April 16, 2008

Torch comes to India; more voices against a U.S. boycott

The torch comes to India, home of the Tibetan exile community. (But the DL is in the U.S., currently getting a checkup at the Mayo Clinic -- he has good insurance.) Several protesters have been arrested in India already.

Walter Mondale says theres no need for a boycott. Mondale, as Carter's VP, was involed in the boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Bush's foreign policy expert Stephen Hadley (the man who confused Nepal and Tibet) called boycotting the opening ceremonies a "cop-out" and said that instead, the U.S. is engaging in "quiet diplomacy."

And Anne Wu, an associate at Harvard's Kennedy Center says to keep Tibet and the Olympics separate:

Using the Tibetan issue as a cunning game of political machinations is unfair both to China and to the Tibetan people.

Foreign reporters highlighted a few weeping monks decrying Tibet's lack of freedom in the Jokhang Temple after China organized the media trip to Tibet. Didn't the young Han Chinese man shown separately on Sinovision, whose teenage sister died in the fire set by the mobs, deserve equal coverage?

It would be wrong to assume that the Chinese do not have free minds and that the government orchestrates everything. It's not surprising that blogs in China have exploded with anti-splittist and anti-West comments of the "Fen Qing" (furious young surfers), expressing anger over the violence and the Western media's one-sided, twisted reports.

Overseas Chinese have also been energized. A video on YouTube, "Tibet was, is, and always will be a part of China," produced by a Canadian Chinese student, was clicked 1.2 million times and received 72,000 comments in three days. Patriotism and nationalism are strong among the Chinese. The power of the people's voice should not be underestimated.

Historical burdens at times prevent people from moving forward. Buddhism's art of meditation offers wisdom: Let go, develop a refined awareness of the present moment, and reach a clarity of mind.

Well, if you want to leave Tibet out of the Games, how about starting with keeping the torch out of Tibet?

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Gertrude Smitherson's picture

Exactly right. There is no way to completely leave out a country if you are still allowing the torch to go through the country. And if "quiet diplomacy" means landing more of our troops out of Iraq (which no doubt committed human rights violations as heinous as China), then we have been "quietly" engaging in war for the past five years. As a 69 year old woman who has seen boycotts such as the 1980 one you mention amount to little more than a few athletes losing their one chance at Olympic gold, I encourage you and other Internet commentators to do more than call for a boycott of the Games and instead insist on an economic freeze.