Thursday, April 10, 2008

Colombia and China

Op-eds aren't always that interesting, but flipping through the Post the past couple days these two stood out for very different reasons. First the good, a great response to the Post's idiotic editorial on the Colombia Trade deal:
If death squads with ties to the U.S. government were targeting Post reporters for assassination, I doubt that The Post would dismiss the problem by arguing that the murder rate for journalists was less than the rate for the District as a whole. Yet that is exactly what The Post did in dismissing the killings of trade union activists by paramilitaries in Colombia on the basis that trade unionists are still less likely to be killed than the average citizen ["The Sin of Speaking Truth," editorial, April 8].

Of course, the overall murder rate in Colombia -- a country in conflict -- is high. But when union members are killed for exercising basic rights, that is not just another manifestation of violence; it is a threat to Colombian democracy itself.
Nicely done, especially since the Post's coverage of Uribe has been shockingly bad, particularly when in comparison with their tabloid style articles on Hugo Chavez is over the last two years.

Now on to the bad, this from Joan Chen's op-ed defending the Beijing Olympics:
Last month I went to China and spent four weeks visiting Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Chengdu. The people I met and spoke with are proud and excited about the Beijing Games. They believe that the Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to showcase modern China to the rest of the world. Like many Americans, most Chinese people are disturbed by the recent events in Tibet. But after watching the scenes of violence and arson by the rioters, the Chinese believe that the government is doing the right thing in cracking down to restore order.
Umm, I don't think all the Chinese people feel that way, with that whole hundreds of violent protests each month thing. And just for the record, I'm glad that someone took a break from claiming that these Olympics are helping human rights in china, and decided to just flat out defend the murderous actions of the Chinese government. Good to see every now and then.

1 comment:

  1. ohhhh don't get me started on the bullshit that is the Olympics. politics aside, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is basically rife with corruption from top to bottom and has continually bled developing nations bone dry under the false pretense of "international athletic competition." i really only recently heard about their atrocious practices after reading the great book "Welcome to the Terrordome," by incredible sportswriter Dave Zirin (shouts to Jesse Seitel for passing it along to me!).

    of course, China's human rights violations are what the protests are about, and rightfully so. the fact that the situation in Tibet has been so thoroughly ignored for such a long time is a problem. to tell you the truth, i still don't know the whole story behind the atrocities but thankfully these protests and this post will get me to look into it some more.