What is it with liberals and the Olympics?
Fashionable liberalism have been looking for an excuse to boycott the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing for months now, but generally without success. Now it looks like liberalism is trying a different tactic:
Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony.Although I'll support whatever stance my government takes on the matter, my personal position is that the Olympics should not be used as a platform for political protest. The whole point of the modern Olympics is that it is a celebration of athletics as something excellent for mankind. Boycotting the Olympics over the politics of the day is just another example of the principle of politics über alles; ironically, this is exactly the same principle that the Chinese government is seeking to uphold with their repression in Tibet.
Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China's Communist leadership.
France's outspoken foreign minister, former humanitarian campaigner Bernard Kouchner, said the idea "is interesting."
Kouchner said he wants to discuss it with other foreign ministers from the 27-nation European Union next week. His comments opened a crack in what until now had been solid opposition to a full boycott, a stance that Kouchner said remains the official government position.
The idea of skipping the Aug. 8 opening ceremony "is less negative than a general boycott," Kouchner said. "We are considering it."
Asked about Kouchner's statement, China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said: "Certainly I think what he said is not shared by most of the people in the world."