March 18, 2008

Go, Win, Protest

A fresh round of unrest in Tibet. One of my less well though out foreign policy proposals has been that the Palestinians and Tibetans should switch resistance tactics. The Palestinian would get a lot further with democratic Israel using non-violence and civil disobedience and the Tibetans would get a lot further along by blowing some shit up. Violence against a democracy only incurs popular resentment and retaliation, while a dictatorship will happy to ignore peaceful protests and go about its business of oppression.

Which brings us to China and the Olympics. China does bad things. They oppress their own people, oppress the Tibetans, and help prop up the genocidal regime in the Sudan. They are also hosting the Olympics this summer. There have been rumblings of boycotts. Steven Spielberg has already walked off the job in protest.

Personally, I don't think athletes should boycott the games. China is going to be the center of the worlds attention regardless of whether or not a particularly shot-putter or gymnast competes. The thing to do is to use the attention of the world that comes from the Olympics to put pressure on the regime. Hold a Tibetan flag when you're up on the metal stand. When Gene Gray sticks a mic in your face and asks what it feels like to lose, say it hurts, but it nothing compared to what the people in Darfur are going though. Be a bad guest. China thinks the Olympics are it day in the spotlight. Its time to make that spotlight as hot as possible.

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