A lot of people are making a big deal about the Olympics being held in China. And with good reason. There is much to be said about the Chinese government and their position on internal freedoms and basic human rights. Not to mention their position on international issues such as the tragedy in Sudan.
That said, although I could care less about the running of the torch and the protestant actions therein, there is one aspect of the anti-China rhetoric that I vehemently disagree with. Quite a few folks in the last few days have come forth and proclaimed that President Bush should forgo the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing because of the actions of the Chinese government. This would be an enormous mistake.
Although I am far from a fan of President Bush and I do agree with several of his “opponents” on many issues, boycotting the opening ceremonies is a ridiculous idea. Besides the fact that it would likely have no effect on the future actions of the Chinese government, it is a slap in the face to all those American athletes who have trained for years, if not their whole lives, to represent their country in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Contrary to what some people think, having the President go to Beijing does not validate Chinese actions in Tibet, Darfur, or anywhere else. What it does do is tell the hundreds, if not thousands of American athletes that their country is behind them. Because if the President, who is the utmost representive of the People, doesn’t support the athletes, then who will?