I shall never forget the look on Angela Merkel's face as she visibly recoiled from George Bush's touch and massage of her shoulders at a G8 summit some years ago. One would hope that he is older and wiser....
Not so - he is adamant about attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing for this summer's Olympics. Granted, most of his cabinet has long since fled for greener pastures, but one has to wonder - who on earth is advising our President on such matters? China's atrocities and human rights violations are well documented. We, the "free" and "civilized" western world should have the guts to stand up and say - "not on our watch". Why should they get to parade their athletes around and cover up their distasteful and abhorrent behavior?
According to today's NY Times, “I view the Olympics as an opportunity for me to cheer on our athletes,” Mr. Bush said, at a press conference in nearby Tokyo, after the two leaders met privately. He said not going to the opening ceremony “would be an affront to the Chinese people” that might make it “more difficult to be able to speak frankly with the Chinese leadership.”
Mr. President, I must respectfully disagree. While I commend your desire to speak frankly with the Chinese leadership, the surest way to get their attention is when the entire world is watching. The Olympic games have not been about athletics for some time now - please enlighten yourself and get a clue.
Angela Merkel and Gordon Brown are boycotting the opening ceremonies - these are your G8 colleagues - why can't you follow suit? The Chinese government deserves to be affronted - that is the price they pay for their human rights violations.
This would be something redeeming that you could do in the waning months of your administration.
Let's send Bush a message - let's not watch any of the Olympic activities - I am starting my own boycott here and now.