Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Taipei Times Editorial Page, at it again

Today’s Taipei Times published an editorial that is very good and an editorial masquerading as a news story that is so bad as to be dangerous, but to be honest, “bad to dangerous” is par for the course for the Taipei Times editorial page.

First, the good. James Holmes uses Thucydides’ account of a couple of battles from Greek antiquity to show that an island nation must be strong to hold off a large aggressive power bent on destroying the island’s civilization. Further, there is no hope for discussion between the island and its tormentor unless there is some rough military parity. The key sentence is quite telling: "Questions of justice," Thucydides warned, "arise only between equals."

Now, the bad. Rick Chang quotes extensively from a pacifist former minister for the Pan-green party who opines that the fact that the Pan-blue party has thwarted efforts to pay for the weapons systems recommended by the US, then the US will forsake Taiwan and that Taiwan should ready itself for takeover by the Communists. Now, the KMT is being ridiculous and petty in blocking Chen’s defense authorization bill but ultimately, Taiwan will pay, maybe not $15 billion, but somewhere close to that. That is the way negotiations work. The President proposes something, the other party counters it and somewhere in the middle, things work out. But it is dangerous and irresponsible for a former minister to blather on about surrender. Standing up to bullies like China requires courage, mealy mouthed cowardly defeatists like Cheng do his country and the world a disservice by giving the Chinese Communists the idea that they might be successful in attacking Taiwan.