The calls are mounting for world leaders to use Olympic leverage to pry China from its support for genocide in Darfur and human rights violations in Tibet. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter and the Economist posted almost the same argument: countries should simply boycott the opening ceremonies, focus only on Darfur. There’s no reason to deny athletes their moment, the reasoning goes, and China is unlikely to budge on Tibet. Even our man, the ubiquitous Cloonster, would support that, while XM Radio host Joe Madison (aka The Black Eagle) is pushing for an out-and-out Olympics boycott.
Time tackles the Why? of the situation, noting that even if President Hu Jintao was willing to effect change (don’t worry, he’s not), the red-tape molasses of the Communist Party would hold him up. But the most creative shaming of the Olympics had nothing to do with genocide — Slate did some quick math to calculate that the Olympic torch’s 50,000-mile tour will burn a quarter-million gallons of jet fuel and spew six million pounds of carbon into the atmosphere. Oh, and the whole torch relay thing was started by Hitler. Think on that.