Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Who really keeps the flames of hate alight?

By Hu Wen-huei 胡文輝

We still don't know who set the fire that partially destroyed the Grass Mountain Chateau in Yangmingshan (陽明山) on April 7, but political and ethnic fires smolder on. Who set the latter fires, fires a 100 times more serious than the fire at the chateau? Wasn't it the pan-blue politicians, media outlets and commentators who worship dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and harbor hatred toward Taiwan?

The problem is not finding out who started the fire at the chateau, but rather the pan-blue camp's ensuing blame game. Nor is the problem whether or not to rebuild the chateau, but rather that the pan-blue camp wants to rebuild it to worship a dictator.

The pan-blue camp's response is a reflection of Chiang worship among pan-blue politicians and media workers who grew up in awe of him and now want to protect him. What they really love is the old dictatorship.

The feudal thinking behind Chiang's deification turns him into a god in death, while Chiang's despotic crimes are political achievements in the eyes of the pan-blue camp. Chiang was a tyrant, but he is praised as a democratic leader.

The chateau was built in 1920 during Japanese rule. Chiang lived in it for a short time after he fled to Taiwan 30 years later. The pan-blue camp doesn't care that a cultural artifact from the Japanese colonial period was destroyed by the fire, only that one of the "temples" where their "god" lived suffered that fate.

The pan-blue-camp bigwigs' hatred of Taiwan is turning into a political fire. Now they are trying to blame the blaze on the anti-Chiang movement and the pan-green camp. None of this is about the lives of common people; it is about the pan-blue camp provoking ethnic tension, kindling the flames of hatred and attacking political enemies -- all in the service of their quest for power.

The powerful political elite around former KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is distributed throughout political, media and cultural circles, just like feudal power structures. Chiang is their god, and Ma is their new pope. Doing away with Chiang is iconoclasm, while protecting him means protecting Ma. No trickery is too base for the pan-blue camp as it defends its new head of the Nationalist church.

The pan-blue power elite wants to use the chateau fire as an excuse to rekindle its own flame. If a psychologist were to analyze this patient, he would conclude the pan-blues are stricken with a serious case of narcissistic infatuation with Chiang.

Hu Wen-huei is a columnist.

Translated by Lin Ya-ti and Marc Langer

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