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Boycott the Olympics Over Darfur?

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A continuing series on Darfur, by James North:

Here's a fascinating look at some courageous American athletes who boycotted Hitler's Olympics in 1936; I knew none of this.  But the implication is that Beijing should be boycotted now, over Darfur.

My closer look at Darfur suggests that the parallels with the
Nazis are overdrawn
.  And the China connection is problematic; the
Olympics, after all, are not being held in Khartoum.  China
is clearly guilty of supporting the Sudan regime, mostly due to oil. Although, as we will see, the first oil companies to invest there
were Western.

I also find it a little troubling that China's own human rights violations
at home are usually not mentioned by the boycotters.  Dissidents are
still arrested; the internet is censored, and an astonishing 5000 to
10,000 Chinese miners die every year in accidents on the job.

Of course, any pressure on the Chinese government is not a bad thing.  But it is no easy or quick solution to the conflict in Darfur.

James North

James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large, and has reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia for four decades. He lives in New York City.

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