以下轉載一篇來自泰晤士報的一篇報道，并不代表本人同意作者的立場。這篇報道反映了現在西方人在處理西藏問題和奧運會可能采取的一些手段，不得不讓國人深思。簡要地說一下作者表達的中心意思，首先作者將北京的奧運會和柏林奧運會比較起來，其不同點是柏林是在納粹執政之前就被選定為奧運會的舉辦點，而北京奧運會是中國宣傳的勝利并向全世界炫耀。文中還提到了，美國發起反對1980年的莫斯科的事件，還有斯皮爾伯格辭去藝術顧問職務的事件。對中國態度一貫強硬的美國眾議院議長佩洛熙是這樣說的：如果世界上熱愛自由的人民不敢大膽抗議中國和在西藏的中國人的話，我們失去了為人權辯護的所有道德權威（If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights）。北京，前途未卜。
Tibet: the West can use the Olympics as a weapon against Beijing
Adolf Hitler’s glee at exploiting the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a showcase for Nazism turned to fury when the black American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals. The Chinese leadership must by now be wondering whether staging the Games in Beijing will bring the regime more accolades than brickbats. Be careful what you wish for, as Confucius probably said.
In defence of the Olympic movement, Berlin had been selected before the Nazis came to power. No such excuse covers the decision to award the coveted prize to Beijing. In 1989 the Chinese government crushed the peaceful protests in Tiananmen Square as the world looked on in horror. China still secured the Olympics and a propaganda triumph and has looked forward to showing off to the world.
The authorities must have reflected that other governments are rarely brave enough to boycott the Olympics. The Berlin Games proceeded even though the Nazis had by then implemented the infamous Nuremberg laws that deprived German Jews of basic human rights.
Admittedly the Americans led a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics because Soviet troops had stormed Afghanistan (Russian invasion bad, American invasion good). China knew that, short of marching into neighbouring territory, nothing it did would put its show at risk.
All the indicators suggested that China would be given a soft ride. When President Jiang Zemin visited Tony Blair in 1999 the Metropolitan police treated pro-Tibet demonstrators roughly. Double-decker buses were used to shield the protest from Jiang’s sensitive eyes. As Washington became embroiled in the scandals of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and extraordinary rendition, not to mention the tremendous loss of civilian life in Iraq and Afghanistan, Premier Wen Jiabao, the prime minister, must have been confident that America would avoid dialogue on human rights.
In any case we are all in awe of China’s economic power. When Gordon Brown toured there last month, he talked of business opportunities. Prime ministers loathe being asked to raise human rights issues that threaten to interrupt the smiles, handshakes and toasts by which the success of visits are measured. Brown probably limited himself to the vaguest urging of reform.
China’s economic sway is such that it has undermined US foreign policy with impunity. America aims to use its muscle to shape a world that embraces western values. In developing countries it insists that governments respect the rule of law and reduce corruption as a condition for trade and aid. China, on the other hand, has extended the hand of friendship to gruesome regimes (including Sudan’s). Beijing’s requirement for natural resources is its only consideration. Maybe it has enjoyed thwarting America’s attempts to export its liberal values.
So China had every reason to expect a trouble-free Olympics that would show its best face to the world. In Berlin the anti-Jewish notices were taken down in the weeks preceding the Games. In Beijing the use of cars has been restricted to reduce air pollution.
In the modern world governments are not the only players. Steven Spielberg, the film director, withdrew as artistic adviser to the Games’ ceremonies, remarking that his conscience did not allow him to continue while “unspeakable crimes” were being committed in Darfur.
His decision has transformed the situation. In that moment the Beijing Olympics flipped from being an opportunity for the Chinese government and became a threat. China’s deep concern that the Games should be a success provides those who oppose its policies with a narrow window of opportunity. It delivers leverage both to domestic dissidents and to the outside world, unparalleled since Tiananmen.
With the news blackout imposed by China on the country’s interior we cannot know whether the Tibetan protests are opportunistically linked to the forthcoming Games. But the Olympics are a political factor and the situation is dynamic. The eyes of the world are turned disapprovingly on Chinese policies.
“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights,” declared Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, before cheering crowds of Tibetans in northern India, where she had gone to meet the Dalai Lama. Such outbursts had not featured in China’s “script” for the Olympics.
Our prime minister, discovering the courage of others’ convictions, has said that he, too, would like to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader. David Cameron has congratulated him, so we have a new consensus. We have moved a long way since Blair claimed to have too many requests for meetings to find time to receive the Dalai Lama during his 2004 visit to Britain.
China failed to understand that politicians in democracies cannot predict what positions they will take. Spielberg’s démarche has changed everything for them. In a few weeks they have moved from avoiding anything that might offend Beijing to scrambling to be seen as pro-Tibetan. It scarcely matters whether the riots in Lhasa were, at least in part, brutal and racist, nor that such violence is in defiance of the Dalai Lama’s strictures and undermines his authority. The Tibet bandwagon is rolling and every democratic politician clamours for a place on board.
As western politicians are exposed as being powerless to avert economic downturn and as Iraq and Afghanistan smoulder on, heaping opprobrium on China offers an agreeable opportunity to divert attention from the politicians’ other woes.
The genie is out of the bottle and there is no predicting where this may end. All our politicians say that boycotting the Olympics is not on the cards. But that is for now. If the situation in Tibet deteriorates, pressure will grow to use the Olympics as a weapon against Beijing. If China continues to thwart western journalists in their attempts to report dissent, the hostility of the world’s media can be guaranteed. However, if it allows events to be reported, the protesters will seize their chance.
Anyway, there is much that can be done short of a total boycott. The Olympic torch is to embark on a world tour, providing the occasion for Tibet and Darfur protests around the world. When it arrives in London, I predict that the 2,000 police being mobilised that day will go easy on the demonstrators and no buses will block our view of them. Sir Trevor McDonald, scheduled to be a torch bearer, will surely face insistent calls to withdraw.
Mia Farrow, the actress, will front the protest when the torch passes through San Francisco. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton must then consider how to garner support from those demonstrations in America’s most populous and perhaps most liberal state.
The unprecedented grandiosity of the torch’s itinerary must have looked great on the drawing board. In practice, Beijing has secured a rolling programme of antiChinese protest circling the globe.
If celebrity torch bearers are forced to pull out one by one, China will suffer daily public relations disasters. Nor does its recruitment of Spielberg, a spectacular coup at the time, look such a brilliant move now.
The ceremonies on which he was advising will provide the next focus. They can be shunned without disrupting the sporting events which supposedly are the point of the Olympics. Indeed, once the politicians have aligned themselves with Tibet and Darfur, what justification could they offer for allowing the regime to bask in global adulation?
When China bid for the Olympics it judged correctly that democratic politicians are pusillanimous. Given their hunger for Chinese contracts they would not let massacre in Darfur or torture in Tibet disrupt a good party. But Beijing failed to see that western statesmen are even more craven towards their celebrities and media.
Beijing’s other mistake was being too anxious for the Games to be a success. A man who wants something too much makes himself vulnerable. Surely Confucius said something of the sort.
Michael Portillo left the House of Commons in 2005 after a 30-year career with the Conservative Party, which took him from MP for Enfield Southgate to transport and local government minister to the Cabinet, where he served as Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State for Defence. Since leaving politics he has written weekly for The Sunday Times and made a number of documentaries for BBC2