Saturday, December 27, 2008

Johnny Neihu: Was Heritage Pressured to Remove Tkacik?

Johnny Neihu announced in his column today that John Tkacik, the fiercely pro-Taiwan scholar at Heritage, has "left" his post as Senior Research Fellow there. To wit:
Not long after last week’s column, I received a series of e-mails from a respected source in the US with knowledge of the workings of The Heritage Foundation, probably the most influential think tank stateside.

Heritage is a very conservative bunch of people. It has a fascinating history that will appall or delight according to your political bent. But one thing is certain: For years it has been home to solid advocacy of freedom from communist thuggery, even when Republican presidents gave up the ghost.

In the past, Taiwan was a US interest mostly because it was anti-communist. Today, things aren’t so simple: the Chicoms and their despised Siamese twin, the KMT, are rejoining at the hip in a manner likely to injure the overwhelming majority of Taiwanese and cripple the integrity of a budding democracy.

Heritage’s most hardline, pro-Taiwan commentator — indeed, one of the most hardline in the US — is John Tkacik (also an occasional Taipei Times columnist), a former diplomat, who has written years of analysis on such matters.

But that has all come to a sinister end. My informant told me that Tkacik has been removed from his post at Heritage as Senior Research Fellow.

Unfortunately, with people too nervous or professionally vulnerable to go on the record, I can’t print most of what was said in the e-mails, including one particularly explicit and disturbing allegation. My legal budget extends about as far as challenging a ticket for double parking.

Anyone for a broad hint? Read on:

The obvious question is: Who would dance with joy to see Tkacik shorn of institutional respectability? Here are some possibilities, though they’re not the only ones:

1. The Chinese government;

2. Taiwan’s KMT government;

3. US individuals/groups/firms with Chinese interests;

4. A rival colleague(s).

Just out of curiosity, when I asked if Heritage could identify “the exact amount of money that the Taiwanese government donates to Heritage formally or informally,” an official kindly sent me a reply.

He said: “The Heritage Foundation receives no funding from the government of Taiwan. And the ASC is entirely a part of The Heritage Foundation. ASC does not have any independent source of income.”

Now that’s a denial. And just as well, too. Gracious, what would have been the ramifications of the top US conservative think tank taking conditional cash from a government that longs for China to be more powerful than the US one day?

So, for now, I’ll have to leave you in suspense on why Tkacik is no longer at Heritage. My humble message to him on behalf of Taiwan’s concussed democrats is: Thank you, John, and Godspeed.

Since my legal budget consists of borrowing money from Johnny Neihu to contest my parking tickets, that's all I am going to say on this subject. My readers are excellent mathematicians and will have no trouble combining 2 and 2 to attain 4.

This is a blow, especially with the so many in the US engaged in those periodic fantasies that strike each generation of Americans anew that if we only make China happy, it will make us rich. Unfortunately being right is not enough; institutions magnify voices, and Heritage was a powerful base for John T.

Thank you, John, and good luck.


skiingkow said...

My guess is that it's the same people who want you to believe that 2 + 2 = 5.

Anonymous said...

It kind of shows you what Chen was going to try to do with all that extra campaign money.

The KMT knows that money talks and they have spend decades enriching themselves on Taiwan. They also use that money to keep the cashflow...flowing.

They stopped Chen from doing the same thing and keep the TI side from buying voices.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone name some other US pro-Taiwan commentators?

Anonymous said...

While surfing for some images of Taiwan, I found your site - and
curiously - found a caption that didn't seem quite accurate:
"massive gate at the entrance to the memorial to the murderous
dictator Chiang Kai-shek in Taipei"

I'm wondering if you've had the chance to converse with the Taiwanese
(with university degrees) on the matter.

You might wish to take a look @

Michael Turton said...

Can anyone name some other US pro-Taiwan commentators?

There's a whole slew of them on the Republican/Right side, Dan Blumenthal, Randy Shriver, etc. Can't think of any pro-Taiwan types who comment on the other side.

Michael Turton said...

YC, I'm not sure about the problem. Did I get the wrong gate? Or misspell Chiang Kai-shek? The other information given is correct, though.

Taiwan Echo said...

This is a sad news. I believe Tkacik will not stop writing, but this signifies a possible surrendering of another site to the communists (or, to the money ?)

Anon: "It kind of shows you what Chen was going to try to do with all that extra campaign money."

Good point.

Taiwan Echo said...


I suggest that you do a knowledge search with keywords:

Chiang Kai-shek, democide, genocide, twentieth century

Michael Turton said...

BTW, yc, I've read the Wikipedia article, it was written by totally pro-KMT retards and contains little useful information in it. Why don't you refer me to a scholarly paper on the subject that is not as biased.


Taiwan Echo said...

"Why don't you refer me to a scholarly paper on the subject that is not as biased."

Michael, there are 'totally pro-KMT retards' among scholars, too ... :)

Anonymous said...

"Michael, there are 'totally pro-KMT retards' among scholars, too ... :)"

John Copper (cough!)

Ramon Meyers (cough!)

Anonymous said...

Anyone with half of a brain wouldn't use wikipedia as part of the references in an argument, epseically when the argument concerns history and current events. It is because of the fact that wiki allows users to constantly modify the information it becomes unreliable sometimes, especially in the history and current event sections. Pretty much every internet commentator and forum goers on the net knows that and try to avoid using wiki as one of the references. (Only exception in the wiki entry on science/engineer/other professional matters, 'cus it's hard as hell to fake those shit)

Anonymous said...

Chiang owed his hide to the US DOS thingy about face. Face is about as "Chinese" as these dorks will ever get when it comes to China. It's how they own up to their training. More Chinese than a China hand, you die.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Tkacik doesn't look like an isolated incident because Heritage isn't the only right wing think tank that is showing their resident neocons the door.

AEI has just evicted Michael Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht, and Joshua Muravchik.

There's obviously something going on on the American right, not sure what is is though.

Anonymous said...

As far as wiki goes... the more GOOD citations the better. An article that uses the China Post, Sinorama and the GIO as primary sources is not going to be very good. It will read like a John Copper book.