I applaud the people of all ages who gathered to oppose the senseless military buildup that is being pursued by Taiwan's government. As the continuous militarization of the planet indicates a continuing lack of democratic power among the people, public dissent to war and militarization is vital.
Taiwan is becoming further embroiled in a state of total war. As writer Paul Virilio explains, the strategies and illusions of "wars for security," "wars for human rights" and now the "war on terror" commit us to a perpetual cycle where, as society becomes centered on conflict, so does our development. Spending billions of dollars on weapons during times of economic crisis is but one concrete example of this dynamic.
As evidenced by the US experience from the "winning" of the Cold War to the Sept. 11 attacks to the present occupation of Iraq, this is a war that cannot be won. For decades, the US was embroiled in the Cold War with the USSR. From the proxy wars destroying third world countries to the direct training and support of allies-cum-enemies like Osama bin Laden and former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, this has led directly to the conflicts that the US is engaged in today. The decades of commitment to so-called solutions through military dominance led directly to the largest foreign attacks on the US and to what is clearly an expanding conflict in Iraq.
We all know that an overwhelming majority of people everywhere oppose war. The so-called leaders who perpetuate and escalate "total war" do not represent our will. It may seem that there are no easy answers to our global conflicts, and that we who advocate disarmament are naive.
However, it is certain that the empowerment of a few politicians to unaccountably commit us to 15 years of pointless military buildup is not a part of the solution.
War will not bring true peace and security. War will not spread human rights. War will not end terrorism.
Taiwan’s status in the world community is experiencing something really different; it’s being treated like a normal country. And not just a “normal” country, more like a valuable, constructive, democratic and generous country. This is not simply an artifact of Taiwan’s successes in combatting the novel coronavirus. It is a new attitude, weighing Taiwan’s democracy against China’s lack of it. Before I continue, I should apologize to the readers of the Taipei Times. I have not visited Taipei since the opening of the American Institute in Taiwan’s new chancery building in Neihu last year, so I was unprepared for the photograph
On Sept. 27, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) joined the UN to become its 191st member. Since then, two other nations have joined, Montenegro on June 28, 2006, and South Sudan on July 14, 2011. The combined total of the populations of these three nations is just more than half that of Taiwan’s 23.7 million people. East Timor has 1.3 million, Montenegro has slightly more than half a million and South Sudan has 10.9 million. They all are members of the UN, yet much more populous Taiwan is denied membership. Of the three, East Timor, as a Southeast Asian
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There have been media reports that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) plans to hold military exercises in August to simulate seizing the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) in the South China Sea. In the past, only Coast Guard Administration (CGA) personnel have been stationed there, but the Ministry of National Defense has dispatched the Republic of China Marine Corps to the islands, nominally for “ex-situ training,” to prevent a Chinese attack under the guise of military drills. The move is only a temporary measure and not sufficiently proactive. Instead, the government should officially declare sovereignty over the islands and station troops