“Only Bush Can’t Go to China”

Will Bunch makes a very thoughtful point about the necessity for George W. Bush to boycott the Beijing Olympics:

You know, for an administration that like to insist that “all options are on the table” when it comes to dropping bombs on Iraq or Iran, wouldn’t it be nice if for once “all options were on the table” when it came to fighting for basic human rights. Instead, if Bush goes to Beijing and sits clapping in the stands, it will be seen, correctly in my opinion, as unspoken approval for some of the world’s most brutal, authoritarian tactics.

The Olympics have been around for more than a century now, and it’s clear from past experiences in 1980 and 1984 that athletic boycotts don’t work, that they are impotent gestures that only harm the athletes. But George W, Bush is a politician, not an athlete, and his job is to wield that political clout and — if necessary, as Sarkozy is demonstrating — make a powerful statement on behalf of the people of the United States.

After seven years of a thoughtless and lethal foreign policy, the right and moral handling of the Tibetan crackdown and the Beijing Olympics offers this president a chance to grasp at one remaining token of redemption. That’s why only Bush can’t go to China.

Link via Chris in Paris at AmericaBlog, who has been doing great work keeping up to date on what’s going on in Tibet.

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