Apr 16, 2008 12:22 pm


Will the public relations disaster that is the Olympic torch run lead the Chinese authorities to alter their behavior sufficiently to save the Olympics themselves from becoming a similar public relations disaster? If they know what is good for them, they should. The threat to boycott French goods is not the right answer.

CNN may offer a perfunctory apology for calling the para military Chinese"volunteers" accompanying the torch,"goons" but police everywhere are doing everything to avoid dealing with them. Today, their long time Pakistani allies limited the torch to a heavily guarded stadium where the crowds were sparse:

Thousands of police and paramilitary soldiers were deployed in and around Islamabad's Jinnah Stadium. Authorities had planned to hold the relay on the city's main boulevard but switched the event to the stadium for security reasons.

India also shortened the route. It was supposed"to be carried from the Red Fort to India Gate, a distance of nine kilometres, but will now travel only two to three kilometres on Indian soil" and the Chinese"security" will be kept at bay.

Australia similarly not only plans to shorten the route by keep it a secret until 48 hours before the run. It did announce that Chinese 'security" would be kept at bay. South Korea has yet to decide on the route. Only Japan still refuses to alter its plans.

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