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?
Just to be on the safe side, those lovers of freedom in the Party started rounding up prickly dissidents well in advance of the Games. Starting back in 2006, a systematic purging of possible troublemakers took place all over the land. It simply would not do for ordinary Chinese citizens to show up at fancy Olympic venues, begging for safe drinking water or basic human rights.
It’s even harder to keep those Jesus freaks under wraps. So, the benevolent leaders decided to play it safe and start early rounding up those underground, home church leaders and preachers.
Despite China’s formal pretense otherwise, it operates one of the most anti-religious and brutal anti-Christian dictatorships in history. Even though the Chinese Communists established and control “state” churches, they merely represent a false façade for the propagandists of the atheist Party.
As John W. Whitehead writes:
Thus, a growing underground house church movement has sprung up, numbering between 50 and 100 million Christian Protestants. This, of course, has been labeled illegal by the Chinese government. Consequently, Chinese authorities routinely swoop into home churches, dragging worshipers out in the streets in some instances and beating them. Some have even been killed.
These efforts to squelch the growing home church movement have been ramped up in anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games. The China Aid Association has reported that many house church pastors in Beijing have been “visited” and “requested” to leave the city before the Games. Others have been arrested, beaten, and tortured.
While the folks at the IOC may have thought their hearts were in the right place when they granted Communist China the prestige of the Olympic Games, one must wonder whether their heads were on the same planet at the time. Rather than worldwide attention encouraging the Communists to loosen their grip, the opposite has indeed occurred.
Real families have been split apart by the sudden roundups. Real children have lost fathers and mothers, perhaps for life. Repressed people have been dealt yet another forceful blow.
And in a couple of weeks, the rest of the free world will go back to business as usual, while Chinese citizens, without simple human rights, remain jailed.
Of the myriad problems surely encountered by the Communists in creating a grand show of their peaceful and prosperous land for the entire world to feast upon, it is truly doubtful that they will need to deal with massive defections of Westerners seeking political asylum.
While it can be easy to ignore the obvious in the interest of world-class athletic competition, it would take a ninny to want to stay in Communist Beijing.
One may buy from them, wine and dine with them, and play innocent games with them, but at the end of the festivities, normal folks just want to get the heck out and plant their feet back on free ground.
But, hey, it’s the apolitical Olympics.
The 2012 Games are already taken, but I’m starting a write-in campaign to the IOC to go for political broke in 2016 and give the Olympic Games to Tehran. The Iranians can make a show of banning the Israelis and the Americans, showcase their new nukes for the opening ceremonies, and perhaps hold a few public beheadings and amputations along with the passing of the torch.
A perfect Islamo-fascist, apolitical Olympics. It ought to be a really splendid show, the kind for which the whole world has waited, with seemingly bated breath.