Thursday, August 07, 2008

2008 Olympics

Let the games begin!

Charles Krauthammer made the following comment on FoxNews:

Look, if you are going to have Olympics in a dictatorship, you have to expect stuff to happen, and it's happening. The curtailment of the internet, the putdown and protests.

And what we saw, the protesters in the street today are women, mostly older people who are -- a million driven out of their homes-- to make room for the plush hotels that westerners will be staying in, and athletes will be staying in.

That's what happens in a command economy, in a command society that's run by Leninists. So you have got to expect that.

But look, this is a political event. When the Olympics were given to countries like Italy, Japan, and Germany in the 60's and 70's, it was a way to welcome them back into the international community after the second World War.

It's also a way of anointing a country as a great power--Nazi Germany in '36, the Soviet Union in '80, although it went awry because of Afghanistan, Seoul in '88, and now China. This is a coming out. It is an announcement of her status as a great power. That's what all of this is about.

And Ellen Bork writes in today's WSJ, Don't Forget About China's Dissidents.

Estimates of the number of people employed to monitor the Internet run into the tens of thousands. According to Reporters Without Borders, at least 50 Internet dissidents are in jail. Of course, none of this will be visible to a foreign visitor.

Pollution, skyscrapers and development reflect China's rapid economic growth, not political change. There have been no significant political reforms in China since the 1980s. Meanwhile, economic growth has enabled more intense but sophisticated approach to political repression.

Meanwhile, the never-ending olympics continue in Washington...

Cartoons found at Townhall.