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.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Taiwan Fiddles, while Rome Burns

Taiwan Fiddles, while Rome Burns
Bevin Chu
September 8, 2005

Senatus Populus Que Americanus

According to an August 24, 2005 Wall Street Journal editorial entitled "Taiwan Fiddles":

"Taiwan spends a small fortune lobbying Washington so the U.S. will ride to its rescue in case of a Chinese attack. Yet more than four years after the U.S. offered a package of advanced defense weapons, politicians in Taipei still haven't decided to buy them. This isn't helping Taiwan's cause in Washington."

The title of the editorial refers of course to Nero, aka Tiberius Claudius Nero Domitianus Caesar, the decadent Roman emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned." The Wall Street Journal's dire implication is that although Taiwan/Rome is on the verge of falling to mainland China/the Huns, Republic of China political leaders are "fiddling" and "dawdling," and that any ROC political leaders who balk at buying a pig in a poke from the US military industrial complex are latter day Neros, fiddling while Rome burns.

But what is Rome in this scenario? Is it Taipei?

How could it be? Taipei is hardly the center of the Roman Empire. All roads do not lead to Taipei.

As a matter of fact, it would be more accurate to say that under Pan Green dictatorship, no roads lead to Taipei. The Taiwan independence nomenklatura has banned direct mail, maritime cargo, and air transport links to mainland China for nearly two decades. Lee Teng-hiu's economically suicidal "Avoid Haste, Use Patience" policy, dutifully maintained by successor Chen Shui-bian, has effectively doomed the island's economy, sealing it off from its vital source of livelihood, the Chinese mainland. Taiwan independence Quislings pursue this economically suicidal course of action because their fundamental strategy is to promote political independence through ethnic apartheid.

Besides, what is Taiwan to the authors of the editorial? Is anyone so naive as to believe they lie awake at night wringing their hands, worrying about the well-being of 23 million Chinamen on Taiwan? Taiwan is Imperium Americanus' military colony, its regional puppet, its "forward presence" against alleged "strategic competitor" China. Nothing more.

The Neocon China Threat theorists who penned the editorial know perfectly well that Rome is Washington, DC, the capital of Imperium Americanus, the American Empire, the New Rome. New Rome, the Galactic Empire depicted by George Lucas in his Star Wars saga is what the authors of the editorial care about, not the Taiwanese "ma qian zu," (sacrificial pawns).

Star Wars and the American Empire

The Gravest Threat to Peace in the Taiwan Strait

"In April 2001, the Bush administration reversed the Clinton policy and offered Patriot anti-missile batteries, anti-submarine aircraft and diesel submarines. It did so at some diplomatic risk, since China has objected to the sale. But Taiwan clearly needs a stronger deterrent given China's military buildup, which includes more missiles targeting the island and aggressive submarine activity. China passed an anti-secession law in March, mandating force if Taiwan rejects "peaceful reunification.""

Scare quotes arround the term "peaceful reunification" to the contrary notwithstanding, Taiwan, or more precisely, Chinese people on Taiwan, do not need extortionately priced, technologically obsolete versions of "Patriot anti-missile batteries, anti-submarine aircraft and diesel submarines." They do not need "a stronger deterrent" because they oppose Taiwan independence in the first place. They do not need to meekly cough up protection money disingenuously relabeled as "arms sales." No independence, no war. No war, no arms. No arms, no sales.

Neoconservative China Threat theories to the contrary notwithstanding, Beijing is not "the most serious threat to peace in East Asia." That distinction goes to the New Rome, Washington, DC. As a result of Necon China Threat theorists' irrational hostility towards a peacefully rising China, the gravest threat to peace in the Taiwan Strait is Imperium Americanus. Even formerly compliant allies of the US such as South Korea and Australia have recently come to this realization. Beijing ironically, is beginning to look like "the most responsible guarantor of peace in the Taiwan Strait."

Butter Yes, Guns No

What precisely is Neocon China policy?

Neocon China policy can be summed up in three words: "Keep China Down!" The Neoconservative China Threat theorists in the Bush II administration keep China down by undermining Chinese reunification and abetting Taiwan independence. They extort "protection money" from Taiwan's privileged and wealthy Quisling nomenklatura, which in turn takes it out of the hide of hapless ROC citizens on Taiwan.

No US administration is going to openly admit this of course. So one administration after another pays ritual lip service to "One China," even as they continue to covertly aid and abet Taiwan independence from behind the scenes.

What Chinese people on Taiwan need is a long overdue cessation of outdated Cold War hostilities. What Chinese people on Taiwan need is orderly and peaceful reunification with the Chinese mainland, on the largely successful German model. I say "largely" because Germany encountered technical difficulties that China ought to avoid repeating.

The ideological discrediting of Stalinism in the Warsaw Pact nations resulted in the political dissolution of the USSR.

As a consequence, Soviet/Russian Communism is no longer a messianic, expansionist political force that needs to be defended against. Even assuming it needs to be defended against philosophically, it no longer needs defending against militarily.

The ideological discrediting of Maoism on the Chinese mainland resulted in the economic transformation of the PRC.

As a consequence, Chinese Communism is no longer a coercive redistributionist political force that needs to be defended against. As a consequence, the Cold War era "Mexican Standoff" between Taipei and Beijing has reverted to a domestic Chinese concern. It is no longer an American concern, assuming it ever was.

In fact, what the editorial refers to as "China's military buildup" is the best reason for patriotic Chinese on Taiwan to accelerate the process of reunification with the Chinese mainland. Accelerated reunification with the mainland would allow Chinese citizens on Taiwan to stop paying through the nose for "defense." Defense against whom? Against their fellow countrymen?

Accelerated reunification with the mainland would allow Chinese on Taiwan to rely on their mainland compatriots for defense against genuine aggression, such as recent Japanese attempts to annex the Taiwanese island of Diaoyutai. It would allow Chinese on Taiwan to reallocate arms budgets to desperately needed ecological measures such as watershed conservation, and infrastructure improvements such as storm drain construction.

Chen Fiddles while Taiwan Drowns

The Wall Street Journal speaks of "politicians in Taipei." Who are these "politicians in Taipei" who have incurred the wrath of the Wall Street Journal? Are they the illegitimate US puppet Chen Shui-bian and his unelected appointees in his imperial executive?

No, they are the duly elected legislators of the Pan Blue KMT/NP/PFP democratic majority in the ROC legislature.

As the authors put it:

"But legislators in Taiwan have blocked any purchase plan proposed by President Chen Shui-bian. Some opposition politicians have even accused the U.S. of using the arms sales as a pretext to pursue a hidden agenda of demonizing China. Lien Chan, until last week chairman of the main opposition party, has argued the country can't afford the $15 billion price tag. But this doesn't wash for an island with per-capita income of $13,000 a year."

Really? The United States of America, the richest nation in the world, with a per-capita income of $40,100 a year, cannot afford to wage war against Baghdad and Hurricane Katrina at the same time. The World's Only Remaining Superpower has lost the "Big Easy," New Orleans, one of her most beautiful cities, and over 10,000 lives to a single hurricane.

How is the Taiwan region of China, with a per-capita income of only $13,000 a year, supposed to wage war against the Chinese mainland in addition to Typhoon Haitang, Typhoon Toraji, Typhoon Nari, and Typhoon Talim, assuming it has any reason to do so?

Typhoon Haitang, Typhoon Toraji, Typhoon Nari, and Typhoon Talim have devasted Taiwan the way Hurricane Katrine devasted Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Lousiana. The Taiwan independence nomenlatura has attempted to attribute the catastrophic consequences of these typhoons entirely to Force Majeure, to Acts of God.

Unfortunately for them, the public on Taiwan doesn't buy it. The public's memory may be short, but it's not that short. The public remembers perfectly well that tax monies which should have been devoted to flood control and water conservation were squandered promoting Taiwan independence; bribing tinpot dictators in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa, not to mention congressmen and arms merchants in the United States.

Most westerners don't know it, but Chen Shui-bian's given name, Shui-bian, has a peculiar meaning. The word "shui" means water. The word "bian" means "flat" (adjective) or "to flatten" (verb, transitive). Together "Shui-bian" means "to flatten with water" or "to be flattened by water."

During Chen Shui-bian's first term, plus his unelected, illegal "second term," the island of Taiwan has quite literally been "flattened by water."

The irony has not escaped the notice of either the public on Taiwan, or talking heads on television. Is "Lao Tien" (Heaven/Providence) giving the Taiwan independence nomenklatura a sign? Is Lao Tien suggesting "regime change?" Even Pan Green voters are wondering.

The Will of the People vs. the Will of Washington

"Mr. Lien, as it happens, was given red-carpet treatment during a high-profile visit to Beijing in April. A month later, he rebuffed a plea from 33 U.S. Congressmen to end his party's obstruction of the bill now before Taiwan's legislature and approve special funding for the arms purchases. Mr. Lien instead blamed President Chen for waiting three years before submitting the funding request in June 2004. Opposition parties, which run the legislature, have used procedural tactics to block the funding bill at least 26 times."

"The good news is that the recent Pentagon report on China's military has put opponents on the defensive by highlighting how Taiwan risks "being quickly overwhelmed" by Beijing's rapidly modernizing forces. And Mr. Lien has been succeeded as KMT chairman by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, who seems to understand the urgency of the arms purchases."

What can one do except laugh?

Ever since the Berlin Wall fell, ever since the Cold War ended, ever since America became the World's Only Remaining Superpower, what have Neoconservative "Neo-imperialists" (their own term) been telling us? Haven't these Champions of Democracy been trumpeting the virtues of the American political system?

Leave aside the critical differences between a republic and a democracy for the moment. Leave aside the fact that George W's US police state bears scant resemblance to the America of Founding Father George Washington. Haven't Neocon China Threat theorists been telling God and all Creation that their most devout wish is for the world to adopt American style "democracy?"

Leave aside the fact that the US today is ruled by a single party, the "Demopublican Party," and that there isn't a dimes worth of difference between the liberal and conservative wings of this single party monopoly. Hasn't the Neocon China Threat theorists' central criticism of mainland China been that it is a "single party dictatorship without an effective political opposition to ensure that it respects the Will of the People?"

Isn't the American political system characterized by its tripartite separation of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial? By its legislative branch providing a check on unbridled spending by an imperial executive?

Aren't the actions of opposition parties on Taiwan, which "run the legislature," and which "have used procedural tactics to block the funding bill," merely the purest expression of American style "multiparty democracy" in action?

Neocon Neo-imperialists are not really concerned about whether foreign governments practice American style "democracy." Neocon Neo-imperialists are not really concerned about whether foreign governments obey the "Will of the People." Neocon Neo-imperialists are only concerned about whether foreign governments obey the "Will of Washington."

Taiwan Independence and Free Lunches

The Fallacy of the Ambiguous Collective: The use of a collective term without any meaningful delimitation of the elements it subsumes. "We" "you" "they" "the people" "the system" and "as a whole" are the most widely used examples. This fallacy is especially widespread and devastating in the realm of political discussion, where its use renders impossible the task of discriminating among distinctively different groups of people.
-- A Handbook of Logical Fallacies

"The problem is that while Taiwan dawdles, China keeps modernizing its military. The 2001 U.S. offer, while still useful, may require upgrading if Taiwan truly wants the capability to hold off an invading force long enough to allow the U.S. to intervene. Given Taiwan's half-hearted response to the current arms offer, there's little point in considering a fresh one now. But if Taiwan wants the U.S. to risk its blood and treasure in the event of an attack, paying for an adequate defense would seem to be a minimum prerequisite."

Every nation worthy of the name should of course pay for its own national defense. After all, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. I have made this point repeatedly in my own articles over the years.

Unfortunately the authors of "Taiwan Fiddles" are guilty of the "ambiguous collective fallacy." They use the term "Taiwan" as a synonym for 23 million individuals, as in "If Taiwan wants the U.S. to risk its blood and treasure."

But "Taiwan" doesn't want the US to risk its blood and treasure.

A 55% majority of the voting public on Taiwan angrily rejected Chen Shui-bian's "Defensive Referendum." These are so-called "Pan Blue" voters. These Pan Blue voters do not expect free lunches from the United States. They do not want the US to "ride to the rescue." They do not want to pay the US to "ride to the rescue." They want the US to butt out and mind its own damned business. They know that if the US ever does "ride to the rescue" it will be because it is aiding and abetting the Taiwan independence movement in an attempt to Balkanize the nation they love.

Pan Green Taiwan independence Quislings are the only people on Taiwan who expect free lunches from the United States. They want to provoke Beijing into lashing out against Taiwan in anger. They want the US to "ride to the rescue." They want the US to "risk its blood and treasure." They want to exploit the ensuing Sino-US War to establish an independent "Republic of Taiwan." Is it necessary to point out that they want to pay as little as possible for this result?

Are the authors of "Taiwan Fiddles" serious about identifying the freeloaders on Taiwan? Or are they merely interested in railing against the Taiwanese counterparts of Hugo Chavez?

Taiwan is not a Colony or Protectorate of the United States
Taiwan's Stolen Election
Taiwan Independence and Free Lunches