not from the prospect of the 1988 Games, but from the Reagan Administration and the South Korean regime’s hand-picked choice for President, who adopted the democratic reforms of the opposition as his own platform and threatened to refuse the Presidency if said reforms weren't enacted. The grateful people of South Korea elected him President, democratically, six months before the Olympics even began.
No such circumstances exist in Communist China. The Communists do not rely on the U.S. for its protection (as South Korea did), but in fact see America as an enemy. The cadres are focused exclusively on justifying their regime’s survival to an increasingly restive people. The proper historical model is not Seoul, but the aforementioned Moscow or Berlin.
There is still time for the democratic world to take a stand for freedom. Both of Beijing's major competitors for the 2008 Games (Toronto and Paris) missed out on 2012. Either could serve as an alternate site; while Canada may be skittish about this, given the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, France might be willing to step forward once Jacques Chirac’s successor is elected next year.
Yours truly has been pushing for a Beijing boycott from the moment the Communist capital was awarded the Games in 2001. At this point, with so many athletes' plans already in full swing, an alternate event is the only fair outcome should the IOC not be convinced to move the Olympics. Still, a "Democracy Games," as it were, would be an excellent alternative to the Beijing Olympiad.
Whatever option is taken - boycott, relocation, or an alternative event - the athletes of the democratic world should not be turned in tools for Communist propaganda. If the IOC members will not stand for freedom, the U.S., Canada, and its fellow democracies must do it for them.
Cross-posted to the China e-Lobby
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» Interesting blog discussion on the 2008 Beijing Olympics from Summer Olympics News
Some people are still deeply disturbed that the 2008 Olympics will take place in a Communist country. There are some good arguments made from both sides. Yes, it seems horrible to "support" the human rights violations that China has committed. On th... [Read More]
Tracked on 2006-03-19 9:22:43 AM
I completely disagree with every point in the above article and I'm disturbed by the increasingly monotonic anti-China tone of the Shotgun.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-02 12:49:46 PM
Take heart, neither Hitler's Germany nor the USSR survived 10 years past their Olympics.
Posted by: pete e | 2006-03-02 12:53:54 PM
I must say I take great, deep, and profound offense to that statement.
I am not, and never will be, "anti-China," I am proud to be an anti-Communist, which is something completely different.
Perhaps if you knew the people I know - the brave Falun Gong practitioners who escaped Communist China only to have the CCP follow them here with its espionage and intimidation network, the political dissidents who survived the Tiananmen massacre, the oppressed Uighurs of occupied East Turkestan, etc. - you'd think twice before throwing that rhetoric around.
Posted by: China e-Lobby | 2006-03-02 12:56:25 PM
I don't think there's anything that remotely resembles "enough time" to choose an alternate location. You can't just plop the Olympics down in any city. Even if it went to a recent location with modern venues, all of the organization and security still needs to be arranged. I suspect two years is not enough time to coordinate that. The only option would be boycott.
I'm not a fan of China, based mostly upon their hideous human-rights record. Their long-term imperialistic plans also have me a bit nervous. I would prefer that they didn't get the attention that the Olympics deliver. But perhaps all that attention will help to highlight the many, many problems with China and it's method of iron-fisted rule.
Posted by: Johnny Pockets | 2006-03-02 12:58:25 PM
Well boycotting the Olympics might have happened in the past, there isn't the economic stranglehold on nations as China today has.
Imagine Walmart having that 'happy face' dingdong going around RAISING prices instead. Imagine that cheap Zmachine computer you are writing on suddenly goes up $500-1,000.
Imagine all these running shoes being actually made in Canada, instead of just the tongue part.
One thing we can hope for is that the Olympics will open the eyes of the local Chinese people to realize an open society thrives outside of their propaganda machine.
So yes, while I disagree with having the Olympics in a dictatorship, one can only hope the 'glitter and gold' that comes with the Olympics will cause the locals to want more in life.
On a side note, I often wonder about those poor people working in sweatshops building computers and other hi-tech stuff- if they dream about going to those countries where the equipment is destined to...
Posted by: tomax | 2006-03-02 1:14:38 PM
I don't think walling off the economies of the democratic world from Communist Chinese goods (which I would support, BTW) would have that effect on prices. More likely, other importers would pick up the slack (India, Taiwan, and Japan for high-tech; Brazil, Bangladesh, or Mexico for shoes and textiles; etc. - neither list is exhaustive). We could see a slight price increase, but nothing as drastic as you suggest.
Then again, I'm not your typical supporter of trade restrictions against the Communist regime. Most of them, sadly, are out-and-out protectionists. I, on the other hand, support free trade, except with Communist regimes.
Posted by: China e-Lobby | 2006-03-02 1:22:51 PM
China-e-lobby - You can't defend your perspective on China by saying that you 'take great, deep, profound offense' to my criticism of your 'anti-China' stance. That's hardly a defense.
And, you can't semantically retreat from my basic meaning by saying that you are not 'anti-China' but are 'anti-Communist'. You know perfectly well that I am referring, not to China in the abstract, but to China in the actuality, which happens to be, pro forma, communist.
I stand by my point - I'm disturbed by your anti-China/Communist rhetoric. I think it's simplistic to reduce China's reality to a dictatorial communism. I think it's naive to expect that the transformation of a peasant economy to an industrial economy, within two generations, would be without repression and conflict. As I've often said, it took the West over 400, very bloody years to move from a peasant agriculturalism to a market agriculturalism. The move to a nation-state industrialism was easier. But, the move to a global industrialism took two world wars.
I expect that China will move into a democratic mode rapidly. It can't abandon that ideology, that enabled it to move from that peasant agriculturalism to industrialism, overnight.
But, China is pouring money into scientific research - and science rests on innovation, deviation and collaboration. I can't keep track of the conferences being held in China:
-Sixth International Conference on Simulated Evolution and Learning
-Nonlinear science and complexity
-sixth on knowledge and systems sciences..
and those are only a few, and only in the field of complexity science.
All of this research (and the amount of money they are putting into it) means that they are moving out of dogma and ideology. To reject them, because of that communist ideology, is, in my view, as naive as the views of another poster, John Ryan, who rejects the US because it is NOT Marxist.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-02 1:53:48 PM
I find forced abortions, the complete suppression of free speech, and the imprisonment of political opponents disturbing. But that's just me. I also find disturbing the fact that the "democratic West" continues to pander to Chinese Communists on trade issues without linking trade to human rights advances. The argument that trade leads to democracy is absurd. We have seen no evidence of this in China. I also find it disturbing that China receives foreign aid from the West.
Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-03-02 2:15:21 PM
I find the repression of religious rights in Saudi Arabia disturbing, I find the use of Sharia Law and stoning of women disturbing (SA), I find the repression of religious rights in Canada disturbing (being fined for not permitting a lesbian marriage in their church hall); being verbally pilloried for being against SSM and - being fired from a political party for that stance (NDP);
I find the fining of shopkeepers who post signs in English in Quebec disturbing; I find disturbing the repression of free speech in many countries - including in Canada, which saw its major booksellers refuse to sell the Western Standard;
I find the money-laundering of the taxpayer's money by a political party disturbing; I find the deplorable lifestyle conditions of many indigeneous peoples disturbing; I find the 'abortion is my personal right' ideology disturbing; I find laws which release repeat offenders onto the streets, where they murder some innocent - disturbing.
On and on and on. No country is perfect; you cannot reduce a complex system to a simplistic mechanical artefact.
And yes, trade DOES change systems. It's called diffusion and is as valid within human societies as it is within the biological and chemical worlds.
By all means - isolate China until it meets your criteria - but that will never happen. Meanwhile, isolate Quebec until it stops discriminating against anglo and allophones in its province; isolate SA until it rejects Sharia Law...
Isolation won't work. Interaction will.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-02 2:43:06 PM
A lot of countries start out with undemocratic governments and move to free democracies in step with industrialization but correlation is not causation.
Posted by: Warwick | 2006-03-02 2:53:54 PM
China e-Lobby, I ‘m with you in a visceral sense, I have the same distain for commies. I’m particularly vexed with what I saw between our Liberals and the Canadian cabal of Corproate welfare bums that took our taxpayers hard earned money gave it to China which is headed to be the largest economy in the world and which has 750 missiles aimed at Taiwan.
Having said all that. It comes down to a probability game. They are going to have to democratize. And I think they will. I’ve been amazed by what I’ve seen in Shanghai and Beijing. I am sure they will democratize; my only question is can it be done without blood. I think so, but sure there is risk that the thugs will try to hold on against the revolt of the farmers or the Audi driving Generation X or whatever it turns out to be.
Plan A, Should we be doing more and more with China that will help them continue to grow a middle class?
Plan B, Will they democratize faster if we close them off and not engage with them in trade?
I know a lot of Chinese people, they are simply not wired to be commies, and only a tiny few ever were commies. The Chinese are a lot more entrepreneurial than your average blue-eyed Scot in Ontario.
So I go for Plan A because I’m in favour of:
· Cutting off the Liberal handouts.
· Embarrassing China when they lie about situations like SARS.
· Insisting that if they buy any of our assets that we have clear-cut agreements on disclosure just like any other public co. would have to do.
· We should do what we can to help as many people in China achieve middle class status ASAP.
But, it’s too late and too dangerous to try to isolate them with Plan B and even if we could isolate them, I prefer Plan A because I sense that it’s working.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-02 3:11:34 PM
I agree, Warwick, correlation is certainly not causation.
But, I maintain that these two variables, democracy and industrialism, are inherently correlated. That's a different type of relation than linear causality. The corrrelation I refer to is: 'If A, then B; If B, then A' - Note that, unlike causality, it's symmetrical -that's a conjunctive axiom of commutation where order doesn't make any difference. That's not causality.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-02 3:15:59 PM
No country is perfect. True, but to suggest that China's record on rights can somehow be compared to that of Canada is absurd. No one is suggesting that we shouldn't interact with the government of China, just that we shouldn't be pandering to them. I'm not suggesting another Cold War, I'm suggesting that the West should start linking rights to trade and should cut off foreign aid to China.
Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-03-02 3:36:13 PM
Howard - the reason that Canada didn't go through the repressive period of China - even though it went through its own repressive periods -is that Canada was a colony of the UK, which had already transformed from a peasant economy with a feudal political structure..to a democracy. So- your comparison of the two is invalid.
And don't forget Canada's own problems - its reservations, residential schools, its wartime treatment of Canadian citizens of Japanese etc ancestry, its refusal to allow Jews higher education, by limiting numbers in schools, etc etc.
But above all, China and Canada can't be compared. Canada has never, ever, had to move from a peasant agriculture to an industrial economy - It has never had to move from a tribal imperialism to a legislated political system. We are very different, and these transitions are not easy.
I completely agree with all of nomdenet's suggestions - including that important one of full disclosure in their trade and investment dealings with us.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-02 3:45:00 PM
Yes, I have taken World History 101 - thank you. In fairness, I actually made the point that we should not be comparing China to Canada - sorry if that was not clear - in response to your comparison of the two. Having said that, most Western democracies had indeed evolved socio-economically in the same manner as you describe above (Canada also albeit as an extension of Great Britain)so I do not see how we can somehow justify or explain away China's crimes against humanity and hope that they will evolve in the same manner some time in the future. I hope they do but I'm not sure that our approach is necessarily speeding that up. I think it's slowing it down by alleviating the pressure on the Communists from their own people.
Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-03-02 4:09:07 PM
Let's not forget that the Western world once had a conscience and imposed economic sanctions on China for the Tiananmen Massacre...The CCP appeared to behave for a while but the fact is that they are great masters at covering up their sins -- the defectors have spoken, the Falun Gong and Tibetans are clarifying the facts. How many more massacres will it take before the laissez-faire attitude of our government and businesses truly capture what is wrong with this picture. The western rhetoric has been to engage with China's dictators using the excuse that this will help democratize a hopeless repressive regime. Show me the progress...All I see is more and more people being tortured for their belief or for using the internet.
I think the answer is in the Nine Commentaries. This uncensored history of the CCP has triggered 8 million Chinese to quit the Party already--it is a sweeping force that is gradually cutting a path for a smoother transition to take place towards a new China. Rights lawyers are protesting the human rights abuse and persecution throughout 18 Provinces of China right now with a relay hunger strike that has been supported globally. Waves of changes are happening just on time for the Olympics warm-up.
Posted by: makina | 2006-03-02 4:21:54 PM
I gather from your comments that you actually believe the CCP wants what's best for the Chinese people.
That is the fundamental flaw in your reasoning. The CCP wants what's best for itself, which is to keep the pyramid scheme going at all cost (including human life).
That is also why I got so upset with your labeling. I do not equate China, the largest, oldest, and richest civilization on earth, with the cruel, corrupt, and bloodthirsty regime that imprisons it. To me, they are two separate entities.
And until the Chinese people can liberate themselves from the CCP regime, that regime is a threat to them, to us (Americans), to you (Canadians), and to the entire globe. That's how I see it.
Posted by: China e-Lobby | 2006-03-02 4:51:51 PM
OK, China-e-lobby - I understand your perspective. I don't agree with it, however, but, at least we both know where we stand! xie xie nin.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-02 4:56:12 PM
Communist Olympics? Yes, I agree, let's scrap the games and redistribute the money back into taxpayers' pockets where it belongs. The whole Olympic movement is nothing but a showcase for government egos, an excuse to wave the flag in peoples' faces and put another few thousand political hacks, flacks and cronies on the public payroll.
Oh - you meant the Beijing Olympics! OK, let's boycott those as well.
The fact is, China e-lobby, the commies at home in your municipal, provincial and federal governments are far more harmful to you than all the commies in China could ever be.
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2006-03-02 6:16:57 PM
I think it's unfeasible to get the games moved from Beijing, but I would love to see some sort of movement for Olympic attendees to bring attention to censured issues, such as holding up signs in the arenas that mention Tibet, East Turkestan, Tiananmen, free speech, etc. The CCP would not be able to persecute Westerners on live international TV.
ET, I'm glad China e-Lobby is on the Shotgun now, it's one more reason visit WS's site.
To move China from a peasant to an industrial economy more quickly, villagers have been shot by the CCP for daring to protest the repossession of their land. One such incident happened a week before the WTO met in HKSAR last December. None of the officials brought up the murders and anti-globalization protestors (who didn't mention the shootings either) got more coverage from the media.
But, every country has its' moments, so by all means let them host the Olympics, sit on the UN Human Rights Council and give them foreign aid.
I agree with those who don't believe isolation is the answer and that China will slowly democratize. China has changed enormously in the past twenty years. They are also becoming an old and decreasing population though, and a lot of the female population has been aborted.
Posted by: Angela | 2006-03-02 7:45:46 PM
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