Mon, Jun 07, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Enough soft power; time for hardball

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) has become so fed up with the endless pan-blue lies on TV news shows that he has given up watching them, and instead has tuned in to a drama serial about Genghis Khan. We are puzzled at the portrayal of the Great Khan in this TV series, since the former president suggests that his was an inspirational story, and that he was a great role model, a devotee of Western culture and a great humanitarian.

Well it's true that a fellow who went from eating rodents in the Gobi to reigning as emperor of one of the greatest land empires the world has known probably knows more about leadership than even Lee Iacocca. But a great humanitarian? After all, this is the man who made terror a system of government and massacre an instrument of policy; who said "A man's greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all the things that have been theirs, to hear the weeping of those who cherished them."

One of the things that we can be pretty sure Genghis would not have had much truck with is that latest Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vacuity, "soft power." And we can guess how he would have handled the pan-blues over the past few months. But since the Genghis option is not open to us, what alternative might there be?

Let us meet this question with another. Why is there not a raft of lawsuits tying up the pan-blues in every possible court in the land for their flagrantly illegal behavior? Criminal lawsuits should be launched against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for incitement to riot, conspiracy to cause a breach of the peace and, most seriously, sedition, given their well-documented attempts to provoke a military coup.

Civil actions for defamation should be brought by the staff of Chi Mei Hospital in Tainan over accusations of their complicity in "bulletgate." Both the Tainan City government and National Police Administration might also launch civil cases against the pan-blues over accusations ranging from incompetence to malfeasance. A class-action suit, also for defamation, might usefully be filed on behalf of the 200,000 volunteer election workers accused of "rigging" the election, and, should the pan-blues lose the recount, a similar action might be brought by the Central Election Commission.

Some indication of what might be done lies in the DPP's suit against KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正), who accused the DPP of starting the riot in Ketagalan Boulevard on April 10 when it was, as is well known, started by pan-blue-supporting gangsters. But far more needs to be done, including of course the impeachment and removal from office of Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), both for his abject failure to uphold the law in Taipei City in the week after March 20 and his flagrant violations of the law regarding the granting of assembly permits. And there should be a rigorous investigation of Lien's tax avoidance and more vigorous pursuit of Soong over his Chung Hsing Bills finance fraud. Finally, we need to see an investigation into the White Terror by a state-appointed judicial commission with the power to recommend criminal prosecution.

This might not contribute to a spirit of reconciliation, but the pan-blues have shown no interest in such a process anyway. It is about time they started paying for the lies they have propagated and the damage they have wrought, and time for those who have had to suffer from these pan-blue behaviors to "break their enemies, to drive them before them, to take from them all the things that have been theirs." To all those with an ax to grind against the pan-blues we can do no better than quote the advice of that implacable foe of Batman, the Joker: "Don't get even, get mad."

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