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Olympic torch protests are about crimes, not politics

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Recently, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom dismissed a strongly worded resolution passed by the city council condemning China’s ongoing human rights abuses and accepting the Olympic torch to the city with “alarm and protest,” saying that the Olympic Games are not about politics. President Bush and International Olympic Committee Chairman Jacques Rogge have made similar arguments against using the occasion of the Olympics to pressure China on its human rights record. This is a false argument because advocates are not accusing China of politics. They are accusing the Chinese government of crimes against humanity. Let’s make a clear distinction. If a politician says that you should vote for them because they have a better health care plan, that is politics. If a politician murders their opponent, that is a crime. Anyone who is paying close attention knows that China is committing crimes against the people of Tibet, Falun Gong adherents, unregistered Christians and others while propping up the regimes in Sudan, Burma and North Korea who are guilty of their own crimes against humanity. Let’s not make the mistake of equating China’s crimes against humanity with politics. Michael Courter Chico