Olympic torch relay disruptions

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Can anyone explain why what China is doing (or has done recently) in Tibet in the lead-up to the Olympics is any worse than what the US did in Grenada & Lebanon in the lead-up to the 1984 Olympics in LA? (not that I'm a great admirer of China's human-rights record) As far as I know, the "justification" for the invasion of Grenada & overthrow of its government, with less political justification than what China's doing in Tibet, was the existence of an airstrip (which was in fact built by British & Canadians). Apparently the existence of that airstrip was "indisputable proof" of "communist subversion." If that's true it must have been a world-record-sized lie that stood until the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003. With that in mind, I think I'm leaning to China's point of view (the torch-relay disruptions are disgusting or something) especially because China doesn't say they're "their" Olympics; they say the Olympics belong to the world.
 

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drankin
It's pretty much stupid. If they want to boycott China, quit buying stuff made in China. Leave the Olympics out of it.
 
russ_watters
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Can anyone explain why what China is doing (or has done recently) in Tibet in the lead-up to the Olympics is any worse than what the US did in Grenada & Lebanon in the lead-up to the 1984 Olympics in LA?
Were those things wide public knowledge at the time?

In any case, the obvious difference is that Grenada and Lebanon are/were not US territories and the US wasn't there to annex them nor to oppress the populaces. They really aren't anything alike.
 
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vanesch
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I've pretty much been boycotting the Olympics ever since they introduced sports into it.
 
Art
What exactly has China done in Tibet that warrants protest?

The Tibetans indulged in ethnic cleansing burning Han Chinese to death in their homes and businesses and the Chinese military intervened to stop them. Given the level of violence by the rioters it seems the Chinese gov'ts response was fairly muted no doubt because of the Olympics. I wonder if the neo-Nazi National Front Party in the UK attacked Pakistanis and beat or burned them to death would they also have widespread global support with protesters complaining when the UK gov't stopped them?
 
Art
I've pretty much been boycotting the Olympics ever since they introduced sports into it.
Sport? :confused: I thought it was an international pharmaceutical competition for who can make the best drugs?
 
mjsd
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What exactly has China done in Tibet that warrants protest?
China needs not to do anything, the exile Tibetans have been protesting ever since Mao "reclaimed" Tibet about 60 years ago. But many don't realise that the history between Tibet and China goes back much further than just 60 years ago (ie. the rise of coummunism in China).
 
mjsd
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Can anyone explain why what China is doing (or has done recently) in Tibet in the lead-up to the Olympics is any worse than what the US did in Grenada & Lebanon in the lead-up to the 1984 Olympics in LA? (not that I'm a great admirer of China's human-rights record) As far as I know, the "justification" for the invasion of Grenada & overthrow of its government, with less political justification than what China's doing in Tibet, was the existence of an airstrip (which was in fact built by British & Canadians). Apparently the existence of that airstrip was "indisputable proof" of "communist subversion." If that's true it must have been a world-record-sized lie that stood until the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003. With that in mind, I think I'm leaning to China's point of view (the torch-relay disruptions are disgusting or something) especially because China doesn't say they're "their" Olympics; they say the Olympics belong to the world.
These must be rhetorical questions. Anyway, as we all know no one is perfect in this world, we make mistakes, they make mistakes (sometimes delibrately for other gains), what is amazing is how the (special interest controlled) media can turn one's small mistakes into big mistakes or diminish big mistakes into smaller ones....
 
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I've pretty much been boycotting the Olympics ever since they introduced sports into it.
Sports? You mean there are olympics other than the math olympics???
 
vanesch
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The Tibetans indulged in ethnic cleansing burning Han Chinese to death in their homes and businesses and the Chinese military intervened to stop them. Given the level of violence by the rioters it seems the Chinese gov'ts response was fairly muted no doubt because of the Olympics. I wonder if the neo-Nazi National Front Party in the UK attacked Pakistanis and beat or burned them to death would they also have widespread global support with protesters complaining when the UK gov't stopped them?
Point is, the Han Chinese are considered as "colonists" by the Tibetans, a bit like the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory are. Moreover, they are usually better at business and so on than the Tibetans. Point is, the Tibetan people never accepted Chinese governance. So, this could also be seen as Algerians attacking French colonists in Algeria in the 60-ies, or any other attack by indigenous populations against economically more powerful colonizers.
 
BobG
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The Olympic Torch Relay is really turning into an embarrassment for China with a good possibility of more to come. Who ever came up with the bright idea of taking the Olympic Torch up to the top of Mt Everest? What if a storm comes up and they don't make it? (the companies that guide expeditions up Mt Everest are really pissed off since the peak is closed right in the middle of the best conditions for scaling Mt Everest). I think China is beginning to regret that Hitler ever came up with the idea of an Olympic Torch relay.

The touch I like is Democrats Pelosi and Clinton calling for Bush to boycott the Opening Ceremonies. I have to admit that there's ample precedent.

US Presidents boycotted every Opening Ceremony from 1896 to 1980, including Teddy Roosevelt's boycott of the 1904 Games in St Louis and Herbert Hoover's boycott of the 1932 Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles. President Reagan was the first President to break the boycott tradition by attending the Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles in 1984. Of course, he resumed the tradition by boycotting the 1988 Opening Ceremony, as did Bush the 1992 Opening Ceremony. Clinton broke tradition by attending the 1996 Opening Ceremony in Atlanta, but he boycotted the 2000 Opening Ceremony in Australia, as did Bush 43 the 2004 Opening Ceremony.

I noticed boycott supporters in Great Britain were successful in persuading Gordon Brown to boycott the Opening Ceremony. His excuse that he never planned to attend the Opening Ceremony sounds pretty lame in spite of the fact that past Prime Ministers haven't even attended the Opening Ceremony when the games were in London in '48 and '08 (those duties were pushed off onto the King, instead).

In fact, it's rare for world leaders to ever attend the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony if it's not in their own country and it's not a guarantee that they'll attend even if their own country is hosting the games. It is just a sporting event, after all, even if one of the most significant sporting events.

Requesting Bush to boycott events he never planned to attend is an idea that could catch on. Ohio St folks could write an open letter requesting that Bush boycott the University of Michigan graduation ceremony. UCLA folks could write an open letter requesting that Bush boycott USC's graduation ceremony. Texas folks could request that Bush boycott Oklahoma's graduation ceremonies.

Personally, I'm going to request that Bush boycott the barbecue that annoying neighbor behind me has planned next weekend (I'm kind of pissed that he didn't invite me).
 
Art
Point is, the Han Chinese are considered as "colonists" by the Tibetans, a bit like the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory are. Moreover, they are usually better at business and so on than the Tibetans. Point is, the Tibetan people never accepted Chinese governance. So, this could also be seen as Algerians attacking French colonists in Algeria in the 60-ies, or any other attack by indigenous populations against economically more powerful colonizers.
There is a huge difference between the ME and Tibet. China has governed Tibet since C13th and the Han Chinese having freed the Tibetans from serfdom have added greatly to the local economy with any affirmative action laws passed to benefit native Tibetans. Plus they haven't built settlements, they live in amongst the Tibetans buying property as anyone else can.

I agree the cause of the riots is some Tibetans are resentful of the fact the immigrants are working harder and being more successful than them but that's the norm with immigrants. The fact they are people who got off their ass and moved to find work in the first place tends to categorise them as a 'can do' type of person and so more prone to success.

During the mass Asian immigration into the UK of the 70s it wasn't long before every corner shop was owned by a Pakistani or an Indian which created huge resentment from some of the English leading to the popularisation of the Nat'l Front but that still in no way would justify the murder of immigrants by resentful nationalists and certainly should not engender any sympathy for ethnic cleansing from politicians abroad.

Prior to the Chinese retaking control of Tibet human right abuses were enshrined in Tibetan law. Under the the Thirteen and Sixteen laws;


Tibetans were divided into three social strata within nine grades:

In the upper stratum, the King of Tsang and other rulers belonged to the upper grade; Geshes, teachers of morals, abbots, high-ranking officials, or "headmen who had more than 300 attendants and servants", the middle grade; while "the independent bachelors, servants doing odd-jobs in government offices" were relegated to the upper grade of the lower stratum; "blacksmiths, butchers and beggars who had permanent residence and paid taxes", to the middle grade of the lower stratum; and "women, beggars, butchers and blacksmiths" to the lower grade of the lower stratum "whose life-price was a straw rope".
snip
The serfs and house-slaves who accounted for 95 percent of the population were the property of serf owners.
Even their offspring became the property of the serf owners from birth.
According to many original contracts preserved in the Archives of the Nationalities Cultural Palace and the Archive of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the manorial lords had the freedom to exchange serfs or present serfs to each other as gifts.
snip
Part of another contract, also kept at the Archives of the Nationalities Cultural Palace, as No MC 10144 File, was signed in 1947 by Drashi Choda to pay off his debt by letting his sister Tsering Lhamo work for Lharang without pay for 10 years.

It reads: "I, Drashi Choda, belong to the Nari Monastery of the Nari Manor. I borrowed 34 khal (about 1,047 pounds) and 3 sheng (0.085 bushels) of grain from the Lharang granary in the Wood-Monkey year, the interests of which amount to 6 khal (184 pounds) and 14.5 sheng (0.41 bushels). The principal and the interest total 40 khal (1,232 pounds) and 19.3 sheng (0.49 bushels) of grain.

"As I am unable to pay back the sum annually, I ask my younger sister Tsering Lhamo, who shares weal and woe with me, to pay off my debts by doing 10 years' unpaid service for the Lharang beginning at the first day of the 12 month of this Fire-Dog year."

The contract also stipulates: "In case of violation of the contract, Drashi Choda shall be punished according to the local law."

According to old Tibetan administration records of 1950, kept at the Archive of the Tibet autonomous region, 90 percent of Tibet's 1 million people were homeless. Of the 20,000 in Lhasa at the time, more than 1,000 families lived as beggars.

Some serf owners tortured their slaves by chopping off their feet and hands, gouging out their eyeballs, cutting off their tongues or pushing them off cliffs.
They could do this legally, because they were protected by the Thirteen and Sixteen Laws.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-04/10/content_7951789.htm

These Tibetan 'exiles' one sees protesting are the offspring of this barbaric ruling class.
 
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What exactly has China done in Tibet that warrants protest?

The Tibetans indulged in ethnic cleansing burning Han Chinese to death in their homes and businesses and the Chinese military intervened to stop them. Given the level of violence by the rioters it seems the Chinese gov'ts response was fairly muted no doubt because of the Olympics. I wonder if the neo-Nazi National Front Party in the UK attacked Pakistanis and beat or burned them to death would they also have widespread global support with protesters complaining when the UK gov't stopped them?
YEEEEE it only took 5 response to use a Nazi comparison.

I spoke to a Chinese student the other day and he said that during the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989" [Broken] the students killed 1000 of soldiers?! (he is obviously injected with different information than we are)

I guess it is all about which source to believe but since you don't cite any you make it hard for us to follow your point.
 
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Well, you see, the pen is mightier than the sword, and knowledge is power, so it is really so hard to believe that a bunch of students armed with text books and pens could defeat 1000 armed soldiers? I mean, how hard could it be?

PROTIP: China doesn't have freedom of press. You'd better watch where you get your information from.
 
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PROTIP: China doesn't have freedom of press. You'd better watch where you get your information from.
& the US does? Is all the stuff the US did in Central America (including soon before the LA Olympics) common knowledge among Americans? I guess Americans should watch where they get their information from...
 
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Oh, you're right, I'm sorry. Let's just let the Chinese continue to suppress their own people and destroy the lives of people who want nothing to do with them.

You do of course know that Buddhists can no longer designate their own Dalai Lama, right? The Chinese government decide that THEY would do it, instead.
 
mjsd
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Oh, you're right, I'm sorry. Let's just let the Chinese continue to suppress their own people and destroy the lives of people who want nothing to do with them.
why are ppl suddenly so concerned about human rights of the Chinese ppl? when there are human rights violations all over the world. Not so long ago we were talking about Sudanese, Saudi, Burmaese,...and we know indigenous population all around the world are too being suppressed...

is this just because that the Olympics is going to China this year? is this why the big fuss?

On one hand I'm glad to see that so many are concerned about human rights and civil liberty of the Chinese and or Tibetans, but on the other hand I see gross hypocrisy in the way the western media is portraiting the entire event.
You do of course know that Buddhists can no longer designate their own Dalai Lama, right? The Chinese government decide that THEY would do it, instead.
Given that their so called "spiritual leaders" are effectively their political leaders or at least they have a very strong influence in politics, how can a designated Dalai Lama (be it by the high rankings Buddhists or Chinese govt) reflect our beloved democratic values anyway?!

Today's Tibet is NOT the Tibet we know under Chairman Mao's cultural revolution although many seem to think that it is. The suppression may be still bad, but not as bad as what the media is trying to imply.

It is of China's benefit to treat the Tibetans with respect, help them economically etc, if they want a stable region in the longer term. And it is definitely not a good idea to fight for independence (not right now at least...it will hurt the ordinary Tibetans).
 
vanesch
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why are ppl suddenly so concerned about human rights of the Chinese ppl? when there are human rights violations all over the world. Not so long ago we were talking about Sudanese, Saudi, Burmaese,...and we know indigenous population all around the world are too being suppressed...

is this just because that the Olympics is going to China this year? is this why the big fuss?
Eh, yes, of course. The Olympics are kind of a symbol of humanist values, and it is the contrast between the show they want to set up and the reality of the place that hurts people. Not so much the fact that people are oppressed by itself, but the fact that the Olympic games, as a symbol, is used as a propaganda tool for a dictatorial regime. So the idea is to make it so embarrassing that it won't become a propaganda tool (and that the Chinese will curse themselves for having organized the games in the first place).

If it would have been a tennis competition or a car race in China, nobody would have cared. It is the contrast between the symbolic value that has been attributed to the Olympics and its intended use for propaganda that is shocking, not so much the suppression of people by itself.
 
mjsd
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Eh, yes, of course. The Olympics are kind of a symbol of humanist values, and it is the contrast between the show they want to set up and the reality of the place that hurts people. Not so much the fact that people are oppressed by itself, but the fact that the Olympic games, as a symbol, is used as a propaganda tool for a dictatorial regime. So the idea is to make it so embarrassing that it won't become a propaganda tool (and that the Chinese will curse themselves for having organized the games in the first place).

If it would have been a tennis competition or a car race in China, nobody would have cared. It is the contrast between the symbolic value that has been attributed to the Olympics and its intended use for propaganda that is shocking, not so much the suppression of people by itself.
mmm.... who awarded China the Olympics in the first place? Anyone with half a brain would know better that China cannot change quick enough to meet all humanitarian requirements to fit the supposed spirit of the Games. Either those folks who awarded China the Games are really really dumb or they see $$$ before principles. Say one thing to the media but do something else behind closed doors. And now ppl are saying that China is using the Olympics to show the world that they are "clean"? Well, we should blame those who gave them the Games in the first place for either being unbelievably stupid or greedy.

Also there is no doubt that Tibetan protestors/rioters, chose their timing quite well too.

I personally do not have a strong feeling on: against or for a boycott. As far as I see it, Olympics is just a world class sporting event, fullstop. I mean, if we are so really concerned about the well-being of the Tibetans, shouldn't we be doing something more cocrete than just a symbolic boycott? I mean that doesn't change the lives on the ground there; that doesn't do anything to improve their economy; that doesn't do anything to religious freedom... all it would be is just a big symbolic gesture, a symbolic gesture not so much for the Chinese ppl to see but for western govt. to show to their masses and to keep themselves in office.

Frankly, if US and Europe are that concerned about the human right violations and that they think Tibet should be independent, well why not send in NATO troops and help them break free? Then pump in 600 billions cash for them unconditionally to rebuild their economy, infrastructure and all, and when that's done NATO just leave quietly after a few years?? Sure China wouldn't lose that easily, but the point is that, at least, this is how to really help them to gain independence and freedom...if we believe they have their rights to be so. Cut the empty talks and match words with sincere actions, eh?

Like it or not, Tibet is just a pawn in this political game.
 
mheslep
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why are ppl suddenly so concerned about human rights of the Chinese ppl? when there are human rights violations all over the world. Not so long ago we were talking about Sudanese, Saudi, Burmaese,...and we know indigenous population all around the world are too being suppressed...

is this just because that the Olympics is going to China this year? is this why the big fuss?

On one hand I'm glad to see that so many are concerned about human rights and civil liberty of the Chinese and or Tibetans, but on the other hand I see gross hypocrisy in the way the western media is portraiting the entire event.
Where's the hypocrisy?

China is making a bid to be a first rank nation in economic strength and influence. Despite the historic opening of the Chinese economy from the 80's on they are still a long way from the front row. To achieve that China needs fully modern economy and to achieve that they need hi tech trade and cooperation of the kind that the EU and the US currently enjoy. Don't mistake the magnitude of Chinese trade volume w/ the quality of trade by the US/EU. For instance, China would not be allowed by law to bid on the big USAF air transport contract as the French did; large quantities of Chinese exports have been rejected for safety, still more are on the edge of widespread boycotts, rightfully so. And of course the Olympics is a clear example where China needs world wide blessing, economic/military strength alone gets them nowhere with that kind of event. Public relations are key to all of these. Do they get a pass because China is no worse than, say, Burma.

To get the cooperation of the free world and the Chinese are throwing a table cloth over all the dirty dishes. Now is true that other rule by rifle butt nations do the same, but it is quite right to have 10 and 100 times the media focus on human rights in China because the consequence of treating China the same as Burma is far greater. China is physically capable of hosting the olympics, Burma is not, so send the camera crew to China.
 
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quadraphonics
Given that their so called "spiritual leaders" are effectively their political leaders or at least they have a very strong influence in politics, how can a designated Dalai Lama (be it by the high rankings Buddhists or Chinese govt) reflect our beloved democratic values anyway?!
The value in question here is national self-determination, not democracy per-se. When the Tibetan people have the opportunity to live under a government of their own choosing, then we'll get around to criticizing its nature. Also, the Dalai Lama has suggested electing future Dalai Lamas, rather than letting religious authorities pick them.
 
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What effect will it have on the olympics? It's not exactly going to stop when the olympics start.
 
mjsd
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Where's the hypocrisy?
The hypocrisy I was talking about is the way the media concentrated on China and did not spend anytime on those who somehow too stupid and or for whatever $$$ reasons awarded the Olympics to China in the first place. If you are not happy with China staging it because human rights etc. Then don't give it him. I have no problems with that. The Olympic committee and western media needs to take some blame here.
 

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