Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The KMT and 2-28

the leaky pen blogged yesterday on the 2-28 report, which has been in the news here in Taiwan.

Considering this is a scholarly AND legal report, one wonders what kind of fallout it will bring for the KMT. Lawsuits are hinted at, but then glossed over, in the news report about the report, which was carried out by February 28th Incident Memorial Foundation. It could very well be that the Chen administration is (again) considering allowing relatives to bring lawsuits against the KMT--and that might be the best thing. You can't really imagine the Nazi Party, still in power and raving about the "1000 Reich" alive and well in today's Germany, but you can actually see the KMT (an Asian version of early 20th century fascist parties) still militantly kicking up dust about China's glorious national destiny without any regard for their brutal crimes in both China and Taiwan.

There were no Nueremberg trials of KMT generals, not even public tribunals or open convictions for wrong-doing, as there were after S. Korea's fascist president, General Chun Doo-Hwan, was removed from power. It's time for a just reckoning, I say, and an end to the silence about the Chinese Nationalist Party's guilt.

I have long thought Taiwan needed justice for those criminals and the families of the victims, who came from all parts of society, mainlander and Taiwanese, educated and not, and who have remained vassals to a terrible culture of silence that has made the Terror disappear from the modern Taiwan mind. Back in the early 90's, when I was working for one of the Taiwan independence groups, I raised this issue with the group leaders. No response. It has always saddened me that this opportunity for a healing has been repeatedly squandered.

Meanwhile, the media reported yesterday on Chiang Kai-shek's illegitimate grandson grandstanding on behalf of that murderous dictator:

Kuomintang Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), the grandson of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), demanded an apology from the 228 Incident Memorial Foundation and a scholar yesterday for their contention that his grandfather was the person responsible for the February 28 massacre, and blasted their opinion as being extremely unfair to his ancestor.

"The foundation and Professor Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深) must present a public apology in three days to the Chiang family," Chiang declared at a press conference at the Legislative Yuan. "I will file a civil and a criminal lawsuit against them with a demand for NT$5 billion monetary compensation if they do not do so," the lawmaker warned.

If awarded, the NT$5 billion compensation would be donated to the KMT, according to Chiang, for the establishment of a library in his father's name - the late President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

The article goes on to explain that Chiang's strike is pre-emptive:

Chiang also explained that the reason he would demand such a large compensation was because family members of some 228 victims were considering an attempt to bring the ex-KMT government (governed by his grandfather) to justice for the three-month-long massacre.

The victims' families were thinking about the legal action based on the conclusion of the book drafted by Chen Yi-shen and several other scholars.

On its release Sunday, the book won President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) endorsement amid his pledge to help families of 228 victims pursue legal justice, since legal experts, who had been involved in writing the book, had suggested that the then KMT government needed to face a judicial investigation over its involvement in the brutal arrests of civilians and in the suppression of popular protests.

Those who want to see more unity in Taiwan should push hard for trial, incarceration, and execution of the butchers, and compensation from the KMT to its victims. Why? Because the KMT brutalized both mainlander and Taiwanese alike -- in other words, here is an issue that can heal the past and help repair a breach. This is the position taken by a Taiwan News editorial:

We believe that a clear clarification of responsibility through the new report and, possibly, through future legal proceedings will assist the need of "228" victims or their survivors for a resolution of the issues of responsibility and can help ease, not exacerbate, ethnic tensions.

For example, clarifying that Chiang Kai-shek and certain other KMT military, party, government and secret police leaders engaged in this "state crime" to maintain their control over Taiwan or even to keep Taiwan as part of the R.O.C. showed that the incident and its suppression were decidedly not a matter of "ethnic" politics.

Such a finding can lift the shadow of the so-called original sin of responsibility for 2-28 that has clouded relations between the so-called "mainlander" and "native Taiwanese" communities.

After suppressing or avoiding facing up to the question of responsibility for the 2-28 massacre and the subsequent "white terror," various KMT leaders have urged Taiwanese to "forgive and forget" the past or see 2-28 as an unfortunate but necessary evil in the recovery of Taiwan from Japanese rule.

The paper also calls for:

Moreover, we believe that the DPP government should take appropriate symbolic action to acknowledge the finding of Chiang's responsibility by removing his name from the international airport in Taoyuan and his visage from our national currency.

And change all those street names that refer to him too.

As for John Chiang, he should sit down with a history book one of these days.


Anonymous said...

Did you see the outraged defense of the 'benevolent' CKS in the China Post the day the book was released? Seems there are plenty of people who still admire CKS as a great leader ...

might write a post on it soon (and John Chiang's feeble defense).

言內客 said...

228 Show Taiwan Writing Marathon

February 28th (228) is a significant day in Taiwanese history. Taiwanese all over the world are organizing a writing marathon to invite people to write about Taiwan and to post their articles on that day.

Tim Maddog said...

Michael, you wrote:
- - -
Back in the early 90's, when I was working for one of the Taiwan independence groups, I raised this issue with the group leaders. No response. It has always saddened me that this opportunity for a healing has been repeatedly squandered.
- - -

Despite not holding the Presidential Office for the time being, you and I both know that the KMT still holds a lot of power, politically, via the media, and with gangsters -- some of whom hold political office. Plus, the "education system" still has schoolkids going home and asking questions like, "Do you think Chen Shui-bian is going to make himself eternal leader?" (real example) while ignoring important aspects of Taiwan's history. This might have something to do with that squandering.

The Taiwan News' demand for a "clear clarification" is (aside from that redundant redundancy and the fact that the so-called "ethnic tensions" myth is just another of the KMT's innumerable fabrications) right on. Get CKS' face off the money, and get his name off of street signs, bridges, memorial halls, stadia, parks, mountains, concert halls, airports, medals of "honor," educational institutions, disco pubs, and anywhere else he is "glorified." If people would only de-CKS and de-KMT Taiwan, there'd be nothing left needing de-Sinification!

P.S.: The links in the "228 Show Taiwan Writing Marathon" mentioned in the comment above didn't work for me, but this one does. (Scroll down that page if you need an English version.)

Anonymous said...

Fuck Chiang Kai-shek (CKS)! He's a mass-murderer who does not get condemned enough in the Taiwanese media. In essence, CKS is like the Hitler of Asia. Yes, I said HITLER! A good number of people in the world know about the Jewish holocaust, but not about the Taiwanese holocaust. Yes, the "228 Taiwanese holocaust" committed by former members of KMT. To think people in Taiwan know about this and still favor the Chinese controlling them, I guess the KMT did a pretty good job of brainwashing the people in Taiwan. Well, some of them at least. The international media (including the U.S.) is helping China with its propaganda of "yes that's Chinese cuz I said so" even though I have no control over it whatsoever. The international, especially the U.S., such as CNN, don't do enough to tell the Taiwanese side of the story, such as the "228 Taiwanese holocaust". CNN and the alike report only about news that arouse people when it comes to Taiwan, and how it's "provoking" instability in Asia. Really, WTF. Who's the real provoker when China has 800 plus missile pointed at Taiwan; invoking people to be Chinese when the Taiwanese simply wants no part of it. If I point a gun at a white guy and ask him if he's white or black, and he knows that I want him to say black, do you think he's going to say white? That's what the Chinese are doing to the Taiwanese. I can go on and on about how the Taiwanese are being screwed by the Chinese in the past and present, but I won't for now. I will leave with three notes though. First, a personal note to "John Chiang" FUCK YOU and your grandpa! How do you sleep at night? Second, Any living individuals directly or indirectly involved in murders of the 228 Taiwanese holocaust ought to be brought to justice. They should be hung in public!!! Last but not least, the Taiwanese people WILL come out in full force and be FORMALLY independant whether that means war with China or not. May God NOT have mercy on Chinese souls!