Thursday, July 17, 2008

Don't we look foolish enough already?

by Capt. Fogg

I don't think I want to watch the Olympics this year. It's not that this iteration of the games will be any more or less boring or fulsomely nationalistic than the event ever has been, but I'm afraid that some self-appointed ambassadors are going to make damn fools and hypocrites of us.

My first reaction was "tell me it's a joke" when I read the Reuters item telling us that an unspecified group of "human rights activists" have asked George W. Bush to complain to the Chinese government about political prisoners while he is there, and to wear a wristband that declares: "free the North Koreans." They intend to show up under full sail in Beijing wearing their version of the trendy rubber band rhetoric. I can almost hear the jeers.

Tell me it's a joke.

According to White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe, Bush will not be taking wristbands with him. I'm glad to hear it. Another thing George will not be taking with him on the trip is moral authority; or indeed anything else that gives him the right to demand that China not expel illegal aliens coming across the Korean Border looking for work, or that they release militant Islamic separatists, much less to extend them anything resembling the right to Habeas Corpus.

It's not that no criticism is due, it's that we are in no position to make it. I can well imagine my own feelings should a Chinese delegation show up here demanding that we free Puerto Rico, close Guantanamo and open the border with Mexico.

I mean, it's really a joke, isn't it?

Cross posted from Human Voices

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's a shame that the Olympics have to become more and more politisized but it's no surprise given this years venue. This is the epitome of an athletes career, after years of pain and hardwork. I like the Olympics, I like the opportunity it gives young people to meet others from other countries and cultures, I like all the good things about the games. To make them a stage for protest, dissent, or political career building is just downright sad. Another testament to our over all dumbing down.

8:39:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

It is sad, I agree. I can't remember when they were really separate from politics - maybe they never were. Maybe there is a way to keep it from being a country against country event, but I doubt it. I just hope we just let sports be sports and can avoid the inevitable attempts to humiliate China and puff ourselves up

10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.

8:07:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Even more sad is how nicely I've been treated by people in China and how poorly I've seen Chinese visitors treated here; once at JFK with open mockery. Imagine your first moments in the US being associated with a gaggle of baggy pants morons making squinty-eye faces at you.

The more I see and the more I learn, the less proud of this country I am.

10:25:00 AM  

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