The flood of foreign visitors never arrived . . . A clampdown on visas for young foreigners — part of the intensive and extensive security arrangements — gave China Air, the national carrier about 20 percent less traffic this July than last year. Domestic visitors, too, decided it was better to stay at home and watch the Games on TV rather than risk possible terrorist episodes, the crowding and high costs of the Beijing Olympics boom.
This is the reality we must not forget regarding the Olympics. They were a wonderful show, but that did not make them effective from the cadres' perspective. Most of the world remembers the 1976 Games for Nadia Comaneci. Ask any Canadian and you'll get a much darker picture (the host city - Montreal - went bankrupt).
So now, it's back to normal for the Communist regime: repression (Between Heaven and Earth and Epoch Times), overseas intimidation (BH&E), playing nice to America (Washington Times) while undermining it (Front Page Magazine), and corruption (Epoch Times). The cadres still have the memory of the show, plus an added bonus in the continuing DPP scandal in Taiwan (Washington Post), but they know they did not get the propaganda bonanza they desperately needed - not even in the capital city itself.