"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Countering more of the Taiwan rumors

Another of the recent rumors about Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian, which occurred in the post-election period, has been that because of the assassination attempt Chen "activate[d] the national security apparatus, meaning 200,000 military and police — traditionally Nationalists — were too busy to vote." While I'd heard of this one previously, I hadn't mentioned it because I had neither heard of it in the local media nor had any evidence to dispute it. Today's Taipei Times provides some details and background on the matter in this excerpt from an article in today's issue:
Rumors have been rife in the aftermath of the presidential election that the activation of the emergency response system was responsible for some 200,000 to 250,000 soldiers being unable to return home to vote.

Opposition legislators attacked Lin [Vice Minister of National Defense Lin Chong-pin] yesterday saying that the activation of the emergency response system was unnecessary given the lightness of the president and vice president's injuries, yet might have significantly influenced the election outcome.

Lin said that only 13,000 troops had been unable to vote, and that this was because they were on combat alert, a standard procedure on election days because of the threat from China.

Their status had nothing to do with the emergency response system, Lin said. [Emphasis mine] [LINK]
In a separate pre-election smear on Chen Shui-bian, a flyer featuring Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein was distributed to residents of the KMT-led central Taiwan city of Taichung reading: "I am terrorist leader bin Laden, and I admire Taiwan's A-bian!" In regard to Chen's supposed "order" to participate in the referendum which took place on election day, the flyer attempts to portray him as a dictator [UPDATE LINK, 3/24/2004] when it says: "I am Hussein, and you will all do as I say." It then goes on to instruct people not to participate in the referendum. I received one of these very flyers in my own mailbox. Too bad I didn't catch the person who put it there. You can read about that one and see one side of it here. [UPDATE LINK, 3/27/2004]

In the meantime, CNN is showing footage of fisticuffs which occurred between elected officials earlier today in the legislature, while not clearly stating who instigated the incident. The pugilistic lawmakers were fighting over a proposed new law which would allow an "immediate" recount in the event of disputed election results. One could deduce from this simple statement that the current law does not provide for such a thing and that the pan-blue protesters are indeed behaving illegally (round-the-clock protests led by legislators) while simultaneously asking the government to give into demands which are not required by law to be met.

Like the Republican thugs in Florida 2000, the KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party) are a violent bunch and are once again showing their true colors. I hope that members of Taiwan's Dems (AKA, the DPP) will fight this with all their might.
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