Saturday, December 24, 2005

The First Atrocity

The First Atrocity
Freedom House's Crimes against the Truth
Bevin Chu
December 23, 2005

"The U.S. major media and much of the minor media are not free and independent, as they claim. They are not the watchdog of democracy but the lapdog of the national security state. They help reverse the roles of victims and victimizers, warmongers and peacekeepers, reactionaries and reformers. The first atrocity, the first war crime committed in any war of aggression by the aggressors is against the truth."
-- Michael Parenti, political scientist, from his essay "The Media and their Atrocities"

I have quoted Michael Parenti many times before, and make no apology for quoting him yet again.

Am I afraid of sounding like a broken record?

Not at all. Parenti's scathing observation is as relevant today as when he originally made it. It will remain relevant as long as interventionist-oriented media, thinktanks, and pundits in the US insist on reversing the roles of victims and victimizers, warmongers and peacekeepers, reactionaries and reformers.

Let's examine one of Freedom House's crimes against the truth. On December 21, 2005, a Taipei Times article entitled "Taiwan makes progress on liberties, GAINING GROUND," reported that:

The US-based Freedom House gave the nation [sic] the highest mark on both political rights and civil liberties, while [mainland] China was again dubbed ``not free.'' Taiwan has made progress on rights and liberties in the past year, according to the latest report by the US-based organization Freedom House. Beginning in 1978, the Freedom House has released its annual Freedom in the World report in mid-December every year. Countries are ranked from one to seven in two categories -- political rights and civil liberties -- with one the top score. In this year's report, Taiwan won the top score in both categories and was one of 88 countries listed as "free" out of 129 total nations. Fifty-eight countries were listed as "partially free" and 45 countries -- including [mainland] China -- were judged "not free." "Freedom House has affirmed that Taiwan is a highly-developed democratic country [sic]. The glory belongs to all Taiwanese [sic] people," Government Information Office Minister Pasuya Yao said yesterday. "It is also a recognition of the government's hard work and efforts to protect and promote human rights, as well as advance democracy," Yao said. Yao pointed out [mainland] China's poor performance again in this year's report. Yao said that the [mainland] Chinese government's efforts and achievements on the economy were recognized and remarkable. However, Freedom House identified [mainland] China as "not a free country," a clear sign that there is still much room for the [mainland] Chinese government to improve when it comes to democracy and human rights, he said. Freedom House said it will release another index sometime next spring. In that index, there will more specific categories, including "the process of elections," "political diversity," "freedom of religion," "freedom of establishing companies," and "justice."

As usual, I have corrected the Taipei Times' intentionally misleading references to Taiwan as a "nation," and to mainland China as "China." This devious practice on the part of Taiwan independence activists and Taiwan independence fellow travelers attempts to convey the impression that "Taiwan" is the name of a nation rather than a province, that "China" refers only to the mainland portion of China, and that Taiwan is not an integral part of China.

The Taipei Times, as readers of this column know full well, is the English language mouthpiece for the Taiwan independence movement. The Taipei Times is not so much a newspaper, as the quasi-official propaganda organ for the Taiwan independence movement.

The Taipei Times, however, is not the target of my criticism. The target of my criticism at the moment is the Orwellian-named Freedom House, a lapdog of the national security state in watchdog of democracy clothing. Freedom House is apparently determined to play the role of heartless, soulless, conscienceless mouthpiece for America's global interventionist ruling elite. I have commented on this in the past, but Freedom House is a repeat offender, therefore my remarks bear repeating as well.

In fact, Freedom House is not merely a repeat offender, it is an escalating offender. Freedom House, despite being confronted with a mountain of evidence to the contrary, has become increasingly indifferent to the truth. Consider for example Freedom House's annual "Freedom in the World" report, which classified Taiwan's cronyist dictatorship as "Free" in the face of conclusive and damning evidence to the contrary, for at least two years in a row.

Freedom House divides freedom into two categories, PR for Political Rights, and CL for Civil Liberties. A rating of 1 represents the most free and a rating of 7 the least free. An up or down arrow ▲ ▼ next to each of the categories indicates a change in Political Rights or Civil Liberties since the previous survey, for better or worse. A star * next to the country or territory rated indicates a so-called "electoral democracy."

In Freedom House's just released annual report, Taiwan received a "Taiwan* / PR 1▲ / CL 1 / Free" rating. Taiwan received a star "*" next to its name, indicating an electoral democracy; a rating of "1▲" for Political Rights, indicating an improvement [sic!] in political rights since the last survey; and a rating of "1" for Civil Liberties, indicating no deterioration [sic!] in civil liberties since the last survey.

As Freedom House put it, "In addition to the countries that registered a status improvement in 2005, 19 countries showed gains in freedom that, while significant, did not produce a change in their overall freedom designation: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Israel, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Namibia, Romania, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Whether the other 18 countries or territories on Freedom House's list in fact experienced gains in freedom is not my immediate concern. My immediate concern is Freedom House's appallingly high rating for Taiwan. For Freedom House to give Chen Shui-bian's cronyist dictatorship a "Taiwan* / PR 1▲ / CL 1 / Free" rating is a slap in the face of 23 million Republic of China citizens on Taiwan, not to mention an insult to their intelligence.

Republic of China citizens on Taiwan have endured six years of Chen Shui-bian regime misrule, right on the heels of 12 years of Lee Teng-hui regime misrule. They have made their own evaluation of Taiwan's 18 year long Green Terror abundantly clear by the way they have responded to public opinion polls, by the way they have taken to the streets in protest, and perhaps most dramatically, by the way over one million of them have picked themselves up bodily and moved to mainland China, which Freedom House stubbornly persists in classifying as Unfree instead of Partly Free.

Chen Shui-bian's approval ratings have fallen from a high of just under 80% immediately following his Y2K "New Centrist Path" Inaugural Speech, to 10% [ ! ] immediately following the island-wide 2005 Three in One County and Municipal Elections.

TVBS Poll Center Approval Ratings for Nine Major Political Figures following the Three in One Elections [traditional Chinese]

Contrast this with Freedom House's patently absurd raised rating for Taiwan, as well as Freedom House's lowered rating for Russia: "Russia / PR 6 / CL 5 / Not Free."

As Freedom House put it: "In Russia -- whose freedom status Freedom House lowered from Partly Free to Not Free one year ago -- the Putin leadership's anti-democratic tendencies appeared, if anything, more pronounced in 2005" and has "adopted policies that will make it more difficult for the development of a genuine civil society and will impede the development of a democratic political opposition."

Assuming Russia in fact deserved to be downgraded from Partly Free to Unfree, why didn't Taiwan deserve to be downgraded from Free to Partly Free? Especially when officials of Chen Shui-bian's own party are openly demanding revocation of Chen's party membership, and once his membership has been revoked, his impeachment. Especially when Chen Shui-bian's own vice-presidential running mate, Annette Lu, has all but admitted that the Chen regime's anti-democratic tendencies were if anything more pronounced in 2005, and has adopted policies that will make it more difficult for the preservation of a genuine civil society, and will impede the development of a democratic political opposition.

Why didn't Freedom House lower Taiwan from Free to Partly Free? It wouldn't be because Chen is only too willing to play the part of US pawn in the Western Pacific in opposition to mainland China's peaceful renaissance, would it?

Why did Freedom House lower Russia from Partly Free to Not Free? It wouldn't be because Putin has formed a strategic alliance with mainland China, France, and Germany, in open opposition to US Benevolent Global Hegemony, would it?

The Far Eastern Economic Review can hardly be dismissed as an apologist for Beijing. Yet even the Far Eastern Economic Review, in a post-mortem of the December 3, 2005 Three in One Elections entitled "A Referendum On President Chen," correctly observed that:

The pangreen bloc had long portrayed itself as the main force behind democratization and claimed the KMT sought to return the country to authoritarian rule. In the past this tactic worked; Taiwan needed a viable opposition party to have competitive elections and thus a working democracy. After Mr. Chen’s victory in 2000, he claimed that Taiwan’s democracy had been consolidated and most found his words credible.

But gradually there was as much or more heard about “green terror” (meaning Mr. Chen’s authoritarian tendencies) as about “white terror” (past KMT oppression). Going into this election, the Chen administration’s searching of newspaper offices, confiscation of magazines, shutting down of unfriendly television stations, and banning of news representatives from [mainland] China were all on voters’ minds. Reflecting that this was more than just panblue rhetoric, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders declared there has been a marked decline in press freedom in Taiwan under Mr. Chen.

On ... corruption, President Chen and the DPP were clearly no longer seen by the electorate as the “guys in white hats.” The DPP had long scored points with voters on KMT corruption and vote-buying. During the 2000 elections and since, it has spoken loudly and often of Taiwan being ruined by “black gold” (the connection between politicians and criminals creating “money politics”), and linked corruption, especially vote buying, to the KMT’s vast property and money holdings. Many voters were persuaded this was a blight on the country and voted pangreen.

Since 2000, however, the Chen administration has been linked frequently to money scandals and use of government money to its partisan advantage. This includes using publicly funded television to run programs that advance pangreen causes and laud President Chen. And the DPP has not been short of cash as it was in earlier elections.

The ugly reality of a 18-year long reign of Taiwan independence Green Terror is hardly classified information. Twenty-three million Republic of China citizens on Taiwan are aware of it. The anti-censorship watchdog organization Reporters Without Borders is aware of it. The Far Eastern Economic Review is aware of it.

Is Freedom House truly unware of it?

If Freedom House is genuinely unaware of Taiwan's Green Terror, then Freedom House is so pathetically clueless it is unqualified to pass judgment on whether Taiwan is or is not free.

If, on the other hand, Freedom House is aware of Taiwan's Green Terror, yet has chosen to withold this information from an uninformed public, then Freedom House is so morally bankrupt it has disqualified itself from passing judgment on whether any political entity is or is not free.

Freedom House's homepage includes a long-winded, self-congratulatory mission statement:

Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. Freedom is possible only in democratic political systems in which the governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, belief and respect for the rights of minorities and women are guaranteed. Freedom ultimately depends on the actions of committed and courageous men and women. We support nonviolent civic initatives in societies where freedom is denied or under threat and we stand in opposition to ideas and forces that challenge the right of all people to be free. Freedom House functions as a catalyst for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law through its analysis, advocacy, and action. Freedom House is a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world ... Freedom House has been a vigorous proponent of democratic values and a steadfast opponent of dictatorships of the far left and the far right. Since its founding, Freedom House has vigorously opposed tyranny including dictatorships in Latin America, apartheid in South Africa, and Soviet Communism and domination of Eastern and Central Europe, and religiously-based totalitarian regimes including Sudan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Freedom House is a leading advocate of the world's young democracies that are coping with the debilitating legacies of tyranny, dictatorship, and political repression. We conduct an array of advocacy, education, and training initiatives that promote human rights, democracy, free market economics, the rule of law, independent media, and US engagement in international affairs. Freedom House's annual standard-setting publications draw attention to global trends in democracy and cast a public light upon dictatorships and abuse. Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, Nations in Transit, and Countries at the Crossroads are regularly used as references by international journalists, press freedom advocates, policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, the US government, and the global business community.

Freedom House's mission statement is a hodge-podge of lies, half-truths, and unintentionally ironic truisms. Ultimately however, Freedom House's mission statement is nothing more than hypocritical posturing.

Freedom House betrays its actual mission in a final, revealing remark:

Our diverse Board of Trustees is united in the view that American leadership in international affairs is essential to the cause of human rights and freedom.

Translation: Imperium Americanus uber alles. Or should I say, Amerikanisches Reich uber alles? The American Empire above all. Long live the World Policeman. Long live the Unipolar Moment. Anyone who obediently falls in line behind this Benevolent Global Hegemonist/Humanitarian Interventionist strategic premise will be duly anointed as "Free." Anyone who insists on marching to a different drummer will be summarily branded as "Unfree."

As Michael Parenti noted:

Media bias usually does not occur in random fashion; rather it moves in more or less consistent directions, favoring ... U.S. dominance of the Third World ... Some critics complain that the press is sensationalistic and invasive. In fact, it is more often muted and evasive ... Sometimes the suppression includes not just vital details but the entire story itself, even ones of major import.

To wit: Chen Shui-bian's patently phony March 19, 2004 Wag the Dog "assassination attempt" and brazenly undisguised March 20, 2004 election fraud.

Reports that might reflect poorly upon the national security state are least likely to see the light of day. Thus we hear about political repression perpetrated by officially designated "rogue" governments, but information about ... U.S.-sponsored surrogate forces in the Third World and other crimes committed by the U.S. national security state are denied public airing, being suppressed with a consistency that would be called "totalitarian" were it to occur in some other countries.

To wit: the Bush II regime's rubberstamping of Chen Shui-bian's illegal and illegitimate second term that has inflicted an additional four years of pain and suffering upon the Chinese people on Taiwan.

Freedom House has not conducted itself as an independent NGO that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. Freedom House has not supported nonviolent civic initatives on Taiwan in the wake of the fraudulent 2004 Presidential Election, when freedom was denied and under threat. Freedom House has not stood in opposition to rightwing Taiwan independence fascism. Freedom House has not functioned as a catalyst for freedom and the rule of law on Taiwan, through either its analysis, advocacy, or actions. Freedom House has not been a voice for freedom on Taiwan. Freedom House has not been an opponent of Taiwan's Pan Green dictatorship. Freedom House has not been an advocate of a beleaguered Republic of China, struggling to cope with the debilitating legacies of Japanese colonialism and US neocolonialism.

In short, Freedom House is not a watchdog of democracy, but a lapdog of the national security state. Freedom House helps reverse the roles of victims and victimizers, warmongers and peacekeepers, reactionaries and reformers. Freedom House's first atrocity, its first crime, is against the truth.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Beginning of the End, Part V

The Beginning of the End, Part V
Ma Ying-jeou's Triumph
Bevin Chu
December 6, 2005

During the 2004 Republic of China Presidential Election, incumbent Chen Shui-bian staged a phony Wag the Dog "assassination attempt," then rigged the poll results, cheating challenger Lien Chan out of a victory he won fair and square, and the 53% majority of ROC citizens who voted for him out of the leader of their choice.

One year later, Lien Chan completed a history-making "Journey of Peace" to the Chinese mainland, during which he eclipsed Chen Shui-bian and performed an end run around the Taiwan independence movement. Lien Chan had triumphed over illegal usurper Chen Shui-bian.

Two years later, on December 3, 2005, the Pan Blue camp, under the leadership of Ma Ying-jeou, swept the "three in one" County Magistrate, Mayoral, County and City Councilor Elections. Pan Blue candidates won 17 out of the 23 County Magistrate seats. The KMT accounted for 14, up from its previous nine. The New Party and People First Party accounted for another two. An independent accounted for one more.

The DPP on the other hand, lost three of its previous nine seats, hanging on to only six in its traditional stronghold in the Southwest, and several of those by the skin of their teeth. Lee Teng-hui's Deep Green TSU failed to win a single seat.

Ma Ying-jeou, Lien's successor, had scored a second, deeply satisfying triumph over Chen Shui-bian, the DPP, and the Taiwan independence movement.

The December 2005 Municipal Elections: Pan Blue Triumph, Pan Green Debacle

As readers of this column know, I have long maintained that the US major media invariably gets Taiwan politics wrong. Not just slightly off, but dead wrong, the diametric opposite of the truth.

This time, I'm happy to say, they have gotten it right. According to a December 3, 2005 Associated Press news article entitled "Taiwan opposition wins local elections":

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party won an overwhelming victory in island-wide municipal elections Saturday, putting it in position to push its agenda of reunification with [mainland] China during the 2008 presidential campaign.

With more than 97 percent of the votes counted, Nationalist candidates or Nationalist allies won 17 of the 23 constituencies, while candidates of President Chen Shui-bian's ruling Democratic Progressive Party were assured of victory in six, according to results from the Central Election Commission. The results constituted a huge vote of confidence in Nationalist Party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, who was elected to office five months ago. He likely will lead the party's ticket in the 2008 presidential poll.

The Nationalists' policy is eventual reunification with rival [mainland] China. Beijing has refused to talk with Chen because it sees him as a strong supporter of Taiwanese independence, unalterably opposed to the Nationalist platform of reunification.

On Thursday, Ma dramatically raised the stakes in the municipal elections, saying he would step down as Nationalist chief if the Nationalists failed to win more than half of the 21 major races.

Ma strongly supported former Nationalist chairman Lien Chan's groundbreaking visit to the mainland earlier this year and expressed hope that he would be the leader to break the long-standing enmity between Taipei and Beijing. In contrast to the Nationalists, Chen and the DPP support strengthening the island's status as a self-governing entity. In the final days of the campaign, Chen repeatedly referred to the Nationalists' China policies in an effort to energize independence-leaning voters. "The result of these local elections will decide the future of cross-straits relations," he said.

The 2005 three in one elections should, in principle, have remained nothing more than routine local elections. But Chen Shui-bian insisted on turning them into something more, and Ma Ying-jeou obliged him. As a result, the 2005 three in one elections were upgraded to a defacto referendum on Taiwan independence.

The outcome of that referendum speaks for itself. The Chinese people on Taiwan voted, for the umpteenth time, in favor of Chinese reunification and against Taiwan independence.

So why did Chen Shui-bian do it? Didn't he know the December 2005 three in one elections would probably be a repeat of the March 2004 Presidential Election, before Chen regime flunkies in the Central Election Commission reverse-engineered the results? Didn't he know the elections would probably be a repeat of the December 2004 Legislative Election, which confirmed that Chen lost the Presidential Election? Didn't he know that the elections would probably be a Pan Blue victory and a Pan Green defeat?

Of course he did. Annette Lu, during the week before election day, freely conceded that her own party would be defeated at the polls.

Chen upped the ante anyway because he knew the elections were not going to be routine. Six straight years of brazen, in-your-face Chen regime looting of the public coffers had turned run of the mill local elections into a vote of non-confidence in Chen individually, in the DPP and TSU as political parties, and in Taiwan independence as a political goal.

Rather than bear personal responsibility for a catastrophic defeat for the DPP politically, and the Taiwan independence movement ideologically, Chen attempted to spread the responsibility around by playing the always reliable "Us vs. Them" card.

Self-hating Sinophobic and Japanophilic appeals to an artificially fabricated "Taiwanese, not Chinese" national identity have always been able to consolidate support for Pan Green political candidates in the past. Chen assumed that such appeals would work again this time, successfully shifting voter attention away from his own malfeasance.

Chen figured wrong. Twelve years of Pan Green misrule under "Father of Taiwan" Lee Teng-hui began the hollowing out of Taiwan's economy. Six years of Pan Green misrule under "Son of Taiwan" Chen Shui-bian completed the process, leaving Taiwan the poorest of the Four Asian Tigers, with unemployment at record highs and one person on Taiwan committing suicide every two hours.

Damning evidence revealed that "President" Chen, "Premier" Frank Hsieh, and Chen campaign benefactor and Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation (KRTC) Vice Chairman Chen Min-hsien were embezzling astronomical sums from the KRTC project and Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) project.

Damning evidence revealed that First Lady Wu Shu-chen, Deputy Secretary General of the Presidential Office Chen Che-nan, and Deputy Chief of Staff Ma Yung-chen were engaged in insider trading, right inside the Presidential Palace, and even misusing Presidential Office clerical staff for the purpose.

Damning evidence revealed that the "Two Chens," Chen Che-nan and Chen Min-hsien, were engaged in laundering their ill-gotten gains at gambling casinos on Cheju Island, Korea and Macau.

In the face of such damning evidence, even DPP party faithful were no longer buying the Politically Correct Pan Green "We Taiwanese have to stick together against those Chinese" line.

On December 3, 2005, the Chinese people on Taiwan did what Chinese people throughout China's 5,000 year history have always done when corrupt, decadent regimes indifferent to their survival brought them to the brink of ruin. They rebelled. To paraphrase the famous line from Paddy Chayevsky's wicked satire "Network," they decided they were "mad as hell, and not going to take it any more."

The result was a repudiation of Chen Shui-bian as a political leader, of the DPP as a political party, and of Taiwan independence as a political ideal.

The result was a ringing affirmation of KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou and New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming's calls for Pan Blue unity, an unmistakable rejection of PFP Chairman James Soong's partisan selfishness, and a resounding reaffirmation of Chinese reunification as an overarching, long term political objective.

As if to underscore the significance of the election results, the Taiwan Stock Exchange index shot up 119 points, amost 2 percent, on the very first trading day following the elections, to close at a 16 week high.

According to a Tuesday, Dec 06, 2005, BLOOMBERG news report "TAIEX closes at 16-week high":

OPTIMISM: Investors responded favorably to the KMT's gains in Saturday's elections, sending the TAIEX up almost 2 percent, with fund inflows also boosting the NT dollar. The TAIEX index climbed to a 16-week high after gains by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in Saturday's local government elections boosted hopes of better relations with [mainland] China ... "The setback for the pro-independence ruling party should reduce worries over independence and ease political risks," said Victor Shih, who helps manage the equivalent of US$2.4 billion at HSBC Asset Management Taiwan in Taipei. "The government may also adopt a more open policy toward [mainland] China." he said. The TAIEX rose 119.36, or 1.9 percent, to 6,348.31 at the 1:30pm close in Taipei, the highest since Aug. 12 ... About eight stocks gained for each that fell. Futures due this month climbed 2.3 percent to 6,363. The outcome of the election, in which the KMT won a majority of local government seats, was a setback for President Chen Shui-bian and is seen as a barometer for the 2008 presidential campaign ... Recent polls predicted a poor performance for the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The election "is a strong message to the government that people are not satisfied with its performance," said Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the Council for Advanced Policy Studies. "President Chen should try to be more conciliatory with the opposition to deliver more effective, better linkages with [mainland] China," he said. Boosted by the election result, the New Taiwan dollar also rose yesterday, adding to its two-week gain on optimism a new government will end the troubled relationship with [mainland] China and deal with allegations of corruption. "The election result is what overseas investors were hoping for and the fund inflows will help the Taiwan dollar," said Gary Huang, a currency trader at Union Bank of Taiwan in Taipei. "The result may also lead to more conciliatory policies toward [mainland] China."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Democracy, the Worst Form of Government, Part III

Democracy, the Worst Form of Government ever Tried, Part III
Democracy, an Object Lesson for China
Bevin Chu
November 12, 2005

Champions of Democracy are Wrong

"What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government."
-- Francis Fukuyama, "The End of History?", a 1989 essay published in The National Interest

Self-styled "champions of democracy," Western and Chinese alike, insist that "Communist" China ought to look to democratic Taiwan for guidance on how to reform its political system. They insist that "Communist" China ought to adopt Taiwanese style democracy as practiced by Taiwan independence fascists Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shiu-bian.

Champions of democracy need to think again. Democracy is the breeding ground for fascism. Democracy provides all the necessary conditions for fascism to take root and mature. Unless for some perverse, indecipherable reason champions of democracy want mainland China, with its 1.3 billion people, to march down the same fascist path as Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura, they had better check their premises and revise their recommendations.

Democracy incorporates a variety of legal constraints against the abuse of power. In theory, these constraints prevent the dangerous concentration of power in any single branch of government, particularly the executive. In practice, they merely legitimize state violence against defenseless citizens struggling to lead their own lives and follow their own dreams. In theory, democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In practice, democracy is government of an elective dictator, by an elective dictator, and for an elective dictator.

Fortunately for mankind, Frances Fukuyama and his fellow champions of democracy are wrong. History has not ended. Mankind's ideological evolution has not reached its end point. Western liberal democracy is not the final form of human government. Otherwise mankind would be trapped within a Kafkaesque nightmare world from which there is "No Exit."

Communism doesn't Work. Neither does Democracy

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is."
-- Yogi Berra

Communism was destined to fail even before it was implemented, because it was based on a fundamentally flawed assumption about human nature. The assumption was that human beings would behave "unselfishly," as defined by Marxist-Leninists, if only political leaders with determination held guns to peoples' heads and forced them to act "unselfishly." Communism failed because human beings can't be psychologically browbeaten or physically coerced into behaving "unselfishly." People who want to coerce others into behaving "unselfishly" will themselves behave according to their fundamental human nature. They will impose their own selfish values of "unselfishness" upon others, and refer to it as "selfless service."

What champions of democracy don't realize, or realize but refuse to admit, is that the same holds true for democracy. Democracy was also destined to fail even before it was implemented, because it too was based on a fundamentally flawed assumption about human nature. The assumption was that "democratically elected" officials would miraculously behave "unselfishly" by virtue of "the democratic process." Democracy has failed because elected officials don't behave unselfishly merely because they promised to do so during their election campaigns. Elected officials, once in office, will behave according to their fundamental human nature. They will abuse the powers delegated to them by "the democratic process" to further their own selfish interests, then glorify their despotic behavior as "selfless service."

Like Warsaw Pact victims of the Communist delusion, champions of democracy are victims of their own delusions about how democracy ought to work in theory, as opposed to how it actually works in practice.

Both Communism and democracy failed miserably as political systems because they are predicated upon wishful thinking about human nature. Communism and democracy are both predicated on the hypothetical premise that "If pigs had wings, they could fly." Unfortunately for both Communists and champions of democracy, pigs don't have wings, they can't fly, and all the wishing in the world won't make them.

The only politico-economic system, or to be more precise, metasystem, grounded in the fundamental reality of human nature, is the spontaneously generated free marketplace.

Democracy, Breeding Ground for Fascism

"Nothing matters more than winning. Not even what you believe in."
-- Tagline for "The Candidate" (1972, directed by Michael Ritchie, written by Jeremy Larner, former speechwriter for Eugene McCarthy)

Remember "The Candidate," the biting political satire starring Robert Redford? The Internet Movie DataBase summarizes the plot: "Californian lawyer Bill McKay fights for the little man. His charisma and integrity get him noticed by the Democratic Party machine and he is persuaded to run for the Senate against an apparently unassailable incumbent. It's agreed he can handle it his own way, on his own terms. But once he's in the race and his prospects begin to improve, the deal starts to change."

Why does the deal start to change?

The deal starts to change because democracy is inherently corrupting. Democracy incorporates certain perverse incentives. Democracy's holiest sacrament is popular elections. Popular elections compel candidates for political office to resort to populist demagoguery, i.e., "impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace." Popular elections compel candidates to sacrifice reason to passion, substance to image, and principle to expediency.

As the tagline for "The Candidate" reminds us, under democracy's system of popular elections, "Nothing matters more than winning. Not even what you believe in."

No wonder Thomas Jefferson, author of the Bill of Rights, complained that "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule." No wonder James Madison, Father of the Constitution, concluded that "Democracies have ... been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property."

Austrian School economist Friedrich von Hayek's landmark book, "The Road to Serfdom," includes a chapter on populism and fascism entitled, "Why the Worst Get on Top." The title of the chapter says it all.

Why do the worst get on top? The worst get on top because democracy's defining institution, popular elections, do not work as advertised. In theory, democratic elections ensure that only the most farsighted leaders offering the most rational policies get on top. In practice, democratic elections ensure that only the most shameless demagogues, for whom nothing matters more than winning, who are willing to betray what they believe in, will get on top.

Adolf Hitler, democratically elected Chancellor of Germany understood this better than anyone. As Der Furher himself observed, "I know perfectly well that in the scientific sense there is no such thing as race. As a politician [however] I need an idea which enables the order which has hitherto existed on a historic basis to be abolished and an entirely new order enforced and given an intellectual basis. And for this purpose the idea of race serves me well."

Democracy, an Object Lesson for China

"You can observe a lot just by watching."
-- Yogi Berra

Self-styled champions of democracy insist that "Communist" China ought to look to democratic Taiwan for guidance on how to reform its political system. Ironically, many political reformers agree, but not in the sense that champions of democracy mean. By observing real-life political developments on mainland China during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and on Taiwan from the 80s til today, political reformers on both mainland China and Taiwan have learned two enormously valuable political lessons:

Lesson One: Communism doesn't work. This lesson was learned watching desperately as Mao Zedong's economically suicidal, coercive egalitarian policies destroyed mainland China's economy and society.

Lesson Two: Democracy doesn't work. This lesson was learned watching incredulously as Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian's economically suicidal, pro independence policies destroyed Taiwan's economy and society.

Taiwan's ill-fated experiment in democracy has provided Chinese political reformers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait with an unmistakable lesson. Taiwan has shown them that democracy is as much a recipe for social, economic, and political disaster as Communism.

These two important lessons will stand the Chinese nation in good stead as the coming century unfolds, because the adoption of Communism and democracy are the two most catastrophic blunders committed by developing nations in the late 20th and early 21st century.

Chinese political reformers, like Yogi Berra, observed a lot just by watching.

Democracy is structurally defective. The defects of democracy, its ineffectual constraints against the expansion of power, its predisposition to reward fascist demagoguery, are defects in its incentive structure. Such defects were unwittingly designed into the system from its inception. Such defects cannot be "fixed" by "reformers" waving brooms in the air and promising to sweep out the cobwebs of the previous administration. The only solution to the insoluble problems of democracy, is to jettison the system altogether start over with a clean slate.

The mainland regon of China tried Communism and discovered it didn't work. The Taiwan region of China tried democracy and discovered it doesn't work either. A future, reunified China has an unprecedented opportunity, one that seldom arises in history, to try a radically different political system that does work, that genuinely ensures human beings' natural rights and individual liberty. That system is known as "market anarchism" or "anarcho-capitalism."

Ironically, if China were to move boldly forward and adopt such a system, it would actually be returning to its historical roots, to the great Daoist philosopher Laozi's "wu wei er zi" (govern by doing nothing).

For an introduction to "anarcho-capitalism, see:
Anarcho-capitalism, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For parallels between Chinese Daoism and Western anarchism, see:
Taoism and Anarchism

For a brief introduction to Laozi, the Chinese sage whom famed modern libertarians consider the world's first libertarian, see:

Monday, October 31, 2005

Chen Shui-bian, You're no Thomas Jefferson

Chen Shui-bian, You're no Thomas Jefferson
From Formosa to Gulag
Bevin Chu
October 30, 2005

Executive Summary: American interventionists across the political spectrum insist that "Americans have a moral obligation to come to the military defense of Taiwan because Taiwan upholds sacrosanct American values of freedom and human rights." American interventionists are wrong on both counts. One, even assuming the ruling regime on Taiwan was a principled upholder of freedom and human rights, its military defense would nevertheless be its own responsibility, not the responsibility of foreigners. Two, the ruling regime on Taiwan is not an upholder of freedom and human rights. Not by a long shot. The unelected US puppet regime on Taiwan is composed of right wing fascists whose highest priority is not freedom and human rights, but "Taiwanese" identity politics and "Taiwanese" nation-building. For them, the ends justifies the means. For them, insincere mechanical lip service to freedom and human rights serves to gain international sympathy for their cause, nothing more. Their leader, Chen Shui-bian, has made a habit of quoting Thomas Jefferson's famous remark about preferring a free press to government. That however was before Chen Shui-bian and his fellow Taiwan independence Quislings became the government. Now that Chen Shui-bian and his fellow Taiwan independence Quislings are the government, it's "L'etat, c'est moi," and "Vox Chen, Vox Dei."

Chen Shui-bian, aka "A-Bian," aka "The Gollumbian." Created by K. Tan of Singapore. Not to be confused with Thomas Jefferson

President Chen Shui-bian yesterday reiterated his staunch resolution to protect the freedom of press, quoting former US president Thomas Jefferson, saying that he would choose media over government. Chen said he knows personally the injustice of an unfree media. In [an] article entitled "From Gulag to Formosa," Chen said that it takes extraordinary courage to criticize a totalitarian regime, whereas democratic countries blossom freely because they are not "Gulag Islands." "Though there have been quite a few shortcomings in Taiwan's democratization process, the transfer of political power set free the `Gulag' in everyone's mind." Chen paraphrased Jefferson's famous remark, saying, "If I had to make a choice, to choose the government without the press or to have the press but without the government, I will select the latter without hesitation." Chen also quoted Formosa magazine, which once wrote "Dark nights cannot last long, the tide will change mightily."
-- "President seeks to assure public he is all for a free media," Taipei Times, March 29, 2002

Over the years, Chen Shui-bian has made a habit of quoting American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson on the issue of freedom of the press. The above mentioned incident in 2002 is neither the first time nor the last time Chen has attempted to bask in the light from Thomas Jefferson's halo.

The only problem is, Chen Shui-bian is no Thomas Jefferson. Not even close.

During the 1988 US presidential campaign, Republican vice-presidential candidate Dan Quayle told Democratic vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen that "I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency."

Bentsen snorted in response, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

Bentsen's rhetorically devastating comeback was something of a cheapshot. After all, Quayle was not claiming to be the equal of Jack Kennedy. Quayle was merely claiming that he had the same amount of experience as Kennedy when Kennedy ran for president.

Chen Shui-bian on the other hand, has been mendaciously pretending to share the same reverence for press freedom as the great Thomas Jefferson, and that even if press freedom threatened him personally, he would defend it to the death. Chen's pretense is an insult to the memory of Thomas Jefferson, and an insult to the intelligence of the Chinese people on Taiwan.

As a champion of the Jeffersonian principle that those people are governed best who are governed least, I am tempted to respond to Chen Shui-bian by saying, "A-Bian, I am a student of Thomas Jefferson's political philosophy. I studied Thomas Jefferson's writings. Thomas Jefferson is a hero of mine. A-Bian, you're no Thomas Jefferson."

As famed investigative journalist and 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Anderson noted, even when Jefferson was being pilloried by America's free press, he refused to betray his principles by demanding or imposing censorship:

The need for the press to occupy an adversary role was clear to America's founding fathers. That is why they made freedom of the press the first guarantee of the Bill of Rights. Without press freedom, they knew, the other freedoms would fall. For government, by its nature, tends to oppress. And government, without a watchdog, would soon oppress the people it was created to serve. Thomas Jefferson, that wise man, that sophisticated man, that cultured man, that rich man ... a plantation owner ... understood. He was savaged by the press ... excoriated by the press ... abused more by the press than Bill Clinton, or Richard Nixon, or anybody in recent times. He didn't like it. He said to one Philadelphia paper: "Nothing in this paper is true, with the possible exception of the advertising, and I question that." And yet Thomas Jefferson said, "If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the latter."

How, by contrast, have Chen Shui-bian and his allegedly "democratic" and "progressive" DPP responded to growing media criticism?

According to an October 29, 2005 Taiwan News news article entitled "DPP lawmakers accuse TVBS of being funded by PRC capital -- GIO to suspend licence if station found to have hidden ownership change," lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party yesterday demanded the closure of TVBS Cable TV, the very day after a TVBS talk show presented evidence pointing to former national policy adviser Chen Che-nan as a key figure in the Kaohsiung MRT scandal, and Chen Shui-bian's possible involvement because of their close relationship.

The TVBS talk show ["21:00, The People Speak"] made public a photo of Chen Che-nan visiting a casino on Cheju island in South Korea in 2002, causing great embarrassment for the illegal Chen regime and the DPP, as Chen Che-nan had already denied visiting South Korea.

Accusing the station of being financed by capital from mainland China and collaborating with the mainland Chinese government to topple the "Taiwan" government, Government Information Office Minister Pasuya Yao threatened to suspend TVBS's license to operate in Taiwan.

KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang said the DPP appears to be trying to cover up for officials involved in the scandal. TVBS spokesman Yeh Yu-chun said the GIO had looked into TVBS' financial structure six months ago and found nothing wrong with it.

In other words, according to Chen Shui-bian and the DPP, the public shouldn't concern itself with whether the Chen regime ripped off ROC taxpayers to the tune of billions of their hard-earned dollars. Instead, the public should concern itself with who embarrassed the Chen regime, and join Chen and Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura in denouncing them as "Chinese Communist agents."

According to an October 30, 2005 Taipei Times news article entitled "GIO readies the blowtorch for TVBS," [sic!] Government Information Office Minister Pasuya Yao yesterday said that the GIO is authorized to suspend all operation licenses for TVBS's four channels. The GIO levied a NT$200,000 fine on TVBS after a well-known and widely watched talkshow on TVBS alleged that a number of top government officials were corrupt, including former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan.

Yao denied there was any connection between the allegations and the probe into TVBS.

Yeah, sure.

Asked whether TVBS regarded the GIO's action as akin to "white terror" and a retaliation against its allegations of official graft, Yeh said "We still want to believe that truth and justice still exist."

Translation: "We no longer believe that truth and justice exist under the DPP's Taiwan independence Green Terror, but what can we do except hope, against all evidence to the contrary, that someone in the DPP's rubber stamp judiciary will develop a conscience?"

Chen has paid lip service to freedom of the press. He has quoted Thomas Jefferson. He has insisted that he would choose media over government. He has waxed poetic about transitioning "From Gulag to Formosa."

So much for talking the talk. But what about walking the walk?

Chen has conducted Gestapo raids on newspapers and searches of reporters' homes, alleging "violations of national security." He has betrayed Thomas Jefferson's ideals by choosing ominipotent government over an untrammeled media. Far from leading the Chinese people on Taiwan "From Gulag to Formosa," he has led them "From Formosa to Gulag."

Chen Shui-bian, you're no Thomas Jefferson. Taiwan independence Quislings, you're no champions of human rights and political liberty. And Americans have no obligation whatsoever, moral, legal, or otherwise, to defend such a corrupt and unregenerate political regime.

The consolation for the Chinese people on Taiwan, ironically, is that "Dark nights cannot last long, the tide will change mightily."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Google is still Right, Taiwan is still a Province of China

Google is still Right, Taiwan is still a Province of China
Bevin Chu
October 26, 2005

An October 20, 2005 Associated Press news article entitled "Google maps divide China, Taiwan" commits a universal but nevertheless unacceptable error.

AP: Google Inc.'s popular online mapping service has become entangled in a long-running territorial dispute between China and Taiwan. Until recently, Google's maps described Taiwan as a province of China.

Comment: So far, so good. This is in fact what happened.

Google's Map of the Chinese province of Taiwan

AP: That sparked protests from Taiwan's government, which has considered its island an independent state since ending a civil war with China more than a half-century ago. Shortly after Taiwan's foreign ministry formally complained, the China reference abruptly disappeared from Google's Taiwan map last week.

Comment: No, no, no! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

First, the protests were not from "Taiwan's" government. They were from the Republic of China government. More precisely, they were from the unelected Chen Shui-bian regime, which was deposed by ROC voters during in the 2004 presidential election, but which with the help of the US government is illegally squatting in the ROC Presidential Palace.

Secondly, the illegal Chen regime would have the world believe that "Taiwan" is an independent state, but they themselves know perfectly well it isn't.

He Who Tells a Lie

Thirdly, the Chinese Civil War that the Associated Press refers to is not over. Not officially, anyway. The two sides stopped fighting, but no peace treaty, no cease fire agreement was ever signed. Even Lee Teng-hui, the self-styled "Moses" of the Taiwan independence movement, has openly conceded that legally speaking, the Chinese Civil War has never ended. Technically, the Chinese Civil War is more of a hot war than the Korean War.

That change has provoked cries of dismay in China and talk of a possible boycott of Google's service in that country, according to Chinese media. The change doesn't reflect Google's political opinion on the dispute, according to company spokeswoman Debbie Frost. She said Google wanted to enlarge its map images to make them even easier for users to see, so it removed all text from the left corner of the Web page. The long-planned switch also has removed the descriptive phrases that appeared alongside other countries on Google'ss maps.

Although initially disappointed with the change, the Chinese government now understands it's part of a product upgrade after discussing the issue with Google, a spokesman for China's San Francisco consulate said Wednesday. "We continue to think it's important to recognize Taiwan is part of China," Qiang Wang said.

In other words, Google may have removed the remark referring to Taiwan as "a province of China," but at the same time it has not substituted a remark referring to Taiwan as "a sovereign and independent state," as the Chen regime wanted. Google continues as company policy to recognize Taiwan as part of China, as it should based on hard facts, making the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's "victory" pretty damned hollow.

Google is Right, Taiwan is a Province of China

Meanwhile, Taiwan independence zealots can comfort themselves by assuming their usual "Ah Q" attitude and acting as if they have won a genuine victory.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Taiwanese Don't Share Lee Teng-hui's Vision

Taiwanese Don't Share Lee Teng-hui's Vision
Bevin Chu
October 24, 2005

After years of debating Taiwan and Tibetan separatist zealots and Taiwan and Tibetan independence fellow travelers, I have learned something interesting. I have learned that you don't always need to be able to rattle off an endless stream of facts and statistics about a subject in order to expose anothers' lies. Often all you need is the ability to remain alert to the unintentional but obvious implications of what they are saying.

Consider for example, an October 19, 2005, Taipei Times news report entitled "Taiwanese lack vision for future: Lee":

[Former Republic of China president] Lee [Teng-hui] was in Washington, after traveling from New York and Philadelphia, to visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the US National Archives ... Lee ... lauded ... the US, saying it was a shame that Taiwanese lacked such vision ... The former president had some stern words for Taiwan's people, urging them to look to the US for inspiration on how to forge their identity... saying it was a shame that Taiwan has failed to make its own nationals understand what direction the nation is pursuing... he said that Taiwanese are yet [sic] to fully identify with their own nation and do not fully understand their own history... as a result, Taiwanese do not know how hard their ancestors worked to make the nation what it is now ... Lee said that ... what matters the most ... is to allow people to understand the importance of national identity and the direction the nation is attempting to forge for itself ...

Think about what Lee Teng-hui said for a moment.

Lee Teng-hui just admitted to the entire world that the people of Taiwan do not share his vision of an independent "Republic of Taiwan" and he is unhappy about that fact.

That's quite a startling admission from the self-styled "Moses" of the Taiwan independence movement, who for all these years has been telling anyone who will listen that the people of Taiwan demand political independence from China, and that he and his fellow Taiwan independence zealots were merely responding to the Will of the People.

Now we have an open admission that Lee and Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura have not been responding to the peoples' grass roots aspirations, but have been dragging the people of Taiwan kicking and screaming toward Taiwan independence against their will!

Still not sure you read that right? Still skeptical? Let's translate what Lee Teng-hui said into plain language.

LeeSpeak: Lee lauded the US, saying it was a shame that Taiwanese lacked such vision.

Translation: "Taiwanese" [i.e., Chinese people on Taiwan] don't want what Lee wants. Taiwanese don't share Lee's dream of a politically independent "Republic of Taiwan." Lee considers this fact a lamentable "lack of vision" on the part of Taiwanese.

LeeSpeak: The former president had some stern words for Taiwan's people, urging them to look to the US for inspiration on how to forge their identity.

Translation: "Taiwan's people" are a disappointment to Lee Teng-hui. Unlike Lee Teng-hui, "Taiwan's people" have no interest in "forging a new identity." Unlike Lee Teng-hui, they already have an identity they are perfectly happy with. They are Chinese.

LeeSpeak: It was a shame that Taiwan has failed to make its own nationals understand what direction the nation is pursuing.

Translation: It is a shame that Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura has been unable to convince the Chinese people on Taiwan that they must redefine themselves as "Taiwanese, not Chinese" and fight a war of independence to establish a "Republic of Taiwan."

LeeSpeak: Taiwanese are yet [sic] to fully identify with their own nation and do not fully understand their own history.

Translation: Lee, who in his heart of hearts secretly considers himself Japanese, is frustrated because despite five decades of "Japanization," Taiwanese still identify with their motherland China, instead of their colonial occupier and oppressor Japan. Lee is frustrated because despite two decades of flagrant historical revisionism, Taiwanese still realize their own history is Chinese history, not Japanese colonial history falsely relabeled as "Taiwanese history."

LeeSpeak: Lee said that what matters the most is to allow people to understand the importance of national identity and the direction the nation is attempting to forge for itself.

Translation: What matters the most is to brainwash the Chinese people on Taiwan into thinking of Chinese as congenitally inferior and aspiring to be something else, something "better."

There you have it, straight from Lee Teng-hui's own mouth. The people of Taiwan do not share Lee Teng-hui's vision of a nominally sovereign "Republic of Taiwan" independent of China but in fact a Manchukuo style puppet of Japan, and this fact leaves him frustrated and angry.

As I said, you don't need a photographic memory. You don't need the ability to regurgitate an endless stream of facts and statistics. You only need to remain alert to the obvious implications of your opponents' own statements.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Google is Right, Taiwan is a Province of China

Google is Right, Taiwan is a Province of China
Bevin Chu
October 18, 2005

In a previous article entitled "How to Read the Taipei Times" I wrote, "Once one catches on to the fact that the Taipei Times' preemptive editorial opinion pieces are inadvertent admissions of guilt, one need no longer painstakingly rebut each and every Pan Green lie. Once one learns "How to Read the Taipei Times," one can sit back and chuckle as the Pan Green spin doctors on the Taipei Times editorial staff outsmart themselves, and unwittingly lay bare every DPP misdeed for the world to see."

And so it is with a Wednesday, Oct 13, 2005 Taipei Times editorial entitled "Speak out against injustice":

After receiving a letter of concern from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECRO) in San Francisco, amid protests lodged by Taiwanese legislators and complaints from expats based in the US about a map reference to Taiwan as a "province of China," Google finally yielded to the pressure over the weekend and removed the offensive description from its maps service. While it is less than satisfactory to see the portal site choose to remove the reference rather than right the wrong with the correct listing -- the term "Taiwan" -- the move by Google has at least cleared up the misunderstanding that Taiwan is a portion of its authoritarian neighbor across the strait.

Google's Map of the Chinese province of Taiwan

If there's one thing you can count on, it's that the Taipei Times will reflexively invert the truth, and by doing so, unwittingly telegraph to the reader what the real truth is. The real truth is invariably the diametric opposite of whatever Taipei Times editors say it is.

If the Taipei Times insists that Google was wrong to refer to Taiwan as a province of China, the reader can safely conclude that Google was absolutely correct to refer to Taiwan as a province of China.

Sure enough, a quick check of the Republic of China Constitution that governs the "Free Region of the Republic of China," including but not limited to the offshore Chinese island of Taiwan, confirms that Taiwan is indeed "a province of China." China's "Mainland Region" fell under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) government and the PRC Constitution in 1949. China's "Free Region" however has remained under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China (ROC) Government and the ROC Constitution.

Taiwan independence Quislings have, by their own admission, not succeeded in overthrowing the ROC government. The Taipei Times editors, along with "Vice President" Annette Lu and "Foreign Minister" Mark Chen, know perfectly well that until and unless they succeed in doing so, Taiwan will remain a province of the Republic of China, i.e., "China." That is why they continue to demand the authoring of a "Republic of Taiwan" Constitution in 2006 and the founding a "Republic of Taiwan" government in 2008.

The Taipei Times: If the people of Taiwan [the old Fallacy of the Ambiguous Collective again] hadn't raised their collective voice and made themselves heard, would Google have even been aware of the incorrect [sic] listing on its Web site? Most likely not. In fact, Google had initially chosen to ignore the complaints and refused to make the correction on the grounds that it was consistent with international naming conventions, such as those used by the UN.

This is rich. Taiwan independence Quislings desperately want the United Nations to recognize Taiwan as "a sovereign and independent state." They consider official UN recognition the final word on issues of national sovereignty. But when Google quite reasonably abides by official UN convention and correctly refers to Taiwan as "a province of China," the Taiwan independence Quislings throw infantile temper tantrums.

The Taipei Times: It wasn't until news of the protests and complaints was picked up by the international media, namely the Asian Wall Street Journal and the San Jose Mercury News and Vice President Annette Lu's interview with the Voice of America (VOA) during which she lent her voice to the protests, that Google decided to remove the incorrect [sic] listing.

The chain of events that led to Google's removal of the phrase "a province of China" merely confirms that Google removed the phrase not in response to any reasoned appeal to objective facts, but to hysterical threats of endless harassment.

The Taipei Times: Taiwan is an independent nation and is not a province of China. It does not claim to represent China, but China wrongly claims to represent Taiwan. Taiwan is a sovereign state with its own government, own elections, own currency, own territory and it negotiates its own treaties and has its own president. It is even clearly listed in the CIA World Factbook 2005 that Taiwan is independent of any country, and that it has its own national flag and capital. The only country in the world that avidly thinks that Taiwan is a province of China is China itself.

Taiwan is not an independent nation. Taiwan is a province of China. Taiwan obviously cannot claim to represent China, anymore than Tasmania can claim to represent Australia. Taiwan is merely part of China, the way Tasmania is merely part of Australia. A part of a nation naturally cannot claim to represent the entire nation.

China, however one chooses to define the term, can rightly claim to represent Taiwan. Both the Republic of China based in Taipei and the People's Republic of China based in Beijing can rightly claim to represent both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. Who in fact winds up representing both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland will hopefully be determined by peaceful negotiations between the two rival regimes.

Taiwan is not a sovereign state. The only government Taiwan has is the Taiwan Provincial Government. Taiwan has no central government. There is a central government on Taiwan, but it does not belong to Taiwan. It belongs to the Republic of China. Taiwan belongs to the Republic of China. The Republic of China does not belong to Taiwan.

Taiwan does not hold its own elections. The elections held on Taiwan, with the exception of those for the currently frozen Taiwan Provincial Government, are either Republic of China central government elections, or local level county and municipal elections, not "Taiwan" elections.

Taiwan does not issue its own currency. New Taiwan Dollars (NTD) are issued by the Republic of China Central Bank, not by any non-existent, would-be "Republic of Taiwan" or "Nation of Taiwan" government.

Taiwan does not have "its own territory," not in the sense the Taipei Times means. The only territory Taiwan has is provincial territory, not national territory.

Taiwan does not negotiate its own treaties. The central government of the Republic of China negotiates its own treaties.

Taiwan does not have its own president. The Republic of China has its own president.

The CIA World Factbook 2005 does not indicate that "Taiwan is independent of any country." A quick gander at the CIA's online map of China indicates that Taiwan is part of China. In fact, it indicates that Taiwan is part of the People's Republic of China, as opposed to the Republic of China.

The CIA's online map, from the Taiwan independence Quislings' perspective, is far more offensive than the Google map. So why aren't Taiwan independence Quislings camped outside CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, chanting angry slogans at "The Company?" Because Google, a peaceful and innocuous private sector internet company, is an easier, not to mention safer target than the powerful and dangerous Central Intelligence Agency, especially in George W. Bush's post-9/11 Police State.

CIA World Factbook 2005 Map of China

And even supposing the CIA World Factbook had indicated that "Taiwan is independent of any country" on its webpages, just exactly what would that prove? That the CIA is engaged in malicious efforts to subvert foreign nations, as usual? Gee, what a surprise. Besides, who appointed the CIA the official arbiter of the political status of the nations of the world?

Taiwan does not have its own national flag and capital, for the simple reason that Taiwan is not a nation. The Republic of China has its own national flag and capital.

Finally, every one of the two dozen odd nations that maintain diplomatic relations with Taipei knows that Taiwan is a province of China, i.e., the Republic of China. These nations recognize the Republic of China government as the legitimate government of all of China, including the Chinese mainland. According to the Republic of China Constitution, they are correct in doing so.

Ironically this is not what the Quisling Chen Shui-bian regime wants. The Quisling Chen regime wants these nations to play along with the Taiwan independence Big Lie that "the Republic of China = Taiwan" and "Taiwan = the Republic of China." That's why the Quisling Chen regime was upset when some of these nations correctly referred to the Republic of China as "China."

And we haven't even mentioned the one hundred plus nations that maintain diplomatic relations with Beijing and also consider Taiwan a province of China, in this case, the People's Republic of China. But don't worry, the Taipei Times editors will mention it for us. In in their eagerness to preempt any rebuttals, they will invariably wind up discrediting their own case.

The Taipei Times: While it may be out of Taiwan's hands that so many countries in the international community kowtow to China's leadership, it is however a sorry state of affairs to see Taiwan's people subjected to such incorrectness and then staying silent -- and that statement goes for Taiwan's diplomatic stations abroad as well. It is sad but true that for so long, Taiwan -- having long been oppressed in the international community -- has seemingly grown numb to such blatant incorrectness day in and day out.

In the previous paragraph the Taipei Times insisted that "The only country in the world that avidly thinks that Taiwan is a province of China is China itself." In this paragraph, the Taipei Times contradicts itself by complaining that "So many countries in the international community kowtow to China's leadership."

So which is it? Is it "only China" that thinks Taiwan is a province of China, or is it "so many countries" that think Taiwan is a province of China? As I noted before, one need not painstakingly rebut each and every Pan Green lie, one can simply sit back and chuckle as Pan Green spin doctors outsmart themselves.

The Taipei Times: A lie told once remains a lie. A lie repeated 100 times eventually starts to sound true.

This comment amounts to a classic case of the "Freudian Slip." The claim that "the Republic of China = Taiwan" and "Taiwan = the Republic of China" told once remains a lie. Repeated 100 times however, this lie has begun to sound true to many in the West.

The Republic of China is not Taiwan

The Taipei Times: While it hasn't yet got to the point of harboring an "if you can't beat them then join them" mentality, given Taiwan's struggle with China's incessant campaign to marginalize it internationally, how long will it be before such a mentality starts to really take hold? As Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said, "If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you." "Self-respect gains respect" is the lesson to be drawn from this recent Google incident. Silence is not golden in Taiwan's plight, especially in its diplomatic fight against international injustice. The Google incident has taught us that justice can be done -- so long as Taiwanese use their voice to get themselves heard.

Of all the psychological confessions Taiwan independence Quislings have unintentionally let slip while snowing Westerners with glib Taiwan independence sophistry, this has got to be the most pathetic.

As I wrote in "Diaoyutai and Pan Green Self-Delusion":

Respect entails self-respect. Before others will respect you, you must first respect yourself. Self-respect in turn, entails self-affirmation. If one respects oneself, one will have no hesitation affirming who one is. A reluctance to affirm who one is, a determination to pretend one is something one is not, is symptomatic of a deep-seated lack of self-respect. If one is reluctant to affirm who one is, if one is determined to pretend one is something one is not, one has already invalidated oneself at one's very core. Nothing one can do subsequently will ever make up for this initial act of self-invalidation.

The reluctance of Pan Green Quislings to affirm that they are Chinese, their stubborn insistence that they are "Taiwanese, not Chinese," their pathetic attempts to spin themselves as "quasi-Japanese," are all symptoms of the Pan Green Quislings' profound lack of self-respect. Pan Green Quislings who refuse to affirm that they are Chinese, who insist on pretending they are something else, anything else but Chinese, have already invalidated themselves at their very core. Nothing they can do subsequently will ever make up for this initial act of self-invalidation.

If Taiwan independence Quislings ever get serious about exhibiting self-respect, Honorary KMT Chairman Lien Chan, KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming, and PFP Chairman James Soong will be deeply gratified to hear them reaffirm that "We are indeed Chinese as well as Taiwanese" and that "Taiwan is indeed a province of China."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Joseph Kahn, Abre Los Ojos!

Joseph Kahn, Abre Los Ojos!
Bevin Chu
October 5, 2005

"Forget everything you know, and open your eyes."
-- Tagline from "Vanilla Sky" (2001, directed by Cameron Crowe, written by Alejandro Amenabar and Mateo Gil)

According to a September 23, 2005 New York Times op ed piece entitled "China Lectured by Taiwan Ally":

China's [i.e., mainland China's] leaders may have felt they had no better friend in Taiwan than Li Ao, a defiant and outspoken politician and author who says that Taiwan should unify with Communist [sic] China. But when [mainland] China invited Mr. Li to tour the mainland this week, the Communist Party got a taste of its rival's pungent democracy. During an address at Beijing University on Wednesday evening, broadcast live on a cable television network, Mr. Li chided [mainland] China's leaders for suppressing free speech ... Mr. Li ... has an outsize reputation among intellectuals in [mainland] China for his ... fervent belief that Taiwanese [Chinese people on Taiwan] should be proud to be part of greater China. When Taiwan became a democracy, he attacked those who supported separatism. He ran for president in 2000 on a platform of unification with [mainland] China, supporting its government's vision of "one country, two systems." But when he arrived in [mainland] China, he surprised his hosts with caustic comments aimed not at Taiwanese separatism but at mainland authoritarianism ... and suggested that the "poker-faced" bureaucrats of the Communist Party did not have enough faith in their legitimacy to allow normal intellectual discussion.

Does Joseph Kahn really believe Li Ao "surprised his hosts?" Does he really believe mainland leaders had no idea what Li Ao was likely to say? To answer this question, let's read what Kahn himself wrote:

Mr. Li, 70, is ... the host of a popular talk show on the mainland-backed Phoenix TV of Hong Kong, which helped arrange his trip to China. Mr. Li ... has an outsize reputation among intellectuals in [mainland] China for his prolific writings - he has written nearly 100 books.

Think about what that means.

Li Ao's widely watched talk show is known as "Li Ao Yu Hua Shuo" or "Li Ao has Something to Say." And as anyone who knows Li Ao knows, when Li Ao has something to say, he says it.

Li Ao has Something to Say

Li Ao's political views are no secret. Television viewers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have been tuning into Li Ao's caustic commentaries for years. Chinese readers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have pored over Li Ao's books from cover to cover. Li Ao's political views are as well known on Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China as Rush Limbaugh's or Michael Moore's political views are in the United States.

Would Kahn snigger at the Democratic Party if it invited Rush Limbaugh to speak before assembled Democrats, and Limbaugh criticized liberals and liberalism? Would Kahn claim that Rush Limbaugh "surprised his hosts?"

Would Kahn snigger at the Republican Party if it invited Michael Moore to speak before assembled Republicans, and Moore criticized conservatives and conservatism? Would Kahn claim that Michael Moore "surprised his hosts?"

Or would Kahn correctly conclude that both the Democratic and Republican parties deserved enormous credit for providing bully pulpits to their harshest critics?

The mainland Chinese government has long known what Li Ao's views are on every topic under the sun. The mainland Chinese government has long known that Li Ao is an "enfant terrible." The mainland Chinese government was not the least bit surprised by Li Ao's egomaniacal boasting before admiring students on campus. The mainland Chinese government approved his visit to Beida, Qinhua, and Fudan knowing full well what this intellectual "bull in a china shop" was likely to say and do.

That mainland Chinese government leaders would permit Li Ao to visit the mainland anyway, knowing full well he would probably criticize and even insult them means only one thing: an increasingly confident, increasingly tolerant mainland Chinese leadership is not nearly as afraid of intellectual dissent as Kahn would have the world believe.

Does Joseph Kahn really believe Li Ao "surprised his hosts?" Or is Kahn simply determined to deny the mainland Chinese government one iota of credit for increased tolerance?

Like David Aames, the spoiled, self-indulgent, dissolute heir to a publishing empire in the nightmarish science fiction film "Vanilla Sky," Joseph Kahn and his fellow Neoconservatives inhabit a subjective idealist mental universe of their own making.

In David Aames' virtual reality, the horribly disfigured Aames imagines that he is still a handsome playboy irresistible to beautiful young women.

In Joseph Kahn's virtual reality, Kahn and his fellow Neoimperialists (their own term) imagine that they are handsome Supermen -- defenders of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, when in fact they are horribly disfigured Orcs, "half-men," monsters who lost whatever humanity they might have possessed long ago.

Like David Aames in "Vanilla Sky," Joseph Kahn and his fellow China Threat theorists are increasingly confronted by jarring inconsistencies in their narcissistic dream world. Even staunch "Anglosphere" allies such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are finding it increasingly difficult to continue rationalizing away Imperium Americanus' paranoid Sinophobia.

Unlike David Aames in "Vanilla Sky" however, Kahn and his fellow Benevolent Global Hegemonists refuse to examine the disturbing inconsistencies with reality that continue to pop up. Instead they fall back on the residual "soft power" of the US major media to persuade themselves and others that their delusions of grandeur are the way the world actually is.

Joseph Kahn and your fellow Neocons, abre los ojos! Time to open your eyes.

The only people you're fooling are yourselves.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Stand Up for Yourselves

Stand Up for Yourselves
Bevin Chu
September 29, 2005

According to a September 21, 2005 Taipei Times news article entitled "Stand Up for Yourselves, Lawless Tells Taiwanese":

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Richard Lawless yesterday issued a blunt statement on Taiwan's blocked arms-procurement bill, implying that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party were threatening Taiwan's security and urging Taiwanese to have the determination to defend themselves and hold lawmakers to account. The comments, delivered in a speech by Defense Security Cooperation Agency Director Edward Ross, which sources said relayed Lawless' original speech, were an appeal to the Taiwanese public and included some of the strongest criticisms of the pan-blue camp by a senior Bush administration official.

Richard Lawless's comments were yet another deeply offensive example of the Bush II regime's imperial arrogance.

Ironically, in a sense he never intended, Lawless is right. "Taiwanese" (Chinese people on Taiwan) should have the determination to defend themselves. Chinese people on Taiwan should have the determination to hold lawmakers to account.

Unfortunately for the Bush II regime, the Chinese people on Taiwan have expressed their determination in a way Lawless never intended. They have refused to pay protection money disguised as "arms procurements" to the American Empire.

When George Bush Senior entered the White House, he promised American taxpayers a post-Cold War "Peace Dividend". Bush successors Bill Clinton and Bush Junior, as well as Bush Senior himself, made a mockery of that promise. Chinese people on Taiwan however, have enough common sense to realize that with the Cold War long over, they deserve their own "Peace Dividend."

The comments were in a keynote speech at a US-Taiwan Business Council defense industry conference in San Diego, California. Lawless was unable to personally deliver the speech on Monday as he was in Beijing for talks on the North Korean nuclear program.

Lawless, a mere "Deputy Assistant Secretary" couldn't even be bothered to deliver his message in person. I guess we know where Taiwan stands in the eyes of the New Rome.

After acknowledging President Chen Shui-bian and Minister of National Defense Lee Jye for their attempts to facilitate passage of the arms package, the speech noted that nothing has happened in five years, despite the package being approved in April 2001 at the beginning of the Bush administration.

Translation: The protection money you owe "il Padrino" (the Godfather) is long overdue. Pay up now, or else.

The special budget has become a "political football," Ross said. "In fact, a neutral observer could draw the conclusion that this battered ball has been kept in play more to entertain the players -- the politicians -- than to serve the real needs of Taiwan," he said. The speech then urged the people of Taiwan to understand that national security is not simply a political platform and that no specific defense issue should become a football for partisan purposes. "Rather, national security is a political responsibility and the people of Taiwan should hold elected officials accountable for what they are doing, or more correctly, not doing," he said.

Ross's yammering about a "political football" is neither here nor there. It is a smokescreen. It is a diversion. It is a thinly-disguised, really can't be bothered effort to soften the impact of Lawless's peremptory demand that Taiwan cough up the money, PDQ.

The speech argued that Taiwan could take several steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its defense posture "without breaking the bank." "Taiwan is particularly vulnerable because it is an island in close proximity to a threat, possesses limited resources and relies heavily on advanced technology to meet its defense needs," he said. "For these reasons alone, it is important Taiwan minimizes its vulnerabilities and maximizes its strength."

Will wonders never cease? A leg breaker who appeals to fiscal responsibility and cost effectiveness! Don't think of the protection money you pay us as extortion. Think of it as a wise investment in your own future!

He said that under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the US is "obligated to `enable' Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense." "[B]ut the reality is, it is Taiwan that is obligated to have a sufficient self-defense," he added. Taiwan has to "fulfill its unwritten, but clearly evident obligations under the [TRA] by appropriately providing for its own defense while not simply relying on the US' capacity to address a threat in the Strait," he added. He also stressed that "the people of Taiwan and their elected officials [must] understand that when it comes to defense, they ... are in the first instance accountable," and not the US or anyone else.

Translation: Here's the deal. You pay through the nose to take our obsolete, unwanted hand me downs off our hands. When push comes to shove however, we can't promise you that we'll do "whatever it takes." But hey, what choice do you have? You pay up, maybe we'll "ride to the rescue." You don't pay up, maybe we won't. Get wise to your situation.

"We cannot help defend you, if you cannot defend yourself," the speech concluded. "We encourage our Taiwan friends both Blues and Greens, and more importantly I urge the people of Taiwan to think very hard about the future of Taiwan -- how should it look, how should it feel, and what is it worth?"

Guess what? The "people of Taiwan" have thought very hard about the future of Taiwan -- how should it look, how should it feel, and what is it worth.

The "people of Taiwan" have decided they are no longer willing to be Imperium Americanus' obedient watchdog against their own countrymen on the Chinese mainland. They have decided they are even less willing to pay for that dubious privilege. They are, to quote the immortal Paddy Chayevsky, "mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore."

If the New Rome expects Taiwan to be its watchdog against mainland China, it can damn well reach into its own pocket to pay for the dog food. Who ever heard of a watchdog paying for his own dog food in order to continue protecting his master?

The "people of Taiwan" have decided that the future of Taiwan is with mainland China, and that it is not worth one cent in tribute, meekly remitted to Imperium Americanus.

The problem isn't that the "people of Taiwan" haven't thought very hard about the future of Taiwan. The problem is Lawless is having trouble hearing their conclusion.

The problem isn't that the "people of Taiwan" haven't stood up for themselves. The problem is they have stood up for themselves against the New Rome and just said "No!"

Friday, September 23, 2005

How to Read the Taipei Times

How to Read the Taipei Times
Bevin Chu
September 22, 2005

Imagine yourself embroiled in a legal dispute with a shameless scoundrel, someone who knows perfectly well he is in the wrong and you are in the right, but doesn't care. As he figures it, "xian xia shou wei qiang" (The best defense is a good offense). As he figures it, you will expose his lies the first chance you get, so he accuses you of everything he's guilty of before you can open your mouth. This is known as "zuo zei de han zhua zei" (A thief shouting "Thief!").

If you've ever had the misfortune to run into someone like this, you have an inkling of how millions of ROC citizens on Taiwan feel. Scoundrels like this have seized control of the ROC government, and hapless ROC citizens are forced to endure shameless Pan Green lies every waking day.

Pan Green scoundrels know the grotesquely overpriced US arms deal is nothing more than protection money for Uncle Sam and pork for DPP cronies, but they don't care. Their defense against public exposure is to accuse the Pan Blue opposition first.

Unfortunately for long-suffering ROC taxpayers, this Pan Green tactic of preemptive damage control often works.

Unfortunately for Pan Green spin doctors, it sometimes works too well.

ROC citizens are catching on. They are beginning to realize that most Pan Green "rebuttals" they read are inadvertent admissions of guilt. They are beginning to realize they need no longer painstakingly rebut each and every Pan Green lie that comes their way. Once they learn how to read between the lines, they can sit back and chuckle as Pan Green spin doctors, such as those on the Taipei Times editorial staff, outsmart themselves and unwittingly lay bare every DPP misdeed for the world to see.

Consider for example this September 10, 2005 Taipei Times editorial, entitled 'Lies, damned lies and KMT "truths."'

"Thursday's comments by the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) legislative caucus cause a severe philosophical headache. There are, proverbially, three categories of untruth: lies, damned lies and statistics. The KMT's manipulation of the the results of last year's referendum on the purchase of anti-missile technology involves the misuse of statistics to disseminate damned lies. So into which category does it fall, or is there a whole fourth category of untruth of its own: KMT statements?"

Ignore the long-winded lead-in. Ignore the borderline Chinglish. Focus on the Pan Green tactic of preemptive damage control.

The editors of the Taipei Times know that the KMT, NP, and PFP are certain to expose the DPP's transparent lies the first chance they get, so they launch the rhetorical equivalent of a preemptive First Strike. They accuse the Pan Blue opposition of everything they know the DPP is guilty of, only they do it first.

In other words, when the editors of the Taipei Times insist that "The KMT's manipulation of the the results of last year's referendum on the purchase of anti-missile technology involves the misuse of statistics to disseminate damned lies," what they really mean is they themselves are disseminating lies by manipulating the results of last year's referendum.

How specifically? Let's subject their spin control to a badly needed reality check, paragraph by paragraph. Let's learn "How to Read the Taipei Times."

Taipei Times: "The KMT's argument is that the proposal to purchase PAC-3 missile batteries was defeated in the referendum and according to the Referendum Law the issue cannot be put before the people again until 2007, so a fortiori a budget for the purchase of the weapons cannot be passed. This is not just rubbish of the sort we expect from this source, it is a dangerous lie that is making every single resident of Taiwan significantly more unsafe for longer than they need to be by delaying weapons purchases essential for the nation's defense. Let us be clear: For all of the perhaps frivolous language, this is absolutely no laughing matter. "

Reality Check: The Taipei Times claims that Chen Shui-bian's "weapons purchases [are] essential for the nation's defense."


A "weapons purchase" is a purchase of weapons. Chen "weapons purchases" are not attempts to purchase weapons. Chen "weapons purchases" are attempts to purchase protection.

After 17 straight years of incompetent beyond belief Pan Green misrule, the once disciplined, once capable ROC armed forces now have as much fighting ability as a troop of Boy Scouts. They don't even know how to operate the equipment they have now, let alone any future weapons acquisitions. They are referred to disparagingly by the public as "cao mei bing" (strawberry soldiers), raw recruits too delicate to do any real fighting.

The ROC's armed forces can't fight, and the Pan Greens know it. Not that it matters.

The Pan Green Quisling government of former president Lee Teng-hui never had any intention of using the weapons it bought from the US to do any actual fighting. Neither does the Pan Green Quisling government of current "president" Chen Shui-bian. Lee's past "weapons purchases" and Chen's proposed "weapons purchases" are protection money paid to the New Rome in the hope that if Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura ever declares independence, George W. Bush will "do whatever it takes" and the US Navy's Seventh Fleet "come riding to the rescue."

The nation that ROC taxpayers are being asked to pay to defend is the ROC, the Republic of China, or "China" for short. Chen's "weapons purchases" are not only not essential to the defense of China, they are positively harmful to the defense of China. Chen's "weapons purchases" are "essential" only to the advancement of the treasonous Taiwan independence movement. That is why a solid democratic majority of patriotic ROC citizens on Taiwan rejected them outright.

Taipei Times: "It takes an astonishing twisting of the truth therefore to come to the KMT's present position that the vote on the missiles was "defeated" in the referendum. For it to have been defeated, about 8 million people would have had to vote no. How many people did vote no? Some 581,000. The KMT has deliberately tried to confuse two issues: the referendum's failing to be valid and the defeat of the referendum proposal."

Reality Check: The Taipei Times is right about one thing. It does take an astonishing twisting of the truth -- for the Taipei Times to insist that Chen's "Defensive Referendum" was not soundly and decisively defeated in 2004.

Taipei Times: "So what is the truth? In March last year, 7.5 million people voted in the referendum -- 92 percent of which voted for the arms purchases, while 8 percent voted against. The referendum was not, however, considered to have passed because the law requires that more than 50 percent of eligible voters agree to the proposal. This meant that for a referendum to be considered a valid test of public opinion, half of Taiwan's 16 million eligible voters would have to vote either yes or no. Not only did not enough people support either outcome, not enough voted to even make a valid decision possible."

Reality Check: Never mind the confusing run-on sentences. Never mind the irritating use of passive voice. Concentrate on the Pan Green tactic of striking first, and consider its logical implication.

When the authors of the Taipei Times editorial insist that the Chen regime's proposal to purchase PAC-3 missile batteries was not defeated during 2004, they are really admitting that it was defeated.

Both referenda failed because 55% of the voters who went to the polling stations on election day boycotted them. Only 45% of the voters who went to the polling stations on election day obtained referenda ballots.

As everyone, Blue (KMT), Green (DPP), Yellow (NP), Orange (PFP), and Purple ("Naderite") knows, A-Bian's media campaign explicitly bound voting Yes! on the referenda to voting 1 in the presidential election. It was part and parcel of his reelection strategy. He was determined to exploit antipathy for Beijing to boost his reelection prospects.

Pan Green voters were instructed to vote "100," meaning for president vote 1, for referendum one vote YES, and for referendum two, vote YES.

Pan Blue voters responded with their own, mirror image binding of the referenda and election. The Pan Blue catechism, which rhymes in Chinese and was memorized by all Pan Blue voters was "For president vote 2! Boycott the referendum!"

Chen's heavy-handed publicity campaign polarized the voters exactly as he intended. None of the above is disputed by anyone across the ROC political spectrum.

On election day, 55% of the voters -- Pan Blue voters, obtained presidential ballots, stamped the 2 box for Lien/Soong, then walked out the door, boycotting both referenda.

Conversely, 45% of the voters -- Pan Green voters, obtained presidential ballots, stamped the 1 box for Chen/Lu, obtained both referenda ballots, stamped the Yes boxes in order to say "Yes! Taiwan."

Furthermore, 20% of those who took part in the referenda did so under duress. They felt pressured to take part in the referenda because local voting booths were staffed by people they knew, who might leak their failure to take part in the referenda to their superiors.

In principle this cuts both ways. In practice it doesn't. In practice, the DPP is the ruling party and controls the machinery of government. Pan Blue public servants in particular might lose their rice bowls if they refused to at least go through the motions. These voters in the privacy of the voting booth stamped the NO box on the two referenda after stamping the 2 box for Lien/Soong on the presidential ballots. These voters amounted to one in five of those who participated in the referendum.

Were Chen's referenda defeated? You bet they were. Did Chen's illegal and unconstitutional referenda inadvertently amount to "a valid test of public opinion?" You bet they did.

Taiwan's Stolen Election
Taiwan's Potemkin Referendum

Taipei Times: "Since the referendum was not valid, it cannot bind the government to any policy in any way. If the KMT wants to think of the referendum as valid after all, then it appears that Taiwanese who care about the issue overwhelmingly want the anti-missile weapons. We could argue that those who didn't vote simply don't care. The pan-blues might call this intellectually dishonest, to which we could cynically reply that "what's sauce for the goose ...." But of course we don't have to. The referendum was not valid. This is a fact, not a piece of politically motivated obfuscation. An invalid referendum, just like a law that fails to pass, binds nobody's hands."

Reality Check: Here is where the editors of the Taipei Times really outsmart themselves. Here is where the editors of the Taipei Times trip themselves up, big time. Here is where in their overeager effort to preempt every imaginable criticism from the Pan Blue opposition, they unwittingly expose their own mendacity.

The editors of the Taipei Times know perfectly well that boycotting a referendum is hardly the same as not bothering to vote in a referendum. Boycotting an illegal and unconstitutional referendum because one is resolutely opposed not merely to the passage of its provisions, but even to the legitimization of the referendum itself, can hardly be equated with not bothering to vote in a referendum because one is afflicted with sheep-like passivity.

Boycotting Chen's Potemkin referendum was the Pan Blue voters' way of saying NO even more loudly than accepting a referendum ballot under duress and marking NO on the ballot. Boycotting Chen's Potemkin referendum by refusing to accept the referendum ballot altogether, was the Pan Blue voters' way of saying a resounding NO both to the arms purchase and to the high-handed means by which the referendum was rammed down their throats.

Do the editors of the Taipei Times know this? Of course they do. The editors of the Taipei Times know perfectly well they are being "intellectually dishonest." They know perfectly well they are engaging in "politically motivated obfuscation." But in their panicky attempt to preempt anticipated exposure, they unintentionally wound up shining the spotlight on their own dishonesty and obfuscation.

The editors of the Taipei Times want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim that Chen's referenda were both valid and invalid at the same time. Valid when it appears to substantiate the Pan Green case. Invalid when it in fact substantiates the Pan Blue case. They want to play "Heads I win, tails you lose." Well sorry, but it doesn't work that way.

Taipei Times: "It should be remembered that this was a deliberate strategy of the pan-blue camp. Having been outfoxed by the government over the holding of the referendum in the first place, it encouraged its supporters not to vote in the referendum in order to ensure that the referendum simply failed to produce a result."

Reality Check: Yet again, the editors of the Taipei Times unwittingly prove the Pan Blue case and disprove their own. What is this "rebuttal," except a candid admission that the Chen executive rammed its illegal and unconstitutional referendum down the throats of a reluctant public, which responded by boycotting the referendum altogether? What does this "rebuttal" do, except put the lie to the Taipei Times' allegation that "those who didn't vote simply don't care."

Once one catches on to the fact that the Taipei Times' preemptive editorial opinion pieces are inadvertent admissions of guilt, one need longer painstakingly rebut each and every Pan Green lie. Once one learns "How to Read the Taipei Times," one can sit back and chuckle as the Pan Green spin doctors on the Taipei Times editorial staff outsmart themselves, and unwittingly lay bare every DPP misdeed for the world to see.

The next time you pick up a copy of the Taipei Times at your local Taipei 7-11, or log onto their homepage, don't wear yourself out rebutting the transparent absurdities in their op-ed pieces. Just remember "How to Read the Taipei Times" and let them do the work for you.