This is going to be an interesting two weeks.

We all know that China is not a nice country. It is an autocratic nation of highly-indoctrinated people, controlled by a political party that crushes dissent, violates nearly the entire Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and uses propaganda and military force to remain firmly seated in power. It is very clear that they intended to use the Games as just another exercise in propaganda – a vast and expensive fortnight of lies and misinformation. They are, after all, old hands at that particular game.

I find it hilarious how easily this is backfiring on them. While they’re seasoned pros at clamping down on dissent within their own borders, international journalists are a wily bunch, and not as easy to toss into jail without repercussions. They try, of course. They keep an Orwellian eye on journalists’ media coverage and day-to-day activities. They beat reporters who come from a country they have a long-standing hatred of. They do their best to stamp out stories they don’t like. Ironically, this is all more damaging to their image than just letting the press nose around would be. It’s not like the rest of the world doesn’t already known China is a brutal dictatorship.

They took the Olympic torch up to the top of Mt. Everest. Did you know that? They built a fucking blacktop road up to base camp and their sidekick Nepal said that anybody who tried to get in the way of the torch would be shot. Taking the torch to the summit of the highest mountain in the world is the biggest example of dick-waving I’ve seen since Russia, still sore over losing the space race, put that stupid flag on the seabed at the North Pole. Threatening to shoot protestors takes the ludicrousness of it all to a whole new level.

The biggest problem, of course, is the “Dalai Lama clique” – you know, people who protest against China’s near-genocidal destruction of Tibetan culture and racial oppression of Tibetans in their own land. Of course, there are a dozen other oppressed ethnic minorities in China, like the Mongolians and Uyghurs, who simply lack the Hollywood spotlight Tibet has. But all of them are in the same boat, barred from Beijing for the duration of the Olympics. We wouldn’t want any unseemly protests or demonstrations.

But there will be. Oh, how there will be. The torch relay alone was beset with them. Imagine what the Games themselves will be like. I have the same feeling I did leading up to the 2007 APEC summit, only with Tibetan protestors instead of the Chaser.

The Olympics should never have been awarded to Beijing, and failing that, there most certainly should have been an organised boycott. Instead we get IOC officials bleating on about how the Games shouldn’t be “politicised.” Because of course throwing a discus across a field or running around really fast in a circle is more important than the appalling violations of basic human rights that occur in China on a daily basis.

China hopes for “the greatest” Olympic Games. Yeah, good luck with that.

Advertisements