(Olympics Beijing, China 2008 )
(Olympics in Berlin Germany, 1936)
The 2008 Olympics starts this week in Red China. Paul Greenberg, Pulitzer Prize winner, and editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has written a column to think about when you watch the Olympics on TV in the next few weeks.
Come one, come all, to the genocide Olympics
By Paul Greenberg
Like other totalitarian Olympics — Berlin, 1936; Moscow, 1980 — all will be in order in Beijing, 2008. And had better be.
One World One Dream! That's the official motto of these proceedings. No need to go into detail about Tibet and certain other of the host's nightmarish policies. For example:
Beijing's diplomatic support for the vicious regime in Sudan, whose ruthless leader, one Omar al-Bashir, has just been indicted by an international court for genocide, crimes against humanity and the usual litany of war crimes. There's a reason this year's games should be called the Genocide Olympics.
Beijing was also a great supporter of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe until that minor but vicious tyrant began to stumble. And it provides diplomatic cover for the brutal Burmese junta, too. These people always seem to find one another.
They would seem an odd couple at first, the Genocide Olympics in Beijing and the wholesome spirit of amateur sport. But they go together as naturally as crime and the criminal's wanting to change the subject.
In preparation for this quadrennial festival of sportsmanship, the authorities have rounded up hundreds of prominent dissenters — some 700 at last count. Just like the old days in Moscow and, before that, in Berlin.
All will be harmonious in Beijing, too, by the time all the tourists have poured in. The Olympic Village will be pretty as a picture. A misleading one. Prince Potemkin had nothing on Hu Jintao.
But the Games must go on, if only to provide repressive regimes with cover. "Think of the press as a great keyboard upon which the government can play." —Josef Goebbels, Reichsminister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1936.
More impressive than all the folderol that will attend the opening of 2008 Olympics is the hypocrisy of pretending that something like the Genocide Olympics is a celebration of international peace and brotherhood. What it really celebrates is power politics, empty blather, and sport as (very big) business.
Tienanmen Square Massacre 1989
A little reminder of what happened in the city hosting the 2008 Olympic games only 19 short years ago!
The assault on the square began at 10:30 p.m. on June 3, as armored personnel carriers (APCs) and armed troops with fixed bayonets approached from various positions. These APCs rolled on up the roads, firing ahead and off to the sides, perhaps killing or wounding their own soldiers in the process. BBC reporter Kate Adie spoke of "indiscriminate fire" within the square. Eyewitness reporter Charlie Cole also saw Chinese soldiers firing AK-47's into the crowd, killing and wounding many that night. Students who sought refuge in buses were pulled out by groups of soldiers and beaten with heavy sticks. Even students attempting to leave the square were beset by soldiers and beaten. Leaders of the protest inside the square, where some had attempted to erect flimsy barricades ahead of the APCs, were said to have "implored" the students not to use weapons (such as molotov cocktails) against the oncoming soldiers. Meanwhile, many students apparently were shouting, "Why are you killing us?" Around four or five the following morning, June 4, Charlie Cole reports to have seen tanks smashing into the square, crushing vehicles and people with their tank treads. By 5:40 a.m. June 4, the Square had been cleared.
The suppression of the protest was immortalized in Western media by the famous video footage and photographs of a lone man in a white shirt standing in front of a column of tanks.
Amnesty International reported that 1,000 people were killed during the Tienanmen Square Massacre. (from Wikopedia)
The world's memory is very short, only 12 years later the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2008 games to Red China!.
I will be watching The Genocide Olympics looking for the next Jesse Owens but under no allusions as to the nature of the evil that is hosting these games!
(Click on the title for a link to Paul Greenberg's Column)