Olympic Boycott Is a 'Cop-Out': Bush Adviser

Says skipping opening ceremony isn't effective protest against China
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2008 1:03 PM CDT
French athletes say they want to be able to wear a badge marked 'For a better world' at the Beijing Olympics, in response to China's crackdown in Tibet.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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."