The media has seemingly overlooked the globalpr possibilities of what is soon to come in the 2008 Olympics. While focusing primarily on the domestic going-ons, they have skipped over the true global situation that is upon us, and I am worried.
With the Global Games in Beijing creeping closer and closer upon us, there lies great tension in the air over the political strategy of Western nations. Where as a truly advanced nation tries to avoid diplomatic conflict, sometimes it is unavoidable, and that is a scary reality for the United States.
The world's political distress comes as a result of the location of these games. The "People's Republic of" China, seemingly stands for everything America does not. Brutal punishment methods are a hallmark to the government machine, the freedom of the speech and press are greatly limited if they are even suspected of containing the slightest bit of anti-government sentiment, and the laws keeping the stability of the nation do not seem to care for their inhabitants (however impractical it may be).
China is a nation attempting to hit the future while maintaining the past. President Hu Jintao, however more progressive and Western he is compared to previous leaders, is still a communist dictator. He presides over unjust law, whether it effects the delinquent Chinese citizens who are unwillingly subjects to cruel and experimental testing while in prison, or the hard-laborers who lose their lives thanks to mine collapses as the government hadn't checked on the safety of the working conditions. The country seems very much like the Soviet Union, something that surely wasn't the primary goal of the socialist state.
Internationally, the country has been arguably worse. Ever since the beginning of the communist regime in the mid-twentieth century, Taiwan has been an enemy island as it originally housed the Nationalists who failed to sieze the country when the power was up for grabs. Ever since, the small island "nation", as America sees it, has wanted its independence from the socialist state it is attached to by law. If they were to ever declare their independence, The People's Republic of China has clearly stated that they would be willing to retake the island by force. On the other hand, the United States and several other outside entities have pledged support for the island if they indeed were to be attacked by the homeland. Don't be surprised if this eternal struggle progresses during the 2008 Olympic season.
In addition, the news has recently been populated by the scandal in Tibet, which all stemmed out of the small nation's monks protesting in support of a few Chinese-jailed colleagues. When small-scale violence and looting began to take place within the country, China attempted to take control by futher-occupying the country militarily. This has sparked outrage throughout the globe, and has first come into full-view in the running of the torch.
Many people throughout the world disagree with the international relations and human rights violations that China has glided by in previous years, as now each and every person more-or-less has a say. It is the country's time to shine, but other nations around the world are speaking out against its unjust practices. A multinational "emotion brigade" is being built and the participation of said nations are being questioned. One of said nations is the United States- which has many politicians calling for a partial involvement of Americans in certain activities. Only time will tell whether or not the country has the guts to go through with it.
Regardless, Peter Parker's (Spiderman) grandfather once warned him that, "with great power comes great responsibility." Unfortunately, his webbed hands aren't those in question. The countries that are developing power right now are those that have been in a power struggle with China. The world is growing more-and-more fed up with the communist nation and its practices, and in some cases (like Taiwan) has already pledged support.
Just imagine for a moment what the world situation would be like if Taiwan were to declare independence during or immediately prior to the Games. There would be two options on behalf of the Chinese government. One, they could simply ignore and deal with the issue when out of full-sight, or they could deal with it head on. Their track record, although inconclusive, shows a general siding with the latter, a strategy that should scare all people in favor of world-wide peace.
The United States, as well as many other Western nations, are already bothered by the oppressive country, and although the Red Scare is far behind us a fear of communism could still bring an impulsivity to our actions. American decision-makers put all their brainpower into achieving what is best diplomatically for the entire globe, but we are coming upon a new era and the world is rapidly changing. We are no longer in the twentieth century. The international scene is re-energized, and rapidly the situation is becoming more and more unstable.
Be it a lack of peace in the Middle East, or battling the Beast in the Far East, warring is still an everyday occurrence. And even the smallest of actions could tip the world into something catastrophic, just ask the assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. One small move for independence or an act of violence against a major country could easily tip the state from non-aggressive to a full-scale war. And the Mutually Assured Destruction we were so afraid of in the 1980s would likely become a reality.
Right now, nothing of the sort seems to be in motion. But with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity put in front of a nation looking to get back at the evils of the Communist dictatorship, one can only wonder what lies ahead for our world. It pains me to say, but the playing of sports with the intentions of bringing the world together could do the exact opposite.