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Olympic torch relay disruptions

  1. Apr 9, 2008 #1
    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.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2008 #2
    It's pretty much stupid. If they want to boycott China, quit buying stuff made in China. Leave the Olympics out of it.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2008 #3

    russ_watters

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  5. Apr 9, 2008 #4
  6. Apr 10, 2008 #5

    vanesch

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  7. Apr 10, 2008 #6
    I've pretty much been boycotting the Olympics ever since they introduced sports into it.
     
  8. Apr 10, 2008 #7

    Art

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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?
     
  9. Apr 10, 2008 #8

    Art

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    Sport? :confused: I thought it was an international pharmaceutical competition for who can make the best drugs?
     
  10. Apr 10, 2008 #9

    mjsd

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    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).
     
  11. Apr 10, 2008 #10

    mjsd

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    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....
     
  12. Apr 10, 2008 #11
    Sports? You mean there are olympics other than the math olympics???
     
  13. Apr 10, 2008 #12

    vanesch

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    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.
     
  14. Apr 10, 2008 #13

    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).
     
  15. Apr 10, 2008 #14

    Art

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    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;


    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  16. Apr 10, 2008 #15
    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 Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 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.
     
  17. Apr 10, 2008 #16
    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.
     
  18. Apr 10, 2008 #17
    & 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...
     
  19. Apr 10, 2008 #18
    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.
     
  20. Apr 11, 2008 #19

    mjsd

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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.
    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).
     
  21. Apr 11, 2008 #20

    vanesch

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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.
     
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