British Islamofascist Umran Javed was convicted of soliciting murder after he tried to convince a jury that his cries of, "Bomb, bomb Denmark! Bomb, bomb U.S.A.!" during the Danish Mo-toon crisis were merely harmless slogans, and that he didn't LITERALLY mean what he said.
In the future, radical fundamentalists (or Radfuns, for short) could avoid confusion by shouting, instead: "Bomb, bomb Denmark, Bomb, Bomb USA, in a purely figurative sense, of course!" [Emphasis added]
Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but sometimes ya gotta CYA.
(I believe video of Javed and his fellow Gandhi-wannabees can be found here.)
All this reminded me of a Dec 7/06 China Posteditorial, which defended the right of members of the Taiwanese military to threaten the president of their country with death:
A drillmaster was recently arrested for participating in an anti-President Chen Shui-bian rally in September wearing his full dress uniform and for distributing a letter in which he stated the "army will turn their guns inwards" [on the president in the event of a war]...
A member of the MILITARY participated in a political rally? I'd say that's Strike #1. Strike 2 would be doing it in full dress uniform. And handing out literature saying that in wartime, the Taiwanese army would SIDE WITH COMMUNIST CHINA and kill the Taiwanese president?
Strike 3, you're outta there.
But that's just the way I see it. The China Post however, invoked the Umran Javed Defense:
In our opinion, the remark "the army will turn their guns inwards" was meant mainly to remind the public of a danger and can hardly be interpretted as the incitement of a rebellion.
No wonder the capitulationist People First Party threatened to freeze the entire budget of the Ministry of National Defense for putting Tung in the brig. Why, the way the paper put it, the man's a HERO.
And if you disagree, you're obviously some kind of fascist, or something:
What happened to Tung became a focus of attention because his arrest smacks of a return to martial law rule.
[It] reflects an attempt by the government to suppress the display of discontent by members of the Armed Forces. The attempt is a violation of human rights and represents a slip back on the road to democracy.
Expect the China Post to do a major rethink on this issue if a KMT president is elected in '08. At that point, it'll suddenly become VERY UNCOOL for the army to "turn its guns inward".
UPDATE (Jan 11/06): Thanks go to Tim Maddog, for finding the link to the China Post editorial in question. Truth be told, my biggest concern in writing this post was that readers unfamiliar with Taiwan might think I was distorting the Post's position, or even making the whole thing up.
The link has been added, so readers can decide for themselves.
UPDATE (Jan 9/07): CNN International reported Sunday night that the candidate for archbishop withdrew after admitting his former collaboration with the communist secret police. Monday's China Post has more here.
I'm not really interested in pointing out where I disagree with the China Post's Saturday editorial on George Bush, but I do think the source of the paper's ire with the man has more to do with the administration's Taiwan policy within the past six months than it does with Iraq. Consider:
1) The Bush administration finally lost patience with the KMT's politically-motivated stonewalling of the special arms bill back in October, and let the Taiwanese public know it. Exposing the KMT's deliberate efforts to weaken the nation's defense against Chinese aggression? How dare Bush interfere in Taiwan's internal politics like that!
2) The Bush administration refused to call for Taiwan's independence-minded president to step down in the face of corruption charges back in September. Remember that outrage over Bush's interference in Taiwan's internal affairs? Well, stop remembering. Because when the KMT wills it, it's Bush's DUTY to interfere!
3) The Bush administration okayed contingency-planning next month between the American and Japanese militaries regarding a possible attack on Taiwan by China. Since the KMT dreams of an eventual capitulation to China, all this talk of helping Taiwan runs counter to all the doom-and-gloom propaganda they work so hard to demoralize the local population with. "Retake the motherland" may have once been the KMT's motto; now their English-language newspaper informs us, Taiwan's "Better red than dead."*
4) The Bush administration on Friday granted President Chen transit stops in LA and San Francisco for Chen's upcoming trip to Central America. No, no, no - that'll never do. Doesn't Bush know that the KMT's ideological enemies must always be snubbed with transit stop offers in far-off places like Alaska?
"Bush Grants Chen January Transit Stop...In Alaska." That's the headline punchline the KMT was REALLY hoping for.
Saddam Hussein, the tyrant, dictator and despot, has suddenly become a martyr and hero in the Muslim world...
Really? From the looks of this video, not ALL the Muslim world. My favorite part is when the Saddam defender informs us that his brother was murdered by Saddam, but Saddam is still his idol. Talk about licking the boot that kicks you.
Nepal's hardline Maoist guerillas, on the brink of achieving effective government power in the Himalayan kingdom, have turned their attention to so-called "social pollutants" and denounced homosexuals as "a by-product of capitalism".
Looks like Nepalis have nothing to lose but their chains. Well, that and their leather.
The jingle bells are jingling The streets are white with snow The happy crowds are mingling But there's no one that I know. I'm sure that you'll forgive me If I don't enthuse - I guess I've got the Christmas blues
-Dean Martin, The Christmas Blues
All three English papers printed roughly the same story yesterday regarding Taiwanese singles and holiday depression. From the Taipei Times:
The festive season from Christmas until [Chinese] Lunar New Year is a time of year when single men and women sink into "the holiday blues," if the results of a study released yesterday by a singles group are to be believed.
Taiwanese singles get the blues at Christmas-time? Chinese New Year, sure. Nearly half-a-million turned up to the Western New Year's celebrations in Taipei, so I can see that, too. But Christmas-time? No, sorry, I don't buy it. As an Aussie said to me recently, "Christmas is about as big here as the Dragon Boat Festival is in Perth."
But that's just a quibble. Just how DOES a Taiwanese know if he's got the holiday blues?
Some of the "symptoms" respondents described included anxiety, temper flares, amnesia, an inability to focus, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, tightness in the chest, "feeling old" and bickering.
I suppose at this point we singles are supposed to commiserate and tell the world how tough we've got it. But the truth is, we really don't. Because if you're married, Chinese New Year is coming, and you're going to have to cook and clean and prepare for a houseful of guests.
Reckon that'll bring you just a LITTLE anxiety and fatigue.
On top of that, tradition says married folks have to visit their in-laws houses for Chinese New Year, too. Perhaps you're unaware of this, but in the entire history of Taiwan, not a single such visit has ever, EVER resulted in temper flares, headaches or bickering. Perish the thought.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention the loud, all-night games of mah-jong. That, I did. Word has it insomnia occasionally ensues. And not only for the unmarried.
Usually I have no patience for the modern artiste who insists he's creating Great Art. Don't know if anybody remembers the Meehan Streak cartoon that the Taipei Times used to run, but it used to have a running gag with two critics in a gallery: one slavishly worshipful, the other blithely contemptuous.
I'm not ashamed to say, that contemptuous guy is me.
A US-based Taiwanese artist was questioned briefly by the FBI on Dec. 10 after he projected giant images of [the flag of Taiwan's main independence party] and a Republic of China (ROC) flag on the side of China's New York consulate and the UN's headquarters.
Momma Bear to Poppa Bear, Momma Bear to Poppa Bear, we have a code 5-18 violation. Repeat: we have a code 5-18 violation. Yeah, that's right. Illegal display of Taiwanese regalia on UN premises. I know, when will they ever learn? What's that, come again? The Chinese ambassador is advising we not take any chances? If we see the perp, shoot to kill? But we're not supposed to hit any "valuable transplantable organs"?
(UN images from the artist Yang Chin-chih's website.)
That last shot's great, with UN security guards hurriedly investigating this latest affront to the International Order. Kinda like gang members one night realizing the bat-signal's being shined onto the side of their hideout...
Now, if you or me pulled something like this off, our explanation to the FBI would probably be something to the effect that we were trying to send some kind of message to China. (Real message being: Up yours!)
But a true genius is a bit more creative than that. A true genius is a guy who thinks of an explanation so audacious in its absurdity that the rest of us can only shake our heads in admiration:
[the artist's website claims he] "attempts to express the twisted relationships between nation states -- in this particular instance, between Taiwan and those nations that directly or indirectly oppose its independence. It is the artist's hope that by calling attention to these thorny global issues, an effort will be made to resolve them peacefully." [Emphasis added]
Yeah, I'm sure Yang Chin-chih changed a LOT of hearts in Beijing <eyeroll>. But bravo, anyways. And Happy New Year, Communist China.