What can we expect this year in Peking? Assuming the Olympic Torch actually arrives there.
Frankly, I don't remember such ruckus in my lifetime. And while I wholeheartedly enjoy the theater being played out city by city during the bearing of the Torch, I can't help but wonder what will occur during the actual opening ceremonies.
In China, itself, of course, nothing will happen. They will go on as usual. The authorities will, no doubt, efficiently (and maybe brutally) squelch any embarrassment and inconvenience caused by any honest dissent.
Elsewhere, though, the protests will probably intensify.
We've had Olympics in totalitarian countries before, lots of them. However, insufficient media coverage always worked to minimize any protests and their subsequent retaliation.
Coverage is now continuous and copious. The hosting country and its repressive policies will be laid bare for all the world to see. There is no place to hide this time around.
And that will be the best reason of all for having the Olympics in China. One might almost forget that its all about sports.