The Taiwan Tail Wags the American Dog

Executive Summary: For the past two years Chen Shui-bian, aka “A-Bian,” has been playing George W. Bush, aka “Dubya,” for a fool. This smarmy little buffoon, with his pasty white “wei yu du” (“tunafish belly”), has been able to treat the Commander in Chief of the World’s Only Remaining Superpower as his patsy, and American GIs as the Taiwan independence movement’s toy soldiers. Why has Chen been able to get away with this? Because on April 25, 2001, George W. Bush unwittingly issued the Taiwan tail an open invitation to wag the American dog.     DVD Cover Art for the uncannily prophetic Political Satire, Wag the Dog Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog.

~ Wag the Dog (1997, directed by Barry Levinson, written by Larry Beinhart and Hilary Henkin)

Dubya issues A-Bian a Blank Check

Bush pledges whatever it takes to defend Taiwan April 25, 2001 CNN White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace

WASHINGTON (CNN) – U.S. President George W. Bush on Tuesday said that the United States would do “whatever it took to help Taiwan defend herself” in the event of attack by [mainland] China.

Bush’s comments were made during an interview taped for ABC’s Good Morning America. Asked if Washington had an obligation to defend Taiwan, Bush said: “Yes, we do, and the Chinese must understand that.” Asked whether the United States would use “the full force of the American military,” Bush responded, “Whatever it took to help Taiwan defend herself.”

“If China decides to use force, the United States must help Taiwan defend itself,” then Governor Bush said on March 2, 2000.

Bush restated that under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the United States would help Taiwan defend itself. Asked whether the full force of the US military would be used to protect Taiwan, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said, “Obviously, he’s not ruling it out… he’s saying whatever it took.”

Bush said it was time to remove the ambiguity about US policy toward Taiwan. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz are outspoken advocates of removing Washington’s ambiguity when it comes to defending Taipei from Beijing.

Slaves to Their Animosity

The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.

~ George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz thought they were talking exclusively to Beijing. They completely forgot Taipei was hanging on every word they uttered.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz thought they were merely delivering a “long overdue” and “well-deserved” ultimatum to the “Bullies of Beijing.” They never realized that such an ultimatum to Beijing was a two-sided coin, a double-edged sword.

It never occurred to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz that such an ultimatum was simultaneously a blank check made out to Taiwan independence opportunists ever eager to harness US rightwingers’ habitual hatred of China for their own ends.

Taiwan independence Quislings have, as the old joke among Sinologists or “China experts” goes, long been “ready to fight to the last American GI.”

Did I say ready to fight to the last American GI? Former US ambassador Charles W. Freeman has rightly complained that Taiwan independence Quislings are unseemingly eager to fight to the last American GI.

See: Sino-American Relations and the Taiwan Issue, by Charles W. Freeman, Jr.

As American Founding Father George Washington so presciently observed, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz were “slaves to their animosity” of an imaginary “Yellow Peril” and a non-existent “China Threat.”

How does one avoid being a slave to ones’ habitual hatred or habitual fondness?


Emancipation Proclamation

A passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favourite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest… where no real common interest exists… betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and Wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification.

~ George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

In order for the US government to cease being a slave to its habitual hatred or habitual fondness, America’s political leaders must exclude permanent, inveterate antipathies against political entities such as mainland China, and passionate attachments for others such as Taiwan.

In order for These United States to cease being an American dog wagged by a Taiwan tail, America’s political leaders must cultivate just and amicable feelings for all.

America’s political leaders must repudiate the crudely Manichean “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” mindset expressed in George W. Bush’s post 9-11 speech before a joint session of Congress.

As George Washington admonished future generations of Americans 208 years ago,

“Permanent inveterate antipathies against particular Nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded… in place of them just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.”

Then and only then, will America’s political leaders emancipate the Republic of the Framers from self-destructive, self-imposed slavery to special interests, foreign and domestic.

I said it was simple. I didn’t say it was easy.

May 8, 2004

Bevin 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 China Desk.