Beijing 2008: The Totalitarian Games

When I first heard the news that Mao's workers' paradise, China, was chosen to host these Summer 2008 Olympic Games, I had a slight laugh before grabbing the smelling salts. Could the IOC possibly have done more, in a single swoop, to render itself a laughingstock?

If there is one thing totalitarian regimes do better than squashing liberty, it's putting on farcical fronts for the rest of the world.

This is not rocket science.

Yet, the IOC continues to believe that it can keep the Games a politics-free zone of cooperation and athletic camaraderie.

What a heap of pure poppycock!

For nearly its entire history, the Olympic Games have been used for political purpose.

In 1936, a mere three years before he invaded Poland, Adolph Hitler used the Games in Berlin to highlight his Nazi propaganda and filled Olympic venues with the huge red banners bearing his new symbol of "peace and equal rights," the lovely black swastika.

In 1968, the repressive Mexican government gunned down 200 protesting students just before the start of the Games in Mexico City. As soon as the government had rounded up and imprisoned the surviving students, the apolitical Games continued with appropriate fanfare.

Munich, 1972. Who could forget how Palestinian terrorists kidnapped 11 Israeli athletes, killed two, then negotiated an exchange, went back on their "word," and exploded the helicopter carrying the remaining nine hostages?

German history leaves one to seriously ponder whether something evil is in their drinking water.

When Moscow was chosen to host the 1980 Games, just a short time before the Ruskies invaded Afghanistan, Jimmy Carter decided that staging a boycott of the Olympics might make up for his pitifully impotent foreign policy. (The Iranians still had our embassy staff locked up in Tehran; Carter needed something to deflect our attention from his blundering foibles.) The U.S. and 61 other countries boycotted the Olympics. The Games went on, of course, and so did the brazen march of totalitarian regimes.

So, while the good in us wants to believe in the temporary suspension of totalitarian aims in the interest of honest competition, the repressors of liberty see only the opportunity to make farcical shows of their exemplary "humanity" for the cameras, while their evil politics continue unabated.

Why should 2008 be an exception?

Welcome to China; just don't forget all the rules

During the first week of June, the Chinese Communists issued a list of 57 "special" rules for the Olympic "guests."

This quaint little list of tourist guidelines covers everything from prohibitions on wearing political-statement clothing or sleeping outdoors, to being properly "polite" to enforcement personnel.

And, of course, the more obvious reminders:

  • Those with "mental diseases" or contagious conditions will be barred.
  • Some parts of the country are closed to visitors -- one of them being Tibet.
  • Olympic tickets are no guarantee of a visa to enter China.

Now, who would think that visiting Tibet would pose a threat to the Communists' iron fists? Or that the possibility of bringing up Darfur could get a former Olympic champion barred from the Land of Perfect Peace and Happiness?