Journey to Nowhere, the Return Trip
May 08, 2006
Taiwan leader responds to US snub with global odyssey
By Kathrin Hille in Taipei
Published: May 9 2006 01:32 | Last updated: May 9 2006 01:32
FT: Taiwan’s international isolation became all the more evident last week when the island’s president, on his way to Paraguay, scrapped a planned stop in Alaska. Mr Chen Shui-bian opted instead for a stopover – later aborted – in Beirut, a detour via Abu Dhabi and refuelling in Amsterdam. Analysts said Mr Chen’s odyssey also highlighted the risk that the president could become unpredictable during his last two years in office. They said he might be increasingly willing to risk the ire of the US – Taiwan’s sole protector against threats from [mainland] China and its single most important unofficial ally – if it helped his political agenda. Mr Chen’s detours were organised after Washington offered no more than refuelling in Anchorage or Hawaii for his trip, a substantial downgrade compared with previous US transits when he was allowed to spend a few days in the country, hold meetings and give speeches. Expressing his anger over what he considered to be a clear snub, Mr Chen reciprocated with his strange, intercontinental tour. “The more we get frustrated, the braver we have to be,” he said on Taiwanese television.
Taiwan independence True Believers raging against the US
Comment: Taiwan independence Quislings are now blasting the Bush administration over its deliberately humiliating offer of transit through Alaska. I hesitate to say so, but I couldn't have manifested a more positive development if a Jinni had emerged from a lamp and granted me three wishes.
The reason I hesitate to say so, is that I have never forgotten Napoleon's famous advice, "Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake."
Taiwan independence Quislings are making the biggest mistake of their life. Their only chance of carving a chunk out of China's sovereign territory and relabeling it the "Republic of Taiwan," is to remain servile and obedient puppets of Washington's Malevolent Global Hegemonists, no matter how badly they are treated in the process. Actually, it is an increasingly remote chance, but it is their only chance. Without the direct military intervention of the their puppetmasters in Washington, Taiwan "independence," if you can call it that, has a "Chinaman's chance" of success.
When Chen thumped his chest and insisted that “The more we get frustrated, the braver we have to be,” what he said in Chinese was "yue cuo, yue yong," which literally translated means, "the greater the frustration, the greater the courage." But since the word for "frustration" in Chinese is a homonym of the word for "error," Pan Blue pundits wasted no time mocking Chen's bravado as "the more serious the error, the greater the foolhardiness."
As their pathetically naive protest signs reveal, Taiwan independence True Believers don't understand their designated role in the Malevolent Global Hegemonists' New Cold War against China. They don't realize they are nothing more than Uncle Sammy's sacrificial pawns. They actually believe "You need Taiwan more than Taiwan needs you."
The only reason I have gone ahead and pointed out the Taiwan independence Quislings' catastrophic mistake, is that the Taiwan independence nomenklatura is not about to correct its mistake based on what some Deep Blue pundit says on the Internet, no matter how widely his weblog is read.
FT: Ties with Washington have been less than smooth since Mr Chen angered Beijing by proposing constitutional reforms and holding a referendum on cross-Strait issues in 2004. “The big question now is whether he is spinning out of control,” said a US expert on Taiwan affairs. Mr Chen is struggling in his final term, which ends in May 2008. His approval ratings have plummeted, while the opposition’s legislative majority means that most of his policies have been blocked, raising the possibility that he may leave office without having achieved anything. Some analysts said this makes populist appeals to Taiwanese nationalism, even if they result in rising tensions with China and a rift with the US, one of the few choices Mr Chen has left.
Comment: As Hermann Goering, (1893-1946) the founder of Nazi Germany's secret police, the Gestapo put it, "Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Lee Teng-hui and especially Chen Shui-bian have been dragging the people along, bringing them to do their bidding, telling them they are being attacked, and denouncing the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the island to danger. As Goering shrewdly noted, it is a simple matter and works the same in any country.
Charles W. Freeman, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, warned about this alarming development in a speech he delivered on June 25, 2004:
It is in our interest to convince Taipei that it is both playing with fire and becoming dangerously distant from its sole protector, the United States. It is not in our interest for Beijing to accomplish this for us by upping the military threat to Taiwan or taking a bite out of the island. The Bush Administration, as recently as yesterday, has spoken out ever more bluntly in an effort to instill realism into Taipei and to deter it from taking steps that will provoke such unilateral action by Beijing. Mr. Chen has not only brushed these warnings aside, he has ensured that his partisan press ignores and distorts the Administration's message so that it is never heard or read by his followers. It is becoming clear that words alone may not be enough to convince the Taiwan authorities not to jeopardize the island's future and our own; punitive actions may be required.
The Bush administration's denial of transit through the lower 48 is just such a belated and frankly long overdue "punitive action."
FT: US officials indicated that the Anchorage offer that infuriated Taipei so much reflected a lack of confidence in Mr Chen. Analysts said that when he had been given more favourable treatment, he had made his stopovers a “political show” for domestic consumption, and Washington did not trust Taipei to steer clear of similar action this time. “Mr Chen has managed to widely erode support in the most pro-Taiwan administration in recent memory,” said the US expert. When Mr Chen earlier this year broke a promise not to scrap an advisory body responsible for working towards unification with China, US delegates were assured by his aides in private that his other commitments – such as refraining from declaring independence – were still valid. However, Washington subsequently found it impossible to get a personal confirmation of this from him. “He says one thing and does another,” said the US expert. “He behaves like a lawyer”
Comment: For once, an alleged "US expert" on Taiwan affairs actually lives up to the appellation. Whoever this unnamed US expert is, he actually understands Chen Shui-bian's exasperatingly stubborn and appallingly selfish psychology, as few so-called experts on China do.
When this unnamed US expert says that Chen "says one thing and does another" and that "he behaves like a lawyer," he isn't merely telling another lawyer joke, he's revealing that he has Chen Shui-bian profiled every bit as accurately as Pan Blue political analysts on Taiwan, who have long accused Chen and other Pan Green lawyers turned politicians of displaying a classic "luu shi xing ge" (lawyer's personality).
This US expert correctly notes that “Mr Chen has managed to widely erode support in the most pro-Taiwan administration in recent memory.”
How did this come about?
Ironically, this came about precisely because the Bush administration was "the most pro Taiwan [independence] administration in recent memory." This came about because the Bush administration handed the Chen administration a blank check by vowing to "do whatever it took [sic] to defend Taiwan."
Bush wrote the check. Chen merely cashed it.
See: The Taiwan Tail wags the American Dog
FT: Randall Schriver, former deputy assistant secretary of state, said US-Taiwan relations would now enter a “cooling-off period”, and Taipei needed to engage in close communication with Washington to stop an emerging “negative cycle” in bilateral ties.
Comment: From the Taiwan independence Quislings' perspective, Schriver is right on the money. Assuming the Taiwan independence nomenklatura is still serious about realizing its treasonous ambition of Balkanizing the Chinese nation, it ought to first cool off, then kiss up to its puppetmasters in Washington. But I'm guessing, as well as hoping, it won't happen. The individuals who comprise the Taiwan independence nomenklatura are far too myopic, and more importantly, far too selfish to step forward and stop the emerging downward spiral in puppet to puppetmaster ties. They have had six years to engage in self-retrospection as the Pan Blue opposition pointed out their mistakes. Is two more years really going to make any difference?
FT: Mr Chen’s chosen route for his return journey from Paraguay will be the first test whether Taipei is ready to do so. As of yesterday, the government had not made it clear whether the president would stick to plans for a transit through Anchorage tomorrow.
Comment: The latest word as of the afternoon of Tuesday May 9, is that Chen has decided not to kiss and make up with the Bush administration. He intends to continue thumbing his nose at the Bush administration and to return in the same direction he came. Needless to say, this pundit welcomes his decision. I look forward eagerly to hearing State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack refer to Chen Shui-bian as "it."
Chen Shui-bian recently compared the relationship between his Pan Green Quisling regime in Taipei and Bush's Malevolent Global Hegemonist regime in Washington with the relationship between the two main characters in Ang Lee's film Brokeback Mountain.
Chen's clueless analogy may turn out to be more ironically appropriate than even he imagined. Brokeback Mountain depicted a hopeless and doomed relationship that ended in tragedy when one of the two parties died a violent and unnatural death. Between the Pan Green Quislings in Taipei and the Malevolent Global Hegemonists in Washington, whom do you imagine is going to die a violent and unnatural death? I know whom I'm betting on. How about you?