'The whole issue of opening ceremonies is a nonissue,' Hadley said. 'I think it is a way of dodging what really needs to happen if you're concerned about' Tibet.
And this sort of thing is not even newsworthy. Even when McCain keeps confusing Shiites with Sunnis, which should have been a scandal really, and when he said that Iran is helping Al Qaeda, the whole thing just gets a few minutes. What is wrong with our media? What is wrong with this country? Why is everyone so dumb!? Oh this just makes me irate.
Here is the full transcript:
From the April 13 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (host): Let's talk about the Olympics. President Carter came out against a boycott, but President Bush has been under tremendous pressure to stay away from the opening ceremonies. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain won't go. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany won't go. The president has said his plans have not changed. Does that mean he'll attend the opening ceremonies, or not?
HADLEY: What the president said is that he will go to the Olympics. He wants to support our Olympic athletes -- the wonderful men and women who are going to participate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So that means he'll go see events but he won't go to the opening ceremonies?
HADLEY: The president has said he is going to the Olympics. I think this whole issue --
STEPHANOPOULOS: How come you can't -- how come you don't want to answer the question?
HADLEY: This whole issue of opening ceremonies is a nonissue. I think it is a way of dodging what really needs to happen if you're concerned about Nepal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So does that mean the president will be going to them?
HADLEY: The president is going to the Olympics. The president is going to -- thinks that the way to deal with the issue of Nepal is not by some -- a statement that you're not going to the opening ceremonies and say, "Therefore, I've checked the Nepal box."
STEPHANOPOULOS: But he may not go to the opening ceremonies, you just don't want to say it.
HADLEY: No, the president is going to the Olympics. What he's doing on Nepal is what we think the international community ought to be doing, which is approaching the Chinese privately through diplomatic channels, and sending a very firm message of concern for human rights, of concern for what's happening in Nepal, urging the Chinese government to understand that it is in their interest to reach out to representatives of the Dalai Lama, and to show while the whole world is watching China that they are determined to treat their citizens with dignity and respect.
There is an opportunity here. And if countries are really concerned about Nepal, we shouldn't have this sort of nonissue of opening ceremonies or not. They should do the hard work of quiet diplomacy to urge the Chinese government, in their interest, to take advantage of this opportunity to do something about meeting the concerns about people in Nepal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you call it a nonissue, yet you won't say clearly that the president is attending the opening ceremonies, and I'm just trying to figure out why.
HADLEY: The president at this point is going to the Olympics. We haven't worked out the details of his schedule at this point in time. But from his vantage point, if you listen what he has said, he has no reason not to go. Because what he has said is, we need to be using diplomacy to try and deal with the issue of Nepal.