• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Calls for Olympic Boycott Intensify

Image has not been found. URL: /wp-content/uploads/2008/09/brownback.jpgSen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) (WDCpix)

With 99 days to the launch of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, the congressional pressure on the Bush administration to boycott the games over China’s many human rights abuses is swelling. But similar abuses at the hands of the U.S. government in recent years — while not at the level or scale of China’s — have diminished America’s stature as an authoritative voice on human rights, civil liberties groups say.

Torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, combined with the recent revelation that top Bush administration officials approved those brutal methods, leave the White House with little leverage to criticize other governments over their own abusive tactics, advocates argue. The result, they say, is that the United States has less influence over the international human rights debate.

“Since the ‘war on terror’ policies have gone into effect,” said Sharon Singh, spokeswoman for Amnesty International, “the U.S. government has lost its moral authority abroad.”

The issue has resurfaced as a number of China’s critics are urging President George W. Bush to boycott the Aug. 8 opening ceremonies in Beijing. At a press event near the Capitol on Thursday, lawmakers from both parties joined scores of human rights advocates in blasting China for its role in supplying arms to Burma and Sudan, cracking down on pro-Democracy protests in Tibet and stifling free speech within its own borders.

“China today is the worst human rights violator in the world,” said Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.). “No one else is even close.”

Human Rights First, an international advocacy group, issued a report in March revealing that China sold $55 million in small arms to Sudan between 2003 and 2006. “This was the period when violence was increasing in Darfur,” said Julia Fromholz, advocacy counsel for the group.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said China’s actions have detracted from the harmony of the games to create instead “an Olympics of oppression.”

Brownback also accused Beijing of conspiring to spy on visitors staying in the city’s hotels. “American hotels have been ordered by the Chinese government to place monitors and filters on their Internet piping to facilitate spying on international guests and visitors,” Brownback said. “This is wrong, it’s against international convention, [and] it’s certainly against the Olympic spirit.”

Bush accepted an invitation last summer to attend the August opening ceremonies in Beijing. Since then, riots erupted in Tibet after a group of Buddhist monks launched a march for religious freedom. The response from Chinese military police killed dozens of protesters. Hundreds of others were imprisoned, civil liberties groups contend.

China defended its actions, accusing the western media of pursuing a smear campaign and calling one Tibet supporter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), a “muckraker of her own hypocrisy.”

Still, the high-profile conflagration prompted several European leaders — most notably French President Nicolas Sarkozy — to push for a boycott of the ceremonies. Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have also urged Bush to skip the games’ launch.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday that Bush still plans to attend. “[I'm] still where I was before,” Perino told reporters, “which is the President has said he’s going to the Olympics. We haven’t announced any final schedules.”

The saga highlights a dilemma facing human rights groups, international aid organizations and even congressional lawmakers as they push China and other nation’s to improve their records on civil rights. Even if Bush does decide to boycott the games to highlight China’s abuses, the administration’s own history dulls much of the effect.

Smith said there are fundamental differences between China’s rights’ record and that of the United States — not least that the U.S. has democratically elected lawmakers who can react to set things right. Still, rights groups say that their work has become much tougher under the Bush White House.

“It’s quite a challenge for us to do the work that we do in this political climate given many of the policies, both foreign and domestic, that the Bush administration has pursued,” said Fromholz. “The United States simply has much less leverage than it used to.”

The latest human rights report from Amnesty International summarizes much of the recent criticisms against the United States, blasting the Bush administration for keeping detainees without charges and pursuing secret renditions.

“There was a continued failure to hold senior government officials accountable for torture and other ill-treatment of ‘war on terror’ detainees despite evidence that abuses had been systematic,” the report states.

The practical and political implications of such tactics, advocates argue, are tangible. Singh said that Amnesty officials pushing for humanitarian changes in Sudan, for example, met with raised eyebrows from Sudanese officials, who noted, “Look what the United States does in Guantanamo.”

“It is a global icon for everything that’s wrong with the Bush administration’s policies,” Singh said of military’s detention facility. “Clearly, it’s been thrown back in the United States government’s face.”

Neither Amnesty International nor Human Rights First support the Olympic boycott, arguing that Bush and other world leaders have more effective methods of influence at their disposal.

Other civil liberties advocates noted the importance of continuing to push for change regardless of Washington’s political climate.

“Is the U.S. authority on human rights diminished? — I’d say yes,” said Jeremy Woodrum, campaign director at U.S. Campaign for Burma. “But the worst thing we could do is let that be a reason not to speak out … We believe in people power.”

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.