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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Pro-Con: Should the United States boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? YES

September 15, 2007

Many are counting on pressure from the International Olympic Committee, which bears blame for granting Beijing the games in the first place, to make China clean up its human-rights abuses: “Despite challenges, we believe that the Beijing Olympic Games are a unique opportunity to open China up to the world,” the IOC spun in a letter to Amnesty International.

But while the protests are loud, the B-word — boycott — is seldom heard in the din.

“A boycott is a serious matter, and it hurts the athletes the most,” said Jacob Colker of the International Campaign for Tibet, which is attempting to draw attention to human-rights abuses before the Olympics. “A boycott also hurts the Chinese people, and they are not our target.”

But what is the threshold where the world decides that participation is out of the question?

If the games showcase the greatest in individual strength and teamwork, then hopefully countries around the globe that value the indomitable human spirit will join together and take a stand.

Bridget Johnson, Los Angeles Daily News columnist

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