Well not exactly. But why in God’s name is Kazakhstan devoting 5000 armed police to guard China’s torch as it passes through Almaty?
5000 is approximately half an Army division. Are we supposed to believe this gesture from Kazakhstan to China is about nothing other than a torch?
Incidentally, that report in the Central Propaganda Department’s English language rag, China Daily, stated a historical error pregnant with meaning:
Almaty is Kazakstan’s largest city. It is also the first time in history for the city along the ancient Silk Road to welcome the Olympic torch.
The subliminal implication is that Kazakhstan, by way of its very tenuous historical connections with the ancient Silk Road, has “always” been a part of the Greater Chinese Empire in the same way that Tibet is argued to have been. But Almaty was never part of the Silk Road. Almaty did not exist until the Russians built it in the 19th century. So what’s next? China’s “peaceful liberation” of Kazakhstan? Almost half of the people of Kazakhstan are Russians, not exactly a placid or unbelligerent nationality, and never great fans of any peoples of the Far East.