The 2008 Olympic Games begin with the opening ceremony in Beijing, China this Friday August 8, 2008. However, China's real Olympic games began several years ago with its promises to the world to improve its dismal record on human rights, and to grant free and unrestrained access to the international press covering the games. China also pledged to clean up Beijing's air quality for these 2008 Olympic Games.
These promises were made by China in order to win the honor of having Beijing host the 2008 summer Olympics Games. Unfortunately, all these promises were nothing more than a cynical game. For weeks, international headlines have told the same sad stories concerning Beijing 2008: Internet censorship, a crackdown on internal dissent, restricted freedom for international reporters, no human rights improvement in Tibet and Myanmar. Also, Beijing's air quality is still the worst in the world. Olympians in the outside events will be physically challenged in the world's worst air.
The broken promises by China speak louder than empty words and slogans as we approach these so called environmentally friendly 2008 Olympic Games. Its clear that for China, the issues of basic human rights and the environment are just tools to be used in its Olympic propaganda games.
In retrospect, it is very difficult to understand how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could be so easily manipulated into awarding Beijing the venue of the 2008 Olympic Games in the first place.
So, later this week, when the world hears "Let these 2008 Olympic Games begin", everyone should realize that China has already been playing its own Olympic Games on the issues of human rights, and the environment with the International community and the I.O.C. now for each of these past seven years.