Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chen Shui-bian announces support of Hartzell/Lin

A collective wince rippled across the pro-Taiwan community today as the world heard the news that First Convict Chen Shui-bian embraced the mad ideas of Roger Lin and Dick Hartzell. Basically those two claim that the US is the occupying power of Taiwan (for reviews, see H/L lose on appeal, and this collection of information about the case) and thus has a kind of sovereignty over it. In my opinion it is a crank lawsuit, and the collection of individuals around the case behaves, as many who have interacted with them say, like a cult. This lawsuit is a waste of money that might have gone for the urgent needs of the pro-Taiwan community.

Apparently President Chen has embraced this case, according to media reports. Here is the Taipei Times account, which further down charitably says that maybe Chen is crazy like a fox....
The office of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that Chen was serious about asking US President Barack Obama to testify in court to clarify Taiwan’s status and that the suit had nothing to do with the former president being found guilty of corruption.

The office issued a statement saying that Chen supported a lawsuit that Roger Lin (林志昇), the founder of the Formosa Nation Legal Strategy Association, intends to file in the US because the former president hoped the case would help clarify Taiwan’s international status.

Chen also hopes the trial would reflect his position that the people of Taiwan should jettison the constitutional system of the Republic of China and make concerted efforts to build a new republic and write a new constitution, the statement said.
Bluntly put, this is a stupid idea on Chen's part. The doctrine that sovereignty over a particular territory is a political question for the legislative and executive branches to determine is settled law (see the appeal). Further, even if they were successful, the US would immediately hand over sovereignty to China. That's just a given, folks. If compelled to testify, State Department officials might even testify that Taiwan is part of China. Only the gods know what might happen, and none of it is good. Obama is just another center-right US politician owned by banking and corporate interests, all of whom are looking to China to pull their chestnuts out of the fire right now. He's not going to rock the boat with a concrete display of support for Taiwan.

Further, sympathy for the lawsuit is yet another symptom of the ongoing problem of Taiwanese "petitioning the Emperor" -- asking the intervention of a higher power to magically make the island independent and all their problems go away. Note how Chen invokes Obama, like Renfield appealing to the power of Dracula, as if merely speaking the name "Obama" harnessed some talismanic power. Sad.

Fact: there is one, and only one, group of people who can create Taiwan independence: the people of Taiwan. Go to it, folks.

Back story: despite Lin and Hartzell's apparent sympathy for the PRC, Lin has a long association with the independence movement. He was once had of a pro-Lee Teng-hui organization before Lee removed him, and a prominent Taiwan supporter said privately that when he went to visit Chen Shui-bian in jail, one other person was there at the same time visiting Chen: Roger Lin.
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33 comments:

David said...

It's sad that Chen Shui-bian has been marginalised so much that he has to associate with a fringe group like this to get some attention. But it really makes me question how seriously Chen is working on his own defense. Shouldn't he really be putting all his efforts and resources into that? Surely during his legal and political career he could have made enough friends within the international legal community and asked some of them to observe or comment on the case.

阿牛 said...

Apparently, Chen is not satisfied with the prosecution and judges making a mockery of his trial; he himself needs to join in the fun.

Anonymous said...

It is not the now we should be worried about, but whether any of those "illegal" funds found their way to Mr. Lin and what he is liable to do with them.

Thomas said...

According to one scholar, whose book I just read, Chen did not build many contacts in the international community. I believe this. Chen played the local scene, which was good for winning votes before the corruption allegations began to stick but bad for building international support for his causes.

I kind of wonder if he is thinking clearly or if this experience has addled him somewhat. It would not be hard to imagine.

阿牛 said...

(subscribing to follow up)

Anonymous said...

Last time I saw Pres. Chen was in Chehpen, Taitung. He was entering the hotel where he's to speak and what caused many peoples attention was that he seemed to be murmuring and talking to himself .

And now this lawsuit againts Pres. Obama?

How come such a very wise person ended-up suing the wrong guy?

Pres. Hu Jin Tao must be more
amused than relieved!

Anonymous said...

I was just listening to the BBC World Service. They were talking to a young Zambian boy who wished that Obama were 'President of the World'. I thought of myself a year ago and smiled.

Atoq said...

I'm afraid that desperado Pres. Chen is now on Fantasy Island while Atty. Lin is making Madoff look like an amateur.

While Bernard like Chen is canned like a salmon, Roger is out there free as a bird.

Hope that Chen's people will open his eyes before it's too late.

Richard@insular said...

The U.S. Executive Branch has already stated on many occasions that neither Taiwan nor the ROC are sovereign entities or independent entities. Taiwan independence supporters are split between two groups: (1) One claims that Taiwan should be independent in the future. When you ask them "From which country should Taiwan gain its independence?" you rarely get a good answer -- some say from the ROC, but then are unable to point to any international treaties which can show that Taiwan has ever been incorporated into ROC territory, and/or that any of the Allies recognized any transfer of the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan to the ROC upon the Oct. 25, 1945, surrender ceremonies . . . . . then (2) another group claims that Taiwan is already independent, but then are unable to point to any international treaties which can show that Taiwan has ever been incorporated into ROC territory, or in some mysterious way "given to the people of Taiwan." HENCE, both of these "independence arguments" lead nowhere . . . . . and since Chen is suing in a US Court, he has to accept the Executive Branch's premise that Taiwan/ROC is not independent, . . . and that leads to the immediate conclusion that Taiwan must still be under military occupation by the Allies, led by the United States as "principal occupying power." Viewed in this light, Chen's legal action in the USA is quite logical.

Readin said...

Surely during his legal and political career he could have made enough friends within the international legal community and asked some of them to observe or comment on the case.

If he doesn't have such contacts, perhaps he's hoping the lawsuit will serve to draw international attention.

Unfortunately if the tactic does succeed in getting international attention it will likely backfire by drawing attention to the silly lawsuit and away from the corruption of the KMT.

Anonymous said...

"Fact: there is one, and only one, group of people who can create Taiwan independence: the people of Taiwan. Go to it, folks."

If it only were this simple. External forces are necessary for TI because without it, any declaration of independence will only be crushed by Taiwan's army and intellegence agencies with the full support of most of the islands commercial interests. You foreigners who have never served in Taiwan's armed forces don't understand this: TI advocates are more likely to be killed by Taiwanese troops than by any PRC invasion. Only if Taiwan's military and security forces believe that the big powers will intervene if another 228 happens will TI ever be possible.

Anonymous said...

"You foreigners!"

Arty said...

Michael, Michael, Michael...Obama is a central-right politician?! I would hate for you to eat your own words again (just like the elections both in the US and in Taiwan, and how Chen is hiding money outside Taiwan). When Obama gets the health care passed by the end of the year, he will probably break up BoA, Wellsfargo, GS, etc by at least half by passing laws limiting their market scales in the next two years.

I truly feel sorry for Taiwan with a corrupted ex-president, an incompetent (or indifferent) current president, and idiotic foreign expats thinking that our (Western) way is the only way. Please stay in Taiwan, don't come back.

Yea, I'm still reading this blog for entertainment purpose only :P. It's just hilarious sometime with comments like Obama is a center-right politician, and I have to post something!

Back to Taiwan independence, Taiwan will only gain independence by fighting a war with China.

and that leads to the immediate conclusion that Taiwan must still be under military occupation by the Allies, led by the United States as "principal occupying power.

Do you even read what you just wrote? You seem to forget today's China was one of the ALLIES. So China could also be the "principal occupying power." Michael is wrong about a lot of things, but he got this one straight! Taiwan is the loser even if she won the lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

I love how you can always tell when someone is a Chinese person pretending to be Taiwanese.

^your use of TI gives yourself away. Only people in China use this acronym. Good try though.

And they say we're all the same...ha!

Michael Turton said...

Arty, all I can say is that it is always a pleasure to read your comments.

Readin said...

Obama is just another center-right US politician owned by banking and corporate interests, all of whom are looking to China to pull their chestnuts out of the fire right now.

I didn't catch that comment earlier but Arty is right, Michael Turton really did say Obama is "center-right"!!!!

Please Michael Turton, don't go destroying your credibility like that. If you're going to make ridiculous comments like that at least try to provide some context for backing them up. From how other people see Obama, he can only be consdired "center-right" if you consider Lenin to be "center".

Given that most of what Obama does has to get through Congress, what do you suppose he would be doing if he were "center" or "center-left"?

Richard@insular said...

Someone commented: "You seem to forget today's China was one of the ALLIES."

No, I didn't forget it. You forgot that we are talking about the San Francisco Peace Treaty! See the following Article.

Article 25

For the purposes of the present Treaty the Allied Powers shall be the States at war with Japan, or any State which previously formed a part of the territory of a State named in Article 23, provided that in each case the State concerned has signed and ratified the Treaty. Subject to the provisions of Article 21, the present Treaty shall not confer any rights, titles or benefits on any State which is not an Allied Power as herein defined; . . . . .

HENCE, since neither the ROC nor the PRC signed the treaty, neither is an "Allied Power" as defined therein.

MOREOVER, Article 23(a) stipulates the United States of America as being the principal occupying power.

Anonymous said...

Michael Richardson:

Yeah, Taiwan is still under US military rule and as long as many rich Taiwanese Americans believes in such a prank
then your bank account will turn platinum sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Turton:

Michael you are indeed a real believer in democracy and stands tall by being the only one who doesn't 'delete' divergent views no matter how impolite.

Unlike so many here who claims to be in the 'education' field and are believers in ' sex, drugs and demonery' err 'democracy' you alone passed the American standard for fair play and respect for free speech!

Banzai!

Anonymous said...

"I love how you can always tell when someone is a Chinese person pretending to be Taiwanese.

^your use of TI gives yourself away. Only people in China use this acronym. Good try though."

I am a Chinese person, as well as a retired 中尉 in Taiwan's army formerly based in Tainan. "TI" would probably be the most charitable description of independence supporters that my former Tainan colleagues would use.

vin said...

"I truly feel sorry for Taiwan with a corrupted ex-president, an incompetent (or indifferent) current president, and idiotic foreign expats thinking that our (Western) way is the only way. Please stay in Taiwan, don't come back."

I'm asking myself: Why don't I just face facts and admit that Arty is better than everyone?

Anonymous said...

According to the Ministry of Truth, Today's China, gloriously founded in 1949, officially joined the allies in 1941.

Also according to the Ministry of Truth, War is Peace, Censorship is Freedom, Authoritarianism is Democracy, and Richard is Michael.

Thoth Harris said...

I agree with some of what Arty says, Michael. At least as far as what he says about it being absurd for you to label Obama a centre-right politician. I think your constant complaints/quips about Obama are extremely destructive. Why is it that the left can never stay together long enough to be in power, or at least not be dictators or self-destructive wimps, etc. etc. Because you guys are always too busy stabbing each other in the back and pulling down the idol that you elected in the first place! It happens everywhere and it happens all the time!

The best thing about the 60s and 70s was not that the left were united (they were not), but that the right was so divided and so self-defeating (for at least once in history) that a lot of good leftish policies got passed and accepted as common-sense wisdom.

But no. Now that a left-leaning and intelligent and sensible politician is elected, all you so-called left winger can do is try to outdo one another day after day as to who is more radical than the next. Who could ever claim such people are bi-partisan? Who needs enemies when you have "friends?"

channing said...

This latest move is a classic case of FACE PALM.

Michael Turton said...

At least as far as what he says about it being absurd for you to label Obama a centre-right politician.

I think there's a lot of people out there who are clearly clueless on how the US is actually run.

David Swanson discusses some of the issues in this article over at TomDispatch: Bush's Third Term? You're Living it.

Until we have an actual progressive President, nothing will change. And the only way to do that is to change the Democratic party so it is not part of the Establishment that runs the nation (into the ground, in the last thirty years). That is why I am critical of center-right establishment Dems like Obama.

Gore Vidal put it very nicely in one of his essays. The US Establishment has two wings, the wing that thinks the poor can be safely screwed (Republicans) and the wing that thinks the poor have to be bought off (Dems). Both are controlled by the same axis of banking and corporations --- in fact, the Obama administration is basically owned by Goldman Sachs -- and both make their foreign policy with the same set of experts who rotate in and out of think tanks, government positions, and agency jobs. The US Establishment has only two political stances, right, and center-right. There is no left anywhere. Ask any European about this.

You are welcome to give me a list of major policy issues where Obama has chosen (not SPOKEN warmly of) the progressive option. Climate change? Zero real progress. Iraq? Still there. Afghanistan? Expanding. Our 700 base military empire? Growing. Our infrastructure? Still aging. Our health care? No single payer in sight. Banking industry re-regulation. Nada (credit swaps began anew last month). Gays in the military? Noise but no action. You name it, on issues from the trivial to the key, Obama is firmly entrenched in the Clintonite center-right political camp, sprinkling a little oratorical love over the Left like pixie dust, to confuse and distort.

I'm astonished, actually, that grown adults know so little about how the world works. If I criticize Obama, it is not a case of "the Left eating the left" because Obama is not a leftist.

Michael

Thoth Harris said...

MIchael, you can have our Stephen Harper. I think after even six months of that supposed minority government, you would think twice before joining the nutroots of the loony-right and - fundamentally, joining the extreme left (like the International Socialists) by incessantly attacking your President. What Obama is doing is simply compromising, which is what politicians do. That is all he can do, and all the DPP in Taiwan did, before they lost power.
Even Ma is better than Harper. But if I had to choose between them, I would probably kill myself. So let us move on and support the best who are working for the greater good.

Gore Vidal? Bah!
My comments still stand.

Michael Turton said...

Thoth, do you know who Gore Vidal is? He comes from one of the oldest and most powerful families in America and is related to many others.

A good start is here..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gore_Vidal

there's a quote on the Wiki page that addresses our discussion.

but I recommend his essays in the collection United States (1952–1992) to get the full flavor of who he is and his critiques.

Michael

Arty said...

I'm astonished, actually, that grown adults know so little about how the world works. If I criticize Obama, it is not a case of "the Left eating the left" because Obama is not a leftist.

Yea, I am astonished, too. For someone who claims to know how world works, yet can't make simple prediction of future outcomes. Shocked! I guess it is easier to dismiss anyone who is disagreeing with you as a "simpleton."

For the new readers, one of the reasons I stopped posting as often as I used to; it's because I don't want to unintentionally warn some of these ungraceful ideologues (I am been nice) before sh!t hits the fans again (read my posts before the stock market crash, Chen's money, and elections).

I'm asking myself: Why don't I just face facts and admit that Arty is better than everyone?

How could I be better? My logic is fundamentally flawed!!!

Dwayne Elizondo said...

Obama isn't compromising, he is a bought and paid for shill of the financial oligarchs. He is a product of the Ford and Annenberg foundations (divide and conquer class warfare social engineering) along with the efforts of the Chicago combine (dems/repubs working together for their own profit) and the funding of Wall St. He uses "left cover" to divide the American people but is not a leftist. He is a tool.

To make matters worse, his advisers are all Rockefeller Trilateralists whose goal is to weaken the US government by moving the power of money creation away from the US congress* to a global (BIS) bank that wants three regional currencies. (*Yeah, I know the FED has this power now, not the congress, but that was a scam since day 1 and people are fighting to take back control.)

btw, the FED, a private bank with Trillion$ of toxic MBS debt on their books (much of which they have recently been buying back from the Chinese so they will continue to purchase treasuries) has always reported to the BIS.

If President Barack Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho Obama vetos the coming Audit the Fed resolutions (HR1207 and S604) I think the majority of the American people will finally wake up and push for real change although it may be too late.

Anyway, because Obama's puppet masters will not allow him to mess with the financial structure (wipe out derivatives, force mark to market, bankrupt insolvent banks and insurance companies, re-instate regulatory rules, audit/dissolve the fed, audit gold ownership, etc., etc.) America is eventually going to default on its debt. When that comes, war with China will probably happen causing China to break apart.

To get back on topic, if the US defaults (or the UK or EU which may go bust first), it won't matter who has jurisdiction over Taiwan. Nobody will care. The people of Taiwan may have to fend for themselves.

Readin said...

Michael Turton, you didn't answer my question about what Obama would do differently if he were what you believe a person of the left is. You mention a variety of issues, but other than military deployments, Obama doesn't have the power to single-handedly change them.

You comments about corporate power have nothing to do with a left-right divide; they are really about corruption. A right leaning government would end both corporate welfare and individual welfare. A left leaning government would attempt to expand welfare and control the corporations more directly.

Both movements face the obstacles of corporate lobbyists, legislative corruption, and lots of people in both public and private positions whose power depends on maintaing and expanding that corruption.

Frankly, I believe the problems of corruption are greater the more left-leaning the government becomes. As the government plays a greater role in industry and commerce, industrial and commerical interests have a greater financial interest in controlling the government.

You clearly believe that left is good. Do not make the logical fallacy of believing that because left is good, all good things are left and all bad things are right. Corruption is bad no matter which side of the political spectrum you're on.

As for the European opinions about our government, why should we listen to a people whose political spectrum only ranges from center-left to exteme left? At least, that's how it looks from here.

Michael Turton said...

Readin, all of which is to say, you can't name anything particularly Left (in your simplistic view of "left/right" in the US) that Obama has done. Or will do.

Your comments about Europe simply confirm what I said: that we have no Left as it is known anywhere else on earth. In the US the Right is right and the center-right=left.

Michael

Michael Turton said...

Readin, from Glenn G the other day:

"That corporations drive the outcome of the political process is so normalized for Washington culture that they no longer even realize it looks bad to most people, which is what explains the amazing spectacle this week of Sen. Tom Carper angrily demanding right out in the open that the White House's once-secret, sleazy deal with Pharma -- whereby the administration agreed to forgo bulk negotiations for lower drug prices in exchange for that industry's commitment to spend tens of millions of dollars to advertise for the President's health care reform efforts -- be honored. That's the central fact that transcends conventional left/right dramas: the same narrow corporate interests dictate political outcomes for their own benefit regardless of which party wins."

Left vs Right is just a way to divide the people from themselves and co-opt ordinary people to vote for policies that screw them.

Jiang Jyr-ming said...

Office/Agency: Dept. of State
title: US Executive Branch has not formally recognized Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan
date: June 26, 2007
quote: As recently as June 2007, a State Department letter noted that "Although the United States recognizes the PRC Government as the sole legal government of China, we have not formally recognized Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In fact, we have not made any determination as to Taiwan's political status." -- Letter from Sue Bremner, Deputy Director, Office of Taiwan Coordination, June 26, 2007.

The legal rationale for this position was conveyed in a "top secret" State Department position paper to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in October 1954, which noted that the "future" status of Taiwan and the Pescadores "was deliberately left undetermined, and the U.S. as a principal victor over Japan has an interest in their ultimate future. We are not willing that that future should be one which would enable a hostile regime to endanger the defensive position which is so vital in keeping the Pacific a friendly body of water." See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Volume XIV, China and Japan (Part 1) (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985), p. 760.

Mr. Tkacik concludes that: "For more than six decades, the United States has explicitly declined to recognize "Chinese" sovereignty over Taiwan, even under the 'Republic of China.' "

(source: John J. Tkacik, Jr., "Taiwan's Elections: Sea Change in the Strait," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1865, March 24, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/wm1864.cfm )