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

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Taiwan's "Manchurian Candidate"

"He was a very nice man"

Over the past day and a half or so, I've discovered an extraordinary abundance of contradictory information (yes, even more than usual) in the media about the dead man named Monday as the most likely suspect in the March 19, 2004 shooting of Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian and V-P Annette Lu.

The suspect, Chen Yi-hsiung, was found dead in the waters of Tainan City's Anping Harbor 10 days after the shooting incident. At least one report I read said that he "drove his car into a river." Another originally said that the death was ruled an "accident." (That page has changed today, and the page prevents Google caching.) But most reports call it "suicide."

How old was the guy? You can't even guess by reading the "news" reports. Voice of America wants us to believe that he was "in his 50s" and calls him "unemployed." Tuesday's Taipei Times describes him as a "a 50 year-old retired construction worker." ETToday says that "Chen Yi-hsiung was 64 years old [and] a printer."

What about his political views? A man named Huang Kun-hsing, claiming to have been a friend of the suspect for over 20 years, says that Chen Yi-hsiung "did not really have an obvious political stance himself," contradicting this by also saying that he and the suspect "seldom talked about politics." A "30-year neighbor" of the suspect, however, said that Chen Yi-hsiung "was a supporter of the pan-blue camp and had argued with others in public because of political differences."

Who are you gonna believe -- me, or your own lyin' eyes?
The neighbor's portrayal is supported by footage from April 25, 2003 that I viewed Monday night on TVBS (AKA "BS TV") which showed Chen Yi-hsiung on TVBS' "2100" talk show. Being among the audience members who had a chance to spit on the mic that night, he voiced hatred for President Chen Shui-bian and former President Lee Teng-hui, calling the former a "hillbilly" and the latter "insane."

The Chinese-language Liberty Times tells us that immediately after taking his turn at the microphone, Chen Yi-hsiung quickly crossed the center aisle toward angry pan-green supporters who surrounded him, but that workers who were there prevented a fight from occurring.

What we have here is a pan-blue supporter, stirred up by the pan-blue media, trying to fight with pan-green supporters and kill a pan-green president.

On March 19, 2004, I wrote on this blog:
Suspects? In my opinion, it would first and foremost be operatives of the opposition. My next guess would be operatives from Beijing. Thirdly, I'd suspect supporters of the opposition. Opposition presidential candidate Lien Chan was on television just a few minutes ago expressing his "concern" for Chen [Shui-bian], all the while with a big smile on his face.
Was that an "embarrassed" smile -- because he failed to kill his political opponent (who had been a political prisoner during KMT rule) -- or was he simply happy that the president had been shot?

Lien Chan's real-life ineptitude reminds me of the character of Senator John Iselin in the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate. While he and the rest of the pan-blues refused to participate in a rally opposing China's "anti-secession" law, he has said over the past two days that 50,000 of his supporters will gather on March 19 of this year at the site of last year's post-election riots to "commemorate" the events of last year and demand "the truth," which to the pan-blue crybaby sore losers could only mean that they get to be "Eternal Emperors." (Sick fucks, they are.)

There was a "Queen of Diamonds" in The Manchurian Candidate, but Taiwan has a "Queen of (Black) Hearts" named Sisy Chen. (Note: The surname "Chen" is the "Smith" of Taiwan [times ten].) The name of her "talk" show is "Wen2 Qian4 Xiao3 Mei4 Da4." This is a combination of her Mandarin given name (Wen-qian) and a play on the words "Da4 Ge1 Da4," (literally translated "big older-brother big" but meaning "mob leader" or "godfather" -- as in Don Corleone). "Xiao3 Mei4 Da4" would be directly translated as "small older-sister big," but we know what she really means: "Why don't you pass the time with a game of solitaire?"

Although Chen Yi-hsiung's family destroyed his suicide note, scribblings that the suspect made on a datebook on the calendar week following the shooting (March 22 to 28) still exist. These writings echo the memes of the pan-blue media precisely. "Jing1 ji4 bu4 jing3 qi4" (the economy is bad) is one of the complaints he blamed on Chen Shui-bian, but I learned this Chinese-language phrase by hearing it repeated so often by the media. Another complaint on the datebook was that "so many people are moving to China." According to my wife, this is a meme directly from Sisy Chen's "talk" show.

Yet another meme -- this one via Sisy Chen and fellow shit-stirrer Jaw Shaw-kong (owner of UFO Radio) -- that was found on the datebook said that "If not for the referendum, the other guys [Lien-Soong] would have won." A quote from a character in The Manchurian Candidate fits perfectly here:
Dr. Yen Lo: His brain has not only been washed, as they say... It has been dry cleaned.
Does it get any crazier than that? According to the pan-blues, it was the shooting that "turned the election around."

Where did such a "nice" man get a gun with which to shoot the president? From his brother-in-law Huang Wei-fan, an 86 year-old former soldier in Chiang Kai-shek's army. Earlier today, the pan-blue media had the nerve to wonder how "such an old guy could get a gun."

The editorial in Tuesday's Taiwan News pegged it when it said:
We urge Taiwan's government officials, politicians, citizens and, especially, our news media to exercise self-restraint, reason and patience in evaluating the latest breakthrough in the on-going investigation into the election-eve shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu while the Democratic Progressive Party incumbents were campaigning in Tainan City on March 19, 2004.


The most important implication of the breakthrough was that it effectively clears President Chen of the pan-blue camp's charge that the shooting was "staged" in order to sway voters and thus "steal" the election.


Nevertheless, the finding was met with skepticism of opposition investigators, self-appointed or anointed by the defunct and unconstitutional March 19 shooting incident truth-finding commission set up last year by the KMT-PFP controlled Legislative Yuan.


In contrast to empty complaints by former pan-blue investigators that the investigation should have been driven by a motive, the CIB investigators have evidently found the "most probable" person and discovered some basic facts about his character and behavior, such as the depth of his antagonism to President Chen and his administration.


Upon hearing the news, most of Taiwan's media immediately reacted with its usual "feeding frenzy" which would make a group of starved sharks proud.


Much of the media's use of language was so imprecise as to give the impression that resulting distortions were wilfully committed in order to further sensationalize the sufficiently sensational news and demonize a now voiceless suspect and thus deprive him of his human rights and ensure the permanent ostracism of his family.

We sincerely urge the exercise of greater caution, in part because the CIB remains circumspect in its statements.


We especially urge all political parties and politicians to cease moves to further complicate or confuse this politically -- charged case.

This advice goes double for the KMT, which has unwisely resolved to rekindle ethnic and partisan divisions by holding a mass demonstration at Ketagalan Square to demand "the truth" of the incident on the occasion of its first anniversary.
Frank Zappa, from Joe's Garage, has this to say at the end of a tune called "He Used to Cut the Grass"
This is the CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER... Yes...he used to be a nice boy...He used to cut the grass...But now his mind is totally destroyed by music. He's so crazy now he even believes that people are writing articles and reviews about his imaginary guitar notes, and so, continuing to dwindle in the twilight realm of his own secret thoughts, he not only dreams imaginary guitar notes, but, to make matters worse, dreams imaginary vocal parts to a song about the imaginary journalistic profession...
[Emphasis mine]
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