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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Stay home?

Oh, sure, what are a few deaths of protesters among friends?

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (AP) - International Olympic CommitteePresident Jacques Rogge poured cold water Saturday on calls for a boy cott of the Summer Games in Beijing over China's crackdown in Tibet, saying it would only hurt athletes. "We believe that the boycott doesn't solve anything," Rogge told reporters on this Caribbean island. "On the contrary, it is penalizing innocent athletes and it is stopping the organization from something that definitely is worthwhile organizing."

Demonstrations against Chinese rule in Tibet on Friday—the most violent riots there in nearly two decades—left at least 30 protesters dead, according to a Tibetan exile group. China ordered tourists out of Tibet's capital and troops patrolled the streets on Saturday.

I've generally not favored economic boycotts (as of Cuba) because they have unintended consequences and don't usually accomplish their intended goals. But it's hard to think of good arguments for letting China have this giant propaganda tool.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Harl Delos
Tue, 03/18/2008 - 11:23am

What is this giant propaganda tool saying, Leo? Mostly, it's attracting attention to the deaths of protesters, isn't it?

Change is painful, and sometimes people die. China is undergoing REALLY rapid change. I don't think we'll see another Tienneman Square. They're learning slowly, but they're learning. As the junior Senator from Illinois pointed out this morning, old geezers (like you and me, I guess) have memories that affect their attitudes and their actions, and they're slow to change. Youngsters grow up with different memories and are more willing to take chances.

Propaganda works both ways. We learn about them, and they learn about us. Given the way they're building new cities from scratch and competing globally, we've got a lot to learn as well - and they will learn, too, no matter how much they resist.

They say there are a lot of problems associated with free speech, and I agree - but the cure for those problems seems to be more free speech. A boycott doesn't just hurt one side; it hurts both sides.

Leo Morris
Tue, 03/18/2008 - 3:05pm

Good points. I've read there are a lot of young people agitaqting for change in the Mideast as well, whom we should be nuurturing.