Is Beijing the Berlin of 2008?

I’m not surprised that Chinese officials are banning press access to such controversial Web sites as Amnesty International. After all, your average dictatorship doesn’t care much for criticism.

I’m also not surprised to learn the International Olympic Committee agreed to China’s request that on-site Western media be prevented from accessing certain sites. After all, the IOC caved in to Hitler’s demands in 1936, as well.

I am surprised, though, that so many politicians, business executives and IOC-type organizations keep ignoring the old adage, "Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Did the IOC not think that censoring the media would cause image and reputation issues? More to the point, did the executives involved not understand the moral and ethical implications?

If Beijing is little more then a latter-day Berlin, then maybe we can hope for another Jesse Owens-type performance. This time, though, the heroics would have to come from one of the attending media. Let’s see if an enterprising journalist rises to the occasion to defy the Chinese government and their IOC lackeys and files a no-holds-barred expose on the real "games" being played in China.

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