Hillary Takes A Stand Against Genocide Olympics

Cross-posted at HILLARY'S BLOGGERS

Hillary's been trying to call attention to the genocide in Darfur for years now, and has joined others in calling on Bush to boycott the opening ceramony in Beijing when the Olympics get under way later this year.  Take a look at the statement she put out this afternoon...

Statement by Hillary Clinton on Olympics

The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.

I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.

Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights. Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.

When Obama was asked about his stand on China's human rights problems and the Olympics he took a pass on answering it. Guess he's still mulling this one over.

Maybe we'll hear something now that Hillary's put out this statement.  Sure would be nice if he joined her in calling for this boycott.

Hey for more information on what's going on in Darfur please check out these sites...

Genocide Intervention Network

Save Darfur.org

Thanks.

There's more...

Hillary Clinton Calls On Bush To Boycott Olympic Opening Ceremonies

On a day that we learn that the Olympic torch was extinguished 3 times in Paris due to the efforts of pro-Tibet demonstrators, Hillary Clinton has released a statement calling on President Bush to boycott the Olympics opening ceremonies (via e-mail):

The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership.  These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China.  At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.

I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.

Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights.  Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.

You'll notice that she stops well short of calling for a boycott of the games altogether, a position Nancy Pelosi shares:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not want the United States to boycott the Beijing Olympics, but she says that President Bush should consider skipping the opening ceremony.

"I think boycotting the opening ceremony, which really gives respect to the Chinese government, is something that should be kept on the table," the California Democrat told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an interview today. "I think the president might want to rethink this later, depending on what other heads of state do."

So far only German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced she will skip the opening ceremonies, but her spokesman insists it's unrelated to the unrest in Tibet.

This issue is bound to get much more coverage here in the US as the torch arrives here this week and considering the next stop in the torch's relay -- San Francisco -- it's bound to be snuffed out quite a few more times before it leaves.

I'll update once Senator Obama weighs in on the issue, as I expect he will.

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On Tibet, Dick Lugar, Baichung Bhutia and the Power of One

"I sympathise with the Tibetan cause. This is my way of standing by the people of Tibet and their struggle. I abhor violence in any form," Bhutia told the Times of India newspaper.

link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/73 23803.stm

Baichung Bhutia, an Indian footballer, is making headlines across Asia and the world by making this statement and refusing to carry the Olympic torch across India later this month.

This is the power of one.

Where governments fall short in decrying injustice, it remains for all of us, regardless of religion, or ethnicity, or politics, to stand up and let our voices be heard.

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China Plans Tour For Select Journalists As Western Opinion Sides With Dalai Lama and Tibet

First, more news about brutality being used against protesters in Qinghai:

"They were beating up monks, which will only infuriate ordinary people," the source said of the protest on Tuesday in Qinghai's Xinghai county.

A resident in the area confirmed the demonstration, saying that paramilitaries dispersed the 200 to 300 protesters after half and hour, that the area was crawling with armed security forces and that workers were kept inside their offices.

The Beijing source said resentment at the paramilitary presence around Lhasa's monasteries prompted one monk at the Ramoche temple to hang himself.

snip

"It's very harsh. They are taking in and questioning anyone who saw the protests," the source said. "The prisons are full. Detainees are being held at prisons in counties outside Lhasa."

link: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCri sis/idUSPEK369654

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Sharpton vs Daley, Chicago Olympics of Torture

Al Sharpton is an asshole, but right now the racial rabble rouser is righteously leading a campaign that might finally end the Chicago police's ridiculously longstanding practices of brutality and torture. (If we regular Chicagoans -- despite the best efforts of the local mainstream media to keep us divided, docile, and uninformed -- really come out and support Sharpton's effort.)

Briefly, To get you up to speed on Chicago's out-of-control police:

Chicago's police department has been beset by claims that officers abused their positions.

Four inmates were recently awarded almost $20 million between them to settle lawsuits claiming they had been tortured by a former lieutenant into falsely confessing to crimes. In July, prosecutors accused officers of torturing suspects in the 1980s. And in September, four special operations members were charged with robbery, kidnapping and making false arrests.

The department has also has been embarrassed by other accusations of brutality -- some caught on tape, including the alleged beating of a female bartender by an off-duty officer.

(That's just the latest; the torture and brutality goes back decades; best to see the Chicago Reader's John Conroy reporting for the most complete story. (Tragically for the future of real reporting on this problem, Conroy has just been 'laid off' by the Reader.)

But there's a Sharp' break in the story cuz Richard Daley, Chicago's torture-overlooking mayor, l-u-v-v-s his 2016 Olympics vanity project! And that could be the chance for some real changes -- getting his tender paws off, and some tough independent supervisory hands on, Chicago police.

There's more...

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