The Washington Times - August 19, 2008, 10:54AM

Watching the athletes at the Beijing Olympics is inspiring. It’s an awesome display of people operating at their highest potential. I am still dazzled by the opening ceremony, where we got an eye-opening dose of Chinese culture, history and their can do spirit. But, as I watch these Olympics unfold I can’t stop thinking about Dafur and Tibet.

It seems to me that a country that can put on such a display of excellence, national will and can do spirit, can use that same energy to work with Sudanese government to end the conflict in Dafur instead of supporting it by selling them arms and buying their oil.  And, of course we know what they need to do in Tibet.

I have to tell you, I feel a little guilty watching these games. I feel like an accomplice of sorts. Yes, I feel that by watching these games, I am endorsing China’s policies in Dafur and Tibet. I also feel I am saying that because China is big and rich they are entitled to do what they want.

So I don’t know what to do. I want to continue to watch the games and cheer for our team. But, I don’t want to feel a deep sense of guilt while I do it. There is a good chance that I will turn on my TV today and continue to watch the games and feel guilty.

You know, China is a world power and cannot continue its disregard for human rights internally and abroad. Also, they cannot continue to reap the benefits of a responsible and global citizen in good standing without stepping fully into the role. The Olympics are an athletic diplomatic event for the whole world to enjoy. Since the Olympics are one of the purest forms of diplomacy, I think only well meaning and upstanding members of the world community ought to participate, host and benefit from them.

The Olympics will be over soon and China will have had their global showcase opportunity. And, they will have showed us a lot from that dazzling opening ceremony, a hefty medal count, and so many other positive things. Now they need to show us that they are deserving of their status in the world and do the right thing in Dafur and Tibet.

 

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