Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Nice theory, but who cares?<

By Mark Wolfe

Richard Hartzell's various musings to the Taipei Times in which he concludes that, to put it simply, Taiwan is a "foreign territory under the dominion of the US," may have some merit in fact, but the problem is this: No one cares.

How many column inches could be filled in this newspaper by listing the war crimes (in fact) and contraventions of the Geneva Conventions (in fact) by the US in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba?

The illegal use of cluster bombs and the improved version of napalm? The "intelligence and facts being fixed around the policy"?

The list goes on and on, yet one thing shines through like a diamond-piercing light: No one cares.

These things are happening or have happened right under the noses of everyone on the planet and will affect relations among nations for at least a generation, probably longer. But no one cares.

The fact is that even if Hartzell is correct in his assessment, the incidents surrounding Taiwan's status were too long ago, too far removed from anything relevant today and would necessitate some inconceivably massive and influential expression of concern by the US -- clearly more than it is showing at present for point-blank international illegalities and bald-faced misprision -- the same country that Hartzell exhorts to see the truth in the Taiwan issue.

Hartzell might as well have deciphered a new line from the Rosetta Stone for all his theory is worth.

Interesting as an academic study, it's useless and obscure in today's world of contempt for the rule of law.

Mark Wolfe

Taipei

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