On March 18, on ReligionandSpirituaity.com, I voiced my concern that the United States is so afraid of our super-trading partner China that we were not going to take a strong enough position regarding their most serious human rights wart, which is its occupation and oppression of Tibet. Well I was right and we have not! Our relationship with China can be likened to a married couple in which one of the partners is so dominant that what the other thinks or says matters very little. And I feel that is how China views us. Yes, we are in bed with a two-ton gorilla instead of an 800-pound one.
I also said that, we should find our voice in this relationship. That’s right! We should tell China that even though we are in bed with them and feel like an abused spouse, we are going to place some demands on them that they will comply with or else we will alter the nature of the partnership. This should be done regardless of what happens in Tibet, which by the way is a good place to start finding some balance in this relationship.
I wanted President Bush to borrow a page from President Jimmy Carter’s diplomatic book. Jimmy Carter boldly asked the U.S. Olympic Team to boycott the 1980 Olympics after Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan in 1979. In other words, he put some heat on the Soviets and hit them where it hurt. It denied them a controlled global showcase opportunity and the full economic benefits that result from the Olympics. If Bush did this, perhaps other countries would have followed, like they did after Carter proposed his Olympic boycott. Since he did not do that, all he can do now at this late date is boycott the opening ceremony. It’s a small gesture, but it is something.
There are some who believe that we should not play politics with the Olympics, and this is a valid concern. But in my opinion, 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. So we need to make a statement of some sort. There are a number of things that can be done besides boycotting the opening ceremony. Hey! does anybody have a “Free Tibet Jersey.” Speaking about Jerseys, where are most of those things made anyway?
What do you think we should do to show our support for Tibet at the Olympics?
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