August 7, 2008
The Beijing Olympics open on Monday and while the Chinese government has done all it can to make the regime look open and welcoming, it is mostly a façade. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that tiny microphones have been hidden in tens of thousands of taxis as part of an all-out security campaign. I’d call it an insecurity campaign.
The microphones can be activated by remote control. Of course many activists have been rounded-up and many citizens displaced in favor of luxury hotels.
Still, China contains one-fourth of the world’s population and is an expanding economic and military power. As Bob Beckel and I argue in our column in tomorrow’s issue of USA Today, the Chinese government represents a bigger threat to America than radical Islam.
Totalitarian regimes – whether religious or atheistic – share certain things in common. Among those is an unwillingness to allow people to make their own choices.
So, let the games begin, but let’s remember that for China, these are far more than games. And the Chinese government is playing for keeps.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.