Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Obama is of "two minds" ....

... about the Olympics:

Sen. Barack Obama said he is conflicted about whether the U.S. should be a full participant in this summer's Olympics in Beijing because of China's human rights record.

"I am of two minds about this," the Democratic presidential hopeful said in an interview aired Wednesday on CBS' "The Early Show." "On the one hand, I think that what has happened in Tibet, China's support for the Sudanese government in Darfur, is a real problem."

Still, Obama said, "I am hesitant to make the Olympics a site of political protest because I think it's partly about bringing the world together."

Obama also expressed concern about Chinese trade practices.

"I am a strong believer in free trade, but I think that we have not been very savvy negotiators when it comes to China," Obama said. "I think they've played us. They definitely are stealing our intellectual property, and that has direct consequences in terms of the bottom lines for businesses here in the United States."

Marcie is a swimmer. Had she spent her life devoted to the sport she loves -- training for the sole goal of trying for Olympic gold -- and if these Olympics were boycotted, she'd be devastated. (She was eligible in 2004 to compete, but had not competed to earn a slot on the Olympic team.) The Olympics are, in part, about bringing the world together, but the other part of it is seeing which nation has the best and strongest athletes. A boycott would punish the athletes, not the nations hosting the games.

The Soviet boycott in 1984 and the US boycott in 1980 did little to change the politics involved. The 1980 boycott was due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 whereas the '84 boycott was seen as retaliation for the US boycotting the '80 Games in Moscow. Neither boycott changed a single thing. the Soviets were still in Afghanistan in 1984, and Moscow claimed that their boycott in '84 was due to the animosity between the US and them. But we still maintained our stance against them in the 1980s, leading up to their demise in 1989.

Honestly, I don't think Barack Obama should really dwell on this issue. It's not that important. There are other matters to attend to than this one, and it wouldn't be his decision, regardless. The Games are occurring this year, not next year, and the next Olympics after this one are the Winter Games in 2010. They're not being hosted by Beijing. Those will be held in Vancouver.

If any sort of boycott does occur, it'll be of the opening ceremonies in an effort to send a message to China, by the world leaders refusing to attend, to end their barbaric human rights abuses, and in protest over their actions in Tibet. Leaders understand that it's not the fault of the athletes that nations like China behave the way they do. To punish them is to strip them (some of them only get one shot at an Olympic medal) of a lifelong dream.

Publius II


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