Friday, July 13, 2007

Civil War, or International Conflict?

Civil War, or International Conflict?
United Daily News editorial
translated by Bevin Chu
July 12, 2007

Frank Hsieh said that a "civil war over democracy" is currently raging on Taiwan. But if we examine Frank Hsieh's battle plan, we see that when he uses the expression "civil war over democracy" he really means "conflict between nations."

Frank Hsieh, who once advocated "reconciliation and coexistence" has apparently changed his mind. Who knew that the first word to pop out of his mouth would be "alien regime?" The DPP has demonstrated that it is neither democratic nor progressive, so how can any war it wages be a "civil war over democracy?" If the DPP wants to be perceived as genuinely democratic and progressive, the least it can do is refer to the political opposition as "the loyal opposition." It may have political differences with the political opposition, but it should not think of it as the enemy. When the DPP refers to the opposition party as an "alien regime," it is saying that the opposition party originates in a "foreign nation," an "enemy nation." Hsieh's "civil war over democracy" is clearly an attempt to cast the election as a war of "Taiwanese" national defense against an enemy nation, "China."

To refer to Ma Ying-jeou as the representative of an "alien regime," is to disenfranchise approximately half of the voters on Taiwan, those who support Ma Ying-jeou. It is to negate his credentials as a loyal citizen of the Republic of China. It is to cast Ma Ying-jeou as an "enemy of the people." Ma Ying-jeou is a citizen of the Republic of China. He has sworn his allegiance to the government of the Republic of China in Taipei. But as long as Frank Hsieh says "You represent an alien regime, you are not Taiwanese, you are an enemy of the Taiwanese people," then Ma Ying-jeou is disqualified from being "Taiwanese" and from swearing allegiance to the Republic of China government in Taipei. Who is Frank Hsieh that he can sit in god-like judgment over the court of public opinion on Taiwan?

In fact, for Frank Hsieh to cast doubt on Ma Ying-jeou's loyalty by referring to him as the representative of an "alien regime" is chock full of irony. Frank Hsieh and the Democratic Progressive Party advocate "eventual Taiwan independence." From either a constitutional or realpolitik perspective, both the "Republic of Taiwan" and the "People's Republic of China" are enemies of the Republic of China. So why must anyone who champions the Republic of China be maligned as someone who "doesn't love Taiwan," while anyone who champions a "Republic of Taiwan" is lauded as someone who "loves Taiwan?" In fact, "loving Taiwan" is the the largest common denominator for everyone living on Taiwan. "Loving Taiwan independence" on the other hand, is merely the whim of a minority of DPP members and Frank Hsieh. Disagreement with Taiwan independence hardly equals "not loving Taiwan." Therefore, if one wishes to define this election as a war between the Republic of China and a would-be "Republic of Taiwan," then naturally it amounts to a "conflict between nations" and not a "civil war for democracy." But isn't this the DPP's tired old rhetoric? Isn't this Frank Hsieh's entire battle plan?

If Frank Hsieh wants to escalate the presidential election to this level, the result will be a showdown between an alleged "alien regime" and a corrupt pro Taiwan independence political authority. Frank Hsieh apparently wants to totally repudiate Ma Ying-jeou's right to be a presidential candidate, on the grounds that Ma Ying-jeou is "not Taiwanese, does not love Taiwan, and is betraying Taiwan." Will this argument really persuade Republic of China voters on Taiwan to support the pro Taiwan independence DPP? Should Republic of China voters on Taiwan support a thoroughly corrupt DPP?

During last Monday's debate between Frank Hsieh and Ma Ying-jeou, Frank Hsieh's strategy was "back to the past." Therefore he attacked an alleged "alien regime." Ma Ying-jeou's strategy was "back to the present." Therefore he argued that "a corrupt regime has no legitimacy." Frank Hsieh used selective footage of Taiwan's history to create an ersatz "History of the 228 Incident." He harped on how many people the KMT killed. Compensation paid to the heirs of 800 dead and missing reveal the true number of victims. He glossed over the fact that had the KMT not defended Taiwan against the CCP, several generations would have been engulfed by a Red Tide. He glossed over the fact that under the CCP's "one child per couple" policy there would not be 23 million "Taiwanese" alive today. He glossed over the fact that there would be no DPP on Taiwan today, and that Frank Hsieh would not have had the opportunity to publish his "alien regime theory." By contrast, Ma Ying-jeou's "back to the present" thesis that day was quietly understated. Ma asked whether a "nativist political authority" must be a corrupt authority such as the DPP, whether it must engage in self-deception and deception of others, and whether it must cast half of the people on Taiwan as "non-Taiwanese" agents of an "alien regime?" He asked whether casting half of the people on Taiwan as "non-Taiwanese" would provide a corrupt DPP with legitimacy, or enable the DPP to realize its dream of a "Republic of Taiwan." As soon as Ma and Hsieh clash, a showdown will begin between an alleged "alien regime" and a corrupt Taiwan independence political authority.

Frank Hsieh says he advocates "reconciliation and coexistence." He says that if he is elected, he will display "tolerance" toward Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT, and that they will defend Taiwan together. Is this his idea of "reconciliation?" Is this his idea of "coexistence?" To cast one's opponent as "non-Taiwanese" during the election, but promise to display "tolerance" toward him, providing one succeeds in thrashing him at the polls, is not only absurd, it is contemptible.

Frank Hsieh must not casually initiate a war against an alleged "alien regime." If he does, he will be escalating a "civil war over democracy" to the level of a "conflict between nations." After all, approximately half the people on Taiwan are supporters of Ma Ying-jeou. Frank Hsieh refuses to acknowledge that Ma Ying-jeou is Taiwanese. He refuses to acknowledge that approximately half the people on Taiwan are "Taiwanese," i.e., a citizen of the Republic of China living in the Taiwan Region of the Republic of China. Therefore when Frank Hsieh portrays Ma Ying-jeou as an "enemy of the Taiwanese people," he has simultaneously turned himself into an "enemy of the Taiwanese people."

Reconciliation and coexistence means that every citizen of the Republic of China must be allowed to enjoy all the rights and privileges of a citizen of the Republic of China, including voting and running for office.

2007.07.12 04:10 am










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