Why Does Stephen Hadley Focus On the Nepal Instead Of Tibet In The Olympics Controversy?

Am I missing something here? What's up with Bush's National Security Advisor? Does he not want to say Tibet or Monks or rioting in Tibet when respon

Am I missing something here? What's up with Bush's National Security Advisor? Does he not want to say Tibet or Monks or rioting in Tibet when responding to the human rights violations that are going on? I know China owns us and all. I'm not an expert on this, so please fill me in too...

Hadley: 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, a 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.

Nepal did just hold their first elections, so maybe it's on Hadley's mind, but the representatives of the Dalai Lama would be in Tibet. Is it too much to expect the National Security Adviser to keep that straight?

And if there is a good reason, please post it in the comment section. Read/Watch this and step into Bizarroland: via ABC's This Week:

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Full transcript below the fold.

STEPHANOPOULOS: 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 to see events, but he won’t go to the opening ceremony?

HADLEY: The president has said he’s going to the Olympics.

I think this whole issue...

STEPHANOPOULOS: How come he -- how come you don’t want to answer the question?

HADLEY: The whole issue of opening ceremonies is a non-issue. I think it is a way of dodging what really needs to happen if you’re concerned about the Nepal...


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STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that mean the president will be going to them?

HADLEY: The president is going to the Olympics. The president is going to -- to think 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 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, a 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 non-issue 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...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But...

HADLEY: ... meeting the concerns about people in Nepal.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you call it a non-issue, 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 to 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.

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