And the award for overacting and tin-eared political moves goes to ... the People's Republic of China.
China continues its scorched-earth campaign against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to activist Liu Xiaobo, this time banning some major Western news web sites in the lead-up to the Nobel ceremonies. The country is also boycotting the ceremonies, as to be expected; what's disgusting is the rogue's gallery of countries that are joining the boycott: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Russia, Venezuela, Pakistan, Iraq, Morocco, Iran, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Egypt, Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Some of those countries just want to maintain good ties with their powerful new business overlord, China, and others want to protest the award of the prize to dissidents – after all, they don't want their own dissidents to get the crazy idea that their authoritarian governments might not be universally loved. Some, of course, are both worried about their economic overlord and about dissidents. Either way, it's a disreputable list to be on.
This is good timing in that this is happening as Julian Assange's arrogant Wikileaks attack on the West (and it is mostly an attack on the West and the way the current Western leader, the United States, exerts influence in the world) is getting some push-back from governments; we are seeing the true colors of the Assange movement, as techno-anarchists are attacking anyone who disagrees with them. If you don't like the look of American influence around the world, take a look at China's actions and its list of pals above, and envision what the world will look like as American influence wanes. It ain't pretty, and it ain't democratic.
Let's not forget the ridiculous competitor to the Nobel Peace Prize that China's communist government dreamed up, the Confucius prize, which was immediately rejected by the first awardee. At least Taiwan continues to be a bright spot of democratic brazenness. Through a mixture of free expression and open media, they are giving China the black eye that Wikileaks could only hope to give it: