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

Monday, March 29, 2004

A recap of recent events in Taiwan

Taiwan is like an "orphan" among the world's nations. Many people simply can't understand that it's not part of China. To travel from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, you don't need a passport, but to go from Taiwan to China, you do. People in Taiwan don't pay taxes to Beijing, and Beijing doesn't allow the supposedly non-political World Health Organization to assist in events such as the SARS crisis. In fact, during that very crisis, Chinese ambassador Sha Zukang said with contempt to the people of Taiwan, "Who cares about you?"

It's no wonder! In almost every English-language news report about Taiwan, you'll see a sentence that begins with something like, "Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a 'renegade province' of China...," but you rarely hear it from the other side. This meme has been repeated so many times people simply accept it as the truth.

Even Counterspin's Hesiod got it completely wrong when he accused Chen Shui-bian last week of "trying to pull a Bush." Chen won the election. He wasn't the one crying "unfair" because his opponent "stood on a box" during their debates -- that was Lien Chan crying. It was almost funny when he said it the first time, but when Lien used the word shortly after the election results came in, it sounded like a script he had at the ready.

The opposition accused Chen of "staging" an assassination attempt on himself the day before the election, but they have no evidence. The opposition -- which is infamous for its vote-buying and "black gold" politics -- threw out unsubstantiated claims of "election fraud" and shouted to the world that "Democracy is Dead," but the fact is that they just couldn't accept that the loss, no matter how slim the margin was. They haven't a fucking clue what "democracy" is!

Instead of using legal methods to file complaints, who was it that rallied ruffians to riot at the prosecutor's office and the Central Election Commission like Bush did to stop the recount in Florida? Leaders of the opposition parties did that. And most of the news the international media is publishing about this election is coming directly from the mouths of Lien Chan, James Soong, and their supporters. The Lien-Soong camp are the ones that are imitating Bush's moves in the Florida recount fiasco quite closely.

These are people I see in my local news every day, and I'm quite familiar with their methods. They'll say whatever sounds best at the moment, and when somebody calls them on their bullshit, they pretend the very next day that they never said it. In the end, however, you can see that all their actions are aimed at allowing China to take over Taiwan.

During the recent protests, they had their supporters out in the rain for days screaming for a "recount" after Chen Shui-bian had already made overtures to appease the opposition. The opposition "leaders" never told any of those rain-drenched dupes this and claimed that the protesters were "out of [their] control." They just left them out there to get soaked in the cold weather.

When asked if they'll accept the results, Lien and Soong are non-committal. They'd rather have a whole new election. And anyway, if the recount still shows Chen as the winner, they want the military personnel who are usually on alert to protect Taiwan from China's threats during elections to be allowed to vote. How brainless can you get?! They can't "change the rules in the middle of the game." If the military alert status is "unfair" to them, they should help write a law that allows people to cast absentee ballots! After all, the opposition still holds a large majority in the legislature, yet they love to blame the DPP for all their problems. The DPP, on the other hand, meets resistance every step of the way, yet they keep trudging forward in spite of it all.

And so will I. But for now, here are some headlines and excerpts from articles about some of these as provided by this morning's Taipei Times [with emphasis added].

Riot police clean up Ketagalan Blvd
The crowd that continued protesting in Ketagalan Boulevard after the end of Saturday's massive rally was finally dispersed by the Taipei Police Bureau at 5:25am yesterday morning.


"I can't go on anymore. I have to go home today. I am just too tired," said a woman only identified by her surname, Liao, sitting on the stairs of the National Concert Hall.

She said that she would not adhere to a call by lawmakers of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to keep up the protest for the next few weeks.

President Chen challenges his critics
"I am willing to pay money to hire the best shooter in the world to make a test. If KMT Chairman Lien and PFP Chairman Soong would stand still on a Jeep to receive shots from the shooter and if the two could get the same wounds as I and Vice President Annette Lu did last Friday, I would step down as president," Chen said.

"If they [Lien and Soong] can't do it or if they are afraid of doing it, they had better keep their mouths shut," he said.

Chen made the remarks Saturday night at a press conference in which he made a formal response to accusations of foul play in the March 19 shooting incident in Tainan.

"I cannot accept the false accusations of my conducting the shootings or the suspicions that the incidents were faked. Would they believe them only if Lu and I were killed?" he said.


Chen denied allegations by the pan-blue camp that over 200,000 service members were forced to stay on base and were deprived of their right to vote because of the activation of the security mechanism.

"These allegations were totally irresponsible and unfounded. The Ministry of National Defense has explained again and again that only one-ninth of the service members were kept in camp to execute combat missions on the day of the elections," Chen said.

"In comparison, one-sixth of the armed forces had to be on duty for the presidential election in 1996," he said.

"No extra service members were added to the forces that had to stand on guard on the election day this time," he said. "All the service records are available to be checked," he said.

Chen also attacked the blue camp for being mistrustful, saying it suspects everything that could be blamed for its election defeat.

Chen trying to calm pan-green supporters
Cabinet spokesman Lin Chia-lung said yesterday, "For almost a week pan-green supporters have been suppressed and felt frustrated."

"They have clamored to hold a massive rally to counter the pan-blue rally. But it is not a good thing for the pan-blue supporters and the pan-green supporters to provoke each other, so President Chen's talk last evening was also intended to calm pan-green supporters," he said.

"President Chen Shui-bian chose to hold a press conference after the March 27 rally had finished because by then the Central Election Commission had officially declared his re-election, and the US had issued an official statement to congratulate him on his re-election," Lin said. "Plus it was difficult to predict the result of the pan-blue rally, so the president had to wait till the rally finished to give his talk."

Lin said that he thought the timing of Chen's speech was appropriate because many foreign reporters were still in the country to observe the pan-blue rally, so it was necessary for Chen to explain what was going on and what was on his mind.

Editorial: Do we need a recount or a shrink?
President Chen Shui-bian's speech on Saturday night was one of the best he has ever made, combining exactly the right tone of reason with toughness, gently mocking the more absurd claims of the pan-blue camp and showing an iron determination to stick to the letter of the law and not give in to the mob rule that the pan-blues have tried to whip up in the past week, which culminated in the storming of the Central Election Commission building on Friday night to prevent the election commissioners from fulfilling their legal duty.


That Lien and People First Party Chairman James Soong still haven't, at the time this was written, said they would accept the result of a recount is worrying. It shows a level of irresponsible brinkmanship that makes us question their suitability, under any circumstances, to govern.


There is another thing that people should already know, unless their minds have been rotted by too many bad action films. You cannot "shoot to wound" a man in the stomach standing on a moving vehicle. And yet people believe these things.


And as to the shooting, some wacko, his mind turned crazy by the endless diet of pan-blue hate propaganda against Chen in the last few weeks -- the analogies with Hitler, bin Laden, Saddam and the like -- decided that Chen simply couldn't be allowed to win, and tried to kill him to prevent it.


What is truly disturbing is the way that common sense has simply been thrown aside. Sane and rational people have been willing to overlook the obvious and believe the most preposterous things, rather than face the truth. A large number of people in this country are in the grip of hysterical self-delusion.

Lien and Soong: on a hunt for the white whale
Ahab never got his whale, and Lien and Soong aren't going to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

All of the desperate efforts they have used to fan the flames of anger surrounding their defeat won't make any difference.

They have tried all of the legal solutions available.

They have whimpered, whined, begged and thundered for a new election, a new recount -- anything to give them victory. But it is to no avail.

Lien has gotten his recount, but this is not Florida, and the vote-tallying process is both swift and accurate. Besides, the pan-blues smeared the entire election as "unfair," but they never alleged impropriety in the initial tally of ballots. It is improbable that a recount will alter the final result of the election, and Lien knows it. Hence the theatrics.

So let the old KMT -- the corrupt, authoritarian and ruthless KMT -- die the spectacular death it deserves.
My apologies to the Taipei Times for the massive excerpts, but like Chen Shui-bian's speech, today's issue hits back at the lies, distortions, and attacks (which are always supported by the pan-blue-controlled media -- I'm talking Fox times 100!) about as hard as it ever has. Go Taipei Times!
eXTReMe Tracker
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?