Tue, Mar 23, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Pan-blue poster likens Chen to bin Laden, Saddam

PROPAGANDA A series of campaign posters depicts President Chen Shui-bian as the equivalent of both Osama bin Laden and Iraq's Saddam Hussein

By Martin Williams and Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTERS

A scan of the poster issued by the Taichung City KMT campaign headquarters.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials last night remained tight-lipped over campaign literature comparing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda terror figurehead Osama bin Laden.

Endorsed by the Taichung City KMT campaign headquarters, which is headed by Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), a former foreign minister, the glossy color poster features bin Laden with the caption: "I am terrorist leader bin Laden, and I admire Taiwan's A-bian!" It includes an image of one of New York City's World Trade Center buildings collapsing on Sept. 11, 2001, adding the words, "bin Laden's masterpiece."

On the reverse side of the undated poster, a headline states that the referendum ballot is sacred and should not be used as a campaign tool. However, at the bottom of the page, the flyer uses an illustration to indicate how voters can leave voting stations after casting only their election ballots.

The poster accuses Chen of stealing the dignity that referendums confer to the people: "This kind of tactic is an exact copy of election fraud committed by Hussein." To the left, a caption next to the former Iraqi dictator reads, "I am Hussein, and you will all do as I say."

Previously, a blue-camp advertisement that compared Chen to Adolf Hitler sparked criticism from both the Democratic Progressive Party as well as Taiwan's Jewish community. The ad was withdrawn after only one day in distribution.

When asked for comment, KMT spokesman Justin Chou (周守訓) told the Taipei Times that the poster was "very good," before adding that his official response was "no comment."

KMT-PFP alliance spokesman Pang Chien-kuo (龐建國) said he could not comment on the comparison of Chen to Hussein and bin Laden until he had seen the poster.

Hu is director general of the campaign headquarters, but a secretary in Hu's office said that Hu had not been not aware of the poster and had not authorized its distribution. Hu could not be reached for further comment.

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