Thursday, September 6, 2007

Something Else to Betray

It bothers me, the way the world is. It should be better. Taiwan was mentioned today in some context, and being me I had to say that it has the only legitimate Chinese government. It's true but I wasn't serious. One young fellow rose to the bait, but I've never had a meaningful conversation in that venue, so there were only a few cursory comments on both our parts -- about not dying for Taiwan, and about the importance of standing by allies. You can try to figure out who would have said which.

A few minutes later, like bubbles rising through molasses, it percolated through my skull to shout out, "Free Tibet!" To which the response came that if Tibetans want freedom they should buy M-16s and wage guerrilla warfare and commit acts of terrorism. A very practical solution. I suggested that a pacifist nation of some two and a half million souls that undertook to defeat one point three billion Red Chinese might not enjoy a salubrious outcome. We have only to call to memory the Cultural Revolution -- where people who wore glasses were sent to communal farms for re-education -- to understand something of the brutality of that regime. This is a country that will abort your second child and put you in prison for trying to have it.

The upshot is that we both agreed that the biggest country gets to take over the world. The unspoken disagreement would be, which is the biggest country. My young interlocutor must imagine it's the People's Republic. I would opt for the good ol' USA. Who would you rather have take over the world?

As for Taiwan, why, I see it was only yesterday that I was thinking of writing on that subject, having made some cursory notes. But I decided not to. Reconsidered, now. I don't suppose we need rehash a detailed history of the matter. Briefly, Chiang Kai-Shek ruled all of China from 1925 to 1949 when he lost the civil war to the Communists -- that's the entirely sane Mao, who killed only 60 million people. Chiang then fled with his government to the island of Formosa, now Taiwan, until his death in 1975. Thus, Chiang ruled all or part of China for 50 years.

From '49 to '71 the Republic of China -- Taiwan -- held the Chinese seat at the UN. Then, politics being what they are -- the expedients of cowards and betrayers -- the monstrous dictatorship of Red China, the People's Republic, took over the seat. Only one seat per customer, so poor little liberal democracy Taiwan was out of luck. Strangely, it was never expelled from the UN. And strangely, most of the world recognized the legitimacy of the ROC, which precluded recognizing Red China ... until the winds changed, that is.

What the hell do 25 million people matter, when compared to 1.3 billion? Screw 'em. Little yellow bastards. Big China matters more than Little China. Slimy lying cowardly politicians understand these things. Thus, a few weeks ago when Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian again applied for a seat in the UN -- an honorable and peace-loving body that has pledged to be "open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained" in the UN charter -- Secretary General Ban Ki-moon felt no compunction in summarily dismissing the request. The SG has no authority to do so -- such requests are addressed by the security council and the general assembly. But what the hell. I'm sure he saw some profit in his action. Ban cited UN general assembly resolution 2758 to justify himself, claiming that it made Taiwan a part of mainland China. Well, it may not be a lie, which would require deliberate deception. But it's not factually correct. "Taiwan" is nowhere mentioned in that resolution.

Taiwan has never been under the control of the People's Red Republic. It has been free for longer than you have been alive. Three generations have been born and come to adulthood in that liberal democracy. Most of the countries of the world have acknowledged its independence.

But screw that, all of it. Bothersome technicalities. What do fairness and honor and justice and integrity matter, when comfort and expedience are at stake? Fortunately the United States has taken a relatively ambiguous position, so we can always betray Taiwan as we have so many other allies, if it suits us to do so. Let them go to hell, the lousy yellow little bastards. Screw 'em. They're so small, those stinking Chinese. So it's okay to betray them. I'll just sit here playing with my X-box or daydreaming about girls and maybe do a little masturbating.

What's that? You say it's not just safer, but it's economically smarter to do business with the mainland? Yes, you do have a point. In fact, maybe we could find some country or system that doesn't pay its workers at all. That would be really cheap for us. In fact, we might re-establish a venerable institution that once we had here on this precious soil, that brought great economic benefit to some people. Because free is better than freedom. As long as it's someone else who's providing things for free, at the expense of their freedom. Right? Asshole?



GUYK said...

"Briefly, Chiang Kai-Shek ruled all of China from 1925 to 1949 when he lost the civil war to the Communists -- that's the entirely sane Mao, who killed only 60 million people. Chiang then fled with his government to the island of Formosa, now Taiwan, until his death in 1975. Thus, Chiang ruled all or part of China for 50 years."

Well, sorta kinda. He was a War Lord and had the support of some other warlords but during that time frame the commies held much of the country and of course the real rulers for some 10 years were the Japanese.

But all that said I do agree..Tiawan is a thriving more or less democracy and deserves the protection of the USA..and so far has gotten it.

But China has always been the merchants dream..if one could sell just one ball point pen to every one in China at a net profit of just one tenth of one at the money!

Jack H said...

I was a bit poetic a few times, what with the "all of China," and my vagueness re "liberal democracy." But aside from the stray "autonomous" region, he was in control after 1928. And he wasn't a monster. His youthful indiscretions, like shooting Tao Chengzhang -- well, who doesn't have a few stray assassinations in their past? Certainly a strongman, and not our ideal -- but he was facing down Mao, and that buys him a lot. The distinction between authoritarian and totalitarian is very real.

My focus of course is on modern Taiwan, which isn't actually a chamber of horrors. What more can we expect?