Beijing 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies

NBC's airing of The 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony just concluded and all I can say is - WOW! Of all the opening ceremonies I have ever seen (not that I have seen many) this one has absolutely surpassed all others. What struck me was the scale and precision of the artistic portion which just screamed "China." All in all it was a marvelous performance and a real coming out party for China on the world stage.

What can you say about the opening ceremony other than it was absolutely fantastic. The artistry, the culture, the synchronization, the tai chi. It will certainly rank as one of the most impressive olympic performances and as such, one of the most impressive global performances of all time.

As for the message of the event, harmony, it is all well and good but should be taken hand in hand with China's political record on humanitarian issues. Recently, members of Team Darfur have been denied visas by China for their affiliation with the humanitarian group. I am of the opinion that however you feel about China's humanitarian position (or lack thereof) it is in poor form for China to single out and impose these punitive measures on certain individuals. Tactically, all it does is call attention to their cause and garner the worlds sympothy for their plight.

Antiquity recalls an Olympics truce which all participants abided by. If in the spirit of this common understanding the Americans, Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis, Israelis, Palestinians, Pakistanians, Indians, North Koreans and South Koreans can compete, surely a few members of a peaceful humanitarian group can attend the festivities.