Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It won’t be spooks, but it’s coming

As the presidential election in Taiwan approaches, the US will likely increase pressure on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government in a manner that is tantamount to a coup d’etat. The reason is that as it has tried to make Taiwan’s presence on the international scene more felt — through such means as writing a new constitution and applying for UN membership under the name “Taiwan” — the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration has created a set of problems for Washington at a time when it would fain concentrate its resources elsewhere (hint: where oil resources are more bountiful).

Going back into history, starting with the overt, CIA-led coups against Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954 through the less-obvious but equally successful interference in the domestic politics of Canada in 1963, one can trace a long, if oftentimes misguided, tradition in Washington of pressuring governments — foes and enemies alike — in order to achieve what it believes is in its interest.

Troublesome Taiwan, which continues to fight for its rights as a democracy, is now causing Washington enough of a headache, especially as the latter cozies up to Beijing, to warrant some form of intervention, which I argue will not come in the form of a CIA covert operation, but rather as a barrage of criticism and misinformation through communiqués and the US media. For too long, Chen and the DPP have, through their actions, exposed the lie that underpins the US’ alleged support for democracy, and this is making Washington increasingly uncomfortable.

The end goal, therefore, is to bring back the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to power, a party that is less likely to rattle the Taiwan Strait cage and force the US to act on its avowed values if and when push comes to shove.

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