F for Effort

1/25/07

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Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times Op-Ed column this morning is drawing much needed attention to the “Genocide Olympics” campaign. Its message is simple: as China prepares for its debutante ball—the Beijing Olympics—it should reconsider its open support of the genocidal government of Sudan, lest it tarnish the bright image it’s trying to promote. China spends $2 billion a year on Sudanese oil, sells weapons to Sudan’s government, and most importantly blocks attempts by the U.N. to deploy an effective peacekeeping force to a miasma that’s seen 200,000 people killed and 2.5 million displaced.

As part of the Genocide Olympics campaign’s efforts, they asked Beijing’s corporate sponsors to use their influence to pressure China to take action, since slaughter isn’t exactly one of the Olympic ideals the companies claim to promote. Now the campaign has a nifty report card telling us just how much the sponsors care. Read the full report here.

The results: 13 F’s, 3 D’s, 2 C’s, and one C+. Several companies actually received scores of 0, including Anheuser-Busch, Panasonic, Samsung, Lenovo, and Swatch. So this summer crack open a Bud, flip on your Panasonic flat screen, and enjoy Beijing 2008: “One World, One Dream.” Who doesn’t dream of Olympic-size pools full of cash?

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