With just over two weeks until the opening ceremonies of the Communist Propaganda Extravaganza (a.k.a. the Olympic Games), the regime is cracking down on . . . boycott opponents!
That's right; Kendra Zanotto - 2004 bronze medalist and would-be 2008 Olympic News synchronized swimming reporter - had her visa application denied because of her membership in Team Darfur (San Jose Mercury-News). This comes despite the fact that Team Darfur, while certainly trying to bring attention to the Communist-aided Darfurian outrage, opposes an Olympic boycott.
So, despite getting a de facto endorsement from the Obama campaign (a $5 million ad buy, according to NRO Media Blog), the cadres are determined to rid the games of all "unstable elements," be they local dissidents (Boycott 2008 and Epoch Times), or foreign reporters who join an organization even mildly criticizing them.
To understand why, one has to look beyond the Games, which are rapidly becoming the regime's harbor ina sea of troubles. A new agreement with Russia engendered angry reaction over the surrender of Heixiazi Island (Epoch Times). A real estate crisis that at best resembles our own (and more likely makes ours look like a Sunday School picnic) is rocking average mainlanders (Epoch Times). The Communist espionage-intimidation effort in New York City has been exposed to the world (Epoch Times). Even the Communist-backed Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe has created serious PR blowback - to say nothing of Darfur itself (Weekly Standard). All in all, the Communists can't afford to have anything go wrong during the Olympics - especially given the long memories and easy MSM access of the Darfur activists.
One question remains unanswered, however: what happens when the Olympics end? What will the cadres do when the propaganda exercise is replaced by more mundane stories of espionage (Washington Times), bad behavior by satellite states (CNN), and the massive corruption that made the Games possible?