I was halfway through a piece mocking those who are protesting the travels of the Olympic torch on its way around the world to Beijing, but I had to trash it. I was going to lambaste them for raising their concerns now, and not back when it was still possible to deny the Games to China in the first place. I even was comparing it to the “concerns” people have about the Democratic presidential primary, when they’ve suddenly discovered the role of the superdelegates (so secretly that the system has been in place for decades) now that it finally matters.
Then it struck me: this isn’t about the Olympics, and keeping them safe from China. This is about sticking it to China. The Olympics are merely the excuse to do so now, and so publicly.
And it is so well deserved.
But to expand on my title, let’s not make this about “Free Tibet!” That’s too small, too penny-ante.
Why not “Free China?”
The most populous nation on earth is a brutally oppressive dictatorship. Roughly one out of every six human beings alive today lives at the whim of the tyrants of Beijing.
And their callous disregard for the lives of their own slaves is matched by their contempt for the lives of those who they don’t own. How many Chinese-made products have been recalled in the last couple of years when it turned out that they were dangerous — if not lethal — to us? To our pets? To our children?
Meanwhile, on the island of Taiwan, the last remnants of the people who fought the Communists for control of China have built a democratic, capitalist empire out of almost nothing. As their reward, we have let China bully the world into denying them their rights — China took over their seat at the United Nations and forced its way on to the Security Council, and threatens dire repercussions to any nation that dares to refer to Taiwan in anything that resembles favorable terms.
So I say to those who are protesting the Olympic torch, “go for it.” Humiliate those thugs and murderers who keep the people of China enslaved. Expose their brutalities. Shine a light on their dark deeds — not just those in Tibet and Darfur, but everywhere.
They wanted to bask in the world’s spotlight, so let them.
I got a hunch they won’t be able to stand the heat. They’ve already indicated they intend to keep a tight fist on any and all information that comes out of the Games. Let’s just see how that Great Firewall stands against the power of the world’s informed citizenry.