Sat, Mar 20, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Academics decry attack's impact on political fabric

`AGAINST VALUES' One professor said that the shooting was meant to paralyze the nation's fight for democratization

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Academics condemned the shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday, stating that the act was an attempt to paralyze the nation's journey toward democracy.

"This shooting is totally against human values, and it is an attempt to hinder Taiwan's fight for democracy," said Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華), a sociology professor at National Chengchi University.

Ku said that it was fortunate that nothing worse had happened to the president, which might have led to the unthinkable.

"It is total luck that nothing worse transpired, or Taiwan would have to face complete chaos where both political camps would point fingers at each other," Ku said.

Ku said that throughout history, violence has been a means to achieving political ends.

"Throughout the history of humanity, assassination has been a means to achieve political goals for politicians. However, such violence is to be condemned," Ku said.

Lee Shiao-feng (李筱峰), a professor in Shih Hsin University's history department, compared the person or persons who carried out the shooting with the Boxer Rebellion during the Ching Dynasty.

"Whoever is behind this shooting is like the anti-imperialist Boxer Rebellion, which totally ignored what human rights stand for," Lee said.

The Boxer Rebellion was a group of xenophobic nationalists in 1900 who believed that their martial arts skills made them immune to Western weapons.

Lee also said that the shooter or shooters in yesterday's incident must have been educated under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) system.

"At this point, there is no doubt that whoever was involved in the shooting incident was educated under the KMT system. However, I don't believe that the KMT did it, because it was not a judicious move at all," Lee said.

Yesterday's shooting brought back memories of the accident that crippled first lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) in Tainan County 19 years ago.

On Nov. 18, 1985, Chen lost his bid for Tainan County commissioner. As Wu was traveling around the county after the election on behalf of her husband to thank voters for their support, she was run over by a truck -- several times -- in a dead-end street. The driver never stood trial.

That day, Chen's campaign headquarter received an anonymous phone call warning him not to run for political office again.

A memoir about Wu, The Story of Lady A-bian (金枝玉葉- 阿扁嫂的故事), which was published in 2000, stated that it was never proved that this incident was a "political accident."

Wu pointed out in the book that "I believe this incident had everything to do with the election."

The incident left Wu, then 33 years old, paralyzed from the waist down and reliant upon a wheelchair.

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