Seriously, can anyone explain why it makes sense that the Olympics are in China. It could have been in Paris where, despite my many disagreements about certain cultural affections, then tend not oppress large segments of the population and general provide people with democratic rights. It feels like the insane extension of the totally failed "engagement" argument. I think it is remarkably clear at this point, that despite pushing China ever towards capitalism, we have pushed them no closer to democratic rule.
The far more pernicious truth is that capitalism has become just another tool to lock down oppressive state control, while giving China an easier pass in the international community. A Chinese Olympics will give them a place on the world stage to scrub and sanitize their image. If you think this is going invite closer scrutiny or be a catalyst for real change than you probably also believe that the surge has been wildly successful. I think it is kind of shameful that this U.S. didn't take a harder stand on this issue.
I truly hope that America's athletes are more willing to speak out. A commenter on Megan McArdle's awesome (though wrong-headedly libertarian) blog had perhaps the best suggestion of all. American athletes should all shave their heads in support of the Tibetan people. I would love to see American athletes, as well as those from other countries, do this. Could you imagine the Chinese reaction? It's unclear if they would even be able to do much to stop it from happening. So spread the word, I know I have a lot of Olympians reading this blog, so get the meme out there, because this is just a Grade A idea.