Sat, Jul 01, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's NewsWatch: No recall? It's likely to anger China

Chen Shui-bian survives a futile recall attempt, Annette Lu piles on the silliness and news agencies swallow the Chinese line. At least Irvine, California, is on Taiwan's side.

By Johnny Neihu 強尼內湖

Well, the recall farce is over, and not a moment too soon. The sight of all the usual suspects -- James "I'm all for marathon sit-ins, as long as there's some AC" Soong (宋楚瑜), May "Opportunist? Me?" Chin (高金素梅) and Li "Media Tart" Ao (李敖) -- lining up to speechify against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) outside the legislature was enough to make me blow my morning soy milk out my nose and all over my youtiao.

Sure, A-bian is about as popular around these parts as a World Cup referee on the streets of Sydney. But the spectacle of the pan-blues getting worked up and pointing fingers over alleged corruption is beyond ironic. "The pot calling the kettle black" doesn't quite capture it -- "the void calling the kettle black" is more like it.

But perhaps even worse than the spectacle of a pan-blue witch hunt is the excuse the whole charade gave to Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to open her mouth. First it was her harebrained proposal for "Blue Ocean Coffee" to bring together all of the nation's top politicos to sip latte together and solve the nation's problems. Not only was it a bizarre and misapplied rip-off of a popular business book, it was a proposal of such startling naivete that one could only hope Lu had some obscure Machiavellian card up her sleeve.

The idea went down like a lead balloon, but that didn't deter the Vice Hair-do. Perhaps after the authors of the Blue Ocean Strategy book contacted her and told her they wanted no truck with her or Taiwanese politics, she moved on to another catchphrase. She said she wanted to hold, and this is no joke, a "blue sky, green ground, good Taiwan tea party" for national reconciliation.

Matsu help us. What next? The "Blue-green yoga party for a better tomorrow," in which Lu leads the nation's unitard-clad bigwigs in deep-breathing exercises? An "Alice in Wonderland, you're OK, I'm OK, let's all drink green and blue Electric Kool-Aid and get nekkid love-in" with the nation's top politicians? The mind reels.

A reliable source, who cannot be named because he might lose his janitorial position at Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters, gave NewsWatch the following scoop: The party's central committee was so sick of Lu putting in her NT$2 that they were considering a resolution ordering her to shut up.

In fact, this is clearly the right direction if the DPP wants to retain any shred of electoral viability.

For the next two years, Chen Shui-bian should not be allowed to do anything, and Annette Lu should not be allowed to say anything. She's too far gone through the looking glass.

In other travesties, this week saw a particularly egregious trotting out of the "in a move likely to anger China" saw.

You've seen it before: it's the stock phrase the wires insert to build anticipation on cross-strait tensions, which more often than not fail to materialize, and instead only serves to coddle the hypernationalist sensitivities of the bullying Chicoms across the Strait.

Here's Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) this week: "Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, in a move that might anger China, said on Friday that one ethnic group can form several countries."

Huh? Let me get this straight: the Apologizer-in-Chief didn't actually do anything besides making an observation of almost stunning banality -- and DPA calls it a "move that might anger China"? They might as well have written: "Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, in a move that might anger China, said on Friday that the Earth was round and contained seven continents upon which different people had formed different countries."

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