The Unbearable Lightness of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou's Words

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Thursday February 26, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Ma Ying-jeou again shamefacedly took the cake when he pledged that he would seek the truth of 228 and provide compensation for the survivors and families of those murdered. How nice this sounds until one examines just how many survivors are now living some sixty-two years later. Anyone who was at least twenty years old at that time (1947) would now be eighty-two years old. Even if one was a baby at that time, he/she would be now sixty-two years old, so how would they possibly have any memory or recollection of that horror. Add this to the fact that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had practically a half of a century of one-party state rule to sanitize any guilt or responsibility for what happened in 1947 and destroy the convicting documentation.

Ma made this pledge after his party in the KMT controlled legislature had frozen the budget for the 228 Memorial Foundation last year and had again refused to grant it a budget for this year. One can only wonder, how long the people of Taiwan can bear Ma's continued and frequent practice of speaking out of both sides of his mouth?

Ma put the final icing on the cake when he acknowledged that Chiang Kai-shek was responsible for the 228 massacre but Ma then made the plea that Chiang should not be judged by that one act. Not judged by one act? Of course he should not be judged by one act. Let us add to that the following twenty-eight years of White Terror and harsh Martial Law under Chiang. Let us also add the thousands of people that were killed and those other thousands that were sent to the political prison on Green Island. By no means should we judge Chiang Kai-shek by one act; we should judge him for all the subsequent killings and corruption that followed. Ironically Ma also pledged that he would change the name of Democracy Square back to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Square.

This is the hypocrisy of Ma Ying-jeou that the people of Taiwan must constantly put up with. One can only wonder when they will see through this faade. They have already been fooled by his ludicrous 6-3-3 election promises. Do they wish to remain fools and gluttons for punishment?