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Boycott is the Moral Response to Olympics in China

June 10, 2008

COMPASS: Other points of view
June 8, 2008

Let's say Saddam Hussein snared the 2000 Olympics from the ethically
challenged International Olympic Committee. Eager to showcase his
Baghdad regime to the world, he bulldozed vast Shiite neighborhoods
to make way for the Olympic Village. Tens of thousands of dazed
residents wander off into internal exile. The restive Kurds, still
reeling from a poison gas attack, stage an uprising and are brutally
suppressed. Saddam's army seals off Kurdistan so as not to spoil his show.

Sound familiar? It should!

Any doubt about a boycott of the Olympics? Shouldn't be!

The Zhiang Zemin/Hu Jintao CCP (Chinese Communist Party) dictatorship
far surpasses Saddam in brutality. Estimates range into the hundreds
of thousands of Beijing residents forcibly evicted to make way for
Olympic Village -- some with as little as two weeks notice. The lucky
few got temporary jobs demolishing their own homes and working
Olympic Village construction. Beijing also plans to force out a
million poor migrant laborers to "cleanse" the city for the influx of
foreign visitors!

Persecuted, brutalized and marginalized for the last 50 years, Tibet
recently exploded in a rage. Most understandable. The protests were
violently suppressed and all Tibetan areas subsequently cordoned off
from the outside world -- a violation of human rights as well as IOC
agreements with China.

And let's eviscerate once and for all that Beijing fairy tale about
Tibet being a part of China. Tibet is an occupied country! They just
didn't have their paperwork in order when the Chinese Red Army invaded in 1949.

The day before my first private meeting with His Holiness the Dalai
Lama in 1992, I had a long talk with his private secretary. Speaking
on behalf of his country, he expressed his regret that Tibet never
established its credentials as an independent country to the
satisfaction of the world community at the time.

It's not only Tibet. The Muslim Uighurs of western China have long
been repressed. And Christians. A vast bamboo gulag stretches across
the far reaches of China filled with democracy activists, dissidents,
government critics and human rights defenders of every kind.

The Falun Gong have been marked for extermination by whatever means.
Tortures reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition await those on what
is often a one-way trip to the dreaded and feared 610 Office in
Beijing (the independent office charged with repression of the Falun
Gong). Organ harvesting from live Falun Gong prisoners was widespread
until exposed by Canadian investigators. Dr. Wang Wen-Yi, who shouted
down Chinese President Hu Jintao on the south lawn of the White House
2 years ago, gave me a copy of the Canadian White Paper. Check it out

Let's not forget that China bears a major, albeit indirect,
responsibility for the ongoing genocide in Darfur. And only China
would bestow an honorary degree on Zimbabwe's tyrannical dictator,
Robert Mugabe.

Desperate and persecuted peoples will seek the most auspicious and
highest profile venue to air their pleas before the world. And so
will those who stand in solidarity with them. Nothing like the
Olympics for doing that! Back when the IOC still had some ethical
backbone, apartheid South Africa, ostracized by much of the world,
was banned from the games.

The athletes need not be inconvenienced here. It is the opening
ceremonies that are the Chinese Communist Party's coming-out party,
its leap to legitimacy before the world community. (Back in Munich in
1972 I couldn't afford scalper's prices for tickets to the opening
ceremony, but I did get in to some routine track-and-field events.
They were so-so.)

Let it now be said, loud and clear, that no one with a moral
conscience should be in attendance at the opening ceremonies of the
2008 Olympiad in Beijing.

William M. Cox, M.D., is a radiologist practicing in Nome. He has
been an advocate for human rights, freedom and democracy in China for
many years.
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