Remember this symbol
August 4, 2008 6 Comments
Something tells me we are going to be seeing a lot of it in the next few weeks…
A student carries a sign board reading disaster after she took part in the Mianyang leg of Beijing Olympic torch relay outside the Jiuzhou stadium on Monday in Mianyang of Sichuan Province, China. The three-day Beijing Olympic torch relay held in the quake-hit Sichuan province, the last relay leg before Beijing.
(August 04, 2008) Getty Images via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
That symbol for ‘disaster’ has been looking oddly familiar all day, and then it suddenly hit me:
But a disaster brewing in China? Are you sure?
With four days left before the start of the 2008 Summer Games, Chinese officials have not lived up to key promises they made to win the right to host the Olympics, including widening press freedoms, cleaning up their capital city’s polluted air and respecting human rights.
Gee, it is hard to believe that the Chinese government lied. Who could have ever predicted this?
One of the charter’s six fundamental principles states, “Any discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
Especially when it turns out that not only did they lie, they actually got worse…
Critics, including top U.S. officials, said Chinese officials have violated those agreements by tightening repression of political dissent in advance of the Games and not allowing reporters covering the Olympics full access…
A recent report by the human rights advocacy group Amnesty International found that Chinese officials have stepped up their persecution of followers of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement, and detained rural petitioners seeking redress on a range of political issues…
Some critics look back and say that it was easy to believe most of the official statements.
Only idiots believed the official statements. Any of us with our eyes open rolled them so hard when Beijing got the games that they damn near fell out of our heads.
Despite making verbal pledges, Chinese officials likely didn’t legally agree to take any action to improve the country’s human rights record, said Susan Brownell, a U.S.-based adviser to the Beijing City Olympic Education Standing Office.
Brownell said she’d seen neither Beijing’s Candidature File nor the Host City Contract but had talked to people who’d seen the contract.
“The idea’s out there that China made commitments on human rights, but it’s simply not true,” Brownell said. “Nobody was in any mood to make any promises then.”
If only we spoke Chinese…