- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

The IOC is expected to vote in favor of Beijing today, seven years ahead of the Games.It takes that long to complete the civic shakedown, the legacy of outgoing IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who has not had the decency to disappear or die during his corrupt reign.

Old fascists from Franco's dictatorship in Spain apparently don't die. They just stick their tin cup out and demand that it be filled.

Beijing is seeking affirmation of its global importance from the IOC, if not the go-ahead to save Taiwan from the West.

But first hide the dogs.

This, after all, is China, where the only good dog is on the dinner plate.

Hide the fancy silverware, too, if the sticky-fingered minions with the IOC are around.

In a way, they deserve one another, the old men in the Chinese government and the IOC who cling to the old ways and quaint rhetoric.

The two factions break bread with those bearing gifts. The Chinese also break the heads of those who dissent.

Employees of China's state-run media have dogs in their bellies and dogs on their brains, dismissing both Paris and Toronto, Beijing's principal rivals, as places that have been allowed to go to the dogs.

As journalists, they write pretty good fiction, obsessed as they are with the mad dogs and wild dogs in those locales. Perhaps they have endured too many viewings of "101 Dalmatians" on the state-run food channel.

In the feel-good spirit of the day, pass the Kung Pao dog.

The joke, as usual, is on the rest of the world, all too eager to look the other way in the interest of the overblown competitions.

As it is, all too many of the competitions are not real, just mere contrivances intended to puff up the jingoistic inclinations of the respective parties.

The sad stories emanating from the ex-athletes of the old East German state confirm many of the long-held suspicions. In the end, all the gold medals in the world couldn't save a bad political idea.

The communist leaders in China should take note. Their women swimmers look as funny as the ones who once led East Germany to glory. The latter now have deep voices and deep fears about the "vitamins" they once were ordered to take.

Just back from China, a local athlete tells of trying to spread the word of God in the officially atheist nation. This is a sport of sorts, the speech dispensed in code and out of range of the government's eyes and ears. The athlete plans to return to China, the name withheld on that consideration.

China's leaders are sensitive to the charge that they do not play by the internationally prescribed rules of human rights. They have so many darn people to spare anyway, 1.4 billion at last count. Their 1,751 executions in the last three months is just a drop in their human bucket, hardly worthy of Amnesty International's denouncement.

To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, China treats all its citizens and dogs the same, like pests. They try to control the population of both.

Tanks are sometimes necessary to clarify the senses of an idle mind. A bullet to the head is helpful, too. The family of the deceased is billed for the bullet, the miracle of bureaucratic efficiency.

China is said to add further insult to the injury, as it were, harvesting organs from the condemned without approval.

It is hard to smile around a repressive face, and if the pre-vote sentiment is correct, the IOC is giving the rest of the world seven years to work on it.

Beijing promises to be a proper ending point to Samaranch's 21-year term, sharing a problematic commonality with Moscow in 1980. The United States stayed home in 1980 in protest of the old Soviet Union's wrong turn into Afghanistan.

A safer alternative is Paris or Toronto, mad dogs and all.

Who let the political dogs out?

The IOC votes on the particulars today.

Start warming up, PETA.

Fido is on the chopping block.

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