The world’s top athletes have now honed their bodies, worked out their strategies and psyched themselves up for the coming competition that will be the London Olympics. Those who follow the various included sports and, indeed, many who only look in on them every four years or so, will now have only to sit back and watch the spectacle. We have no interest in spoiling the innocent pleasure that so many will gain by watching the very best international athletes pit themselves against each other to reach the top of their particular game. However, we have noticed a very striking omission in the build up to these games.
What is that omission? Well, cast your minds back please to just four short years ago. We were on the eve of the incredible spectacle that was the Beijing Games and all the athletes were going through their last minute checks and preparations, having trained for the previous four years – so, no difference there. No, the omission is one that the media in the imperialist countries seem to have made in their preparations for the games.
In the run up to Beijing our television screens and newspapers were full of horror stories concerning the host nation! China’s internal policies were attacked, its political leaders were attacked, its human rights record was attacked and even the air in Beijing came under attack. Everything short of boycott (the imperialists had already found this to be a double-edged sword when it was used at the Moscow Games) was used to attack the Games and more importantly China and its political system.
We were treated to a daily diet of allegations – for example the allegation that China had violated its pledge to allow open media access,by which ‘our free press’ meant that imperialism’s spies could not go where they wanted and when. There were various alleged human rights violations splashed across front pages and beamed into our sitting rooms with every TV ‘news’ report regarding China’s continuous support for and/or trade with regimes dubbed by the West as repressive such as Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Sudan and North Korea. The cry over ‘human rights’ reached fever pitch over Tibet where the West, through the good offices of the Dalai Lama (the wolf in monk’s clothing) and his terrorist organisation, had sponsored riots and pogroms against ethnic Han Chinese people to try and promote a separatist breakaway Tibet, which the Chinese government, with the full support of the majority of people living in Tibet, had quelled.
These ‘supposed’ violations led to any and every celebrity, minor celebrity and their dentist, therapist etc, etc, joining the ‘professional’ imperialist politicians in putting out anti-China statements or managing to get themselves on some ‘human rights or pro ‘independent’-Tibet platform, with all the media coverage that went with it. Richard Gere (an American actor) vied with Hillary Clinton publicly to condemn the Chinese government on the small screen, while the then Italian Premier, Silvio Berlusconi, proclaimed that he would not be attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Steven Spielberg, who had been asked by China to be an adviser for the opening and closing ceremonies in Beijing (considering just how spectacular those ceremonies were it is hard to imagine why they asked him for assistance at all), pulled out saying he could no longer live with his conscience over his position.
Spielberg cited the fact that China was trading with Sudan and blamed the Sudanese government for massacres in Darfur, in the south of the country saying; ” Sudan’s government bears the bulk of the responsibility for these ongoing crimes but the international community, and particularly China, should be doing more to end the continuing human suffering.
“I have decided to formally announce the end of my involvement as one of the overseas artistic advisors to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games .”
The high-profile campaign by the actress Mia Farrow to turn the spotlight on the Beijing Games was said to have influenced Spielberg after she wrote an article dubbing the Beijing Olympics “the Genocide Games” and publically calling on Spielberg to reconsider his position.
In Britain the attacks came from various politicians including Lord Owen, the former foreign secretary, and celebrities such as Emma Thompson headed up by Prince Charles who stated that he would not accept an invitation to the games.
Complaints from many quarters were picked up by the hyenas of the ‘free’ press regarding air pollution in both the city of Beijing and in neighbouring areas with all kinds of figures bandied about by every pseudo-environmental ‘expert’ that could be quoted. But of course, in the end all this proved baseless and the Games went ahead in the most tested air that any Games have ever seen.
Another thing that was raised at that time by the Western press was that the Games could be targeted by terrorism i.e. pro-Tibetan ‘independence’ and religious groups. This was really an own goal by the imperialist press as it backed up everything that the Chinese government had said about these groups who are lauded in the West as ‘freedom fighters’.
The atmosphere in the imperialist countries became so heated that many Chinese students on overseas placements in the West were treated with hostility and even violence in the streets. It was at this time that the CPGB-ML and like-minded friends founded the ‘Hands Off China Campaign’ to combat the blatant lies and disinformation that was being spewed out by the ‘free’ press.
The imperialist toady organisation ‘Human Rights Watch’ stated; ” Failure by the government to guarantee freedom of movement, thought, conscience, religion, assembly, association and access to information would be unworthy of an Olympic host .” If that were the real basis upon which the hysterical attacks on China were carried out one has to wonder why this particular organisation is not criticising Britain in the run-up to the London Olympic Games?
Britain and the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, supposedly for ‘humanitarian’ reasons, but have now overseen the deaths of millions of people from those countries; and the imperialists torture camps continue to operate there while imperialist monopolies are engaged in robbery of oil and the domination of pipelines.
Along with France and some local puppet regimes, US and British imperialism sponsored an uprising in Libya which was so ineffectively supported by any great number of Libyans that the combined airforces of Western imperialism had to be used to take out the Libyan army that with the full backing of the vast majority of the Libyan people would have crushed this pathetic revolt. The towns that fought the imperialist intervention were flattened by bombing in vengeance. Indeed, special forces from the imperialist nations along with Qatari soldiers had to be used to do most of the fighting. Today the remnants of the Libyan army, the Green fighters, are still battling against imperialism and the TNC puppets although a news blackout in the West is currently hiding that.
The bottom line was the same, hundreds of thousands of people murdered and oil stolen along with the door to the re-conquest of Africa kicked in.
The same robbers are now at work in Syria, although not able to use the combined air power yet thanks to China and Russia exercising their veto at the UN Security Council. Special forces from the robber imperialist states and their local puppets are in Syria on another murder spree while the Western media claim black is white and cravenly accuse the Syrian government of attacking its own people, presumably to neutralise the opposition of right-minded people to yet another imperialists invasion that will end in mass suffering and the untimely death of millions!
The sabres of the British and US imperialist brigands are still rattling at Iran and the DPRK while the long term sights are set firmly on China.
Within Britain the poor are getting poorer, jobs are slashed, benefits are being cut to the bone, health and education services are suffering creeping privatisation with all the bad practices involved with the system of getting the highest profit for shareholders before anything else. Mental health problems are increasing rapidly in line with the increases in personal debt levels. People are jailed for comments on Facebook, the police can arrest, beat up or even shoot people down with impunity and call those who fight back and protest rioters! The present and past UK governments have fostered an atmosphere of intolerance to immigrants and foreigners in general and those identified as Muslim in particular. So was the “Genocide Games” really four years ago or are they here in London 2012?
Let us be quite clear, we do not expect the bourgeois media to link these things to Britain being allowed to host the games. We do not even expect them to acknowledge the crimes of British imperialism. We will wait in vain if we are expecting the stars of screen and stage to denounce the right of Britain to stage the Olympics and try to link this system to the very real genocides it continues to commit around the world as well as the way it treats the poor at home. No the lesson to be learned from this is that any amount of lies will be told to promote imperialist aggression as anti-aggression while the victims of imperialism’s schemes and set piece ‘revolts’ are demonised as dictators and mass-murderers. When our ‘free’ press, bourgeois politicians, and assorted celebrities (the latter usually through Amnesty International or some other pro-imperialist outfit) start denouncing another country, you can be sure that not only are this cowardly bunch of bought and paid for nonentities lying their heads off but that British imperialism will have had some hand in whatever violence is really happening.