Thursday, May 10, 2007

2008 Beijing Games Called 'Genocide Olympics'

It's not too soon for Sports Illustrated to feature an article on Genocide Olympics thanks to Rick Reilly. That will surely make the athletes reflect on the real meaning of the Olympics -- political Games for the old boys' club -- the true spirit (of the Olympics) has left a long time ago! We are reminded of that every day, each time they bulldoze peoples' home to make room for Olympic venues.

AOL Sports Posted May 9th 2007 8:49PM by Michael David Smith - Rick Reilly's column in this week's Sports Illustrated (not online) gives the highest-profile attention yet to the issue that could become the biggest story in sports in 2008, when Beijing hosts the Summer Olympics. Reilly writes:
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, China buys about two thirds of Sudan's oil. The Sudanese government then uses the majority of its oil profits to buy weapons and aircraft, most of them made by China. The arms are turned over to a proxy militia, the Janjaweed, which burns, dismembers, rapes and kills Darfur's villagers and destroys their land. China maintains that it doesn't interfere with the internal politics of other nations, and using that policy it has blocked U.N. efforts to send a peacekeeping force into Darfur by insisting that Sudan first invite the troops in.
This story isn't new (Google "Genocide Olympics"), but attention from the best-known writer for America's best-known sports magazine means it's going to be increasingly hard to ignore.

There's a tendency in some circles to turn every Olympic Games into a referendum on the host country's policies, and that has the potential to backfire. And I'm glad to see that the people who are championing this cause (Mia Farrow has been the most prominent public face of the issue) are not calling for a boycott. But we shouldn't just let the Games go on without acknowledging the grave situation in Darfur and China's role in propagating it, and thanks to journalists like Reilly, we won't.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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