Olympic torch lighting ceremony, Monday, March 31, 2008, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The list of names is growing - That being the number of nations calling for a boycott of this summer's Olympic Games in China. The calls come after what is being called the most violent anti-Chinese protests since 1989 occurred in Tibet two weeks ago.
Tibetan exiles say as many as one hundred forty people were killed. The Chinese government says the numbers are much lower than that.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who just returned from a visit with the Dalai Lama, is the latest to suggest the United States join the boycott. She told ABC News that President Bush should consider boycotting the opening ceremonies of the games, saying quote, "I think boycotting the opening ceremony, which really gives respect to the Chinese government, is something that should be kept on the table. I think the president might want to rethink this later, depending on what other heads of state do." unquote. She did not, however, go as far as to call on the United States to boycott the Olympics altogether. The White House says the games should be about the athletes, not about politics, and President Bush says he plans to attend the opening ceremonies.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also remains committed to attending.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced last week that she will skip the games entirely. French President Nicholas Sarkozy has suggested a boycott of the opening ceremony. Poland's prime minister has also announced a boycott, as well as the president of the Czech Republic.
In addition to boycotts, protesters are already showing up wherever the Olympic torch goes on its pre-olympic journey across the continents. One of those stops happens to be in Nancy Pelosi's home district of San Francisco.
Here’s my question to you: Should President Bush reconsider and boycott the opening ceremonies at the Summer Olympics in China?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
No. We've all seen the disaster when we politicize the Olympics. Of course China's human rights record is atrocious but the place to have made that statement was with the committee that awarded the games to them in the first place. The Olympics remind us all that we are truly one people on one planet–the good, the bad and the so very ugly.
Mike from Syracuse, New York writes:
Yes. It's a good compromise between doing nothing and implying consent to Chinese actions in Tibet; and a total boycott, which would hurt the athletes more than anyone.
President Bush should not boycott the Olympics or the opening ceremonies. The Olympics are a sporting event, not a political rally. Much good will come and can come from the interactions of the gifted athletes chosen to compete in the name of their country.
Chris from Massachusetts writes:
He should either boycott or wear a “Free Tibet” t-shirt. If he just goes though, I bet the Olympic crowd doesn't boo him with the same fervor that the Washington Nationals fans did. Ah, never mind they'll probably BOO him too.
Eugene from California writes:
Jack, it would be hypocritical, for President Bush to boycott the Olympic opening ceremonies held in communist China. Communist Chinese attacks on Tibet are small in comparison to our war in Iraq. Besides, communist China owns us, so Bush couldn't boycott the Olympics, even if he wanted to. They may counter our boycott with a demand that we repay immediately the trillions in loans we owe them.
Dena from Raleigh, North Carolina writes:
Hmmm…with his record on civil rights, i.e. Guantanamo Bay, illegal wire-tapping, and picking a fight in the Middle East just to please daddy, wouldn't his boycott be a little like the pot calling the kettle black? Let the games begin.
Jerry from Fayetteville, Tennessee writes:
Bush should definitely boycott the opening ceremonies – that sends a political message without impacting the athletes.