It appears that pro-American French President Nicolas Sarkozy is going to hold true to his pledge to boycott the opening ceremonies in Beijing, but will attend other events. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she will not attend, but as consolation will later hold meetings with the Chinese.
It is a tribute to the newly achieved economic clout of China that attendance by foreign heads of state is even an issue. It never has been in the past. Most realize that attending the Olympics may offer more risks than rewards.
But a feckless Bush has changed that. By purchasing the US bonds that fund the Iraq War, the Chinese government has become an indispensable partner of the Bush régime.
Democracy be damned. Tibet be damned. Darfur be damned. Bush is going to Beijing.
It's all about Hillary
To say that Hillary Clinton’s performance Tuesday night after Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination for president — fair and square under the agreed-upon rules — was disappointing is an understatement.
That Clinton, who stumbled at the start of the primary process, rallied to ultimately finish strong is undeniable and impressive. But it was not good enough. And even by the self-centered standards of national political life, her performance Tuesday night pretending that she still has somewhere to go confirms the worst fear that many people harbor about her — and her husband, former president Bill Clinton. She lost. Yes, her victories were impressive, but she lost nonetheless.
As the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain demonstrated on the night of Obama’s victory, even when spouting half-truths and platitudes, he will be a tough nut to crack.
Clinton, for all her talk that she has the nation’s interests at heart, is acting as if it is only her dynastic ambitions that matter. Hillary, get over yourself.
Obama’s victory is an undeniable achievement. As the product of a multi-racial marriage who identifies himself as an African-American, Obama’s win is an historic occasion. Whatever challenges he faces against McCain — and they will be formidable — his win is a watershed mark for black Americans, Democrats, and the nation.