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

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ma Ying-jeou's 5 tons of horseshit

Dropping a big, stinking pile of steaming horse doo-doo

Taipei mayor and KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou (Mau-mau-ing Joe) is still at it -- if, by "it" you understand that I mean his hemming and hawing horseshit.

On his recent tour of the US, during which he surprisingly hasn't claimed that the Rolling Stones are opening for him, he spoke of a policy of "5 Do's" -- an apparent stab at Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian's "5 No's" (AKA 5 Noes"). Because of President Chen's recent announcement of a cessation of the National Unification Council and National Unification Guidelines (NUC/NUG), Ma has accused him of violating the promises made in his inaugural speeches of 2000 and 2004.

Those accusations are patently false.

Chen made the promises about not "abolishing" the NUC/NUG on the condition that China not threaten Taiwan militarily, but the missile buildup across the Taiwan Strait and the so-called "anti-secession" law (which "legislates" the arbitrary use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan) are clear proof that the aforementioned condition has not been met. Despite that, Chen carefully avoided the word "abolish" while effectively putting the rotten carcass of the NUC/NUG into the KMT's freezer where they would be free to whip them out and get things all stinky again if they should successfully pull the wool over the eyes of the populace and/or steal the next presidential election in 2008.

More of Ma's horseshit.
Protruding prominently from Ma's "5 Do's" is this long-dried-out, recently-detached dingleberry:
* ...restart the 1990's Hong Kong cross-strait talks on the basis of the so-called "1992 consensus"
Never mind that KMT con artist Su Chi admitted just over a month ago that the term "1992 consensus" was a fabrication, er, a motherfucking lie. In spite of this, Ma Ying-jeou continues spewing this sort of crap as if everyone else were as ignorant of Su's admission as he appears to be.

As far as the other "4 do's," well, who gives a flying fuck on a rolling doughnut? Coming from the mouth of Ma Ying-jeou, they couldn't possibly be anything but the same old shuck and jive.

Bring us the barbecued heads of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo on a stick
The KMT has been crying over the proposal (Hey pan-blue media, stop pretending that a proposal is the same as a "policy"!) to remove statues of their dead dictatorial deity CKS and his son CCK, who served as director of secret police (the "Blue Shirts"), and eventually became president in true imperial heir-to-the-throne-like fashon.

It is ironic that the same party that has preserved the corpse of CKS (just like they did with Mao Zedong in China) still idolizes people like Ma Ying-jeou, yet accuses the DPP of rule by "populism."

It is also ironic that the KMT has apparently forgotten all about both CKS' failed negotiations with China as well as the "3 No's" policy of CCK which goes like this:
* No Contact
* No Negotiation
* No Compromise
The reason for this kind of policy toward China was and still is abundantly clear: China can never be trusted to make good on any of their own promises -- with the exception, perhaps, of the violent ones.

With the KMT and their media lackeys producing so many lies so frequently, the only reason anyone could believe anything they say has to be that their brainwashing, their suppression of Taiwanese language and identity, and their continued stronghold on the media has worked better than even Mao could have imagined.

Ma's definition of "one China"
Ma finally said out loud that his idea of "one China" is the "Republic of China (ROC)." Last November, I wrote about how during international sports events (not to mention when officials from China come to Taiwan), Ma switches modes and forgets all about his "beloved" ROC.

Does Ma really believe that the People's Republic of China (PRC) doesn't exist even though they were formed in 1949 and Chiang Kai-shek gave up the China seat at the United Nations to them back in 1971? Does he think that his "ROC" hold sovereignty over Beijing, Tibet, and Outer Mongolia? If so, he's fooling himself and those who idolize him.

Chen Shui-bian constantly refers to the "23 million people of Taiwan" when talking about Taiwan's national sovereignty. The message is clear: Taiwan is not part of China, and the claim that the ROC controls, rules, or governs any part of "the mainland" is sheer KMT fantasy.

* Michael Turton metablogs on The Foreigner in Formosa's blogging on the "soft coup" attempt in the wake of the pan-blue loss of the 2004 presidential election in Taiwan.
* Read a wonderful post by overseas Taiwanese student Jen on her feelings about Taiwanese identity. The comments section of that post gives a glimpse into how some people view Jen's right to identify herself as she chooses. She gives many calm, clear, and reasoned counter-arguments to those who not only disagreed with her, but attacked her position and -- according to Jen -- even tried to hack into her e-mail account.

Jen is one of three participants on a blog which started earlier this month called Taiwan Today. Others working on that blog are Vincent and cleverCLAIRE, both of whose blogs I hope to be reading more of in days to come as well as Jen's London Calling.

Real and imagined entities: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The news can never get Taiwan right

Saturday afternoon, somewhere between 45,000 and 180,000 people took to the streets of Taiwan's capital, Taipei, to protest the threat posed by China. I wasn't able to attend, so I had to turn to the television and the Internet to try to get an idea of what went on.

Unfortunately, the reporting was all over the map when it came to describing the rally itself, the reasons it was being held, the number of participants, and even Taiwan itself.

The following examples come from the web sites of the Washington Times, BBC, WTOP (via AP), New Kerala, and AsiaNews.it.

Real reporters don't ask for directions
Here's what the BBC had to say:
Police said about 45,000 people took part in the rally in front of the presidential office building.
Perhaps I'm being picky, but while the rally ended in front of the Presidential Office, it began as a parade at the Sungshan Tobacco Factory. (See this same quote below under "Don't count on us...")

Why rally?
Two of the articles put the word "threat" in scare quotes in their headlines:
* Taiwan rally protests China 'threat' (Washington Times)

* Taiwan protest at China 'threat' (BBC)
The other articles all have the word "threat" or "threats" in their headlines but without the quotes.

The threats being protested are quite real. Over the past 10 years, the number of missiles China has targeted at Taiwan have increased from 40 to at least 784 (perhaps exceeding 800). In March 2005, China passed what it calls an "anti-secession" law which "legislates" the arbitrary use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan. Despite occasionally pretending to be otherwise, China constantly reveals their bellicose nature via headlines which aren't merely "words" -- they're overt threats of violence.

Don't count on us for accuracy
Here are the supposed numbers of participants in the rally as reported each of the sources listed above:
* Thousands of protesters rallied in Taipei Saturday to focus attention on what many fear to be threats from mainland China. (Washington Times)

* Tens of thousands of protesters have taken part in a march and rally in Taipei highlighting the threats that Taiwan faces from mainland China. (BBC)

* Tens of thousands of government supporters marched Saturday to protest China's threats against Taiwan and defend President Chen Shui-bian's tough policy on the communist country.[...] Police estimated the crowd at 45,000, while Taiwanese television stations said it was closer to 100,000. (WTOP [via AP])

* Some 100,000 Taiwanese marched through Taipei Saturday to protest against China's threat to retake Taiwan by force if Taipei seeks independence. (New Kerala)

* Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Taipei for a protest march against threats from China. (AsiaNews.it) [Note: That report was published before the rally had reached its peak.]
Even the relatively reliable FTV reported wildly exaggerated figures. Around 5 PM Saturday, they were reporting "between 170 - 180,000" participants, but after 11 PM, the number reverted to the 100,000 which they had been reporting during the march. I can't tell you if any of those numbers is accurate, but even judging by the images shown by TVBS Saturday afternoon, the numbers surely exceeded 45,000.

Taiwan, which we can only describe by the copy-and-paste method...
Taiwan, which is constantly threatened by China and distorted by the media, is a country. A nation. A sovereignty.

Words like those would be both easier and more accurate than descriptions like these:
* ...the island... [twice in a 4-paragraph article] (Washington Times)

* Chen last month decided to abolish a committee responsible for unifying the island and the mainland, which split amid civil war in 1949. [Chen didn't "abolish" the NUC, and it was the KMT that split from "the mainland" in 1949 -- not Taiwan.] (WTOP [via AP])

* China sees self-governing Taiwan, seat of the exiled Republic of China government since 1949, as a breakaway province, but Taiwan claims it is a sovereign nation, currently recognised by 25 countries. [I'm pretty sure the CCP didn't just "exile" the KMT.] (New Kerala)
Easier still, without all the worry about making China cry, would be to simply say "Taiwan."

But fuck that! Making China cry isn't just fun -- it's important. Call Taiwan a democratic country as well, and point out that China is an authoritarian one as often as necessary.

Yins and yangs: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

To China, words are kryptonite, missiles mean nothing

Poor, pitiful China! Despite the fact that Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian didn't say "abolish" when sending the National Unification Council and Guidelines off to the dustbin of history (but not to the incinerator; therefore, any future president can recover the shreds if they dare), despite saying that "We do not intend to change the status quo," and despite the fact that Chen's words were approved by US officials involved in vetting his speech, the Super-Commies are once again crying in their baby food:
BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhuanet by Tian Sulei, Fan Xi) -- The Chinese mainland said Tuesday that Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian played with words to cheat the Taiwan people and the world, but his intention to seek "Taiwan independence" is known to all.

"Such tricks of Chen Shui-bian have already been seen through by the world. He will only end up hurting himself in this farce," says a statement jointly issued by the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
I've got yer "farce" right here!
Note the URL behind the link to that article contains something unusual near the beginning: the word "anonymizer." While a Google News search called up the article which I had found via something I read in my Bloglines news feeds, I couldn't get anywhere past Xinhua's main English page. Anonymizer let me get in almost immediately. Is China trying to prevent anyone in Taiwan from even seeing that article? It would certainly appear so.

I won't let them do it!
Here is the original URL to that article:

And here is a list of web-based circumvention services via Reporters Without Borders web site:
http://www.proxyweb.net [LINK FIXED]
Follow the "list" link for instructions, if the anonymizer link to the article doesn't work.

But let's go back to the content of the Xinhua article for a moment. It also contained this steaming pile of nonsense:
The United States, which pursues a policy of strategic ambiguity in cross-Strait relations in which it neither supports formal Taiwanese independence nor a forcible Chinese takeover of the island, cautioned Taiwan against taking destabilizing unilateral actions.
Despite the oh-so-destabilizing, ever-growing number of Chinese missiles terrorizing us, Taiwan gets blamed. More of that "black is white" garbage that needs urgent removal.

Abe Lincoln comes to Taiwan
It was quite an experience to hear President Chen on Tuesday afternoon giving a speech which was broadcast live on FTV. (To be clear, I was watching at home.) He was speaking Hoklo (Taiwanese) to victims of the "228 Incident" of February 28, 1947 which resulted in KMT troops killing tens of thousands of Taiwanese and imposing almost four decades of martial law on Taiwan.

During that speech, Taipei mayor and current KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou was seated in the front row, his face twisting into a myriad of strange shapes, as he had just a day earlier launched a campaign to recall President Chen (at Beijing's behest?). During that speech, the president quoted Abraham Lincoln's famous words: "You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

My ears sure pricked up when I heard that (in Taiwanese) and understood it perfectly. The people in attendance ate it up. While others applauded Chen's words, Chairman Ma sat right in front of him grimacing uncomfortably. Chen asked the audience four times, "Was it wrong" for him to hand the "unification" decision back to the 23 million people of Taiwan? The answer each time was a resounding "NO!"

When it came time for Chair-Mayor Ma to speak to the crowd, they were angry, though non-violent. They didn't want to hear any of his two-faced bullshit. They shouted at him, and some had prepared banners in protest. What I saw was too quick to report the content. (I had seen this later on the news as FTV cut away from Chen's speech before it was over.)

In the end, as those present appeared to be filing out, Chen shook Ma's hand, proving once again that for all his faults, he has "political" skills beyond my wildest imaginings.

More words feared by China
Will George Carlin take these on?

The Washington Post has finally revealed a list of the words deemed as too kryptonite-like for use on web sites in China. Of the 236 words listed, 18 are "obscenities" while the rest fall into the categories of "politics or current affairs." Of those, 7 are related to Taiwan:
Establish Taiwan Country Movement Organization

Great President Chen Shui-bian

Independent League of Taiwan Youth

Independent Taiwan Association

New Party

Taiwan Freedom League

Taiwan Political Discussion Zone
Oh my fucking non-existent deity! How 1984 can they get?!

It must have been at least 15 years ago that I heard guitarpist [sic] Phil deGruy intone to a Louie Armstrong melody at New Orleans' Howlin' Wolf nightclub, "And I say to myself -- goddammit -- what a sick twisted world." The news events described above bring that line back as if it were only yesterday.

Democracies and conspiracies: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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