News Source: Politics and the Beijing Olympics
Recent violence against the Olympic torch relay participants has turned into a global nightmare for China, host of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August, says Derick Hulme, a political science professor at Alma College and national authority on the Olympics, politics and terrorism.
says the public relations disaster that China is experiencing will
likely continue in the weeks leading up to the Summer Games.
“The Beijing Olympics has the potential of being the most universally viewed and attended games in history," says Hulme. "Every group with grievances against China understands the world is watching. China will have a hard time ‘managing the message’ as the world’s attention is drawn to its borders.
“China’s relationship with Tibet is not the only issue that will receive worldwide attention as part of media coverage for the Beijing Olympics. It’s only one of many issues that are likely to be raised in a variety of political areas — from global climate change to human rights to free speech to freedom of religion," he says.
The attacks on the torch relay participants damage the Olympics in a serious way for China, says Hulme.
Olympics was to be China’s coming-out party as a political super power
of the 21st century and its acceptance into the world league of
states," he says. "But the violence is China’s worst nightmare come
true. The International Olympic Committee was terrified this would
happen. The Chinese set up the torch relay to be a truly international
event, but it’s turning into a global nightmare.
“China has wanted to host the Olympic Games for a long time. But the International Olympic Committee was terrified of a repeat of the 1980 U.S. boycott of the Soviet Olympics in Moscow and the 1984 Soviet boycott of the Los Angeles games," he says.
Hulme calls the Olympic Games "the most attractive terrorist target because they command the widest, most extensive media coverage in the world."
He is the author of The Political Olympics (1990), a book about the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympics, and Palestinian Terror and U.S. Foreign Policy 1969-1977: Dynamics of Response (2004), a book about the impact of Palestinian terrorism on American foreign policy,
He is frequently sought out by major media to comment on the politics of terrorism and the Olympics. He has been interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America and ESPN and in USA Today, Christian Science Monitor and major daily newspapers across the United States.
A professor of political science at Alma College since 1992, Hulme has a Ph.D. from Tufts University.
Posted: Tue, April 8th, 2008 at 1:56PM