The time seems right for a reminder of the proximate cause of the worldwide furor surrounding the Olympic Torch.
It was designed for the specific purpose of the provocative plan to take it to the top of Mount Everest.
As we observed several weeks ago, the consequence of that plan was to lock down Tibet, to envelop Tibet with a new iron curtain and information blackout, and to expand the reach of China’s de facto military control of the Himalayas beyond the border of China and into Nepal. The March 14 riots in Tibet were a direct consequence of the plan to take the torch through Tibet, to Everest, and to seal off Tibet from the outside world.
China’s Western PR agents for the torch relay knew as early as 2007 that the principal purpose of the Torch’s design was to enable it to be taken to Mount Everest. They were fully informed of the plan, yet they collaborated in China’s provocation of the world’s condemnation. They bear as much moral responsibility for the consequences as the Chinese government and the PLA whose interests they have knowingly, willingly served, not under compulsion but – incomparably less forgivable than acting under political compulsion or duress – for lucre and personal prestige.