sharing the Olympic spirit

Spielberg denounced for making misjudgment
Updated: 2008-03-05 12:03


In an article written recently, Mrs. Louise Blouin MacBain, founder and chairwoman of the Global Creative Leadership Summit, repudiated film director Steven Spielberg for connecting the Darfur Issue with 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Blouin MacBain, also a renowned publisher, said that Spielberg's act was both "unfair and unsound."

The famous Hollywood director Spielberg publicly announced his resignation as an artistic director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on the grounds of a clash of "conscience."

She said, "China called upon Khartoum to allow a joint UN, African Union peacekeeping force into the region, and for greater cooperation from both the Sudanese government and anti-government forces with the international community to resolve the crisis."

Furthermore, China has also agreed with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to resuming broader talks with U.S. and EU partners on human rights.

She added that these actions could be regarded as very active moves, which were advancing in a correct direction.

"I disagree with Spielberg for singling out China as the only culprit in the conflict and for the strong tactics that he has used. This approach is both unfair and unsound," said MacBain..

Spielberg's approach is unfair since while China does have financial interests in the region, yet it has only limited authority over Khartoum. Over the past months China has actually been pressing the Sudanese government to do more to end the conflict.

In addition, the United States and European Union have been unwilling to intervene in the region over the past five years. However, the United States has had greater diplomatic sway, so it should have more involvement in the region than any other nation.

It is unsound, since there are other atrocities and political battles that he could be more effectively campaigning against. These include American foreign policy in Iraq, detainee rights in Guantanamo Bay, the use of water-boarding as an interrogation technique by the U.S. Military or the lackluster motivation by the U.S. trade representatives to finalize the Doha Round trade agreement.

MacBain said the situation in Darfur is indeed dramatic and unjust, noting: "However, we have to ask: What have broader American policies achieved in Africa over the last decade? While the Bush administration deserves credit for allocating 9 billion U.S. dollars to be invested in development and humanitarian aid, little has been done to structurally alter African economies -- enabling them to become more independent--or African governance, facilitating the Rule of Law and social justice."

She added: " We have to stop pointing fingers at other nations, making symbolic and hurtful gestures, while not looking first at our own governments, our own policies and our own national ethos.

She went on to say: "We cannot continue to judge without the expectation of being judged back, or in this case, to further alienate China from engagement in meaningful multilateral peace talks for the region."

"What is more important for us," MacBain said, "is to remember how much China has accomplished over this period, and that while there is much more we should ask of China on the international stage, we also have to recognize that the harmonization of Chinese foreign policy with the traditions and principles of the West is an incremental process."

"China in its development needs to be patiently supported, and in this support we will find willing partners to solve a number of these pressing global problems," she said.

"We all have skeletons in our closets and we have to resist the urge to point fingers," she added.

"I, for one, will be in attendance to celebrate the Beijing 2008 Olympics. I hope to see you (Spielberg) there, too," MacBain said in conclusion.

Mrs. Louise Blouin MacBain owns 80 companies worldwide, publishes 60 magazines, and operates more than 400 kinds of publications and 60 websites in 20-plus countries.

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