The foreign dignitaries opting to skip the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony are engaging in a "cop-out," said President Bush's national security adviser today. What's more, claimed Stephen Hadley, they're missing an opportunity to meaningfully pressure China via behind-the-scenes diplomacy—as the US is doing. Bush has said he doesn't "view the Olympics as a political event," the AP reports.
"It's a sporting event," said the president, who will be attending in support of American teams. "The whole issue of opening ceremonies is a non-issue," Hadley argued on national TV. Low-profile tactics like Bush's phone call to the Chinese president urging him to meet with the Dalai Lama's reps are better than "frontal confrontation."