Monday, October 12, 2009

Is Former President Chen a Colonial Governor under a U.S. Military Government?

Is Former President Chen a Colonial Governor under a U.S. Military Government?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
October 12, 2009

According to the U.S. Military Court of Appeals, former President Chen Shui-bian has alleged that a U.S. Military Government has occupied Taiwan since the end of WWII, and continues to occupy Taiwan even today. He pleaded with the U.S. Military Court of Appeals to order the U.S. Military Government to instruct President Ma Ying-jeou to immediately release Chen Shui-bian and countermand his sentence of life imprisonment. His allegations were printed with black ink on white paper. Otherwise many people would have trouble believing that anyone would spout such arrant nonsense. Chen Shui-bian's latest move offers further proof that in order to escape justice, Chen is willing to do anything.
This differs from previous accounts. Chen Shui-bian did not "sue" U.S. president Barack Obama. Rather he filed a petition with the U.S. Military Court of Appeals. His argument is that according to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Taiwan remains under United States military occupation, and its status remains undetermined even today. Therefore during his eight years as president, he was in fact an agent of the United States Military Government, he was in effect Taiwan's Chief Executive/colonial governor.

Chen Shui-bian claimed that during his two terms as president, he was aware of the existence of the U.S. Military Government, and carried out its orders. On Taiwan-related matters, the United States Military Government was "paramount," and during his two terms he often received orders from the Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan. Now he faces political persecution. Therefore he is disclosing the existence of this U.S. Military Government to the U.S. Military Court and the world. He is calling upon this military government to come forward and protect him.

When Ah-Bian made these fantastic claims, he was not talking in his sleep. He was not speaking off the cuff. His claims were carefully drafted and formally submitted to the court. He claimed that Taiwan has secretly been occupied by a U.S. Military Government, and asked the true powers behind the throne to come forward and rescue him. Such claims from a former President of the Republic of China are absurd beyond belief, and are an affront to the dignity of the public on Taiwan.

First of all, the San Francisco Peace Treaty may not have specified who would hold sovereignty over Taiwan. But the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty confirmed that Taiwan's sovereignty belonged to the ROC government. Moreover, Japan and the United States both granted diplomatic recognition to the Republic of China. They United States and the Republic of China may have signed a mutual defense treaty, but the U.S. never occupied, ruled, or even administered Taiwan. So where is this still active U.S. Military Government Ah-Bian speaks of? Where is this military government that has supposedly been in existence for sixty years. Where is this government that nobody has ever heard of?

If this military government that rules over Taiwan exists, where are its officials? Where does its funding come from? Have both houses of congress and the media been kept in the dark, all these years? Have successive U.S. presidents from different political parties kept it a closely guarded secret? Ah-Bian has concocted a fantasy so patently absurd, people all over the world may die laughing.

Chen Shui-bian certainly has an active imagination. That he could concoct such an incredible story, and that he is being ridiculed as a madman is a small matter. That the public on Taiwan is being humiliated along with him is not. From its very inception, the Republic of China's status as a sovereign and independent nation has remained unchanged. We may have fewer diplomatic allies. We may be squeezed by international organizations. But those are merely incidents of unfair persecution. They are not the result of any deficiencies in the terms and conditions of our national sovereignty. The Republic of China has everything required for full nationhood. It has sovereignty, territory, people, and government. It has a democratically elected legislature and government. No one can deny that we are a sovereign nation, not even a former president who spouts nonsense in his sleep.

In fact Chen Shui-bian's move was utterly obtuse, because it is something a United States Military Court could not possibly accept. It would never want the specter of a non-existent military government to emerge as an agent of influence. Even assuming Ah-Bian merely wants to generate controversy in order to win popular support, it will not work. People will merely perceive his claims as the ravings of a lunatic. It won't even be able to delay the legal proceedings against him.

The only impact it will have is to hurt the feelings of the public on Taiwan. Chen Shui-bian once pledged to "fight to safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty." Now he is claiming that he was merely the Chief Executive of the United States Military Government, that all his decisions required Uncle Sam's seal of approval. One has to wonder what happened when he infuriated Washington with his "One Country, Each Side" thesis? Did he forget to obtain Uncle Sam's approval? The public on Taiwan supported him all the way, and allowed him to become president. They allowed him to rule for two terms and eight years, to exercise immense powers and receive a generous salary and pension. Now it turns out these taxpayer dollars were paid to an agent of colonial rule? If we follow his logic, he should ask the United States to pay his salary. Why is he taking hard-earned taxpayer dollars from citizens of the Republic of China? Ah-Bian embezzled vast sums from the nation's coffers. He abused the political authority delegated to him by the public to reap huge profits via government-business collusion. Shouldn't he cough up this money?

Looking back at Chen Shui-bian's actions, we see he often resorted to any means at his disposal to achieve his own selfish ends. He sacrificed his comrades, his friends, his family confidants, and his servants without a second thought. He even sacrificed the nation's sovereignty and dignity. Even his former Democratic Progressive Party comrades cannot rationalize away his behavior. Die hard Ah-Bian hero-worshipers support him unconditionally. But has Chen Shui-bian ever demonstrated the same loyalty towards Taiwan?

Chen Shui-bian may spout nonsense. But he and his First Family accomplices in crime must still face the Republic of China justice system and be prosecuted according to the letter of the law. Chen Shui-bian may come up with a whole slew of gimmicks in the future. But the sympathy and solidarity he inspires will be less and less.

中時電子報 新聞
中國時報  2009.10.12












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