07 July 2008

Let's not irritate the human rights abusers

TOYAKO, Japan (AP) — President Bush said Sunday he does not feel the need to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics to state his opposition to China's human rights record. Skipping the event would be an "affront" to the Chinese people, he said.

Bush spoke at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who announced that he also plans to attend the ceremonies. Other world leaders have decided not to go as a rebuke to China's violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Tibet.

Because previous "statements of opposition" have made such a great impact, huh?

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the Chinese people find their government's treatment of domestic dissent a BIT more offensive than a snub by a foreign head of state. The spotlight on the world stage is a bright one, and, this summer, it's going to be focused, squarely, on China. This is exactly the wrong time for alleged leaders like El Presidente to simply smile for the cameras and lend respectability to the dog and pony show that the Chinese government is trotting out for global consumption. They wanted the attention and the economic boost the Olympics brings, so they should have to deal with it, warts and all.

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