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Open War During the Opening Ceremony!

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on August 11, 2008


Russian Tanks in South Ossetia after Russia surged into the Georgian break-away province during the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday August 8

That headline met me when I made my usual morning tour in the bath room this morning – there, on the hall way floor, it yelled at me. I knew already: Russia and Georgia moved into open war over the Georgian province South Ossetia. during the Olympic opening ceremony yesterday. My wife cried. CNN showed Russian tanks rolling over the border. She said, “disqualify Russia and Georgia from the Games for breaking the Olympic Peace”. My thoughts went to the small Georgian troop of athletes that had just passed over the screen as they marched in. I hoped they weren’t told by anyone what had just happened. I hoped they would be allowed to enjoy the Opening without having to worry about friends and relatives. Most of all I hoped that none of them were South Ossetians, because not much of South Ossetia remain untouched by Russian and Georgian military. Then I spotted Vladimir Putin…and, well what I said about him is not suited for print.

On Friday August 8 he carried the US Flag at the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
His appearance at the Olympic Opening was the closest that the Organization Team Darfur will get to expressing their opinion IN China
Lopez Lomong, originally from Darfur in Sudan, marched, head high in front of the American Troop. Just how much does his presence influence, and how much of that influence get back to the Chinese leaders, who are actively supporting the murder of the population in Darfur? How much will the letter that 40+ athletes have signed and sent to the Chinese Leadership actually do change China’s policy in Tibet? Who, of the 40+ will be disqualified from the Games as a result of their signature?

I have no idea, but I am sure that Lopez Lomong presence as the US Flag Bearer will mean a lot for International opinion, as a morale boost for activist and protesters, and I equally sure that the Letter will mean a morale boost for Tibet.

Hongkong didn’t have an Olympic Team while under British Rule – they have one under Chinese Rule!

Morale is important both in politics and in sports. The fact that China had to march in under 3 different flags – Hongkong China, Tapei China, and People’s Republic of China not only speaks volumes as to the conflicts and changes that are underway in China, it also boosts morale for those small, but strong “national” entities.
Taipei had an Olympic Team BEFORE China did, and they still have one, despite a lot of weapons’ rattling from China Main.

Thirty years ago years ago that would not have been possible. Thirty years ago we would not have known who of the Chinese athletes were from Hongkong or Singapore. So progress is being made.
Macao would have been the fourth entity to compete under one of the four flags, had it had a National Olympic Committee, but it doesn’t

Another point here is that thirty years ago we wouldn’t have KNOWN what exactly were the human rights violations committed by China – well, we would have had some basic ideas, based on out-smuggled notes, videos and such, but we would never have actually SEEN the evidence, and that too is a change. It might be that China wants to pretend that all is peachy, but through the back-door they are leaking like a sieve. I am not sure that the leaks are not intentional. After all China benefits from openness, and they know it.

Henric

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