Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Crazy Free Tibet Boy
Quite likely what many a Chinese national would envision when imagining an American citizen should President Bush boycott the upcoming Olympic games.

I've taken quite well to Dan's two prong approach to the Chinese misadventures in Tibet and how America should react.

Officially: Offer the usual cookie cutter comments condemning the murderous acts of Chinese security forces in Tibet. In essence, lip sevice. Meanwhile preserve an otherwise miraculous relationship that benefits both countries and has lifted a backwater population mass to geo-economic contender in a mere three decades.

Publicly: Embarrass the living hell out of the Chi-Com regime. Let every ounce of public passion hang banners from the Golden Gate bridge and make a mockery of the heavy and lethal Chinese hand in Tibet.

In this respect San Fransisco Mayor, Gavin Newsome missed the boat:

San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom told Reuters on Wednesday the Olympic torch route had to be radically changed at the last minute or the event canceled to assure public safety.
"It did not appear to be doable with the crowds," Newsom said by cell phone from the torch route on the Olympic flame's only stop in the United States.
"We assessed the situation and felt that we could not secure the torch and protect the protesters and supporters to the degree that we wished, and as a consequence we engaged in subsequent contingency planning that we felt would keep people safe."

Bah! The thing has passed through two virtual riots thus far and we have yet to hear of any municipal anarchy beyond the general protest.
Why the sanctity of a symbol that does not at all stem from international goodwill is held above the resonance of citizen disapproval in light of the obvious facts is beyond me. The Olympic Games in form are an important global social continuance. But the symbolic nature of the Olympic flame is dicey in it's history and necessary only to a point.

That said, I agree with Dan. The official protocol should be one of a wrinkled eyebrow and wagging finger, not an official boycott and therefore national insult. The foundation of Sino-American relations is well built and too important to be unraveled in even the slightest sense by any official boycott of the Olympic games.

Let the vibrant, active and generally effective elements of public society run that hunt.


Dan tdaxp said...

An excellent post.

We will face a "crisis," wrt boycotting the opening ceremonies if France joins Britain and Germany in not attending.

Until then, there is no need to get out in front of the issue. The pointis to minimize the cost to western governments in improving the Chinese regime, offloading the work onto the swarm, as you note.

Jay@Soob said...

Thanks much, Dan. Though I'm not certain even the addition of France should be a "kicker" for an official boycott. I'd posit that a decade from now the relationship between the US and China (or what constitutes China) will outweigh that of the current US European relationship.