Dalai Lama accepts green camp's invitation to visit Taiwan

AP reports that Dalai Lama has accepted the invitation to visit Taiwan (in Chinese here):

A joint statement by leaders from seven municipalities recently hit by deadly Typhoon Morakot said the Tibetan spiritual leader planned to be in Taiwan from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 and would visit storm victims.

This certainly puts Ma regime in a very serious dilemma. I couldn't say it better than what's in the report (highlight mine):

Political scientist George Tsai of Taipei's Chinese Culture University (台北中國文化大學政治學家蔡信安) said the Dalai Lama announcement has put Ma in a bind.

"If the central government allows Dalai Lama to visit, relations with China will be damaged, but if not, the public will think the central government lacks humanitarian concern (for victims)," Tsai said.

It is understandable that Ma regime doesn't know how to respond:

Ma spokesman Wang Yu-chi declined to say whether Taiwan would allow the Dalai Lama to visit. Analysts said such a politically sensitive visit was unlikely, though the Dalai Lama has made three visits to the island over the past 12 years.

There must be some torturing struggle in Ma Ying-jeou's mind now. He has flipped his tongue 180 degree before and after he took the office, from praising Dalai Lama to denouncing him in the fear of angering the communist China. Ma has expressed in many occasions that he considers Taiwan as an area of China. So Ma couldn't possibly approve Dalai Lama's visit without the approval of the central government in his mind - the communist China government that is.

Considering this: China has always portrayed Dalai Lama as a separatist. Whichever country approves for Dalai Lama's visit is heavily condemned by the Chinese government. Allowing Ma to welcome Dalai lama will jeopardize this non-negotiable stand. So it's almost impossible for China to approve this.

However, Ma's credit and approval rate in Taiwan are in their historical low. If Ma denies Dalai Lama's visit again (Ma denied his visit openly last November, even that Dalai Lama never expressed his intention of visiting), it will drag him much deeper into the abyss and make his recovery much more difficult. It might even push Ma to the point of no return when Ma is currently on the brim of losing his political grip. That will result in either Ma being replaced, or his policy of annexing Taiwan being seriously challenged by his colleague. Either way is certainly not in Ma's nor China's best interest.

So China will have to approve Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan, if they still want to take advantage of what's left of Ma's value. But, such a serious violation of their firm stand against Dalai Lama will have to come with something in return - something very very big, in proportional to what China has to give.

What will Ma Ying-jeou surrender in return for China's cooperation to allow Dalai Lama's visit in order to to save both of them himself?

Will this surrendering indeed save them, or lower people's trust on Ma even more ?

One thing is almost certain: if that kind of deal is made, expect a consensus between them, that China will criticize Ma heavily in order to keep communist China's face. But, that will inevitably raise questions that the two sides across the strait are not that buddy-buddy after all.

No matter how they fare it, Ma and the communist China are in lose-lose situation in this case. Strategically speaking, the green camp fires a perfect shot.

In the mean time, some blue politicians got angered immediately, going so far as to label Dalai Lama a disaster (高市政府:達賴允諾來台安慰災民 藍委:嫌災難不多嗎?):

KMT legislator Chiu Yi fired a broadside at the news, saying that those invited Dalai Lama are brainless. He said that the visit will seriously damage the cross-strait relation and will cause troubles. "Do they think that Taiwan's disaster is not enough?"

Well, it is indeed a disaster --- to Ma regime and his pro-China thugs. Whenever you see pro-blue politicians jump furiously like this, you know that a good move has been made.

Two Michaels just blogged about this:
Michael Turton: DPP invites Dalai Lama to visit disaster areas
J. Michael cole: Let’s bring things back to the center


Ma Ying-jeou in the most crucial hours of Morakot

He wants you to focus on how many were rescued such that you will forget how many lives were lost due to his blunders in the most crucial hours.
~~ Taiwan Echo ~~

The international community always portraits Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou as a capable politician who can achieve magics, without acknowledging the fact that every single construction or major policy under Ma's administration during his two terms (8 years) of the Taipei Mayorship ends up a disaster (go google, don't take my word for it).

All those facts of incompetence are hidden from the eyes of western readers by journalists whose reports literally conspire to mislead people by beautifying Ma Ying-jeou with layers of lies.

But now all those are torn apart completely by Ma's unbelievable blunders in response to the torment the Typhoon Morakot (莫拉克颱風) imposed upon innocent Taiwanese people. Finally, western journalists are forced to see with their own eyes how mistaken they were about this Harvard-educated, soft fluent-English-spoken Ma Ying-jeou.

Below are what the real Ma Ying-jeou - not the one painted by the media - did in the beginning of Morakot disaster -- the most crucial time to save lives.

(1) Attending a wedding party when Morakot strikes

Typhoon Morakot reached Hualian, Taiwan, at 11:50pm, August 7th. Taiwan has already suffered damages that day [1.1].

The next day (Aug, 8th), when the flooding got worse in southern Taiwan [1.2], Ma Ying-jeou didn't seem to make any attempt to prepare for any disaster. He started his schedule by attending a wedding party in Taipei in the evening. He spent 1.5 hr in the party, joked around and delivered a speech bragging about how great his China policy is. Only after then did he go to the Cabinet's Drought Disaster Relief Center (DDRC, 中央災害應變中心). What he did in DDRC is unknown, but none about the preparation against natural calamities was reported, let alone any evacuation order.

(2) Interfering rescue by rushing to the front line for the spot-light

When it got even worse the next day (Aug, 9th) [2.1], Ma, without taking any state-level measures, rushed to the front line where people were busy with real rescue efforts.

Receiving the president of a country, presumably the rescue personnel on-site have to stop their work to brief him (or not ?). His visit would crowd the area with his security guards. To ensure his safety, his visit would occupy personnel urgently needed for the rescue, thus reduce the manpower needed for saving lives. In fact, Ma Ying-jeou was stuck in Chiayi (嘉義)by the flooding, which turned himself into one needs to be rescued [2.2]. For that, he might be directly responsible for the death of many people who might otherwise be saved.

More incredible is, Ma Ying-jeou appeared in front of the camera with local KMT candidates wearing their campaign jackets ! What on earth did he want to achieve with that other than showing off in front of the camera ?

When 921 Earthquake happened back in 1999, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) went to the rescue site quickly, too. However, before Lee went to the site, he and his government already initiated a series of state-level rescue measures in 13 minutes after the quake. A command center was established on the rescue site in a couple of hours. Lee convened a national security meeting the same day [2.3]. He went to the disaster site only after he had set up the government rescue mechanism and got himself fully informed of what's going on.

In contrary, Ma quickly rushed to the disaster scene empty-handed. No emergency meeting convened, no state-level rescue mechanism pre-arranged, no one in the government knows what they need to do. As shown in the website screen shot [2.4] of the Executive Yuan's National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission (行政院災害防救委員會), when lives were lost and villages were swept away in the south on Aug. 9th, Ma's government still believes that there's no serious calamity and the most updated warning of disaster on that page is for an earthquake on Aug. 3rd !

Try imagining this after the hurricane Katrina: at the time the rescuing attempt started, USA's former president G.W. Bush flight from DC to the sites, putting himself in the center of rescue, shaking hands with people and posing in front of the spot-light to be interviewed by the media -- and all are done without any attempt of national coordination. Imagine that, and ask what would you think about Bush in this imagined scenario.

By showing up in the rescue site without any relief plan, Ma Ying-jeou shows us not only how spot-light-hungry he is, but also that he has no idea what a president's duty is..

As a result, his rushing to the front line achieved nothing other than endangering lives of many. The only thing guaranteed is that the image of him shaking hands with people on the rescue site gets shown on the front pages of news, as though the country will be ok as long as he looks good in the news.

(3) Messing up the rescue plan by giving direct orders

The rising waters at where Ma visited could get people drowned right at the time he was visiting, which won't look good in the news at all. Ignoring all procedures that might be crucial for the best allocation of limited resources, Ma used his cell phone to make a direct call to Taipei and ordered Taipei government to deliver pumps to Chiayi immediately [3.1],[3.2].

Did he know who knows better where the pumps should be delivered, who knows the environment better, what type of pumps should be used in that environment, what other devices and personnel are needed for that mission, where else might be in much more urgent need of pumps, and how long does it take for the pumps from Taipei to be delivered?

Furthermore, as the president, does he know that he is the head of all military forces so he can instruct the army to help the rescue mission -- the army of all specialties (including the marine and special operation forces) that already stationed in Kaohsiung (高雄), Chishan (旗山), Linyuan (林園), Yanchao (燕巢), Gangshan (岡山), Tainan (台南) -- all in very close vicinity of Chiayi? Did he have any scintilla of idea what is available in southern part of Taiwan at all?

All those close military units were left alone when he tried to order pumps far from Taipei with a direct phone call. Does he has to perform in front of the camera as though he was the one doing something, and no one else is doing anything ? It did make it easier for him to play the blaming games to cover his incompetence, didn't it ?

With his poor knowledge about available resources and his poor judgment by giving direct orders without knowledge of the overall situation, Ma messed up the rescue and might have jeopardized lives of more citizens.

(4) Leading the country toward the game of finger-pointing

When Ma and his government didn't do any preventive preparations, didn't warn the victims about how serious it could be, didn't issue any evacuation order to the disaster area, didn't keep track of what damages already being done and what misery people are already suffering, and Ma himself went to a wedding party when people were about to lose their own or family's lives (some lost entire family of 15 or more), Ma Ying-jeou has the audacity to show up in front of the camera to pin the fault on the suffering victims!

What kind of cruelty is hidden behind the facade of the apparant eloquent gestures and a mouthful of fluent English ?

He also blames The Central Weather Bureau (中央氣象局) for not being able to make precise prediction, without the knowledge that the weather prediction is extremely difficult, especially the rain level.

He also blames local governments for no disaster prevention constructions, without acknowledging that the disaster relief budgets were often cut by the Legislative Yuan in which his KMT members always has the majority.

He even blames the weather, saying that the rescue is delayed by the disaster that damaged the roads, forgetting that human can still walk without roads. In fact, there were at least several members of special operations force took a leave from their station, went back to the disaster area to rescue their families. They had to take a leave because no one in Ma Ying-jeou's administration ordered them to do anything when lives of their families were in danger. They were able to rescue people by themselves, but Ma Ying-jeou wants you to believe that it's the weather that makes military rescue impossible.

Even after days of heavy criticism from international media, in an interview by CNN, Ma YJ finally said he will take full responsibility. But he followed immediately with what he means by taking responsibility -- punishing others [4.1]. His definition of taking the responsibility is to blame all wrongs on others but himself, as though that people should have got everything done and ready for him to sit there enjoying the life of an emperor worry-free. Those who didn't make sure that happens should take all the blames.

(5) He doesn't know what to do in a disaster relief meeting

When the 921 earthquake stroke in 1999, former president Lee Tenghui convened the first high-level national security meeting (國安高層會議) to lay out his rescue plan on the first day, and had the second meeting 2 days later.

Why did it take Ma 7 days to convene such a meeting? We will never know, but what he did in the first meeting might shed some light.

Taiwan has accumulated experiences of disaster rescue channel and established pretty good disaster response mechanism during the past decades. But when a disaster of this scale happens, often a system like that is not enough. Foreign aid will flow in, which might involve diplomatic issues beyond a domestic rescue channel can handle. It also involves the deployment of military personnel and resources, which requires an assessment of the balance between rescuing victims and defending the country. The re-distribution of reserved resources is way beyond the authority of a routine rescue system.

This is when a national security meeting should step in. By convening such a meeting, the president should lay the foundation to coordinate all those different resources and channel them to the rescue system. He should monitor and give instructions on how the routine rescue system, the foreign aids, the military reserves, the local and central governments should coordinate. And he should play that role of watching all channels of forces until all problems are solved.

Unfortunately, none of the above was conducted by Ma Ying-jeou in his 7-day-late meeting [5.1]. Nothing on the coordination on the national level that only the president can do is discussed or planned (for example, how to handle foreign aids is completely missing in the meeting). Instead, Ma's speech is full of impractical wishful thinking like "I hope...", "... very important", "we should ...", "we must ...". Other than that, he issues instructions that the head of rescue system can issue, which includes the only significant instruction he gave in the meeting -- mobilizing the students of police academics.

Among all mumbo jumbo, he did remember to start the speech by bragging how many people his government rescued by emphasizing that it's the record high. In fact, he keeps mentioning this in every chance he got, as though he has done a cherity service to the victims so poeple should not have complained. This kind of bragging is surely not you want to hear in a meeting like that.

Now we see why the meeting was delayed --- he has no idea at all what he should do with such a meeting !!! Such a disaster-handling meeting requires him to behave like a commander who makes new problem-solving decisions but not just regurgitating what he memorized. This is something far beyond his ability, and his fear of taking on it shows that he knows it by heart.

Ma Ying-jeou's fear of taking up the responsibility doesn't stop there. After the meeting, he refused to take the command. He handed over all responsibilities to the rescue team. The government claims that what is left will now all count on the routine rescue system, so Ma will retreat behind the first line of rescue and reconstruction, leaving himself completely out of future responsibilities [5.2].

So what is left for Ma Ying-jeou to be responsible for? Full time blame hunter to hunt down those who did nothing because Ma never gave any order?

Ma Ying-jeou has been either a government official or people's elected all his adult life, yet his extremely poor knowledge on the duty of a government's job and his complete lack of sense of responsibility would guarantee that there's a long long way of future suffering for Taiwanese to endure.

The above is a retrospect to part of Ma Ying-jeou's blunders in the most crucial hours of Morakot disaster. His unprecedented incompetence followed by the act of 100% responsibility shirking stun those who thought Ma Ying-jeou was a savior of Taiwan. Even KMT high-level feels something is seriously wrong --- after all, they just handed this incompetent pretty-face camera boy the absolute power by electing him the KMT's chairman.

There are a lot more unbelievable blunders happened and are happening (just google !), so I'll stop here for now. For Ma Ying-jeou, he might be burning his scarce brain cells calculating how to shirk all responsibilities by finger-pointing and by bragging what record he had achieved to make people think that it's a previlige to have him as the president.

For most Taiwanese, however, judging from the fact that Ma failed to get a single collapsed building rebuilt in 7 years (see my post in 2006, Hopeless quake victims under Ma Ying-Jeou's lead), the suffering has just begun.



報載馬英九昨天下令台北縣長周錫瑋到南部救災 (馬總統指示 周錫瑋率車隊南縣救災 )。這個動作讓人震驚。



















8月9日周錫瑋因為台北縣 4個鄉鎮市長在颱風來前「擅離職守」而震怒並打算懲處;
8月9日報載周錫瑋因為颱風要坐鎮北縣而取消 6日的香港之行,改由副秘書長廖榮清代打;



陳致中等人,在之前與檢方達成「認罪協商」的決議 ── 認罪並當證人指控其他被告以換取較輕刑罰。檢調在利用他們的認罪來指控其他人(主要是陳水扁)之後,拒絕給予較輕的刑罰:

『台北地院審理扁案,昨傳喚要求認罪協商的陳致中夫婦、吳景茂夫婦及蔡銘杰、郭銓慶六被告,六人均認罪,但特偵組以被告涉洗錢,犯罪情節重大,另有國泰世華七億四千萬元等洗錢案仍在偵查中,拒絕六名被告認罪協商。』陳致中等六被告 認罪協商全遭拒


在美國,所謂的 make a deal ,是指被告與檢方達成協議而認罪,協議內容一定包括兩個部分:(1)被告認罪,有時包括自願擔任污點證人指證其他被告;(2)檢方保證較輕的刑期。



因此,這樣的例子,應該叫做「認罪求饒」── 認罪了之後,被告已經完全沒有籌碼,所以唯一能做的,就是叩頭求饒,跪求檢調法外開恩。






~~ Echo ~~

馬英九政權上個禮拜透過 ECFA 漫畫說帖中的侮辱性人物描述公然以政府公權力挑撥族群對立,分化台灣人(ECFA 漫畫說帖:一個撕裂社會、製造族群對立的文宣但是這次,就讓我爽爽快快地幹個徹底吧!)。對此,一個朋友提到:

這倒引發了我一個構想, 民進黨何不藉此高雄世運的成功來反宣傳一哥與發嫂? 馬統政府故意把"高級外省人"的"高級又有品的形象"加諸在苗栗客籍的一嫂身上, 我們何不把這"高級"的一嫂宣傳成一個失敗主義與內心自卑的一嫂? "高級"的假象只是穿在外面偽裝來的, 事實上, 就是一個失敗主義者, 騎牆派, 投機主義者, 沒有國家觀念的機會主義者? 反之, 發福的發哥卻是一個務實, 築夢, 追夢, 愛鄉, 愛土, 不畏強權有正義感的本土台灣人?














從最近的民調資料以及相關資訊可以揣摩:台灣人民當初選馬英九,並不是他們贊成統一,而是馬英九包裝與欺瞞的技巧奏效,讓他們相信馬英九可以帶給他們一個繁榮的和諧的 ── 而且有別於中國 ── 的社會。

當馬英九的所有承諾都被他的行動證實是謊言的時候,民眾不會 (如許多台派知識份子認定的) 茫然所知;即使口中不願意承認,他們會看到自己被欺騙,而開始尋找能夠帶給他們希望、讓他們放心信任的新目標。