WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling on President Bush to stay away from the Olympics opening ceremonies in Beijing this summer.
The Democratic presidential candidate cites the recent unrest in Tibet and questions about China’s relationship with Sudan.
The New York senator said Monday, “The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for presidential leadership.” She said Bush should not plan on attending the ceremonies “absent major changes by the Chinese government.”
Her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama, said recently that he was conflicted about whether the U.S. should fully participate.
I hope Obama joins the chorus. The excuses not to boycott range from the irrelevant (“it would hurt the athletes”) to the kind of lame Neo-Liberal door opening crap that was supposed to justify free-trade agreements (“going and putting the spotlight on them will force them to open up”).
The Chinese government—as with most governments—can let the dog bark all day as long as it doesn’t bite. If the show goes on, you can rest assured that we’ll get a very cute picture of China from the games, well managed by the government–as will the tourists who go there. I’m sure Beijing will be some kind of temporary libertarian Potemkin village, but you won’t be able to travel far from it.
That will not help Tibet.
China can retaliate in a number of ways. They can let their currency float, or do some dumb shit with Taiwan. Both of which will expose the US: one for the perilously weak economy we have, and two for our broken military. But everyone knows that anything more serious than that by the Chinese government would endanger their leadership more than it would endanger the US.
But until the US regains some semblance of moral leadership, we are less secure at home. So why don’t we fight the terrorists over there instead of over here?