Mon, May 22, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Ease up on Chen bashing

You have done enough bashing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), with articles by academics such as Philip Yang and Edward Chen, with editorials, letters, and coverage by and of pro-China media and politicians ("Nation must listen to US messages," May 17, page 8).

Totally ignored, were two aspects of Taiwan-US relations.

One, what if Chen had enough support in the legislature that the arms purchase was approved, and that the US had no question about Taiwan's determination to fight for itself? Why should the US support a nation that does not bear the responsibility of defending itself? If the arms procurement bill was approved, wouldn't the US' attitude be different?

Two, Chen is desperate to save Taiwan consciousness in the face of the onslaught by the pro-China faction at home and foreign threats. And he does this while hoping not to offend our dear friend in the White House. Yet the White House does not realize that the US doesn't help Taiwan's democratic cause by suppressing Chen. It's a case of Catch-22. Battering Chen equals encouraging the pro-China faction, which equals destroying Taiwan's democracy. Sure, lives could be lost, but what about liberty totally lost?

But at least the US has the excuse of its preoccupation with Iraq and terrorism. What is the excuse of Taiwan's academic world?

Chen Ming-chung

Chicago, Illinois

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