Tibet activists hang up banners on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, April 7, 2008. Three pro-Tibet activists scaled the cables of San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Bridge and hung banners to protest the arrival of the Olympic torch in the city on Wednesday. (Kimberly White/Reuters)
The Chinese Olympic situation presents a dilemma. On the one hand, China has an abysmal human rights record and the international community especially should stand up to them about their recent crackdown in TIbet. But on the other hand, the IOC knew of China’s human rights problems when China was awarded the games. Boycotting the Olympics would do little more than punish the athletes who have worked their asses off to get where they are.
Certainly, the Soviets didn’t withdraw from Afghanistan as a result of our boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and a similar boycott wouldn’t move the Chinese on Tibet.
Would an international boycott (consisting of international leaders and athletes) of the opening and closing ceremonies be the answer by sending a strong signal to the Chinese government while still allowing the games to take place?