View Full Version : China says Games will be safe despite plots

17-03-08, 15:42

17-03-08, 17:09

March 17, 2008 6:13 AM

I am gratified to see the attention the Guardian is providing regarding the Tibetan protests; as a result, the Chinese regime has blocked its online edition. That's how the Chinese do things- why argue with facts when you can censor, block, imprison and kill to keep people ignorant? I teach history here at an international school in Beijing and am currently examining the rule of the Nazi regime. What is currently occurring in this country provides a convenient historical context. Let's consider the book burning, censorship and state control of the media to prevent dialogue, discussion and the regime in Nazi Germany alongside China's censorship of the Internet and all forms of media. Let's say the current occupation of Tibet is analogous to the anschluss the Germans carried out in 1938 with both using the same justification: an occupying force "peacefully liberating" a neighbour from, er, itself. And let's suggest that China's threats of war over Taiwan is similar to Hitler's threats at Munich, replacing ethnic Germans who were never a part of Germany with ethnic Chinese who had been ruled by Beijing for a mere four years the previous century. To broaden the discussion to control of the domestic population, let's replace the names of Nazi labour camps such as Dachau and Buchenwald with any of the 1100 known forced-labour gulags here in China. And while we do so, let's keep in mind that Berlin had been awarded the Olympic Games before Hitler had taken power, while the Chinese regime has had six decades to kill, directly or otherwise, well over fifty million of its own people. There was no CNN in 1939 to show the world an image of a man standing in front of a panzer in Prague as there was fifty years later. Is it any wonder why so many were incredulous when a director of Spielberg's stature, who has worked hard to remind the world of the evils of one regime, could seemingly see no issues acting the Riefenstahl to promote another? If we can make even the barest comparison of a state in today's world with the most loathsome in history, my question is this: What is the moral we are expected to get across to students when the appeasement of the fascist powers throughout the 1930s is once again cynically being repeated, not in the hopes of collective security, but simply for the almighty dollar?