Beijing Goes for the Gold

Beijing Goes for the Gold, Mike
Murphy, Weekly Standard
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s infamous minister of propaganda, deftly
used the Olympic Games to project an image of Nazi Germany as a
gracious and patriotic country. Beijing is now vying to host the
2008 Summer Olympics, and Chinese leaders are licking their chops
at the potential PR boost it would give them, reports Mike Murphy
in the Weekly Standard. According to a recent Amnesty
International report, there has been no progress on human rights in
China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. ‘Perversely,
this is being used as a selling point by backers of Beijing’s bid
for the 2008 games,’ Murphy writes. ‘They frequently cite the 1988
games in Seoul as an example of how the Olympics can provide an
impetus for democratic reforms. This analogy is flawed. Democratic
forces were already at play in South Korea prior to 1988. China’s
record on human rights offers little such hope.’ A far more
appropriate analogy than Seoul in 1988, Murphy argues, is Berlin in
1936. As one New York Times reporter gushed in August 1936:
‘Foreigners who know Germany only from what they have seen during
this pleasant fortnight can carry home only one impression. It is
that this is a nation happy and prosperous almost beyond belief;
that Hitler is one of the greatest, if not the greatest political
leaders in the world today.’
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