Thursday, April 10, 2008

Way to Go, Dumbass

[photo-Andrew Medichini, AP]

Put this in the category of "you should have said this years ago" and "there's no fucking way they're going to do it because the head of the International Olympics Committee is a nobody" and "what the fuck were you thinking when your deliberative body awarded them the Olympics?"

BEIJING - IOC president Jacques Rogge said Thursday the turmoil surrounding the Beijing torch relay and the politically charged buildup to the Summer Games posed a "crisis'' for the Olympic movement.

Rogge urged China to respect its "moral engagement'' to improve human rights and to fulfill promises of greater media freedom. He reaffirmed the right of free speech for athletes at the Beijing Games.

At the same time, the International Olympic Committee expressed relief that the San Francisco leg of the torch relay passed off without major incident and declared that the rest of the international route would not be cut short or canceled.

"This scenario is definitely not on the agenda,'' Rogge said at a news conference. "We are studying together with (Beijing organizers) to improve the torch relay, but there is no scenario of either interrupting or bringing (the torch) back directly to Beijing.''

Let me just explain this to you--an entrenched dictatorship is NOT going to pay attention to the head of the IOC AFTER the games have been awarded, or ever, in any case. The Chinese regime pushed extremely hard to get the games--it shows their people the power of the regime in the world, brings International legitimacy, and demonstrates the ascendancy of the Chinese nation. The only way they hold on to that power is to keep the boot firmly on the neck of anyone who complains.

Cancel the damned Olympics. Move them to a country that doesn't torture its citizens and respects human rights. Move them to a country that can ramp up and handle them NEXT summer. The Olympics aren't happening this summer at this rate. Pressure will grow, atheletes will bail, and it will be a farce.

UPDATE I - Blue Girl

A couple of years ago I had occasion to share a meal and a few hours with Carol Konek, who is the only professor I ever studied under that I look up to enough to even consider a "mentor." Dr. Konek led the Wichita State delegation to Beijing for the International Women's Conference in 1995.

I had not seen her in the intervening years, but I was in Wichita not long after the IOC announced that the 2008 games would be in Beijing. We were quite smug at the prospect of the hubris of the Chinese authorities being their downfall. "Imagine all those reporters!" I was gleeful at the prospect. "The authorities think they can control this thing, but they can't. Stories are going to be told and the government is going to come off looking inept, corrupt and incompetent. And once they look that way to the rest of the world, the population at home will soon see it too, and that will be all she wrote."

It looks like I was right, but then, a gifted teacher like Carol Konek makes all of her students look like geniuses.

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