The will we, won’t we game over whether the Taiwanese air force will receive shiny new fighter jets from Uncle Sam to replace its current crop of rusting relics is frankly getting a bit dull.
Defense News magazine broke the news last week that the US would get out of bed with China for just long enough to spurn Taiwan’s advances, but that only sparked a round of denials that left everyone even more confused than before.
It’s pretty obvious Washington is not going to sell us what we want, so I say screw the US and their F-16s, let’s build our own weapons from now on.
Let’s start with some drones.
I am fully aware that military experts say drones are no substitute for bona fide fighters, but I still believe drones are the way forward for Taiwan’s armed forces. We certainly have the technology to build such craft and, in my humble opinion, they have several advantages over traditional fighter jets.
For a start, if war did break out with the Chicoms, with drones at least we wouldn’t have to sit there worrying about the loyalties of the men in the cockpit and whether half of them would just take off and fly across the Taiwan Strait and defect.
Another advantage is that drone pilots would be easy to find. The dozens of model airplane enthusiasts that annoy the hell out of everyone in Taipei’s riverside parks each weekend could be tapped first.
If they can’t be dragged away from their remote controls, we could easily turn to the red-eyed legions of wang ka zombies who spend months on end in basement Internet cafes shooting virtual enemies. They are used to war-like hardship and wouldn’t even need to leave their sweat-stained, sticky office chairs.
Just supply them with enough cigarettes, instant noodles and drink-fountain winter melon tea and they could take out half the Chinese amphibious landing force before they even set foot on Baishawan (白沙灣).
The drone is also the perfect weapon of choice given our -Commander-in-chief President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who for the past three years has droned on endlessly about his cross-strait policy and its achievements.
Media commentator Antonio Chiang (江春男) summed Ma up perfectly last week when he said: “Ma behaves like the leader of a vassal state when he depicts the crumbs that Beijing throws him as political achievements,” before adding: “Ma is not fit to be a democratically elected president.”
As if to vindicate Chiang’s comments, Ma this week — following on from his comparing Typhoon Morakot victims’ new homes to villas in Provence, France, a few weeks ago — came out with the latest in his long line of weirdness.
In celebration of his 34th wedding anniversary, Ma posted on his Facebook page that he would like to become a woman in his next life so he could remarry Chow Mei-ching (周美青) (I presume she will be a man.) Chow has gone on record as saying she would not marry Ma again if she had a choice.
I know being president of Taiwan could almost be a part-time job given the nation’s isolation, but if Ma has time to write such, shall we say, revealing stuff, then one can rest assured he isn’t thinking about matters of state.
What he is thinking about, on the other hand, is anyone’s guess.
Joe Doufu is a Taipei-based satirist.