Americans should be very grateful for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) visit here, clarifying Taiwan's position and saving us from a grave error. The US committed itself to the democratization of Iraq when the people of that country were clearly divided; the result has been continuing war in Iraq and loss of US and Iraqi lives.
So far, the US has also been committed to the preservation of democracy in Taiwan. But Ma is making clear what a serious mistake that could be for the US, if Taiwan is not prepared even to purchase the weapons necessary to defend itself, let alone to fight. Were China to attack Taiwan and the US to defend it, Ma leads us to expect that we would see civil war and insurgency across the island, undermining rather than appreciating the US' efforts.
Ma and his party claim, as does President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), that they want to keep unification with China as an option available for Taiwan "eventually."
But while Ma is over here, I hope someone tells him that without a viable defense, Taiwan might not exist independently long enough to see the benefits of a Ma presidency.
Colorado Springs, Colorado