Baron de Coubertin’s purpose in creating the Modern Olympic Games was based on a belief of rights of the individual. He said: “The Olympiads have been reestablished for the rare and solemn glorification of the individual athleteÃ¢Â?Â¦” Individuals could strive for moral as well as athletic excellence.
China’s Communist government contradicts the Baron’s purpose. Can individualism be achieved in a totalitarian state in which an individual has no rights?
Andrew Bernstein, Ph.D. wrote an open letter to the IOC. His comments are paraphrased as follows:
“China’s law mandates one child per family. Those who break the law abandon children to state orphanages by the tens of thousands. According to Human Rights Watch/Asia “China’s official policy is one of nutritional and medical neglect with the intent of inducing death. The Shanghai Children’s Welfare Institute, China’s most prestigious orphanage has a child mortality rate of 90 percent during the late 1980s and 1990s.”
Have we forgotten news coverage and photographs of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-freedom activists? Is life any better for Christians and other religious denominations in China today?
Harry Wu survived 19 years in forced labor camps. The author and human rights activist points out that these camps hold between 4 and 6 million prisoners. “Many of these slaves are political and/or religious dissidents, held without due process. Their transgression was opposition to their Communist rulers.”
In the 1999 Harvard University Press release, The Black Book of Communism, researchers established that Mao Zedong and his successors murdered 65 million Chinese. Indiana’s state representative Jim Atterholt referred to China’s political leaders as the “Butchers of Beijing.”
“China is not content with slaughtering and enslaving its own people. China supported the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia,” North Viet Nam against South Viet Nam, North Korea against South Korea, “brutally conquered Tibet and threatened Taiwan.”
“If China does not protect the rights of its own citizens and openly commits aggression against foreign countries, should it compete or host an Olympics? Why should the International Olympic Committee (IOC) legitimize Beijing’s power over its own subjects? Why do civilized countries deem China worthy of the honor to host the Olympics? China is a murderous dictatorship. It kills its children.” What propaganda can legitimately mask this carnage?
Apologists will say, “that the Olympic games will not be interpreted by China’s leaders as a reward for past misdeeds, but as an incentive to increase their toleration of dissent. The political pressure of being in the Olympic spotlight will help to open up China.”
Exactly how is this going to happen? Is there a precedent? Did the IOC use this leverage to stop Soviet tanks from rolling into Afghanistan during the 1980 Olympics?
Bob Tracinski, a columnist for Creator’s Syndicate wrote, “The tragedy of the IOC’s decision is not so much the reward that has been granted to China’s dictatorship: it is the fact that, just as in the years leading up to World War II, the free nations of the world have lost the moral confidence to judge, to condemn, and to ostracize the world’s dictators.”
The Olympics celebrate man at his best. The IOC did not stand tall for moral principles and the dignity of man when they selected China, to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.