"Of the dead say nothing but good," Plutarch advises. The problem is that in the case of Soong Mayling (
Soong learned to speak like a Western democrat during her years of schooling in the US, but her psychology was utterly feudal. Her hypocrisy and mendacity were astonishing, perhaps best represented by her convincing Henry Luce, the powerful boss of Life and Time magazines, that she and her husband Chiang Kai-shek (
Like old-fashioned bandits holding a village for ransom in a martial-arts novel, the Soong-Chiang-Kung clique saw China as nothing more than an area of operation for their depredations. Soong Mayling's brother, T.V. Soong (
Soong Mayling was feted in the US during World War II as exemplifying the spirit of Chinese resistance. Actually Luce's power and T.V. Soong's bribery bought Soong Mayling her moment of fame before the US Congress in 1943. What has been portrayed as a triumph for Mayling's charm was in fact a triumph of money politics.
The 1943 speech was to encourage the US to throw more money into the cesspit that was the KMT's anti-Japanese war effort. Most of the materiel that the US supplied was sold by Chiang and his cronies to the very Japanese they were supposed to be fighting. After the war US president Harry Truman calculated that the Chiang clique had filched US$750 million (as a proportion of US GDP this would be US$35 billion today) from the aid that was sent to them as a result of Mayling's efforts. "They're all thieves," he said, "every damn one of them."
Eventually the people of China got sick of the banditry of the Soongs, Kungs and Chiangs, and threw their lot in with the communists to kick the bandits out of China.
To Taiwan's sorrow they fled here, establishing a colonial regime depriving Taiwanese of political power and suppressing dissent with great brutality. They also continued their robberies, albeit slightly more circumspectly.
Soong Mayling's particular money spinner was the military welfare tax (
Soong valued only money and power, tried to secure Taiwan as a fiefdom for her awful family and left in a huff when she failed. The only good thing she ever did for Taiwan was to leave it. Now this evil and corrupt woman is where she belongs -- in Hell. The world is a cleaner, better place for that.
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