Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why can't we all just get along?

First it was Darfur. Now it's Tibet. Everyone seems to be finding convenient, politically self-righteous excuses to ruin the Beijing Olympics. If the international community has so many bones to pick with China, then they should have protested back when the country was still campaigning to host the Olympics, not now in the middle of the torch relay. Do these activists and concerned citizens of the world actually think that dousing the Olympic flame with fire extinguishers is going to convince China to ease up on its military crackdown in Tibet? Will accosting the poor innocent athletes carrying the torch solve anything? Oh yeah, sure, using military force to control violent riots in Tibet is "excessive" and "inhumane", but viciously pelting wheelchair-bound athletes with bottles and cups is ok? It's pathetic how these passionately angry mobs, who are supposed to be advocating human rights and peace, are resorting to the very violence they are condemning. This shows how blinded they are by their hatred of a nation that admittedly is not the paragon of humanitarianism and democracy, but is currently being vilified to an extreme simply because they are hosting this year's Olympic games.

As we were watching CNN reports on the botched torch relay in Paris, my mom voiced out her theory that if it were the US hosting the Olympics, no one would be lining the Champs Elysee screaming "Free Iraq!" or lunging to grab the Olympic torch as an act of protest against the war. I don't think anyone can say that the human rights violations in Iraq are not as bad as the ones being perpetrated in Tibet. But for some reason, it seems easier for people to vent their rage at China, a non-Western nation with a culture alien to some and a political system disagreeable to most. And now everyone's seizing this golden opportunity to keep throwing monkey wrenches into the preparations leading up to the Olympics, just so they can deny China its moment of glory.

The real victim in all this chaos is the Olympics. The anti-China protesters don't see that they're not just ruining the Beijing Olympics, they're ruining the Olympics, period. What should be a venue for global interaction, camaraderie and solidarity is being stripped of its spirit and significance because it is being used instead as a means to gang up on China. I already made it clear in an earlier blog post how I feel about holding the Olympics hostage for political purposes. This is what upsets me the most when I see people trying to sabotage the ongoing torch relay. They may be succeeding in putting more pressure on China, they may be succeeding in bringing attention to the causes they're championing, but they're also succeeding in destroying a time-honored, noble event which espouses the very ideals they advocate. If these people have a beef with China, they have every right to raise a ruckus, but where the Olympics are concerned, they should put down their picket signs and empty Evian bottles (Christ, I hope they were empty!), and let the flame pass in peace.


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