Hell, No, We Shouldn’t Go—to the Olympics

Commentary Evidently, Team USA has been advised to leave their cellphones at home when they travel to China for the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing next month. In an email from his CAVPAC political action committee, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo writes: “That Team USA is telling our athletes to use burner phones and to avoid surveillance by the CCP is no surprise to me. That’s exactly what my team and I did when we traveled to China to protect America’s interests. But you have to ask: if our athletes have to use burner phones when visiting a country, then why on earth are we sending them to that country in the first place?” Good question. And while we’re at it, why is NBC (and its owner Comcast) broadcasting an event that is, in essence, a propaganda exercise for a country practicing various degrees of genocide against Uyghur Muslims, Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, and other religious minorities, not to mention oppressing almost anyone who questions their totalitarian regime? Oh, and then there’s the little matter of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in their country and about which they have been anything but forthcoming, including silence about activities in their Wuhan lab that may have led to a leak. In other words, our country is sending our premier athletes to an event celebrating a regime that may well have visited a catastrophe on the entire globe not seen since World War II. We can ask, why are our athletes acquiescing in this? Yes, in many sports, they spend years dreaming of Olympic glory but other venues, even other global events, exist for most of those sports. Some things are more important than medals, such as the possibility of a decent, even relatively free, life for the citizens of the most populous country on the planet, for one, and not giving credence to a regime that’s attempting to buy up the nations of the world (including ours, with help from some of our own politicians and corporate executives), for another. Further, as Pompeo points out, our athletes are in danger by going. “When you are in China, you are constantly under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who will monitor and track how you live your life– and punish those who act or speak out against their rule.” I have been in China myself and can attest that this is true. I have also been in Taiwan, two years ago with a group observing their open election. Taiwan is a spectacular place, and it’s in part for the preservation of that free country that a boycott of the Beijing Olympics is particularly important. We may be at something of a turning point in history. Russia’s Vladimir Putin is edging further into Ukraine at the same time that Chinese jets fly ever closer to Taiwan, intruding on its airspace. China and Russia are threatening independent democratic countries at the very moment the USA has an extraordinarily inept administration in foreign policy as much as domestic. And you can be sure that Vladimir and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are well aware of that ineptitude. Arguments go back and forth about the degree to which we should defend Ukraine. It’s a difficult call—I’m among those skeptical that we should—because America’s interest in that Eastern European country isn’t great. Still, we must keep a close eye on things because the man who wishes to gobble Ukraine also wishes to gobble such bastions of freedom as the Czech Republic and Poland. The defense of Taiwan is a wholly different matter. We have a maximum interest in the island state, where a substantial number of our computer chips and other key high-tech commodities are manufactured. If Taiwan goes, China will have us on our knees, and more dependent on the communists than we already are. An Olympic boycott would have shown some resolve. Unfortunately, under the Biden administration, that was not to be. But we can do our own personal form of boycott. We can bypass watching the Olympic Games this year, give NBC their lowest ratings for the event ever, and send a message not just to the Chinese regime, but to the many companies in our country that have become their virtual sycophants. It’s not that hard to do, is it? Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Follow Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on GETTR and Parler @rogerlsimon.

Hell, No, We Shouldn’t Go—to the Olympics

Commentary

Evidently, Team USA has been advised to leave their cellphones at home when they travel to China for the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing next month.

In an email from his CAVPAC political action committee, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo writes:

“That Team USA is telling our athletes to use burner phones and to avoid surveillance by the CCP is no surprise to me. That’s exactly what my team and I did when we traveled to China to protect America’s interests. But you have to ask: if our athletes have to use burner phones when visiting a country, then why on earth are we sending them to that country in the first place?”

Good question.

And while we’re at it, why is NBC (and its owner Comcast) broadcasting an event that is, in essence, a propaganda exercise for a country practicing various degrees of genocide against Uyghur Muslims, Falun Gong practitioners, Christians, and other religious minorities, not to mention oppressing almost anyone who questions their totalitarian regime?

Oh, and then there’s the little matter of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in their country and about which they have been anything but forthcoming, including silence about activities in their Wuhan lab that may have led to a leak.

In other words, our country is sending our premier athletes to an event celebrating a regime that may well have visited a catastrophe on the entire globe not seen since World War II.

We can ask, why are our athletes acquiescing in this?

Yes, in many sports, they spend years dreaming of Olympic glory but other venues, even other global events, exist for most of those sports.

Some things are more important than medals, such as the possibility of a decent, even relatively free, life for the citizens of the most populous country on the planet, for one, and not giving credence to a regime that’s attempting to buy up the nations of the world (including ours, with help from some of our own politicians and corporate executives), for another.

Further, as Pompeo points out, our athletes are in danger by going.

“When you are in China, you are constantly under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), who will monitor and track how you live your life– and punish those who act or speak out against their rule.”

I have been in China myself and can attest that this is true.

I have also been in Taiwan, two years ago with a group observing their open election. Taiwan is a spectacular place, and it’s in part for the preservation of that free country that a boycott of the Beijing Olympics is particularly important.

We may be at something of a turning point in history. Russia’s Vladimir Putin is edging further into Ukraine at the same time that Chinese jets fly ever closer to Taiwan, intruding on its airspace. China and Russia are threatening independent democratic countries at the very moment the USA has an extraordinarily inept administration in foreign policy as much as domestic.

And you can be sure that Vladimir and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are well aware of that ineptitude.

Arguments go back and forth about the degree to which we should defend Ukraine. It’s a difficult call—I’m among those skeptical that we should—because America’s interest in that Eastern European country isn’t great.

Still, we must keep a close eye on things because the man who wishes to gobble Ukraine also wishes to gobble such bastions of freedom as the Czech Republic and Poland.

The defense of Taiwan is a wholly different matter. We have a maximum interest in the island state, where a substantial number of our computer chips and other key high-tech commodities are manufactured. If Taiwan goes, China will have us on our knees, and more dependent on the communists than we already are.

An Olympic boycott would have shown some resolve. Unfortunately, under the Biden administration, that was not to be.

But we can do our own personal form of boycott. We can bypass watching the Olympic Games this year, give NBC their lowest ratings for the event ever, and send a message not just to the Chinese regime, but to the many companies in our country that have become their virtual sycophants.

It’s not that hard to do, is it?

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


Follow

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on GETTR and Parler @rogerlsimon.