Demonstrators protesting China's human rights record and the impending arrival of the Olympic torch tie Tibetan flags and two banners to the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Monday. Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our Viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Controversy sprinkled with violence and ill will is accompanying the Olympic torch as it makes its way across what is supposed to be a 23-city international tour designed to build interest and good will for the summer Olympics.
Stops in London and Paris produced large-scale demonstrations by people protesting China's human rights record. The torch has now made its way to San Francisco, where the flame is being kept in an undisclosed location for security reasons. Possibly Dick Cheney's house.
Yesterday – protesters there scaled the Golden Gate Bridge and tied a Tibetan flag and two banners calling for a "free Tibet”. There's a 6-mile relay planned in San Francisco tomorrow, but already one runner dropped out because of safety concerns.
Meanwhile, the President of the International Olympic Committee tells the A.P. that the group's board will discuss Friday whether to end the international part of the Beijing Olympic torch relay because of all these protests.
Beijing organizers have said the month-long international relay won't be stopped. In fact, the vice president of the Chinese organizing committee insisted the Olympic torch has been quote, "warmly welcomed by the local people" in each city. Communist China's version of Baghdad Bob.
Here at home, there have been growing calls for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the games. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is the only head of state to join with Mr. Bush and announce he'll attend. Several world leaders have decided to skip the ceremony and many others remain undecided.
Of course, this whole scenario might have been prevented ages ago if the IOC had listened to those who argued against awarding the Olympic Games to China in the first place because of their human rights record.
Here’s my question to you: Did the International Olympic Committee make a mistake awarding the summer games to China?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Mike from New Orleans writes:
No, but I think China is making a big mistake by hosting them. It will draw attention to their miserable human rights violations. It will galvanize protests against them. It will elicit boycotts. And most of all, their filthy environmental conditions will clog up the athlete's lungs.
I think it was a huge mistake for the committee to put the summer games in China. I understand that right now their economy is blooming and the games will help to bring China into the 21st century, but just because America owes them lots of favors and wants to stay on China's good side doesn't mean that we should just turn a blind eye to all of the human rights violations that their government is committing!
It was a very foreseeable disaster. Honestly, when I was young I thought it was so important to keep sports separate from politics, that intermingling of athletes helped spread good will. It's an idealistic view of the world I can no longer afford to hold.
M.J. from Illinois writes:
Dear Jack, I think it was as short-sighted as our country's commitment to send our companies to China to exploit cheap labor. We just don't think much about the consequences of our decisions. Do we?
Jim from Honolulu, Hawaii writes:
What every totalitarian dictatorship fears most is that other ideas, ways, and people interact with their own; the only guarantee of remaining in power is to shut out all concepts of "another way of doing things". Putting the brightest spotlight in the world on such a system is the best way to destroy it. Right now, what we're seeing is the Chinese leadership squirming on this international spotlight. Good job, world!
Larry from Georgetown, Texas writes:
Yes, they did. So now what do people do in the name of peace? Beat up the people that are carrying the torch.