This is my favorite quote of the year so far: "Would we have allowed Nazi Germany to host the Olympics?"
This awesome statement was found on a protest sign in San Francisco. German Joys and Andrew Sullivan have a picture.
This statement is fascinating on so many levels. Not just because the author has not heard about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. And not just because of his/her comparison between Nazi Germany and China. I find the statement revealing because the author apparently thinks that it is the United States as Master of the Universe that gets to decide who is allowed to host the Olympics.
Apparently it is not just US presidents and senators (and plenty of slightly megalomaniac "experts" without any military experience) who boldly declare stuff like "we must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon" or similar phrases along the lines of "We must not allow evil doers doing evil stuff." Apparently even the usually pretty left-leaning protestors in San Francisco consider the United States to be a hyperpower.
Actually, right now President Bush is not making any bold statements regarding China. All of a sudden, he prefers quiet diplomacy. What a change from this second inauguration speech three years ago.
Over at Atlantic Community, we have recommended a few press commentaries regarding China and the Olympics:
• Chinese Outcry Against the Western Media: "The Chinese believe that Tibet cannot be the real reason for Western criticism of China and call for boycotts."
• The Positive Side of Chinese Nationalism: "The Olympics have inspired Chinese nationalism which will lead to increased civil engagement and awareness of the responsibilities and rights of citizenship."
• Will the Chinese Change International Institutions?: "In the past, the World Bank, like the IMF, was traditionally dominated by American, Europeans, and their neoliberal agenda. However as American financial pillars are now underpinned by Chinese money, it has become impossible to ignore Chinese interests."
UPDATE: Megalomania and arrogance is of course not limited to the US, but also widespread in Europe, where declarations about "not allowing" Iran, China and others to do something are even more ridiculous considering our real political influence and military power. I just wanted to clarify that this post is not meant to bash the United States, but to criticize stupid and arrogant people, who overestimate their country's power. These people are a danger to their country.