Chen Shui-bian, You're No Thomas Jefferson
From Formosa to Gulag
by Bevin Chu
American interventionists across the political spectrum insist
that "Americans have a moral obligation to come to the military
defense of Taiwan because Taiwan upholds sacrosanct American values
of freedom and human rights." American interventionists are wrong
on both counts. One, even assuming the ruling regime on Taiwan
was a principled upholder of freedom and human rights, its military
defense would nevertheless be its own responsibility, not the
responsibility of foreigners. Two, the ruling regime on Taiwan
is not an upholder of freedom and human rights. Not by a long
shot. The unelected US puppet regime on Taiwan is composed of
right-wing fascists whose highest priority is not freedom and
human rights, but "Taiwanese" identity politics and "Taiwanese"
nation-building. For them, the ends justify the means. For them,
insincere mechanical lip service to freedom and human rights serves
to gain international sympathy for their cause, nothing more.
Their leader, Chen Shui-bian, has made a habit of quoting Thomas
Jefferson's famous remark about preferring a free press to government.
That however was before Chen Shui-bian and his fellow Taiwan independence
Quislings became the government. Now that Chen Shui-bian
and his fellow Taiwan independence Quislings are the government,
it's "L'etat, c'est moi," and "Vox Chen, Vox Dei."
Chen Shui-bian yesterday reiterated his staunch resolution
to protect the freedom of press, quoting former US president
Thomas Jefferson, saying that he would choose media over government.
Chen said he knows personally the injustice of an unfree media.
In [an] article entitled "From Gulag to Formosa," Chen said
that it takes extraordinary courage to criticize a totalitarian
regime, whereas democratic countries blossom freely because
they are not "Gulag Islands." "Though there have been quite
a few shortcomings in Taiwan's democratization process, the
transfer of political power set free the `Gulag' in everyone's
mind." Chen paraphrased Jefferson's famous remark, saying,
"If I had to make a choice, to choose the government without
the press or to have the press but without the government,
I will select the latter without hesitation." Chen also quoted
Formosa magazine, which once wrote "Dark nights cannot last
long, the tide will change mightily."
seeks to assure public he is all for a free media,"
Taipei Times, March 29, 2002
the years, Chen Shui-bian has made a habit of quoting American
Founding Father Thomas Jefferson on the issue of freedom of the
press. The above-mentioned incident in 2002 is neither the first
time nor the last time Chen has attempted to bask in the light
from Thomas Jefferson's halo.
only problem is, Chen Shui-bian is no Thomas Jefferson. Not even
the 1988 US presidential campaign, Republican vice-presidential
candidate Dan Quayle told Democratic vice-presidential candidate
Lloyd Bentsen that "I have as much experience in the Congress
as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency."
snorted in response, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew
Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're
no Jack Kennedy."
rhetorically devastating comeback was something of a cheap shot.
After all, Quayle was not claiming to be the equal of Jack Kennedy.
Quayle was merely claiming that he had the same amount of experience
as Kennedy when Kennedy ran for president.
Shui-bian on the other hand, has been mendaciously pretending
to share the same reverence for press freedom as the great Thomas
Jefferson, and that even if press freedom threatened him personally,
he would defend it to the death. Chen's pretense is an insult
to the memory of Thomas Jefferson, and an insult to the intelligence
of the Chinese people on Taiwan.
a champion of the Jeffersonian principle that those people are
governed best who are governed least, I am tempted to respond
to Chen Shui-bian by saying, "A-Bian, I am a student of Thomas
Jefferson's political philosophy. I studied Thomas Jefferson's
writings. Thomas Jefferson is a hero of mine. A-Bian, you're no
famed investigative journalist and 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner
Jack Anderson noted, even when Jefferson was being pilloried by
America's free press, he refused to betray his principles by demanding
or imposing censorship:
need for the press to occupy an adversary role was clear to America's
founding fathers. That is why they made freedom of the press the
first guarantee of the Bill of Rights. Without press freedom,
they knew, the other freedoms would fall. For government, by its
nature, tends to oppress. And government, without a watchdog,
would soon oppress the people it was created to serve. Thomas
Jefferson, that wise man, that sophisticated man, that cultured
man, that rich man ... a plantation owner ... understood. He was
savaged by the press ... excoriated by the press ... abused more
by the press than Bill Clinton, or Richard Nixon, or anybody in
recent times. He didn't like it. He said to one Philadelphia paper:
"Nothing in this paper is true, with the possible exception of
the advertising, and I question that." And yet Thomas Jefferson
said, "If I had to choose between government without newspapers,
and newspapers without government, I wouldn't hesitate to choose
by contrast, have Chen Shui-bian and his allegedly "democratic"
and "progressive" DPP responded to growing media criticism?
to an October 29, 2005 Taiwan News article entitled "DPP
lawmakers accuse TVBS of being funded by PRC capital GIO
to suspend licence if station found to have hidden ownership change,"
lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party yesterday
demanded the closure of TVBS Cable TV, the very day after a TVBS
talk show presented evidence pointing to former national policy
adviser Chen Che-nan as a key figure in the Kaohsiung MRT scandal,
and Chen Shui-bian's possible involvement because of their close
TVBS talk show ["21:00, The People Speak"] made public a photo
of Chen Che-nan visiting a casino on Cheju island in South Korea
in 2002, causing great embarrassment for the illegal Chen regime
and the DPP, as Chen Che-nan had already denied visiting South
the station of being financed by capital from mainland China and
collaborating with the mainland Chinese government to topple the
"Taiwan" government, Government Information Office Minister Pasuya
Yao threatened to suspend TVBS's license to operate in Taiwan.
caucus whip Pan Wei-kang said the DPP appears to be trying to
cover up for officials involved in the scandal. TVBS spokesman
Yeh Yu-chun said the GIO had looked into TVBS' financial structure
six months ago and found nothing wrong with it.
other words, according to Chen Shui-bian and the DPP, the public
shouldn't concern itself with whether the Chen regime ripped off
ROC taxpayers to the tune of billions of their hard-earned dollars.
Instead, the public should concern itself with who embarrassed
the Chen regime, and join Chen and Taiwan's Quisling nomenklatura
in denouncing them as "Chinese Communist agents."
to an October 30, 2005 Taipei Times news article entitled
"GIO readies the blowtorch for TVBS," [sic!] Government
Information Office Minister Pasuya Yao yesterday said that the
GIO is authorized to suspend all operation licenses for TVBS's
four channels. The GIO levied a NT$200,000 fine on TVBS after
a well-known and widely watched talkshow on TVBS alleged that
a number of top government officials were corrupt, including former
Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan.
denied there was any connection between the allegations and the
probe into TVBS.
whether TVBS regarded the GIO's action as akin to "white terror"
and a retaliation against its allegations of official graft, Yeh
said "We still want to believe that truth and justice still exist."
"We no longer believe that truth and justice exist under the DPP's
Taiwan independence Green Terror, but what can we do except hope,
against all evidence to the contrary, that someone in the DPP's
rubber stamp judiciary will develop a conscience?"
has paid lip service to freedom of the press. He has quoted Thomas
Jefferson. He has insisted that he would choose media over government.
He has waxed poetic about transitioning "From Gulag to Formosa."
much for talking the talk. But what about walking the walk?
has conducted Gestapo raids on newspapers and searches of reporters'
homes, alleging "violations of national security." He has betrayed
Thomas Jefferson's ideals by choosing omnipotent government over
an untrammeled media. Far from leading the Chinese people on Taiwan
"From Gulag to Formosa," he has led them "From Formosa to Gulag."
Shui-bian, you're no Thomas Jefferson. Taiwan independence Quislings,
you're no champions of human rights and political liberty. And
Americans have no obligation whatsoever, moral, legal, or otherwise,
to defend such a corrupt and unregenerate political regime.
consolation for the Chinese people on Taiwan, ironically, is that
"Dark nights cannot last long, the tide will change mightily."
Chu [send him mail] is
an American architect of Chinese descent registered to practice
in Texas. Currently living and working in Taiwan, Chu is the son
of a retired high-ranking diplomat with the ROC (Taiwan) government.
His column, "The Strait Scoop" is published on his website, The
© 2005 LewRockwell.com