It’s time for the United States to stop rewarding China’s appalling human rights record and instead lead a targeted boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, scheduled to take place next year in and around Beijing.
It would have been better had the International Olympic Committee announced a change of venue for the games, and there’s plenty of support for that.
Author and University of Detroit law professor Khaled Beydoun posted a photo of a billboard telling the IOC “Don’t let Beijing 2022 become Berlin 1936. #MoveTheGames”
He added his own message “No human rights, no Olympic Games in #China”
But it’s also way too late — they’re set to begin in February — in just 11 months.
The next best thing may be boycotting the games, something that members of Canada’s Parliament have been promoting.
Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, made a compelling case for boycotting the games in a New York Post column published Saturday.
He cites “the ongoing Uighur genocide — carried out by mass incarceration, forced abortion, and modern-day slavery ” among many reasons for the United States to lead other democratic, freedom-loving countries in a boycott.
“The Chinese Communist Party should not be allowed to hide its atrocities behind the drama of athletic competition,” Mosher concluded. “Because if medals were given to nations for committing human rights abuses, China would win the gold every time.”
And it’s not merely the Uighur Muslim population languishing in China’s prisons, re-education and forced labor camps. It’s also Christians, Buddhists, political dissidents and Tibetan nationalists to name a few.
And it’s not as though it’s anything new. The United States led a group of 65 nations to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. The issue at the time was the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Mike "Rizzo" Eruzione, who led the underdog United States hockey team to victory against the Soviet Union in the famous “Miracle on Ice” argued against a boycott in a recent USA Today piece.
“Dominate them” instead, he suggested. “If America boycotts, we will ruin the dreams of hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and we will hand China and other countries victories we could win in competition.”
The effects of the 1980 boycott continued. Four years later the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles games, meaning that once again, the best of American athletes were denied competing against the best of the Soviets.
On Monday Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, offered a way out in a New York Times column.
Love him or hate him, Romney at least has some experience in the Olympic games and deserves to be heard.
He argued for a targeted boycott, one that rewards the athletes while denying as many benefits China would normally derive from hosting the games as possible.
“China, under Chinese Communist Party control, does not deserve an Olympic showcase,” he tweeted. “Let us demonstrate our repudiation of China’s abuses in a way that hurts the CCP rather than American athletes: an economic and diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics.”
Romney argued that “limiting spectators, selectively shaping our respective delegations and refraining from broadcasting Chinese propaganda would prevent China from reaping many of the rewards it expects from the Olympics.”
Instead, he suggests that we encourage U.S. fans to avoid the games (other than the athletes’ relatives and coaches), and President Biden to send dissidents, religious leaders and ethnic minorities to represent the United States instead the “traditional delegation of diplomats and White House officials.”
He’s speaking from experience — not merely as a rabidly anti-Trump, nominally Republican politician. He took over as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 when it was in disarray, and turned it into a roaring success.
Romney concluded, “Let us demonstrate our repudiation of China’s abuses in a way that will hurt the Chinese Communist Party rather than our American athletes: reduce China’s revenues, shut down their propaganda, and expose their abuses. An economic and diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics — while proceeding with the Games — is the right answer.”
Two things are certain: the games will be held in Beijing, and if we boycott, it will hurt American athletes who had trained for years for their moment in the Sun, more than it will hurt the Chinese Communist Party.
The only question is, will President Biden will go for it, given his reputation for being soft on China. As Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted Thursday, “It’s clear @JoeBiden’s preferred pronoun is Xi.”
This will be the only Winter Games he’ll see as president, and it would mean that he would have to forfeit his own moment in the Sun.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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