Sunday, March 16, 2008

FW Goes Down Without Swinging Bat

Freedom's Watch is now zero for three at the world's freedom plate. They struck out with their latest silence over Tibetan protests. Strikes one and two came from FW's pass on Pakistan and Burma, where last fall, citizens by the tens of thousands gathered in support of democracy.

In a Burmese like echo, Tibetan Buddhist monks peacefully protested for greater freedom. Once the Chinese military started cracking heads, the Tibetan people responded with violence. News reports show conflicting numbers of dead. The official Chinese tally is 10, while Tibetan groups cite a much larger 80 deaths. The Dalai Lama called for an independent inquiry of the situation in Tibet. If Baxter Healthcare can't assess Chinese workshops providing tainted heparin ingredients, the Dalai Lama likely won't get his called for investigation. But don't worry about patients or Tibetans dying, the Olympics are coming!

The International Olympic Committee has the same gumption as Freedom's Watch. When they awarded China the games in 2001, the IOC clearly had expectations China would improve its human rights situation. That hasn't been the case. IOC Chair had this to say about the crackdown in relation to the Olympics:

President Jacques Rogge said Saturday he opposed an Olympic boycott over Tibet. ''We believe that the boycott doesn't solve anything,'' Rogge told reporters on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. ''On the contrary, it is penalizing innocent athletes and it is stopping the organization from something that definitely is worthwhile organizing.''

For another eerie echo, consider the IOC's position when they awarded China the Olympic games:

A warning from the IOC director-general, Fran├žois Carrard, during a press conference after Friday's vote that human rights was 'a very serious issue' went unreported. Carrard told journalists that 'we are taking the bet that seven years from now we sincerely and dearly hope we shall see many changes'.

Yes, there have been many changes the last seven years. Who would have thought the American people would fear poisonous Chinese pet food, tires, toothpaste, blood thinner, and children's toys? Let the games begin, other than in Tibetan streets, Taiwanese cities or American shopping aisles!