Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 8 News List


Unmasking the ‘horse’

The confirmation that Diane Lee (李慶安) has US citizenship seemed to carry more implications than the exposure of a garden-variety hypocrisy from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-dominated legislature, given that deceit abounds in Taiwan today.

Pre-election promises notwithstanding, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), backed by the KMT, insists that cross-strait deals should take effect without either legislative vetting or public scrutiny.

Even without being privy to the premises behind those agreements, Taiwanese could still detect the ill effects unique to losing the nation’s sovereignty. There is then no doubt that we have been betrayed.

To many Taiwanese, Ma’s horror show is just getting started, given his propensity to steadily and quietly subjugate his government to Beijing.

At this rate, by the time the next presidential election rolls around, there won’t be any power left to transfer to his successor if Taiwanese decide to throw Ma out after one term. Ma is in essence pre-empting Taiwan’s democratic process.

It’s now a race between how fast Taiwanese can consolidate the opposition and Ma’s pace at undermining Taiwan. Even waiting until Ma’s one-year anniversary in office to constitutionally launch his recall might seem like an unaffordable luxury at this point.

Whistling in the dark, the KMT encourages the circulation among the Taiwanese public of the myth that the People’s Liberation Army would come to the KMT’s aid in case of a Taiwanese uprising.

What’s being ignored is the fact that Beijing’s launch of any invasion could only be with the intention of forcefully taking possession of Taiwan, not of helping out an — by then — irrelevant KMT. Ma and the KMT would be of value to Beijing only as long as these “Chinese compatriots” can hold down the lid on the pressure cooker Taiwan could one day become.

The KMT wouldn’t fare any better than the Taiwanese public if Beijing launches cross-strait military action.

Ma and many in the KMT leadership, such as Lee, appreciate this fine point and value the security of being a US national.

But they also don’t want to give up their power in Taiwan.

This desire to “have their cake and eat it too” gave birth to the Ma-patented fallacy of “automatic loss of validity” of US naturalization.

However, the reason US citizenship and immigrant status don’t automatically disappear is because they come with not only rights but duties too, not the least of which is filing an annual income tax return.

Lee’s case is noted for its being such a dead ringer for Ma’s, a fact that might also explain the timing of the exposure as it signifies the increasing wariness of Washington toward Ma.

It was once a common belief that as long as Ma was constrained by the US from instituting martial law to bury democracy, Taiwanese should have ample opportunity to fight for their own future.

That has proved to be a gross underestimation of Ma and the KMT’s treachery.

Ma’s pursuit of a stealthy dictatorship is taking Taiwan farther away from the West.

As a consequence, Washington could soon be forced to decide whether or not to give up on Taiwan’s democracy, and Taiwanese as free people, for the sake of an unjust peace.

Washington, by opting to expose Lee to minimize the cost of political capital while still hoping that the Taiwanese public can discern the inescapable conclusion, shouldn’t be surprised by the inability or unwillingness of many Taiwanese to connect the dots.

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