The Communists prepared for these two weeks since 2001. They wanted everything just right and in place. The turned their usual snow-job on the rest of the world into overdrive while the razed old Beijing to build the sports stadiums.
Now, with just six days to go until the closing ceremony, the cadres can look outside of Beijing and be happy. The Washington Times is running almost ridiculously sycophantic columns; Australia is now under the control of one of their best friends (Epoch Times); the overseas intimidation techniques reached the United States itself (Epoch Times); and most importantly, their biggest headache over the last eight years - former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, has all but disappeared under a cloud of corruption charges (Channel News Asia). One could hardly have a better international backdrop for the Communist Olympiad.
However, instead of gliding to the propaganda climax for which the cadres' hoped, the Games are careening out of control into what could be a stunning failure.
Amidst the athletic events, the coverage is still dominated by the cruel treatment of seven-year-old Yang Peiyi (Epoch Times and more Epoch Times) and other fakeries (Front Page Magazine). Even worse, we are now discovering that the empty seats in the Olympic venues were actually caused by the regime itself, which limited ticket distribution to cadres and their trusted pals (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, those who could get tickets are already complaining about the lack of food (Epoch Times). The sponsors are unhappy (Epoch Times), but much more importantly, so are the Chinese people (Times of London).
That is why these Olympics are already far worse than the cadres expected. The Communists were willing to ride out the storm on dissident blackouts (still no authorized protests in the protest zone - BBC and Washington Post), crackdowns (Boycott 2008, CNN, Epoch Times and more Epoch Times), media restrictions and surveillance (Epoch Times and Washington Post), occasional problems from the Korean colony (Epoch Times and One Free Korea), etc. All was worth it so long as the Chinese people saw a spectacular show and fawning international approval.
What they have are a slew of scandals (even the Korean colony gets into the act there - OFK), missteps, and other problems. While the rest of the world's reaction is mixed, the Chinese people have simply decided to tune the Games out.
The Beijing Olympics were supposed to make the CCP look respectable to the rest of the world and - much more importantly - look respected by said world to the Chinese people. More than halfway in, it appears unlikely that the Communists will achieve either goal. If that holds, it would easily be the biggest upset of the entire Olympiad.