Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – Taiwan’s Democracy, the U.S. Pledge, and the Chinese Communist Party’s Constant Nightmare – “Freedom”

Regarding the editorial in the Sunday Taipei Times (“The Liberty Times Editorial: Opportunities and independence”, Jul 16, 2017 – Page 6), and speaking of the U.S. position on Taiwan’s independence, the paper notes “Therefore, arms sales to Taiwan, but failure to support its independence is a curious mix-and-match of action and rhetoric.”

Actually, if one thinks about it, this is not so curious. Failing to support independence out loud is not opposing it, even if those words come out of some official’s mouth at some point, because at its root, opposition to independence is not the policy of the U.S., it is merely a tool aimed at defusing a flash point with an arch enemy with nuclear weapons.

However….there is a time to every purpose, and war between the U.S. and China is the potential result of a declaration of independence by Taiwan unless it is the right time, so it is a matter of great importance that the time be right.

What does that mean? It is not so easy to define the right time, or pinpoint. It does depend on the steady progress of Taiwan towards being de facto recognized around the world out loud as a democratic nation on its own, and it could also depend on the resolve of the people of Taiwan. Few believe Taiwanese are willing to take up arms and fight Chinese soldiers in the streets of Taiwan. They say, this is 2017, who does such things, or would want to?

In history, including recent history, there have been very few declarations of independence not accompanied by bloodshed – no country’s overseer will so easily give up its captive.

The U.S. fought a long and very bloody Revolutionary War 241 years ago propelling the U.S. into history and George Washington into the Presidency. In the course of the 8 years of war against England, over 30,000 civilians lost their lives, and there were over 200,000 military casualties. The result was “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The bloodshed and resulting democracy has served as a beacon of freedom for billions in the centuries following. Are Taiwanese willing to shed their blood for this?

I think in civil society today, we do everything we can to avoid such conflict, though evil revels in blood and gore, as Tiananmen Square, the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap and so many other horrific events in Communist China have shown. It also revels in intimidation.

The result? The “One-China policy” that acknowledges that this is what Communist China says, and that the U.S. has its own idea about that. And the purpose of the ambiguity is to allow the U.S. to stand behind Taiwan, firmly, and between Taiwan and Communist China, firmly, and protect Taiwan with the full power and beauty of the U.S. Constitution and the principles of freedom and democracy now inherent in Taiwan’s system of government, and wait for the right time to help bring Taiwan into the family of recognized democratic nations, which it truly already de facto is.

All of the machinations dealing with Taiwan’s de facto independence are designed to avoid a war between two nuclear powers, especially with a North Korean powder-keg sitting just a few clicks away. We have seen how Communist China deals with resistance historically, by its brutality in Tibet and Hong Kong. The U.S. did not stand behind Tibet and wag its finger, having just completed the Korean War a few years earlier. Genocide through eugenics has ensued in Tibet. The U.K. does not have the muscle to stand behind Hong Kong even though Communist China recently stated that the 50-year agreement between the UK and Communist China no longer applies – in other words, England has no power to enforce it, so too bad, Hong Kong’s One Country-Two Systems system is now One Country-One System.

But the U.S., recognizing the tremendously important role that Taiwan plays in ensuring Asia’s democratic existence, and the beauty and grace in having its democracy flourish, and having the same freedoms as exist in the U.S. in Taiwan for its 23 million people, does stand behind Taiwan and wag its finger at Beijing and say “don’t even think of it, buddy”. It has not yet become “Make my day, punk,” but it is implicit in the military presence in China’s neighborhood, and projection of the U.S. military might around the world.

Despite the bellicosity of PLA (People’s Liberation Army) generals, China’s military is no match for the battle-hardened U.S. military might, and for all those nay-sayers in the U.S. who complain about its defense budget, it is like the defense budget for the entire free world (because as we know well, Europe is not going to mount a military that can fulfill that role) and that gives the U.S. power to keep democracy vital and dominant, protecting the freedoms of the people of the U.S., and its friends, despite the efforts of the world’s worst totalitarian regimes, from Communist China to Russia, to Iran to North Korea to Venezuela to Cuba to  those in the Middle East.

Were the U.S. to back off Taiwan, I don’t want to think of the consequences. Our law provides support for Taiwan, laws which always pass with overwhelming support in Congress. Presidents follow diplomatic niceties, but the U.S. Congress does not have to follow suit. Few in the U.S. speak glowingly of a unified Communist China and Taiwan. An overwhelming majority acknowledge that Taiwan is already a democratic nation whose own Constitution provides in Article One it is a nation with a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

That is the basic foundation of Taiwan today. And it is the basic foundation of Charter 08, offered in 2008 by Liu Xiaobo and his co-writers as the foundation for a future China. Imagine that. Taiwan is the example of what the people of Communist China can look forward to. No wonder the Chinese Communist Party is so damn afraid of tiny Taiwan. And no wonder the Chinese Communist Party is so damn afraid of India, a great U.S. ally and a democratic nation of more than one billion people – demonstrating that the Chinese Communist Party’s argument that China is too big for democracy is nonsense.

To answer the question inherent in the editorial, the democracy and independence dance is not only a dance between Communist China and Taiwan, truly of necessity for Taiwan’s benefit and survival. If it were, it would be a very short and painful dance. It is a very complicated dance and the dance floor is quite crowded, and Communist China is by far not the dancer with the biggest footprint and most destructive kick, and while the U.S. is dancing far from home, Communist China knows that doesn’t mean a thing after over 100 years of projecting power for good across the oceans and seas to stand behind freedom against oppression whenever and wherever it is found.

Also, while the dance is going, and it is going, Taiwan is evolving, and as the pro-Communist China KMT is in steep decline, Taiwan is edging closer and closer to fully realizing the power of those words above…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Assimilate that, Chairman Xi and your Chinese Communist Party, anachronisms of despair from the 20th Century, and hollow wraiths in the shadow of Taiwan’s massively free and beautiful society.

North Korean Nuclear Debacle is Iran’s Debacle in Waiting

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

President Clinton was so eager to resolve the Korean nuclear threat, I believe he was willing to sign an agreement with North Korea written in snow and accept mist in promises. It would seem the negotiating team (part of whom were also amazingly brought in by President Obama for the Iran negotiations) were outclassed, outsmarted and outwitted. To the extent any person outside China actually believed China had or has any interest whatsoever in ending North Korea’s program, they are sadly misinformed. Communist China has directly benefited from North Korea’s bad acts for twenty years, and has continued to expertly play US presidents like fiddles, including Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump.

If there is no diplomatic solution now outside Communist China, one can look to the previous administrations for blame, each having to some degree allowed Communist China to have its way with them instead of taking steps to actually put an end to Korea’s nuclear program. It is too late now. With an ICBM in the oven, and hardened facilities under mountains and underground, there is little that can be done short of decapitation or immediate regime change, and even in that case, there is no telling what would follow the end of the Kim dynasty.

North Korea violated its Agreement during negotiations, while it was being drafted, moments after it was signed, and every day since then.

The trouble is, at the beginning, there was far more of a chance to take military action to stop North Korea from actually developing nuclear weapons technology and the weapons themselves, and with each succeeding year it became more difficult. Nothing was accomplished during the Bush Administration, and the final nails in the nuclear coffin were put in place during President Obama’s Oppeasement foreign policy debacle, repeated in rushed negotiations in horrible detail with Iran before Obama left office, a gift so to speak that will keep on giving for decades, and the full effect of which has not yet been felt around the world when Iran becomes a nuclear power (as it will under the dubious agreement).

Communist China and North Korea have played this game well for such a long time. CCP leaders pretend to call out North Korea, even vote in favor or abstain from heavy sanctions, but secretly violate those sanctions almost immediately. They call for patience, negotiations, peace in the region (for instance calling for cessation to joint military exercises between the US and South Korea), all as part of this grand scheme and game. Whenever Communist China needs a threat, it just winks at North Korea, and missiles are aloft, and dire warnings come from Beijing (“Woe is us, woe is us, what are we to do? Peace, negotiate, leave it to us”). This is usually followed by laughter in the CCP’s lair.

China will continue to prop up North Korea, secretly or otherwise, because it is the most useful tool in keeping the US in check, achieving its goals regarding Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, the South China sea, human rights, and a host of other issues it wishes the US to stay away from.

The longer we play this game of loser’s chess, the worse the situation grows. Pretending to be the peacemaker (and the environmentalist and the voice of reason and the next great source of trade and money) is China’s long term strategy to relegate the US to a back seat to its hegemony and intentions to remake the world in its own totalitarian image. North Korea is simply a tool in that game.

Just as Clinton did 25 years ago, Obama began the game with Iran several years ago. It does not end well. It never does, particularly when it is played by the JV team (led by President Obama whistling Kumbaya, Kerry and his merry band of fools and appeasers) and the quintessential flim-flam men from Iran. There was no contest. And now, President Obama, having been intent on singing Kumbaya instead of ending Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, and having prevented destruction of Iran’s facilities after developing the weapons to do so while it was actually possible, has ensured we are stuck with a nuclear Iran, something that can lead to disaster.

Good men doing nothing. This is the hallmark of diplomacy for the past twenty five years. When will anyone learn?

China’s One Belt One Road One Noose One Way

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) weekend forum for his One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way] project just ended. As with anything orchestrated by Communist China, there are dangers and intrigue inherent in the plans and the strategy, because it is China’s ambition to purchase influence and fealty around the globe, a kind of immunization against any discussion of its totalitarian system of oppression, hegemony and its plan to remake the world with Chinese Characteristics. Xi, as always, spoke “sincerely” of “mutual respect of one another’s sovereignty, territory and “core interests.” This is one of the key dogmas in China’s initiative of One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way].

A thorough article for Reuters/Beijing (‘Silk Road’ plan stirs unease over China’s strategic goals, Taipei Times, Mar. 6, 2017, p. 9) sets out some of the practical concerns the international community may have about the plan. The article mentions that “Xi’s speech also drew implicit contrast between Chinese-style development objectives and those of the West, saying the initiative will not resort to ‘outdated geopolitical maneuvering’.”

Together, these two points mean that China’s strategy is to hide the evil inherent in the Chinese Communist Party’s one-party dictatorship rule over China in plain view by “suggesting” for the millionth time that countries must respect sovereignty, territory (in other words China will claim whatever territory it deems part of China, including Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, parts of the Moon and possibly Mars if it can get there first) and “core interests”, which means don’t even think of messing around with the CCP’s suppression of all freedoms in Communist China or trying to introduce democracy, human rights or justice there anytime soon, or fail to intone the One China Policy.

Xi’s project will throw tens of billions of dollars at needy or greedy countries willing to do business with the devil, kneel to the devil, and, unbeknownst to them, invite the devil to dinner and get on the Silk Road which is a one-way ticket to Hell. China’s currency has always been propaganda and blackmail. If you want Kommunist Kash, you have to pretend One China is true, even though the world knows Taiwan is not part of Communist China, and that China is not the world’s worst offender of human rights in the universe. For the right amount of Kash, or pretend effort to reign in North Korea, it seems to be no problem for Europe and even for Trump.

“The Chinese government has never wished to control any other country’s government,” according to Ou Xiaoli (歐曉理), a Chinese Cabinet official. Except controlling Taiwan. And Tibet. And Hong Kong. And the South China Sea. And all references to the one-party system in China. And talking about the Great Firewall of China. And Falun Gong. And the Chinese Catholic Church. And the Dalai Lama – and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the kidnapped real Panchen Lama and the Chinese Communist Party replacement fake Panchen Lama. And North Korea. And Japan. And Democracy. And Human Rights, whatever those are. And Censorship. And Freedom of Speech. And freedom of religion. And due process, whatever that is. And speaking ill of the Chinese Communist Party revolution.

The article notes that “China often is the only entity willing to finance big projects in poor countries. That gives Beijing leverage to require use of Chinese builders and technology.” This is good old-fashioned Colonization with Chinese Characteristics. China will go into a poor country, give the corrupt leadership Kommunist Kash with no strings attached (other than those mentioned in the previous paragraph), but no requirements that the government of the new “colony” be democratic or practice human rights, whatever those are, or benefit the people of the country, rape the natural resources China needs to take, bring in multitudes of Chinese workers under CCP control to do the work, and add another “ally” to the list of who will vote blindly for anything China wishes. Perhaps ultimately we will see a United Chinese Union which will be comprised of all these “colonies” that China has acquired using Kommunist Kash, which will become a bloc of anti-western democratic principles and human rights, whatever those are, and pro-Chinese socialism with Chinese Characteristics, which means an alternate world of dictatorship and tyranny, a silent and impotent United Nations (sort of like today) controlled by China and its allies, the Diktator’s Klub.

One Belt One Road [One Noose One Way] is an insidious very long-term strategy to infect many nations around the globe with China’s own brand of governing and civil society from within, a creeping, silent and devastating darkness designed to cripple democracy and dissent, destroy justice and freedom, and strangle human rights. Xi simply wishes to create a world just like China in each and every country. We simply must not allow it.

Pursue the Truth

via Daily Prompt: Pursue

Most people avoid the difficult path, but as Robert Frost wrote in the Road Not Taken, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

The most difficult path of all is the path to truth. It is often obstructed by fear and denial, by guile and by weakness, by sloth and by bad intentions, by closed minds and by ill-intentioned open wallets.

Some truth is hard truth, some is obvious, though often ignored, some truth is obscure, having to be ferreted out, some truth is right in front of you, though at times too large to be seen. Some truth is scary, some is exciting, some is dangerous, some beguiling.

The thing is, the pursuit of truth should be one of our daily aims, to dig it out where it cannot be easily found, to illuminate it where is has been buried by doubts and lies, half-truths and propaganda, to put it on display where it has been suppressed by dogma, by stubbornness and by politics, and to teach it where it has been abandoned or obscured in the name of political correctness.

The pursuit of truth is both satisfying and exhilarating, and putting it on display can be like creating a canvas or object of light and beauty.

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty – That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn.