Olympic Efforts

Some people are calling for a boycott of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games from Beijing, including Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie. First, the international protests stemmed from China's business efforts in Sudan and its apparent lack of political effort to stem the devastation that now should sadden us all- and that's Darfur. And now the boycott boosters are suggesting that China should be penalized for its action against dissenters in Tibet. Of course, the Dalai Lama has said the Games should go on, and the thought that denying the world an opportunity to witness this magnificent quadrennial event would force China to change its current policy is naïve and far-fetched, no matter how un-democratic it seems to us.

If political and powerful people really want to hurt 'em, then how about some strong economic sanctions with teeth? Well, that's not going to happen either, as the symbiotic relationship (we both help each other) continues to grow between China and the United States, especially our ever-consuming consumers in this country. We boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, you may recall, and that sure didn't amount to much. The athletes suffered, and perhaps the international harmony that the Olympics purport to bring to us suffers whenever nations decide to use the Games as political fodder.

Don't get me wrong, host countries love to use the Games for their own agendas on many fronts, And China is doing its darndest to clean up the pollution and traffic to present a great event, which I believe it will be. So if the intent is to send a meaningful message, maybe the powers-that-be should construct a meaningful message to display displeasure, not by banning the pole vaulters and water ballet specialists. Think about it...