June 1, 2002

Defending Taiwan's "Democracy"

Executive Summary: Whenever Blue Team "China Threat" theorists need to rationalize gunboat diplomacy against China, they trot out their "Taiwan is a Democracy" thesis. "Taiwan is a lively / thriving / vibrant democracy" they declare, "therefore Americans have a moral obligation to rally to its defense." Their syllogism is bogus in every respect. First, Taiwan is not a democracy, but a cronyist dictatorship ruled by an Asian strongman. Taiwan under Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian is akin to the Philippines under Marcos and Indonesia under Suharto. Second, Taiwan's liberty and prosperity are under threat, not from Beijing, but from an autocratic, doctrinaire and incompetent Taiwan independence nomenklatura in Taipei. Third, the Blue Team is not defending Taiwan's "democracy," it is expanding America's empire by violating China's sovereignty. If 278 million Americans have any moral obligation, it is to prevent Blue Team China hawks from provoking yet another Asian debacle underwritten with American taxes and American blood.

I LOOKED THE MAN IN THE EYE... I WAS ABLE TO GET A SENSE OF HIS SOUL

"President Putin and I have just concluded two hours of straightforward and productive meetings... I looked the man in the eye... I was able to get a sense of his soul... I wouldn't have invited him to my ranch if I didn't trust him. (Laughter.)"

George W. Bush, June 16, 2001

The press laughed, and so did we. How could we not? Was this actually how the frat boy in the Oval Office determined which nations were "strategic allies" and which were "strategic competitors?" Was this actually how the Best and the Brightest in the West Wing determined for whom our military machine would "do whatever it took," even launch a nuclear first strike?

Unfortunately the answer to these disturbing questions seems to be "yes."

Taiwan independence spokespersons have long maintained that they "share Americans' deep and abiding respect for Freedom and Democracy." Having taken the Taiwan Lobby's reassuring public declarations at face value, many Americans have assumed quite naively that they understood what made Taiwan independence zealots tick.

They could not be more mistaken. As with Albania's fascist KLA or Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, the true face of Taiwan independence has been systematically hidden from Americans by a complicit fellow traveler media establishment.

GOODBYE WHITE TERROR, HELLO GREEN TERROR

During the final years of Chiang Ching-kuo's administration the younger Chiang rescinded martial law, legalized opposition political parties, and promoted Taiwan-born Chinese to key positions in the ROC government. Taiwan was well its way to political, in addition to economic, liberalization.

But time has not stood still. Taiwan has undergone a catastrophic regression since Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian assumed office. Taiwan today is a thoroughly corrupt "elective dictatorship" which tramples over its own national constitution and democratic majority. Its ruling DPP, having received a meager 39% plurality at the polls, doesn't even rate the epithet "majoritarian tyranny."

Taiwan today persecutes independent journalists and opposition parliamentarians who dare to criticize the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's rampant corruption and cavalier Rule of Law violations. What has replaced the defunct White Terror is not Freedom and Democracy, but an increasingly ominous Taiwan independence Green Terror. This may be news to Taiwan independence sympathizers in America and Europe, but to loyal citizens of the Republic of China it is Old News. Americans and Europeans are just now getting wise to what has been common knowledge to any cab driver in Taipei.

On March 20, 2002 alas, the Taiwan independence nomenklatura's mask slipped. Goons from the "democratically elected" Chen regime stormed the offices of Next Magazine and the private residence of one of its reporters in a chilling attempt to intimidate Taiwan's ostensibly free media into cowed silence.

Taiwan Magazine raided as Spy Scoop prompts National Security Alert

Wednesday March 20, 2002

TAIPEI (AFP) - [A]ccusing it of attempting to endanger security by reporting on secret expense accounts used to bankroll spy operations in mainland China... investigators and police searched the offices of the Next Magazine in downtown Taipei... a printing shop outside Taipei and the home of Hsieh Chung-liang, the writer of the sensitive article. Investigators confiscated thousands of copies of the weekly that were ready to be distributed Thursday... the National Security Bureau said the search was necessary for safeguarding security and "the rights and security of foreign friends"... [and] threatened... a lawsuit against the Chinese-language China Times which carried related articles.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS NOT FOR REACTIONARIES

"This has nothing to do with freedom of the press, freedom of the press also has its limits."

– Chen Ding-nan (DPP) Minister of Justice to Chen Shui-bian

"Reactionaries must be deprived of the right to voice their opinions; only the people have that right."

– Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party

Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan is the Taiwanese equivalent of homegrown authoritarians Janet Reno and John Ashcroft. Chen Ding-nan's categorical denial was a lie. The Next Magazine case has everything to do with freedom of the press. The Chen Shui-bian administration's Gestapo raid on Taiwan's independent media was motivated not by any alleged concern for national security, but by fear of criminal exposure. A major scandal potentially disastrous to the international image of the Taiwan independence movement, an image cultivated at great expense by the Taiwan Lobby, could not be allowed to see the light of day.

Lee Teng-hui ran for the office of President of the Republic of China. Lee Teng-hui swore a solemn Oath of Office, promising to defend the Constitution of the Republic of China. Upon being elected President of the Republic of China however, Lee Teng-hui misappropriated Republic of China taxpayer funds for the purpose of overthrowing the Republic of China and replacing it with a "Republic of Taiwan." Lee Teng-hui subverted the democratic will of Taiwan's pro-reunification majority. Lee Teng-hui betrayed his Oath of Office. Lee Teng-hui violated the Constitution he swore to uphold. In short, Lee Teng-hui sold out his country.

That is what this scandal is about.

To put matters in perspective, the Republic of Korea's Chun Doo-hwan and Roe Tae-woo received Draconian sentences for crimes far less serious than Lee's. Chun and Roe's crimes were purely economic. Lee Teng-hui's crimes involved not merely graft, but high treason. The question is not whether Lee is guilty of these deeds. Lee freely admits having committed them. The question is will he ever be brought to justice for having committed them.

Even the "energetically" interventionist Washington Post, Taiwan independence fellow traveler and no friend of Beijing, saw no way around the obvious:

"Taiwan under former president Lee Teng-hui established a secret $100 million fund to buy influence with foreign governments, institutions and individuals... U.S. think tanks... Washington lobbyists... people now in senior positions in the Bush administration... That Taiwan has used money to win friends and influence people has been an open secret for decades. Its lobbying machine is one of Washington's slickest, outclassing the less practiced attempts by its Communist [sic] adversaries from [mainland] China... "

John Pomfret, Washington Post Foreign Service

READ MY LIPS...

Question: "How can you tell when A-Bian is lying?"

Answer: "His lips are moving."

According to Reuters the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists faxed a letter of protest to President Chen Shui-bian: "CPJ considers this an important press freedom issue that has serious implications for the health of Taiwanese democracy."

The Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontieres or "Reporters Without Borders" issued a similar statement: "The use of such practices is unworthy of a democracy [sic] like Taiwan. Invoking national security to justify this seizure is very questionable."

Chen's Gestapo raids were in clear and direct violation of Article 11 of the Republic of China's Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.

How did A-Bian respond to the CPJ and RSF's strenuous objections?

Text-only printable version of this article

Bevin Chu is an American architect of Chinese descent registered to practice in Texas. Currently living and working in Taiwan, Chu is the son of a retired high-ranking diplomat with the ROC (Taiwan) government. His column, "The Strait Scoop," now appears occasionally on Antiwar.com.

Archived Columns

Defending Taiwan's 'Democracy'
6/1/02

Reap the Whirlwind
9/29/01

The Real China Threat
5/9/01

Taiwan Independence, R.I.P.
1/23/01

The Case Against Taiwan Independence Not Just the Numbers
10/31/00

Mister Lee Goes to Taipei [Lee Kuan Yew, that is]
10/2/00

The Orvillian Newspeak of Orville Schell
9/14/00

Freedom and Democracy Disappear in Taiwan
9/1/00

Taiwan Independence: Will of a Majority or Whim of an Elite?
8/18/00

Jesse Helms, Senator from Taiwan
4/7/00

Farewell, Mr. Democracy
3/31/00

Taiwan's Fraudulent Election
(3/21/00)

Taiwan's Day of Decision
(3/17/00)

One China, Two Systems
(3/10/00)

Taiwan's Pseudo-Democracy
(3/3/00)

Taiwan Independence and the 2-28 Incident
(2/25/00)

The Least of Three Evils
(2/18/00)

A New Millennium, Really
(2/11/00)

Taiwan Independence Beats a Retreat
(2/4/00)

Hollywood's Tibet: Tinseltown's Sacred Cow
(12/17/99)

International Trade and National Security: Back to Basics
(12/10/99)

Tibetan-Chinese Are Not American Indians
(12/3/99)

American China Policy versus Common Sense
(11/26/99)

Letter to an American Patriot
(11/19/99)

The Myth of Casualty Aversion
(11/12/99)

Gary Bauer's Un-American Values
(11/5/99)

The Dalai Lama's Politics of Race
(10/29/99)

A Republic, Not an Empire: The Conventional Wisdom is Wrong, Dead Wrong
(10/22/99)

All Politicians are Essentially Actors: Al Pacino, Ronald Reagan and Lee Teng-hui
(10/15/99)

Playing Politics with Taiwan's Quake Victims
(10/8/99)

Taiwan's Great Earthquake and the Mandate of Heaven
(10/1/99)

Taiwan's Little Emperors
(9/24/99)

Globocops With Guillotines
(9/17/99)

Taiwan Independence and the Stockholm Syndrome
(9/10/99)

Taiwan Independence and Free Lunches (8/31/99)

Inside the Taiwan Political Scene (8/19/99)

American Values in Dire Straits (8/10/99)

Chen responded the way he always does – the way he responds to strenuous objections from majority Pan Blue voters on Taiwan that "stealth separatism" and "creeping independence" were in clear and direct violation of Article 4 of the Republic of China's One China Constitution.

Chen shined them on.

In a glib reply oozing the smarmy insincerity that is A-Bian's trademark, and which must be read to be believed, Chen paid pro forma lip service to press freedom, promising everything but delivering nothing:

"... History will also show that I have a long-standing record of being an unconditional supporter of freedom of press. [sic] As an activist for democratic reform, I became a prisoner of conscience in 1984 after publishing a magazine. Hence, I share your conviction that freedom of speech is an unequivocal, indispensable human right... the essence of democracy should never be quelled under the pretext of national security, nor should the flag of national security be used as a cover for undermining freedom of press. [sic]"

... AS I LIE THROUGH MY TEETH

What "History will show" is that Chen served time not as "a prisoner of conscience," not because he was "an activist for democratic reform," but because as a magazine publisher he waged a libelous media campaign against a hated political enemy – former New Party legislator Fung Hu-hsiang.

Unable to discredit Fung's pro-reunification political philosophy, a frustrated, vindictive Chen set out to destroy Fung by fabricating charges of plagiarism against him. Fung demanded that Chen issue a retraction and an apology. Chen not only refused, he escalated his smear campaign.

Left with no alternative, Fung filed suit against Chen. Confronted in open court with demands that he present evidence to back up his scurrilous charges, Chen couldn't. Chen was convicted of libel and served an 8 month sentence.

This is all a matter of public record. You'd think with the scores of US based "China experts" busy scribbling away on cross Straits issues, one of them would have bothered to verify the authenticity of A-Bian's account? No such luck.

Full Disclosure: Josef Goebbels was right. The Big Lie works, in the short to medium term anyway. I myself was taken in by this Big Lie of A-Bian's, as one of my early op-eds which mistakenly refers to Chen as "a former political prisoner" reveals.

It was so typical of Chen not merely to lie, but to embed one lie within another. Not only did Chen lie about his nonexistent commitment to "freedom of [the] press," he lied about his record of libel as a magazine publisher, to a media watchdog group no less. Perhaps Chen confused Cooper with one of his semiliterate, narrow-minded True Believers?

Cooper, to her credit, was neither deceived nor amused, and faxed Chen again:

" ...recent actions by your government have undermined Taiwan's legal protections for freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in Article 11 of the constitution... CPJ strongly urges Your Excellency to ensure that your promises to respect press freedom are reflected in the policies and actions of your administration... we are not convinced that the articles in Taiwan Next and China Times pose a genuine threat to national security... we see no justification for raiding the offices of Taiwan Next and attempting to censor the publication..."

Cooper's postscript drops all pretense at diplomatic circumlocution:

"Join CPJ in protesting this attack on the press. Write or fax to the address above."

The frustration in CPJ's letter, and the disappointment in RSF's public statement was palpable. Taiwan independence sympathizers were finally getting a clue. So this was the "lively / thriving / vibrant democracy" they had been praising in the abstract without having experienced in the concrete. So this was what the democratic majority on Taiwan has had to endure for the past fourteen years.

Talk about "making an ass out of you and me."

TRIBAL MEMBERSHIP, NOT INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY

"The people have the right to know. Next Magazine has the right to publish the news... the two secret funds have nothing to do with national secrets, so the search is a violation of press freedom."

– Pei Wei, Executive Editor

Taiwan Next Magazine

"This is ridiculous. This is costing us a lot of money. We did not publish missile defense plans here. We published a politically embarrassing situation."

– Mark Simon, Director of Corporate Accounts
Apple Daily, flagship publication of Hong Kong's Next Media Group

The DPP's heavy handed Gestapo tactics against Taiwan Next Magazine finally laid bare an ugly reality long concealed from the American public. Taiwan independence zealots were never bona fide champions of Freedom and Democracy. They were petty tribalists morbidly preoccupied with identity politics. Their highest priority was never individual rights and individual liberty, but collective identity and tribal membership.

As long as they achieved their "Taiwan, not China; Taiwanese, not Chinese, ROT, not ROC" goals, all other considerations were secondary, optional, dispensable. The Republic of China's Constitution and Taiwan's pro-reunification majority are mere inconvenient obstacles standing in the way of their would-be "Republic of Taiwan" to be circumvented by any means available, no matter how illegal, unconstitutional or immoral.

THE ANACONDA IN THE CHANDELIER: CENSORSHIP ON TAIWAN TODAY

"In sum, the Chinese government's censorship is less like a man-eating tiger or fire-snorting dragon than a giant anaconda coiled in an overhead chandelier. Normally it doesn't move. It doesn't have to. It feels no need to be clear about its prohibitions. Its silent message is "You yourself decide," after which everyone below makes his or her large and small adjustments – all quite "naturally."

Perry Link

Ever since Hong Kong's retrocession to China in 1997, our establishment media has been harping relentlessly on Beijing's "chilling effect" on the territory's freewheeling media. But Green Terror intimidation of dissident media personalities on Taiwan by the pro-independence Chen regime makes the sob stories related by former South China Morning Post writers Jasper Becker and Willy Lam pale in contrast.

Most Americans and Europeans haven't the slightest inkling as to how relentlessly Lee and Chen have persecuted anyone who stands in the way of their dream of a "Republic of Taiwan." Taiwan's Green Terror began with Lee Teng-hui fourteen years ago, and accelerated with Chen Shui-bian's "democratic" succession to Taiwan's throne two years ago. Witnessing a Pan Blue opposition divided and in disarray, impotent to check rampant "Green Government" lawlessness, Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura grows more brazen with each passing month.

Political talk show hosts Li Yen-chiu, Li Ao, and Sisy Chen for example, have been forced into a desperate game of musical chairs as political refugees, fleeing from one cable channel to the next as media bosses cozy with the ruling DPP acquire control of one media company after another.

Even Hu Chung-hsing, who helped A-Bian get elected by portraying him as a larger than life Man of Destiny, was not immune. A bitterly disillusioned Hu made the mistake of pointing out his former idol's feet of clay, and is currently both out of favor with the Chen regime, and out of his General Manager's job at CTV.

So by all means, visit Perry Link's article, posted at the U.S.-China Commission, www.uscc.gov. That's right, dot gov. Yes, yes, I know. Link was just lecturing us about academic and media independence from official government orthodoxy, but he was referring to Chinese academic and media independence from official Chinese orthodoxy, not American academic and media independence from official US government orthodoxy, you understand. Hardly the same thing.

Read Link's piece. Substitute "Taiwan" for "China" and "Taiwanese" for "Chinese." You will soon get a sense of what our Academia / Government / Media Establishment does not want you to know about the Taiwan independence movement.

SO WHO'S AFRAID OF FREEDOM NOW?

Last month the Chen Shui-bian regime abruptly and unceremoniously cut reception to CCTV-4, China Central Television, denying Taiwan cable television subscribers access to a mainland television channel they have watched on a daily basis for the past decade. Taiwan television channels, on the other hand, remain available for viewing in major cities all across the Chinese mainland.

So my question to China-bashing Taiwan independence fellow travelers is this: When it comes to the issue of cross Straits reunification at least, just exactly who feels threatened by the free exchange of ideas across the Taiwan Straits? Just exactly who feels the need to impose state censorship to keep the goodwill between mainland and Taiwan Chinese a secret?

Is it champions of a reunified, inclusive China embracing Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait? Or is it small-minded, petty "Us vs. Them" Taiwan independence "nativists" who would seal the island off from the outside world, if only they could?

I haven't even mentioned "Jie ji yong ren" which roughly translates as "Avoid haste, be patient," the euphemistic term for Lee Teng-hui's imperial edict forcibly prohibiting Chinese citizens on Taiwan from exercising their personal liberty by associating with fellow Chinese across the Taiwan Straits. "Mr. Democracy" refers to his arbitary, unconstitutional decree forbidding ROC citizens from taking an airliner, mailing a letter, or shipping a freight container, directly from Taipei to Xiamen or Shanghai as a "policy." Chinese on Taiwan who defy Lee's "policy," stringently enforced by Lee's successor Chen, face legal prosecution.

Memo to wannabe dictators the world over: How do you commit a flagrant human rights violation and get away with it? Simple. Commit it in full view of the world, but make sure you label it a "policy."

What's "Mr. Democracy's" motive? Lee doesn't want Chinese on Taiwan to reconcile with their kinfolk on the mainland. Most Minan Chinese on Taiwan for example, trace their roots back to Zhangzhou and Quanzhou in Fujian province directly to the west. Vice President Annette Lu's older brother is a practicing attorney in Taipei and in sharp contrast to his younger sister, is a dedicated champion of Chinese reunification. Lu has organized frequent family reunions between the Taiwan and mainland branches of the Lu clan.

Too much chipping away at the virtual Berlin Wall down the center of the Taiwan Straits, and China will soon be reunified like Germany. Right-wing Japanophile Lee can then whisper "sayonara" to his pipe dream of a "Republic of Taiwan," nominally independent but in geopolitical reality a Japanese strategic outpost against the Chinese mainland.

THE NEWS THAT WE THINK THEY OUGHTA SEE

"The people of this country see the news that we think they oughta see."

– Ted Turner, Founder of CNN

Why don't Americans know about Taiwan's Green Terror?

Americans don't know about Taiwan's Green Terror because our establishment media has decided Taiwan's Green Terror, which they insist ordinary Americans are morally obligated to defend with American taxes and American blood, is not "news we think they oughta see."

Americans don't know about Taiwan's Green Terror because previous outrages have gone unreported by the same western journalists so vigorously defended by such organizations as CPJ and RSF, and whose inexcusable silence as Lee and Chen's censorship of pro-reunification sentiment has been deafening.

How's that for irony?

Our establishment media, in gross violation of journalistic ethics, assuming that is not an oxymoron akin to "military intelligence," systematically evades its professional responsibility to report the failure of Taiwan's stillborn "democracy" to the American public. Our establishment media engages in this unprofessional moral evasion because they failed to retain their objectivity while reporting on One Divided China, but instead allowed themselves to be seduced by the Taiwan Lobby's "One China, One Taiwan."

Having taken sides, having allowed themselves to become emotionally invested in the "lively / thriving / vibrant democracy" presided over by "Mr. Democracy" Lee Teng-hui and "Son of Taiwan" Chen Shui-bian, our establishment media is reluctant to confront developments which bring them professional discredit by underscoring their historical myopia and political naiveté.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY REMAIN THE SAME

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

– Old French aphorism

Several years ago Hsu Shui-teh, Secretary General of the KMT under Chairman Lee Teng-hui was asked about an impending court case, one potentially damaging to "Mr. Democracy" Lee Teng-hui's thoroughly corrupt Mainstream Faction. Hsu, an obsequious ass-kisser, rushed to bossman Lee Teng-hui's defense:

"What have we got to be worried about? After all, the courts are operated by the KMT."

Hsu's Freudian slip, his momentary, unintentional lapse into uncharacteristic honesty, earned him a footnote in ROC political history.

Today Chen Ding-nan could easily say the same thing about the Democratic Progressive Party:

"What have we got to be worried about? After all, the courts are operated by the DPP!"

Ever since assuming power in 2000, the "reformist" DPP has flagrantly, openly, brazenly engaged in every single form of corrupt behavior for which they rightly condemned Lee Teng-hui's "Taiwan KMT" in years past. As Sisy Chen, former Public Relations Chief for the DPP has noted, the new generation of DPP leaders exhibits an unseemly eagerness to sell out the party's long professed ideals in exchange for money, power or a combination of the two, that is downright sickening.

THE PAN GREEN GOLDEN RULE: HE WHO HAS THE GOLD, RULES

During the late Chairman Mao's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, coercive egalitarian Maoists demanded "Xian hong, hou zhuan," or "First red, then expert." Mao's insane economic "policy," astounding in its obtuseness, has been reincarnated on Taiwan by the DPP and the TSU. The terms "Nativization" and "Taiwanization" are the Taiwan independence Quislings' code words for de-Sinicization and Japanization. During Chairman Lee and now Chairman Chen's Nativization / Taiwanization Witch Hunt, Taiwan independence zealots are demanding "Xian lu, hou zhuan," or "First green, then expert."

Instead of eliminating State Owned Enterprises outright by introducing across the board privatization, the Chen regime has used them to reward politically correct but professionally unqualified political benefactors.

China Steel is, or rather was, an exceptional SOE which consistently yeilded handsome profits quarter after quarter, year after year under an experienced, capable Pan Blue chairman. The Chen regime recently fired him and turned over China Steel's management to the former chairman of Taiwan's state-owned Taiwan Sugar, a clue-less, incompetent Pan Green political crony with a proven track record – of losing money.

Christine Tsung, the Republic of China's Minister of Economic Affairs was recently forced to resign only three months after assuming office. Tsung publicly acknowledged she wasn't up to the job. Tsung's qualifications were twofold. One, Tsung was Finance Director for the small southern California community of Poway, near San Diego. Two, Tsung's husband, president of Taiwan's state-owned First Bank, donated US$1,000,000 to Chen Shui-bian's presidential election campaign.

Transportation tycoon Chang Rong-fa, head of the Evergreen Group, is Chen Shui-bian's sugardaddy. When Chen was an ROC legislator, his staff of twenty legislative assistants were employees of Evergreen, provided free of charge to Chen by Chang. Recently a Chen appointee made his debut as Chairman of the Board of Taiwan's state-owned Bank of Transportation and Communications. The new bank chairman is Chang Rong-fa's son in law.

CHAIRMAN CHEN, MEET CHAIRMAN MAO

Since its founding the DPP has routinely and rightly condemned the KMT for its Leninist conflation of Party, State and Military authority into a single Supreme Leader. One of the DPP's solemn promises was that once in office it would put a swift end to such top heavy "cult of leadership" institutions inconsistent with bottom up, grass roots style democracy.

A mere two years into a DPP administration however, guess what? DPP officials have suggested that if President Chen of the ROC was simultaneously Chairman Chen of the DPP, "coordination between the executive branch and the ruling party would be more streamlined, more efficient." Would you be surprised to learn that instead of indignantly rejecting the proposal, A-Bian promptly put his seal of approval on it?

So now the "Son of Taiwan" is simultaneously Chairman of the DPP, President of the ROC, and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Chairman Chen, meet Chairman Mao. You have more in common with him than you would care to acknowledge.

THE IMMORTAL FOLLY

"Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it... can never willingly abandon it."

– Edmund Burke

Patterns in nature replicate themselves, or expressed in more mundane terms, "History repeats itself." The Reformer overthrows the Tyrant; the Reformer becomes the Tyrant. Intoxicated with power and incapable of self-introspection, the Reformer turned Tyrant cannot admit to himself that just like those he has replaced, he too has been corrupted by Absolute Power. He tells himself "I'm different, the times are different, the circumstances are different," when in fact the only thing different is the color of his uniform. This immortal folly is brilliantly depicted in such film masterpieces as:

All the King's Men (1949) Directed by Robert Rossen, Written by Robert Penn Warren

Viva Zapata (1952) Directed by Elia Kazan, Written by John Steinbeck

and in the immensely satisfying film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy,

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Directed by Peter Jackson, Written by J.R.R. Tolkien, Screenplay by Frances Walsh

"MR. DEMOCRACY": PRIME SUSPECT

"Despite considerable media publicity in both countries concerned the Taiwan kick-backs with murder process and the partially related French kick-backs with influence peddling process will fade away as this millennium year ends. Some punishments may be inflicted on some of those involved but there will be no dramatic transparency of the corruption that lies at the base of both processes."

Franz Schurmann

If heavy-handed Green Terror press censorship and endemic Green Terror corruption weren't bad enough, it is merely the tip of the Green Terror iceberg. How many Americans know for example, that Lee Teng-hui is the prime suspect in the cold-blooded execution/murder of Captain Yin Ching-feng, an ROC Navy whistle blower? That's right, none other than Newsweek's cover boy of 1996, "Mr. Democracy" himself. A murder suspect.

In 1993, Republic of China Navy Captain Yin had in his possession taped evidence implicating "Mr. Democracy" as the chief conspirator in a mind-boggling military procurement scandal involving astronomical kickbacks on Lafayette frigates purchased from France. The night before he was about to go public with his evidence, Yin was seen being forced into a sedan by two men and "taken for a ride," Chicago gangland style. Yin's corpse was later found floating off the coast of Hualien by fishermen. His throat had been cut. One need not be Gil Grissom or Catherine Willows of the TV series "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation" to realize Yin did not die of a boating accident.

Former ROC legislator Lee Ching-hua has been conducting his own independent investigation of Yin Ching-feng's murder. Lee Ching-hua has lamented that despite a mountain of damning evidence, the case is going nowhere, at least on Taiwan. The only real progress is being made in France by French prosecutors. As Lee Ching-hua put it, it's a too typical instance of "ban bu xia qu, yin wei ban bu shang qu," which loosely translated means "the case cannot go forward, because it cannot go upward."

The situation is pretty much summed up by the Chinese expression "Guan guan xiang hu," which means "Officials cover for each other." In case that still wasn't plain enough, it means Chen Shui-bian is covering for Lee Teng-hui.

Fall guys, some totally innocent, have been designated to take the heat off Lee Teng-hui and fellow crooks Su Chi-cheng and Liu Tai-ying. Among those falsely accused is Admiral Lei, father of Lei Chen, a former Executive Vice President of the American Broadcasting Company.

Meanwhile key witnesses have fled overseas, crucial evidence has mysteriously vanished, a cold trail grows colder, and justice for the heroic Captain Yin and for long-suffering Chinese citizens on Taiwan less hopeful with each passing day.

FIFTY-FOUR SUITCASES, EIGHT-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS

Bucharest, Romania, 14 December 1999 (RFE/RL) ...The next day, for reasons known only to himself, Ceausescu called a mass rally in downtown Bucharest. Perhaps the Romanian leader still felt loved by the people, or else he was confident in his ability to manipulate the rally. It was a fatal mistake that was to be witnessed by the entire nation. A minute into his speech from the balcony of the Central Committee building, Ceausescu was interrupted by shouts from the crowd of "Timisoara!" and "Down with Ceausescu!" ...By the afternoon of December 21, the center of the capital was filled with thousands of people demanding Ceausescu's ouster. Violent clashes with police soon erupted and continued through the night.

The Republic of China's March 18, 2000 presidential election had nothing to do with "democracy" let alone Constitutional Rule of Law. Instead, it was about "the peaceful transfer of political authority," as Lee himself so shrewdly termed it. By exploiting the dictatorial powers and immense resources available to him as combined head of state and chairman of the ruling party, Lee was able to engineer the defeat of his own party's candidate Lien Chan, a reunificationist and to "transfer political authority" to the pro-independence DPP's Chen Shui-bian. Because Lee was able to foist his anti-democratic travesty on the ROC electorate without provoking armed rebellion, Lee felt free to characterize his election fraud as "peaceful."

Immediately following "Mr. Democracy's" outrageous "peaceful transfer of power" thousands of KMT Reform Faction and New Party supporters staged a Tienanmen style protest in front of KMT headquarters in Taipei. This columnist was among those who took to the streets, waving banners, angrily shouting "Down with Lee Teng-hui!" and "Lee Teng-hui, step down!"

That was Tseng Wen-hui's (Mrs. Lee Teng-hui) cue to make her now infamous "Escape to New York" with US$85 million in undeclared used bills stuffed into 54 suitcases.

Why now?

Lee was suddenly a lame duck, and Taiwan's First Couple panicked. Lee Teng-hui and Tseng Wen-hui, like millions of CNN viewers worldwide had seen what the Romanian people did to Romania's First Couple Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. A frightened and apoplectic Mr. Democracy was quoted as saying, "If Deng Xiaoping could use tanks to put down Tienanmen, why can't I?"

A-Bian had already gotten what he wanted, the presidency of the ROC. Lee could no longer be certain A-Bian wouldn't sell them out. Whatever dirt Lee might have on Chen, whatever sums might have changed hands in some smoke-filled room, Chen had also sworn publicly he would "investigate [the Lafayette Scandal] to the bitter end, even if it shook the foundations of the nation."

Given Chen's public declaration, plus the seething mass of "peasants with pitchforks" gathered outside KMT headquarters and Lee's official residence, and it is doubtful the First Couple got much sleep during those fateful days.

So Mrs. Democracy absconded with a portion of Mr. Democracy's kickbacks from the Lafayette frigate and Mirage fighter procurements, just in case. I was not speaking figuratively when I compared Lee Teng-hui and Tseng Wen-hui to Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and to Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu.

Unfortunately for them the undeclared cash was discovered by US Customs officials at JFK airport. Just counting the bills took seven hours. Among the eyewitnesses to Mrs. Democracy's flight from justice were US Customs officials, US State Department officials, EVA Air baggage handlers, Bank of America employees, and armed security guards (Pinkerton's, if my memory serves me) who escorted the cash back to Taipei.

EVA Air's boss Chang Rong-fa as I mentioned, is a major benefactor to Taiwan independence politicians Lee and Chen. Chang, in financial terms, practically is the DPP. Evidence suggests that with the help of the outgoing Clinton administration, Lee and Chang covered up the entire fiasco. The cash in excess of US $10,000 would not be confiscated as required by US law, but Mr. Democracy would have to step down as KMT Party Chairman in order to mollify outraged pro-democracy protesters outside the presidential palace, and to avoid embarrassing the US government for its sponsorship of a de facto dictator and shameless kleptocrat.

Less than a week later, Mrs. Democracy sneaked back to Taipei and arranged a photo op at Tamsui Golf Course, ostentatiously playing golf in the rain and fog, pretending that she had never left Taiwan at all, insisting disingenuously that she had "been here all the time."

When ROC legislators Fung Hu-hsiang and Hsieh Chi-tah quite reasonably demanded an official investigation of Tseng Wen-hui's failed getaway attempt and subsequent cover-up, Tseng filed a libel suit against them to shut them up. Fung and Hsieh were compelled to respond defensively with a counter suit.

Let's be absolutely clear. Fung and Hsieh did not commit libel. Far from it. Fung and Hsieh were demanding an American-style Watergate/Whitewater investigation, which as duly elected members of the ROC parliament they were not only well within their rights to demand, but morally obligated to demand.

Both Tseng's lawsuit and Fung and Hsieh's counter suit were dismissed in Taipei's District Court. The presiding judge in essence handed this political hot potato which landed in his lap off to the Appeals Courts by issuing a "Guess what? Nobody's guilty!" verdict.

The Taiwan public is outraged that the court lacked the judicial independence to pursue the matter to the end, and in effect officially sanctioned Mrs. Democracy's theft of mind-boggling sums her husband could not possibly have earned legally during his career as a civil servant. Tseng Wen-hui and her hubby have "gotten away with murder," so to speak, probably literally.

On the other hand, given the bright green Taiwan independence "Anaconda in the Chandelier," hanging over the novice judge's head, it is fortunate Fung and Hsieh weren't railroaded, incarcerated in the Green Gulag and fined exorbitant sums they as public officials of rare honesty could never hope to pay off in ten lifetimes.

This is the true face of "Taiwan's lively / thriving / vibrant democracy" loudly trumpeted by the Taiwan independence propaganda machine, from the Taipei Times to the Washington Times. As I said, this is merely the tip of the Green Terror iceberg.

THIS ISN'T THE REPUBLIC ANYMORE, IT'S THE EMPIRE. WE ARE THE BAD GUYS

"All democracies turn into dictatorships – but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea... How did the Republic turn into the Empire? ...How did Anakin turn into Darth Vader? How does a good person go bad, and how does a democracy become a dictatorship? It isn't that the Empire conquered the Republic, it's that the Empire is the Republic. One day Princess Leia and her friends woke up and said, 'This isn't the Republic anymore, it's the Empire. We are the bad guys... This democracy is a sham...'"

George Lucas, creator of "Star Wars"

Our Benevolent Global Hegemonists' complicity in Israel's brazen campaign of ethnic cleansing on the West Bank and in Venezuela's abortive military coup should leave no one in doubt. The primary concern of the New Imperialists, as they are now calling themselves, is not whether America's client states practice "American-style Democracy." The primary concern of our homegrown versions of Emperor Commodus, as depicted in Ridley Scott's retro epic "Gladiator," is whether foreign and domestic political entities represent inconvenient obstacles to "American-style Empire."

Post-communist China is struggling to extricate herself from Third World poverty and to throw off the final remnant of 19th century colonialism. An economically prosperous, laissez-faire capitalist China immune to US and Japanese gunboat diplomacy however, is not part of the New Imperialists' strategic scenario for the 21st Century. A bankrupt, Balkanized, and defenseless China is.

Without meaning to, China finds itself standing squarely in the path of the New Imperialists. Any Chinese government which properly insists on China's political independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity will find itself involuntarily cast by the Blue Team as America's implacable "Strategic Competitor" and targeted for subversion and eventual destruction.

Taiwan is neither a democracy, nor would Americans, who have their own lives to live, be morally obligated to defend it even if it were. Defending "Taiwan's lively / thriving / vibrant democracy" is nothing more than the Blue Team's flimsy pretext to justify China's destabilization and disintegration, and to deny China's restoration to her historical status as a respected member of the world community. Likewise with Bush Jr.'s incomprehensible hostility towards Nobel Laureate Kim Dae-jung and his "Sunshine Policy" towards the northern part of his country. So much for the "benevolence" in Benevolent Global Hegemony.

See these articles:

West's terror goes unpunished, by Gregory Clark

U.S. Policy toward Taiwan defies Reason, by Gregory Clark

U.S. Taiwan Policy is courting disaster, by Gregory Clark

A global American Empire does not constitute the fulfilment of our Founding Fathers' American Republic on a global scale. Just the opposite. A global American Empire is the antithesis, the negation of our Founding Fathers' American Republic. A global American Empire is to the Founding Fathers' American Republic what antimatter is to matter, what the antichrist is to Christ. The American Empire is the oppressor not only of millions of foreigners abroad, but of millions of Americans at home.

It is not the American Republic, but the American Empire that can besiege, starve, gas, machine gun and incinerate an entire Protestant sect in rural Texas, and still declare without irony that it is "deeply disturbed that Beijing is harassing Christians in China."

It is not the American Republic, but the American Empire that can countenance killing half a million Iraqi children in the name of "helping the Iraqi people liberate themselves from domestic Iraqi tyranny."

It is not the American Republic, but the American Empire that can make astonishing statements such as "Rising Chinese economic prosperity constitutes a grave threat to American military supremacy in the western [sic] Pacific" without even blinking.

Blue Team American Imperialists jealous of China's astonishing resurgence will need to cast about for a more compelling pretext than "defending Taiwan's lively / thriving / vibrant democracy" to justify preemptive "containment" of China's lively / thriving / vibrant capitalist economy – not to mention the "deconstruction" of the Great Republic established by America's visionary Founders.

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