It is, I suggest, a vain hope that the Olympic will be free of political interference or issue. Even the Sydney Olympics had the question of who would open them, our Head of State or our benevolent dictator!
That question is mild by comparison with the complex of issues that surrounds the Chinese dragon, not the least of which is Tibet.
Although we have Olympic representatives like Monsieur Rogge wanting us to believe that there should be no protests, and that some how they should be kept free of politics, this is rather laughable. There will be protests (here), because the Olympics are political.
China, in wanting to stage sthe Olympics, is acting politically (when has it not). But it is nto alone in doing that. The IOC uses its not considerable influence to curry favour and influence in the whole process of country selection, it (if you like) plays the politcial situation off against itself.
The idea that 'sport' is some how pure and above the mortal plain is clearly laughable in these days of doping, sponsorship the billion dollar industries it spawns.
We should get real.
I think Rudd is right in not getting too alarmed by the possibility of protest. By saying that in Australia it is OK, and indeed we expect the right, to protest we are doing more for democracy than whisking the torch into some warehouse so that it is not some how 'defiled'.
China likes to do wrong in the world's eyes, and to use its might to forbid discussion.
That doesn't sound to me like new found freedom or emergent democracy, it looks rather like bullying and tyranny!