Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Torched-Earth Policy

As I'm working at my desk, watching an internet video feed of the Olympic torch relay in San Francisco (see photo, a screen capture of the feed, which is from the local CBS affiliate).

But some thoughts:

Who on earth ever thought of having this torch relay come through San Francisco? If there was one city (outside of Tibet, of course) that was likely to have a critical mass of protestors, it was obviously going to be San Francisco.

So, we have China facing public condemnation for its actions in Tibet. We have pro-Tibetan supporters (generally people who would never support a theocracy, except for Tibet's). We have pro-Chinese supporters who actually want to see the torch relay. We have young people who are looking forward to do their part in cultural ceremonies at the end-point of the torch relay. We have China showing just how tone-deaf it is by also declaring that the torch relay will go through Tibet itself.

Yes, a mess. It's political and moral chickens coming home to roost for China. It's also a chance for the professional protestor cadre in San Francisco to express their moral outrage. And it's going to change nothing.