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Clinton, Obama split on Olympics

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Election 2008
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Posted April 10, 2008 8:00 AM
The Swamp

by Christi Parsons

LEVITTOWN, Pa.--Hillary Clinton says President Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing, but Barack Obama thinks Bush should wait and make the decision closer to the time of the games.

Clinton called on Bush to skip the ceremonies after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that he would do so. Clinton issued a statement calling on Democratic presidential rival Obama and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain to join in her request.

Activists want world leaders to boycott the games as a statement against China's record on human rights and as a means pressuring Chinese officials to change their policies on Tibet and Darfur.

But Obama said he thinks Bush should wait and decide to boycott the ceremonies only if the Chinese fail to take steps toward change.

"(I)t is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet," Obama said in a written statement released late Wednesday.

"I am also deeply concerned about China's failure to support efforts to halt the genocide in Darfur," he said. A boycott of the opening ceremonies should be "firmly on the table," he said, "but this decision should be made closer to the games."

Speaking yesterday at the Irish American Forum in New York, Clinton commended Brown for his decision.


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Comments

It has become my understanding that Prime Minister Gordon Brown never had any plans to attend the opening ceremonies. He, however, WILL be at the closing ceremonies as China passes the Olympic Torch to England.

But I am wondering if the U.S. media will ask or demand that NBC NOT televise the opening ceremonies? If the media believes there should be a boycott of the opening ceremonies then put your money where your mouth is, U.S. media: Boycott the opening ceremonies!
Will the Chicago Jokeune not cover the opening ceremonies?
Somehow, I highly doubt that will happen.


Hillary is already telling everyone what to do and making up their minds for them. Britain's Brown hadn't even planned to attend the opening.

Obama displays a pragmatic, diplomatic approach that gives China a chance to do the right things without losing face -- a very important thing for that powerful, yet insecure nation. Rather than instantly punish, put the ball in China's court and see how they decide to play the game before you throw them out of the league.


I understand everyone's concern, however I'm really not sure that boycotting and protesting the Olympics to achieve ideological gain is such a good idea. The Olympics have been able to transcend politics and ideology and bring people together in a way that nothing else can. If we (the world) start down this road, we are stripping the Olympics of this power, and we will end up farther apart as a global community.


It says everything that Obama won't condemn the IOC's decision to award an Olympics to a polluting, human rights-violating nation like China.

That's the audacity of being a huge hypocrite. Breath of fresh air, sure.


I think, Mr Obama shows leadership and courage to tie some present problem to the issue. He is a true diplomat, what america needs right now. It is un-presidential to jump on a bandwagon. Think , and then act - tie with your own interest - thats what America need from its president.


Like most things she can grasp at, Hillary is attempting to turn the Olympics into a political tool. If we want to start reliving the Cold War all over again, that seems like a great idea. Maybe a better one would be to allow the Olympics to be what they are, a chance for nations to compete against each other in SPORTS. Anyone who's seen clips of athletes from supposedly rival nations congratulating each other on victories understands that most rational people are above the petty games that politicians play. I believe Obama is right on target in stating that China should improve their record, but not linking that to athletic competitions that will be going on in their country.


This is yet another example showing Hillary's leadership willing to do what is right vs. what is easy.

Obama is afraid of making hard decision and hopes that the problem will go away by itself for some reason. He seems incapable to understand the basic technique in negotiation - apply pressure. Without world leaders taking a stand, how can we even hope that the chinese will make any change?


Obama should work at IHOP as he has waffling down pat.


Hillary as First Lady spoke out against human rights abuse in China... and now she continues to do so. I do not know why Obama was so slow to make a statement or finally make a weak one (Maybe his campaign was polling for the answer.

Anyway... Bush appearing as President of the U.S. at the opening ceremony is extradordinarily symbolic (and overall China is more into the symbolism than western countries.) In fact, the Olympics being held in China is a major symbol that they covet.)

Bush should make a decision now not to appear unless China at the least eases up on Tibet... Waiting like Obama suggested will not do any good... and Bush making an appearance without Chinese compromise is saying that Tibet is toast.



Obama is spineless as they come. Why cant he ever take a stand on anything? A candidate who always check which side butters his bread better before drawing his line on the sand does not have what it takes to confront treacherous minds harmful to USA interests.


I want to add here that some above seem to be under the impression that Hillary is calling for a boycott of the Olympic sporting events.

This boycott would be for Bush attending the opening ceremonies only.


political mobs in action. period.
this resembles exactly how peaceful demonstration turns into street riots. sad.


Why doesn't Hillary just declare China part of the "axis of evil" to highlight further that her style smacks of George W. Bush? Her confrontational style is just what our country does NOT need if we are to improve relations on the world stage. Obama made the case regarding human rights, Darfur, and Tibet, while giving China room to save face. I agree with Hillary's dismay with China. However, her approach is that of an advocate for Human Rights Watch--not that of our prospective United States Statesperson in Chief.


Why doesn't Hillary just declare China part of the "axis of evil" to highlight further that her style smacks of George W. Bush? Her confrontational style is just what our country does NOT need if we are to improve relations on the world stage. Obama made the case regarding human rights, Darfur, and Tibet, while giving China room to save face. I agree with Hillary's dismay with China. However, her approach is that of an advocate for Human Rights Watch--not that of our prospective United States Statesperson in Chief.


I think Hillary is exactly right. I think the U.S. needs to send China a message. I think its about time we have someone out there willing and able to make strong decisions. The "wait and see" approach Obama is taking reminds me of John McCain's view of the economy. How long has China had human rights issues? Too long to wait and see anymore. Please. Ugh, although I will be forced to vote for Obama in the fall should he win, I am dreading it.


When I first saw the headline I had my first serious moment of favoring Hillary over Barack Obama. But of course, in the body of the article it comes clear Obama would merely expand the decision making time, using this threat of boycott as clout to pressure to China. What a good idea! I hope Obama wins, but even McCain recommends boycott! It will be great to watch Bush retire.
On another subject, McCain called for "robust and vigorous expansion of nuclear energy" today. If he wins and puts this into practice we will be at greater risk for terror attacks, have a cancer epidemic from radiation increases and increase our risk for an accident, like we had in Harrisburg, PA.
I certainly hope a Democrat wins and that whoever wins studies the risks of nuclear energy.


Posted by: vote4thebest | April 10, 2008 12:20 PM

Obama DID apply pressure...in a way that will probably achieve a better result. Hillary's tactic is to bypass negotiation and just react immaturely and emotionally in a way that leaves no door open for a solution. We've already had 7 years of "my way or the highway".


A Clinton, any Clinton, doing what is right? Now you're just being silly.


If there isn't pressure to change, nothing would change. Obama is just too afraid to put his neck out on anything - it shows in his health care proposal, his voting record, and again too in his "not-my-war" stance on China. Why not boycot the opening unless they fix it - giving them plenty of time to work it out. You could wait until the day before, when China releases a statement saying they will work on it - and then what? Attend? Give me a break and grab a backbone.


Obama Insidious Affiliations
The only possible reason why anyone would vote for Obama is because he is black.
This is the most insidious form of racial discrimination.
There is no way a white man with the same background and credentials could have even been considered as a senator.

Look at Obama’s affiliations:
- Mr. Rezko, Obama’s friend and a major mob figure
- Mr. Auchi a billionaire and major funder for Obama’s campaign throughout the years.
While working with Saddam Hussein, Auchi made his money through the sell of arms in Iraq and by stealing money from the Oil for Food program (no wonder Obama voted against invading Iraq)
- Mr. Wright a racist who hates America and whites and is reminiscent of Hitler and who has been Mr. Obama’s teacher for over 20 years.
- Mr. Meeks who hates whites and gays and is one of Obama’s major supporters and super-delegate for Obama. Mr. Meeks has also been integral in getting Mr. Obama to where he is now in politics.
- Mr. Ayers members of the Weather Underground, a group that killed police and tried to bomb the US Capitol. Obama served with Ayers on the board of the leftist foundation called the Woods Fund.
- Mr. McPeaks is Obama’s military adviser and national campaign co-chairman who claims that American Jews are the "problem." and “Christian Zionists were driving America's policy in Iraq to benefit Israel.”
- Michelle Obama who trumpets Obama as “the second coming of the messiah,” and also states she “has never been proud to be an AMERICAN in her adult life".

The list goes on. Am I missing something here?


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