Thursday, April 17, 2008

US Won’t Get a Gold Medal for Human Rights

The Bangor Daily News (Maine), April 16, 2008

by Pat LaMarche

Are we really having discussions about whether or not to participate in the 2008 Olympics? Are people actually sitting in coffee shops discussing whether the civil rights violations in China warrant a U.S. boycott of the opening ceremonies or even the games themselves?

Man, this country really cracks me up.

Extraordinary men and women, the absolute cream of our athletic crop, who have — for likely as long as they’ve walked — trained for the moment when they could participate in the Olympic Games, have now become the political pawns of our human rights discussions. And I’m not just talking about discussions with China; but discussions about China by a country that has no right to talk.

Remember us? We invaded a sovereign nation and blew it to smithereens. And according to a BBC report last week we have more than 28,000 Iraqis detained without charges. An earlier report in the international journal The Guardian states that in 2006, “several detainees reportedly died … and some of their bodies bore injuries consistent with torture.”

So we’re invaders and we detain people, again from The Guardian, in a manner that is “arbitrary and indefinite.” On top of that, some die while in our custody and there is evidence that the detention itself may have caused their deaths.

Yeah, let’s just preach to other countries about human rights.

Continued . . .

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