Letters to the Editor

June 06, 2008

Don't exploit the Olympics

To the editor:

The 2008 Olympic Games have become a lever with which various political group can pressure the Chinese government. To me, and surely to most people, the Olympics is an athletic contest.

The Olympics is the pinnacle of sporting achievement for athletes around the world and a celebration of all the talents of various individuals that make the games exciting and entertaining. China has spent billions of dollars to prepare its stadiums. It has been hard work to modernize Beijing ever since it lost the bid to host the 1993 Olympics. Now, 15 years later, China may finally be ready to emerge onto the world stage.

However, there are those who would like to undermine China's accomplishments and smear China with negative propaganda about Tibet and human rights violations. For example, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times has dubbed the Olympics the "Genocide Olympics" in light of China's relationship with the Sudanese government. He argues that because China sells arms to Sudan, China too is to blame for the violence and genocide of Darfur. However, this statement is a non-sequitur. Just because a country sells armaments to another does not make it responsible for the other country's behavior.


For instance, during the Iraq-Iran war, various nations sold munitions to Iraq. The U.S. sold Iraq over $200 million worth of attack helicopters and myriad of other weapons. The U.S.S.R. and Brazil contributed greatly to the build-up of the Iraqi Army.

Does this mean that the U.S.A., Brazil and the U.S.S.R. are responsible for Iraqi poison gas attacks and genocide against its own and Iranian people? Of course not. The U.S. is not responsible for genocides in Iraq, just as China should not be held accountable for genocide in Darfur.

Therefore, it is also wrong to accuse China of funding the genocide in Darfur.

There are many other ways to stem the violence. Sanctions can be used. There is the U.N., which is supposed to keep the world peaceful. More importantly, all the negative focus on China should be spent less on protesting. If all the protesters who lined up in the streets of Paris and Los Angeles to mar the torch ceremony were to go to Darfur or Tibet to aid the locals, then perhaps they could arbitrate a peaceful outcome.

Fundamentally, the games are not a platform to pressure another nation to chance. The Olympics are a demonstration of athletic prowess. I doubt that people would be very pleased if Americans used the World Cup as a means to gain political favors and dominance over another country.

The World Cup is just soccer, so let's keep it that way. In parallel, the Olympics should not be exploited for its reputation and what it means to China. Let's keep politics inside Congress and the voting booths. The negative preconceptions about China should not be allowed to damage the fun and excitement to be had from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Rendy Mao
Chambersburg, Pa.

So much for the American Dream

To the editor:

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom of choice. The government was created by the people and the people have a right to remove the government if we need to defend our natural rights.

There's way too much government telling us what to do. Plus they are raising our taxes to pay their wages, and to create more government agencies to control us.

One government-invented agency doesn't seem to know or care what the other is doing as long as they can have their greedy little hands out asking for more funding. (Our money)! We don't need them and in most cases don't want them!

We have worked hard to afford our homes, health care, education, raise our families and hopefully save enough to retire with dignity.

That's what our forefathers promised us all and that's the way it used to be.

We're working longer and harder and getting less. The American Dream was just that, a dream. Our government was formed to work for us and protect us, not the special interest groups that fund their campaigns, etc.

It's time for us all to reclaim the American Dream. We deserve a piece of the pie that we all worked hard for and we need to quit giving it to the special interest groups that are doing nothing but robbing us by raising their prices.

What a shame.

Suzanne Short

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