Wednesday, August 13, 2008

China's Olympics party dazzling, disturbing PETER BRONSON • August 13, 2008

Say what you want about totalitarian dictators, they sure know how to throw a party. The Olympics in China are so carefully orchestrated they make our best Orange Bowl halftime shows look like a drunk and disorderly fraternity kegger.

The chance of an offensive "wardrobe malfunction" during the Olympics in China is way below zero. That kind of thing just doesn't happen in your modern fascist police state, where even spontaneous cheers must be approved by the state.

From an AP story about crowds being trained to show their government-issued enthusiasm:

" 'Zhongguo, Zhongguo - ha, ha, ha. Zhongguo, Zhongguo bi sheng,' the crowd shouts, simultaneously beating yellow, stick-shaped batons to the rhythm. 'Jia you, jia you.' Rough translation: 'China, China - ha, ha, ha. China, China must win. Let's go, let's go.' "

That had to be written by one of the very ultimate leaders in the Communist pajama party.

Their opening ceremonies were the most grandiose government project since the pyramid scene in the Ten Commandments. Talk about a cast of thousands - the Chinese didn't even need whips.

Those 2,008 drummers in the opening ceremonies were so precise they could have been clones or cyborgs. It was dazzling - but also a little disturbing in an Orwellian way.

It was also the most amazing Olympics spectacle since Hitler threw a goose-stepping Nazi party in Berlin, back in 1936. And China left Hitler in the weeds.

While Hitler rounded up gypsies to clean up Germany for his open house, China sent unknown thousands to labor camps and prisons.

According to reports, one man got a year of forced labor for using pictures of schools that collapsed in the recent earthquakes to ask if they had shoddy construction. Those communists don't mess around.

And while Hitler used the Olympics to spread his "master race" insanity, the Chinese are much more sophisticated. They used the Olympics to bamboozle the whole world about how open and sensitive they are on human rights.

Anyone who isn't blinded by the "mist" that clots the air in Beijing knows better. But China is betting that we are more interested in medals than messy politics.

China thinks we will ignore the way they use prisons, mental hospitals and labor camps to "re-educate" people who disagree with the government. They think we will ignore all the religious prisoners, like the U.S. visitors who were "detained" for praying on Tiananmen Square.

They hope we will ignore their mass executions and the way fresh bodies are used to harvest organs for the black market. They think we will overlook the oppression of Tibet and people who practice a state-banned religion, Falun Gong.

They are betting we will ignore all that the same way we ignore all the cheap clothes, appliances and toys we buy that are made by free prison labor; the same way we ignore uncomfortable moral questions about plastinated Chinese bodies on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

And they're probably right. They know us better than we know China.

At public discussions on the Bodies exhibit, some Chinese Americans compared what's going on in China to what happened in Nazi Germany after those 1936 Olympics. They said they hoped the media would use the Olympics to alert the world to human rights violations, oppression, slave labor and body harvesting.

Instead, reporters who put the "me" in media have sent back stories complaining that they can't get unrestricted Internet access. That's like sending a reporter to cover a fire and getting a story back about how hard it was to find a parking spot.

"The sportive, knightly battle awakens the best human characteristics. It doesn't separate, but unites the combatants in understanding and respect. It also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace. That's why the Olympic Flame should never die," said China's maximum leader, Hu Jintao.

Oops - no, that was Adolph Hitler in 1936.

They say history repeats - the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

In 1936, it was "Heil Hitler."

Now it's "China must win. Ha, ha, ha."

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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