Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Soong lacks ability as historian or soothsayer

By Chin Heng-wei 金恆煒

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), seems to have run out of cards to play. He has to make recourse to the most primitive methods of argument to win votes, tactics that require neither intelligence nor wisdom.

Speaking to gatherings in veterans' villages, he accused President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration of "not looking after Mainlanders." In saying this, he was playing the ethnic card. In proposing his 60-year cycle theory (60 years between Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11 and that next year would be the 60th anniversary of "retrocession"), saying that Taiwan would be plunged into war if the pan-blue camp is defeated in the year-end legislative elections, he is playing the terror card.

In playing the ethnic card, Soong was consolidating the votes of the Mainlander population. It is worth pointing out that the PFP is constantly accusing Chen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of "ethnic mobilization" but now it is clearly shown that it is the PFP that relies so heavily on the "ethnic vote."

Playing the war card is not a fresh move either. During the presidential campaigns in 2000 and this year, Soong shouted himself hoarse predicting the possibility of war. But Chen has continued to lead his government into a second term, so clearly Soong's terror tactics are just a way of scaring up votes.

He is now back to his old tricks. Clearly he no longer has any other issues to pick a fight over, so he has no choice but to fall back on these insubstantial and insignificant matters. He has nothing else to offer.

Being able to link Sept. 11 with Taiwan's "retrocession" is no common feat. This is what he calls a global perspective, but in this case there is no "Mr. Science" to give him an endorsement. Does Soong think that just by turning himself into a Nostradamus that he can lead the pan-blue camp out of its current difficulties?

In any case, retrocession is part of the party-state discourse created by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), so although such a 60-year cycle might actually exist, it exists only in the KMT's scheme of things, and so if any catastrophe awaits at the cusp of two cycles, then the catastrophe will simply be that of the dissolution of the KMT's party-state. It doesn't take a fortuneteller to predict this, for it is already a matter of fact.

If the pan-green camp wins a majority in next month's elections, that will truly symbolize the final dissolution of the party-state structure, and this catastrophe is something that the pan-blue camp will surely be unable to escape.

It is most amusing to see what is happening now the Taiwan High Court has rejected the pan-blue camp's case over the one issue that they have harped on ever since May 20; namely that the result of the presidential election is invalid. After the judgement was handed down, even a poll conducted by the pan-blue mouthpiece the United Daily News showed that people had lost faith in the issue.

There was nothing for the pan-blue camp to do but to descend to a still more insubstantial "war of words." We now have KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) questioning the source of DPP campaign funds and Soong taking the guise of a second-rate mystic in the belief that his gobbledegook will bewitch the people.

If Soong really is able to see the future, why did he participate in the 2000 elections if he was doomed to failure? And why did he doom himself this year to failure once again, this time even after accepting the lesser role of vice-presidential candidate?

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