Thursday, April 10, 2008

TO BOYCOTT or NOT TO BOYCOTT? By The Mental Pugilist

The Olympic Torch played hide and seek today in a city known for its population of rebel rousers and ass less chaps wearing protesters . San Francisco was the Torch's only American stop on its way to Beijing and the 2008 Olympics. Wall to wall protesters lined the streets hoping to get a glimpse of the torch. Unfortunately, the stealthy torch was re-routed several times to avoid the massive crowds. The TV showed the torch surrounded by two rings of storm troopers running along beside it. They prevented anyone from getting close. The relay was cut short for security reasons. My sources tell me the real reason was because the cops, wearing fifty pounds of riot gear, where winded after mile marker two! The treatment of Tibet and China's human rights record was the focus the demonstration.
Many countries have called for various boycotts of the Olympics. With the Political season raging in America, all the candidates have weighed in. The first shot was fired by The Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi. She called for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies. Next was Hillary Clinton. She said , on Fox News , that we should boycott the opening ceremonies.
John McCain and Barack Obama have made similar appeals. Its funny to watch these politicians try to be the first one to get ahead of the issue. They try to show "Presidential Leadership" and call for boycotts. The question to you is should we boycott the Olympics and how effective would this be?

One has to wonder how interested these leaders would be in stirring up the water if it wasn't an election year? Have you ever herd them take a stand on China and the Tibet issue? Before this year, has any of them introduced trade sanctions or laws that would persuade China to clean up its human rights record? They haven't!
I was a Member of the 1988 Junior Olympic Gymnastics team. I remember having the privilege of training at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs , Colorado. I met many athletes who where preparing for the Olympics. I witnessed , first hand, how much time and dedication it took these athletes to reach the Olympic level. I know from personal experience how damaging a boycott can be. My Coach , Wally Miller , was a member of the 1980 men's gymnastics team. I heard him repeatedly tell me his story of being denied Olympic glory because of the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Soviet Olympics! He trained all his life and was denied his Olympic dream. Instead of America knowing who Wally Miller is they know of Mitch Gaylord! He never had his day on the Wheaties box!
One of the main reasons we have no leverage against China is because the own all our debt. We walk on egg shells because the hold a financial atomic bomb. Imagine if they sold all their T-bills on the open market? The dollar would collapse! Boycotts would not persuade China one bit. Therefore, we will go to the Olympics quietly and not upset the mighty dragon! It is amusing to hear Barack Obama call for a boycott on China! One hand he wants to boycott China and on the other , he practically has already made his Holiday Inn reservations to Tehran! Go figure?

1 comment:

david said...

Hey, Wally was my coach too for about 15 years. Who's this?