Sun, Aug 10, 2008 - Page 8

Three past Olympic cities

Since World War II, only three communist countries have been chosen to host the Olympics. Sadly, two failed to conform to the spirits of the International Olympic Movement and the third was ravaged by a civil war six years after the Games.

Moscow was the first communist city to hold the Olympics in 1980. One year earlier, the armed forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) invaded Afghanistan. The invasion drew international criticism and protests, and it resulted in a boycott of the Olympics by 62 countries, including the US. The war led to widespread destruction in Afghanistan, economic decline in the USSR, and the collapse of the superpower in 1991.

The second city, Sarajevo, successfully hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984. The uneasy socialist union of various ethnic groups started to break up in 1990 under economic pressures, just six years after the Olympics were held. The breakup then escalated into a series of horrific civil wars that were characterized by ethnic cleansing.

Beijing is the third communist city to host the Olympics. China originally hoped to showcase the “peaceful rise” of the People’s Republic of China. Instead, even before the opening ceremony began, it was deeply mired in controversies relating to human rights violations.

Persecution and human rights abuses in China are incompatible with the Olympic Spirit set out in Article 1 of the Olympic Charter that seeks “respect for universal, fundamental and ethical principles.” Beijing is now besieged with paranoia of impending civil unrest. Regardless of the outcome, the Beijing Olympics have cast China in a negative way.

Furthermore, Beijing will once again intentionally humiliate Taiwan by using the incomprehensible name “Chinese Taipei.” This intentional Chinese insult is an open violation of the second principle in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, which is concerned with the preservation of human dignity via sports.

At this time of Beijing Olympic propaganda, freedom loving peoples must be vigilant to the danger of communist expansion and infiltration under the guise of a “peaceful rise,” “harmonious society” and “one world one dream.” Do not forget the past crimes against humanity committed by communists, led by China and the former USSR. Taiwan must wake up to the evil nature of communism and avoid becoming the second Tibet.

Samuel Yang

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

An image of polar retreats

Andrew Simms’ opinion piece from the Guardian (“Time is running out to stop the climate change tipping point,” Aug. 7, page 9), has given readers a chance to glimpse what the future might be like. Simms says humankind has 100 months to tackle climate change. He is not optimistic, but neither is he pessimistic. He just wanted to yell “fire” and “[point] to the nearest emergency exit,” as he wrote.

Taiwan is not on the frontlines of the climate change battle. The frontlines are in the US, Europe, China and India, as well as the oil countries of the Middle East. There isn’t much to worry about here in Taiwan. Even if global warming becomes a reality in the future, people won’t suffer a great deal here on beautiful “Formosa.”

However, one Taiwanese man has done some deep thinking about global warming and climate change, and although he does not have a doctorate or corporate sponsorship, Deng Cheng-hong (鄧承閎) of Chiayi City has come up with a series of illustrations that show what future “Lovelock Retreats,” or “polar cities,” might look like as safe refuges for survivors of global warming in the far distant future. Nobody else in the world has done what Deng has done, and his computer-generated pictures are worth taking a look at on the Web site: polarcitylibertytimes.blogspot.com.

Dan Bloom

Chiayi City

Let’s call it like it is

While I was back on vacation from Taiwan to the UK, I recently watched the Ladies “British Open Golf 2008” on my beloved BBC. Of course I followed Taiwan’s Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) with as much spirit and support as possible from my armchair. I was a little upset at the start as the leaderboard stated her country was TPE.

I watched her great game of golf progress through the summer wind and rain of England. Tseng’s second place was supported by the BBC’s correct recognition of her nationality — Taiwanese! Of course one should not mix politics with sports, but I was pleased with the BBC’s stance.

After all, it was the Chinese that recently changed Taiwan’s ladies team name to “Chinese Taipei,” leaving the girls in tears halfway through the South Africa world golf event. Anyway, well done to Tseng and to the great BBC.

Jon Parkes