***Weekend With Felicia***
August 7, 2008
As far back as I can remember, the Games were supposed to be about a friendly gathering of nations’ athletes to compete for the title of the world’s greatest athlete in various sports. The Games are not to show the world how crass and smothering a nation can be.
It would seem to be the case as athletes from around the world make their way to China and upon arriving, find a not so hospitable welcome. Such is the case of the US Cycling Team as they decided to bring their own smog masks ahead of landing in China. In doing so, they angered Chinese authorities and ended up apologizing to Chinese officials for a simple act as safeguarding their health.
As President Bush makes his way to China for the Opening Ceremonies, the issue of China’s dismal human rights record was on his mind. In Bangkok, Thailand, President Bush said, “The US believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings.”
China shot back, saying, “We firmly oppose any words or acts that interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, using human rights and religion and other issues.”
China’s approach to handling the 2008 Olympic Games is a testimony to how a Communist regime handles business. Everyone else in the world is to butt out, and regular oppressive measures are taken against their people (however subtle they seem at first glimpse). Those who dare speak out suffer dire consequences.
China started early, jailing those who would be trouble before the Games. Hu Jia, a well-known activist in China was imprisoned in April because the First Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing believed he would be trouble to “the state’s political and socialist systems.” He is among the many protesters jailed for daring to speak their mind.
So called “protest parks” have been set up to protest China’s policies. But what good will these “parks” do if those who wish to air their grievances cannot do so because they are in prison?
There was even a crackdown on international media attending the games. The international media arriving in China were given booklets and instructions on what they were to do if they wanted to interview someone in China. They must first obtain permission.
The security for the 2008 Olympic Games in China seems to rival the security of the 2004 Games in Athens. Chinese officials say it is out of concern for terrorism, but also, it could be used to keep tabs on every individual walking around that may engage in some “nefarious” activity Chinese officials don’t like.
Don’t try to come to China and hand out political information or information about another religion on the street. You are likely to catch hell for that.
Already protesters from the United States have attempted to make their voice heard among the people of China. Some protesters were bold enough to make their way up a large pole, managing to post a banner that read, “One World, One Dream, Free Tibet.” They were quickly detained by police.
No matter how much China has tried to show the world that it is somehow “moving forward”…that it values capitalism and trade, communism is still the country’s way of life. Communist countries are no different than countries ruled by extreme regimes, dictators that oppress their people.
I am reminded of the comment by notorious Nikita Khrushchev of Russia:
“We can’t expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.” — Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev was not a dictator, but relished the thought of communism as it is something that is eventually pushed on a populace, granting the powerful ultimate control.
As one can see from many instances in China, communism is not yet dead. And considering Khrushchev’s comment above, it could very well hit the shores of America if we are not wise to see it.
But this year, as the Olympics debut in Beijing, China communism is on full parade. It is an oppressive model that civilized nations and civilized people must refuse as many have done in the past. Remember Tiananmen Square? Protesters are not being challenged by tanks in the street or slaughtered unmercifully in the open as they were in 1989, but freedom of speech is limited in China.
China cannot use the Olympic Games as a cover up to show that they are willing to open their arms to the world when their human rights record has been challenged many a time. And others will keep challenging the country to change their ways as they should, until significant change has been done.
To be a host country for the Olympic Games, the Olympic spirit of friendly competition and treating all people of the world the same as he/she were your brother or sister, cannot exist in China unless Chinese officials stop their oppressive tactics on those who wish to see positive change.
Bush chides Beijing over rights
Clandestine Olympic protests
**Must Read: China’s voices of dissent
Felicia Benamon is a conservative columnist who writes from a political perspective, but occasionally deviates to write about other concerns facing her country. A patriotic American, Felicia hopes to motivate others to be more conscious of the current state of affairs in America, and to hold true to the wonderful traditions that make America great.
Felicia comes from a military background and is proud to support the men and women who put their lives on the line daily to protect American citizens and who reach out to help those in need across the globe.
Write to Felicia at: FeliciasDesk@aol.com
© Copyright 2008 by Felicia Benamon