Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Olympics approach with boycott calls, silly statements, and a surprise from Taiwan

Twenty-two days from the opening ceremony, we have two new calls for a boycott. Expert analyst Stephen Mosher (Boycott 2008) and blogger Caroline County, VA Justice (h/t Boycott 2008) bring badly needed realism to this discussion.

Not that anyone in Beijing will notice. The cadres are so determined to prevent any interference with their little show (Epoch Times) that they have now declared rain clouds and other languages as dissidents (Toronto Star). The cadres have the added advantage of dealing with sports media, which has a tendency to be less-informed and more prone to political propaganda (to see what I mean, check out the CBC correspondent's silliness in the Toronto Sun).

The real news, however, came from nowhere on the mainland. In the island democrcacy of Taiwan (or for those who prefer it, the Republic of China) - President Ma Ying-jeou publicly apologized for his Kuomintang party's "white terror" atrocities in the 1950s and 1960s (BBC). While we have seen post-tyrannical nations address their bloody past many, many times, it is exceedingly rare to see the ex-tyrannical organization itself make such a move (the Kuomintang ruled Taiwan with an iron fist from 1949 until the then-President Lee Teng-hui democratized it in the 1990s). How many Communist Parties in Europe have apologized to their victims in such a fashion?

There is a lesson for the Communist regime, once the Olympics are in the past and the corruption that helped build them becomes more common knowledge. Kuomintang was once just as tyrannical, bloodthirsty, and as Leninist as the CCP. Yet unlike the CCP, the KMT saw the error of its ways, acknowledged them publicly, and began to correct them. The KMT still has a long way to go (and their foreign policy has progressed in the wrong direction), but they are already miles ahead of nearly every other former tyrannical regime trying to survive in a democracy.

The trouble is, the CCP has no interest in ever trusting the Chinese people in the way KMT has done. For that reasons, the lesson will go unlearned, and when the Chinese people take their country back, the CCP will be left in the dustbin of history (and unlamented at that).

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