Ever since the Chinese government invaded and occupied Tibet in 1959, the top leaders in Beijing have fostered the fiction that Tibet is part of China. The repression used to deny the independence of the Tibetan people, meanwhile, has amounted to cultural genocide. The recent uprising of monks and common people in Tibet and the neighboring region has exposed the brutal truth of Chinese policy.
No matter how much the Chinese government pretends the peace-loving Dalai Lama is a monster inciting bloody rebellion, no informed person anywhere on earth believes such wild propaganda. If fact, the Dalai Lama threatened to resign if Tibetan protestors continued being violent.
By the very same moral reasoning that caused the United States to boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States should boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Sadly, that won’t happen.
There have been polite diplomatic protests about Tibet from the U.S. State Department, but do not look for any serious outcry from the White House or Congress about the Chinese military turning Tibet into a prison camp closed to the rest of the world.
Why won’t the U.S Government do the right thing? I can name three reasons.
First, the U.S. Government cannot condemn the “Red Chinese” invasion and occupation of Tibet without being exposed to the same condemnation for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The White House is a burnt cooking pot that’s not about to blame the kettle for being black.
Second, there was so much backlash in the sports world against the 1980 Moscow Olympics boycott that neither Democrats nor Republicans are willing to risk such a big backlash again, at least, not right now. Provoking the ire of millions of avid sports fans is simply too politically dangerous in an election year.
Third, and most critical of all, the U.S. Government has been rendered impotent by China’s massive economic leverage over our nation. Due to our unbalanced trade deficit with China, our dependence on Chinese investment capital, and the volume of U.S. Government bonds held by the Chinese, America has no power over China.
If the Chinese call our loans, or if the Chinese cut off their shipments of consumer goods, or if Chinese investors pull out of American corporations, our already fragile economy could collapse.
So, even if the vast majority of Americans somehow experienced a moral enlightenment and demanded that the U.S. boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it’s not going to happen.
We’ve sold our economic souls to the Red Dragon, and there is no going back. The people of Tibet are the losers. Indeed, all freedom-loving people on earth are the losers.