Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Earth to Jack Cafferty: No Shit

Hindsight is 20/20, especially when foresight tells you the same fucking thing

On his blog at CNN.com, Jack Cafferty seems to have unwittingly stumbled upon what will, in all likelihood, stand as the revelation of the year for clueless people.

Awarding the Summer Olympics to China was a big, biiiiiig mistake.

Of course, some people have only realized this as a result of recent events:

"Controversy sprinkled with violence and ill will is accompanying the Olympic torch as it makes it way across what is supposed to be a 23-city international tour designed to build interest and good will for the summer Olympics.

Stops in London and Paris produced large-scale demonstrations by people protesting China’s human rights record. The torch has now made its way to San Francisco, where the flame is being kept in an undisclosed location for security reasons. Possibly Dick Cheney’s house.
Yep, nobody in the world could tell that awarding China -- a country with one of the world's worst human rights records -- was a bad idea until some people decided to start fucking with the Olympic Torch relay to extent that, at one point, it had to be transported by bus.

Yes, you read that right.

"Yesterday - protesters there scaled the Golden Gate Bridge and tied a Tibetan flag and two banners calling for a “free Tibet”. There’s a 6-mile relay planned in San Francisco tomorrow, but already one runner dropped out because of safety concerns.

Meanwhile, the President of the International Olympic Committee tells the A.P. that the group’s board will discuss Friday whether to end the international part of the Beijing Olympic torch relay because of all these protests.
Now, if only it were that simple. While the Torch relay has proven to be an excellent opportunity for protesters to make their feelings about the Beijing games known, the fact remains that they will find ways to protest.

Not that Chinese officials care a whole lot about that. In fact, they've extended their typical Orwellian public relations tactics to dealings with the international media.

"Beijing organizers have said the month-long international relay won’t be stopped. In fact, the vice president of the Chinese organizing committee insisted the Olympic torch has been quote, “warmly welcomed by the local people” in each city. Communist China’s version of Baghdad Bob."
Yep, and that warm welcome just so happened to include scaling San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge to hang a "free Tibet" sign and French protesters extinguishing the torch numerous times (the latter case being the exact polar opposite of a warm welcome).

But it was "warmly welcomed by the local people" because a Chinese spokesperson said so. Just like Tiananmen Square never happened because the Chinese media was largely forbidden to cover it, and forced to parrot the state's propaganda whenever it was mentioned.

"Here at home, there have been growing calls for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the games. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is the only head of state to join with Mr. Bush and announce he’ll attend. Several world leaders have decided to skip the ceremony and many others remain undecided."
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also announced he won't be attending.

It's also been reported that Canada's federal cabinet is considering a full-out boycott of the games although Harper has doubts about the effectiveness of such a boycott.

Although it should be remembered that China, one of the world's worst polluters, also has smog problems that are making many athletes rethink participating in the first place.

"Of course, this whole scenario might have been prevented ages ago if the IOC had listened to those who argued against awarding the Olympic Games to China in the first place because of their human rights record.

Here’s my question to you: Did the International Olympic Committee make a mistake awarding the summer games to China?
And here's your answer, Jack: fuck, yes they did. Oh, did they ever.

Of course, it isn't as if they didn't have a choice. Bids from Paris, Osaka and Toronto were rejected in favour of the country that is currently the world's largest human rights abuser. (Istanbul, Turkey had also submitted a bid, but considering its own history in regards to its Armenian, Greek and Kurdish population it should have been rejected under the same principles that should have necessitated Beijing's rejection.)

It's truly amazing how quickly the International Olympic Committee was willing to toss aside the very principles they claim make it so important. On its website, the IOC insists "The Games have always brought people together in peace to respect universal moral principles."

Principles such as "it's wrong to torture your own citizens". Principles such as "it's wrong to oppress people for their religion". Principles such as "it's wrong to run your citizens over with tanks if they protest in favour of democracy".

You know, those universal moral principles. The very ones that then-IOC president Juan Samaranch deemed unimportant.

(He has since revealled that he hopes China will support Madrid's 2016 bid for the games -- a little quid pro quo, perhaps? Not much unlike the quid pro quo that cost Jamie Sale and David Pelletier their rightfully-earned Gold Medal in Salt Lake City?)

So, yes. Awarding the Olympics to China was, to put it lightly, a massive fucking mistake. The tarnish it has left on the Olympic rings is one that Juan Samaranch, and those who voted with him, will ultimately have to answer for: if not before his colleagues at the IOC, then in the pages of history.

Of course, that's only the half of it. The protests are unsurprising. Anyone who knew about China's human rights record -- and we all know it came up during the selection process -- knew that these protests would happen.

If those protests alone, in hindsight, make it obvious the Olympics shouldn't have been elected to Beijing, then foresight had to say the same thing.


  1. interesting post. I have this communist friend, (ok acquaintance)) and he has been just ranting about how the Dalai Lama is on the CIA payroll and is a CIA agent, and that the olympics are in China because the protests over China's human rights and the increased unrest in China was a 'desired result' as he put it. I think he's nuts, after all he is a commie, but I have to admit to scratching my head. Just, a little.

  2. Last year, I lived in a building with 29 students from China.

    One of them once told me that Falun Gong is a cult that practices human sacrifice, and that there was no oppression going on.

    He also claimed that all the bad press China has been getting for the last few years was the result of Falun Gong propaganda, and that the United States is an "evil empire".

    I'd say the power of indoctrination is evident.


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