A few days ago, Washington Post reporter Josh Rogin — author of Chaos Under Heaven, which details the struggle over China policy within the Trump administration — appeared on The John Batchelor Show to discuss what Rogin has called the upcoming “Genocide Olympics” in Beijing. It is a 10-minute podcast. Listen to it. Learn from it. And understand that the Chinese Communist Party is committing what Rogin calls “mass atrocities” against the Uyghurs and other ethnic groups. Yet, despite what Rogin calls “overwhelming evidence” of such mass atrocities, some U.S. companies and the International Olympic Committee, Rogin says, “have been actively working to deny the fact that the Uyghurs are being treated this brutally” and have gone out of their way to “protect the Chinese government from having to hear about these abuses” while putting U.S. and other athletes in danger.
The CCP, Rogin says, is threatening athletes and foreign journalists to remain quiet about the atrocities, and he criticizes the Biden administration for responding by only imposing a “diplomatic” boycott of the games — meaning that U.S. officials won’t attend but our athletes and U.S. companies are free to fully participate. Rogin rightly states that the CCP understands that U.S. companies care more about money than mass atrocities and that the CCP uses events like this to “bolster its international legitimacy,” just as Hitler did by hosting the 1936 Olympics.
Rogin notes that the CCP has a “worldwide campaign” to coerce and bribe foreign governments to “scoop up” any Chinese dissidents so they can put them into concentration camps. The lesson here, Rogin says, is that money is supreme and corporations believe that it is in their interest to sponsor the Genocide Olympics, regardless of what the CCP does to Chinese dissidents.
But there is a broader lesson in all of this. Aside from the moral issue at stake in legitimizing the regime (whose lack of transparency on the origins of the COVID-19 virus has made it complicit in the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions around the world) by participating in and funding the Beijing Olympics, there is a geopolitical issue that must be confronted. China not only commits mass atrocities against its own people, it also threatens the global balance of power. The similarities to 1936 are profound. Back then, Hitler’s Germany was already persecuting Jews and political opponents of the regime (including placing some in concentration camps), yet FDR’s administration saw fit to have American athletes participate in the Berlin summer games, which like the 2022 Winter Olympics, was used by the host regime to gain international legitimacy. Back then, Germany, as Winston Churchill and a few other statesmen recognized, posed a threat to the global balance of power — which became even clearer after the Anschluss and Munich. In the run-up to the 2022 games, China has cracked down on dissent in Hong Kong, repeatedly threatened Taiwan, and extended its global influence by the Belt and Road Initiative and its growing military (including naval) presence around the globe.
Of course, none of this matters to NBC (or other companies who sponsor the games), which recently announced that it was not sending its journalists to cover the Olympics due to reports of another viral outbreak in China. But the games must go on. NBC needs to make its money, even as it contributes to the legitimacy of the CCP. This is more than simply moral cowardice. It is an example of what the great James Burnham described as “the suicidal mania of American business.”