Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Conservative Attitudes Toward Taiwan

In the US Conservatives and right-wingers are so far out in front of progressives on the Taiwan issue it is frightening. The Korea Liberator, a conservative blog contributed to by the senior foreign policy fellow at the right-wing anti-science Discovery Institute, blogged on the issue of conservatives and Taiwan (inspired by this article from the Weekly Standard):

I repeat myself, but I will state again, clearly and unequivocally. This is a most dangerous time for Taiwan’s independence. The old consensus on Taiwan in Washington, especially among Republicans is fracturing. The business-wing of the Republican Party has become pro-China engagement and is willing to sacrifice Taiwanese independence to maintain the Sino-American economic relationship.

The conservative base of the GOP remains strongly anti-PRC and pro-Taiwan in its instincts, but the political attention of the base is fixated on issues considerered more pressing (e.g. illegal immigration, the Iraq War, the larger — so-called — War on Terror, Iran, etc.). It is hard enough to get its attention on North Korea. Taiwan, as an issue, is increasingly disappearing from their perspective. This trend will only compound if the likes of Ma came to power and took Taiwan further into the PRC’s fold (”Why should we work to keep Taiwan free when they seem to be so cozy with China?” They will say).

I participate in an ongoing meeting of security-minded conservative individuals and groups in Washington, D.C. I can count the number of times North Korea was mentioned in the meetings over the past year with one hand. With Taiwan, the number is closer to zero. Since American conservatives remain the staunchest friends Taiwan has in the world, this should be a disturbing trend… if you are a freedom-loving Taiwanese.

Hopefully I'll be able to blog at Dailykos, perhaps the leading progressive blog, and one of the most popular blogs on the internet, on the conservative/progressive Taiwan problem later this week.

8 comments:

Wulingren said...

I have been thinking about this myself. That would be great if you could get a post on Taiwan either to the recommend list on kos, or even better, to the front page. Taiwan just isn't in the orbit of most progressives, let alone most Americans. I have been wondering why even pro-green people here seem to think Republicans--and the Bush administration--are Taiwan's friend.

Anonymous said...

Because when you compare to the Clinton's administration...Bush's just seemed friendlier.

James J. Na said...

The Korea Liberator, a conservative blog contributed to by the senior foreign policy fellow at the right-wing anti-science Discovery Institute

Nothing like a little ad hominem when lacking substance, eh?

Michael Turton said...

Nothing like a little ad hominem when lacking substance, eh?

If the Discovery Institute would stop being a pillar of support for the anti-science Intelligent Design wackos, I'd stop naming them as such. Why contribute your time and energy to supporting a bad idea that's been known to be wrong since John Ray first began wondering about fossils back at the end of the 1600s?

Actually, the ad hom is the whole point: many of us have noticed how Taiwan has a wide swath of support among conservatives and right-wingers, paleocons, establishment liberals ... but it is a non-issue among progressives -- which people remind me all the time ("How can you stand being in bed with those people?" I get asked "How can progressives be so wrong?" I often ask in response). I posted on Kos the other day about the current mess, and one of the mods thought it was good that I reminded them about parts of the world other than Iraq (!). One of our top ten trading partners and a trigger for a war with China seems to have dropped right off the progressive radar. A lack that needs to be rectified, somehow.

Michael

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note. The conservative faction is also split along these lines. Many of Taiwan`s so-called supporters in the Pentagon tend to view the island in terms of the role it can play in the great game against China. If Taiwan doesn`t do what they want, such as go forward on PAC-3 buy, etc, then Taiwan isn`t given the time of day. On the other are those who see value in Taiwan, independent (not political) of China. And, I would tend to disagree that Arthur is on the side of the KMT. He`s one of the few even keeled people who watches events in Taiwan closely in the US. He`s able to discriminate between elements within the KMT who are hell-bent on hastening the unification process and those who stick to party doctrine -- China democratize, and then evaluate the situation.

Michael Turton said...

Thanks for the corrections....ummm, whoever I think you are. Since you know Waldron better than I do, I defer to your greater knowledge.

Michael

James J. Na said...

If the Discovery Institute would stop being a pillar of support for the anti-science Intelligent Design wackos

You are just repeating yourself (and the earlier ad hominem). That's not much of a reasoned explanation for throwing epithets. Just repeating something like a parrot doesn't make it true, you know (although it sure seems common on Daily Kos).

Remember that ad hominem is a sign of a very weak argument.

Why contribute your time and energy to supporting a bad idea

What makes you think that I either support or oppose intelligent design?

Not only that, you don't seem to understand what ID actually is. Have you even read Behe or Demski?

Furthermore, what does this have anything to do with Taiwan policy?

I would assume anyone with a 5th grade English reading skill would realize that I am a "senior FOREIGN POLICY fellow" -- you know, as related to the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.

Do you go around taking to task people who deal with taxation policy at Brookings about taxation because another part of Brookings supports or opposes abortion-related policy issues?

Red A said...

It's been my experience that many liberals just are not as "internationally aware" as you would think they should be. Perhaps they are more naturally focused on domestic policies instead?

Also, from a logical standpoint George W Bush is the best friend Taiwan ever had - willing to fight a "illegal" war without UN approval.

During the election debates, Kerry made a reference that under his leadership any wars would essentially have to have UN approval - I forget the exact weasel words he used. Ahhh, yes, "pass a global test."

That's bad news for Taiwan.