I'm not sure what Pierre de Coubertin would say about the Beijing Olympics, but I have a pretty good idea.

The Olympic founder was all about participation, fair play and the athletes.

That's not what the Chinese are about in Beijing. The Chinese are all about making the Chinese look good.

When a politician can call at the 11th hour and have a little girl singer replaced in the opening ceremonies because she has crooked teeth and isn't considered cute enough to represent China to the world ...

When that girl is replaced by a cuter girl who lip-synchs the song...

When little girls are taken from their families and go more than a year without seeing them so they can train to win medals for the host country ...

When 13-year-old girls are passed off as 16-year-olds in a systemic, institutional form of cheating that will deliver gold medals...

When fake audiences are shipped in to fill empty seats in Olympic venues to make the event look better on TV, even while real fans are trying to get tickets ...

When fake fireworks are dubbed into the televised version of the opening ceremonies to make them look more spectacular ...

When Chinese officials promise not to censor the media and then do exactly that ...

When a group of free-Tibet protesters are arrested for making a small protest ...

When a journalist is pinned down by police and dragged along the ground and pushed into a police van just for covering that protest ...

When Olympic officials are telling locals how to dress, right down to the color of their socks and shoes...

When a mind-boggling $44 billion is spent on the Games — four times the previous record — to host the Olympics and win world acceptance ...

When that country that is spending billions on the Games does so while it is trying to eradicate poverty in a nation so overburdened that families are allowed to have only one child ...

...It's time to make some changes. It's time to revisit an old idea whose time has come. It's time to find a permanent site for the Olympic Games.

It's become a game of one-upmanship. The 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2000 Sydney Games were about $1.5 billion. The 2004 Athens Games were $11.6 billion. China has quadrupled the ante. The Beijing Games make the Olympics of the 1980s look like carnivals in the parking lot of the local mall.

The Chinese have created a wonderful facade but one that is a facade nonetheless. They show the world one face, but behind closed doors, they are far more sinister.

No matter how beautiful they make their Olympics, no matter how they strive to make themselves presentable to the world, they're still communists, and nothing fundamental has changed about them. They're the same bunch that tortures and jails dissenters and rules with an iron hand and gives no consideration to human rights.

They're trying to buy the world's love and acceptance with their billions, with their Cube and their Bird's Nest and their smiling (fake) spectators and beautiful (fake) singer and their stacks of gold medals. But what you see is a lie, something as fake as their fireworks.

They're using the Games for their own purposes, and the International Olympic Committee has made it easy for them.

The traveling Olympic show was once a great idea. It introduced different cultures to the world and forged friendships and commerce. But now the Games are often viewed as a political opportunity for the host, especially when awarded to the likes of Moscow in 1980 and Beijing in 2008 and Berlin in 1936. To that end, the cost of the Games has soared out of control.

Every four years, another host country sinks billions into an Olympics, while politicians spout the old lies about the economic benefits it will bring to that part of the world. They build stadiums and arenas and parks and tracks and velodromes and so forth, when perfectly good facilities already exist around the world. There must be better uses for those billions.

The IOC either needs to stop awarding Olympic bids to the likes of Beijing and cease using the Olympic bid as a means to rehabilitate host countries, or find a permanent site in, say, Athens, home of the original Olympics and the Modern Games of 1896 and 2004. At a permanent, neutral Olympic site, little girls with crooked teeth and beautiful voices would be welcome.


Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesdays. Please e-mail drob@desnews.com.