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Bush and China’s “Genocide Olympics”

Posted by Author on October 4, 2007

Nat Hentoff (columnist), published on, South Korea, Oct. 2, 2007-

China’s merciless Communist dictators, eager to sanitize their image around the world, are now gladdened by President Bush’s acceptance of an invitation from China’s president, Hu Jintao, to attend the Summer Olympics in Beijing. His host is a huge investor in the economy of Sudan ― perpetrator of what Mr. Bush was the first world leader to call the genocide of black Africans in Darfur. The American president must know that China is making elaborate, expensive preparations, which include reducing air pollution in Beijing, for this legendary international event. There is an intense expectation among China’s leaders that hosting (and sharing in) the glories of the quest for the gold medals will change China’s image in the world, from that of a merciless dictatorship to the embodiment of the Olympic spirit of harmonious relations among nations.

It would be even more exciting if, during what I and others are calling the “Genocide Olympics,” officials held an event to test the synchronizing skills of Sudan’s camel-riding Janjaweed militias as they burn villages, kill the men, rape the women, carry away the livestock and sometimes throw children into the fires. Sudan’s Khartoum government has pledged to disarm the Janjaweed but has shown no inclination to so, let alone punish the leaders.

Mr. Bush is certainly aware that Sudan’s chief investor and leading arms supplier is the host of next summer’s Olympics. China’s leaders are nervous about plans for a worldwide campaign to shame China into exerting its enormous influence to compel the Sudanese government to join civilization. This nervousness extends to a growing movement to boycott the Olympics because of China’s obvious complicity in the genocide.

Maybe Mr. Bush, sitting in his box seat at the games, will be moved to make “a political statement” to Mr. Hu urging him to tell the government of Sudan that China is considering disinvesting from Sudan if it continues the genocide. The president of China may listen politely, but Beijing continues to insist unwaveringly that it will continue at the U.N. Security Council to protect Sudan from forceful punishment of its crimes against its own people.

Mr. Bush should reconsider his presence at the “Genocide Olympics” in Beijing. I also hope that, on reflection, a growing number of the athletes winning a place at the Summer Olympics will decide that receiving a gold medal at an event hosted by a partner in genocide will not be worth the trip.

By Nat Hentoff (columnist)

Original article from

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