The more I think about Ray Burghardt's intervention in Taiwan's upcoming elections, the angrier I get. I wish I could say Burghardt was "freelancing," but sadly, I know better than that.
The fact is, the Bush Administration has been uneasy about President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party for quite some time, to the point of publicly calling Chen out on previous referendum plans. Then and now, the Administration was sending a message to Taiwanese voters: reject the robust anti-Communism of Chen's Democratic Progressive Party in favor of the cadre-friendly Nationalists.
The President was wrong then, and Burghardt is wrong now; the Taiwanese people didn't listen then, and I sincerely hope they don't listen now.
To the Taiwanese people, I say this: not all Americans are as shortsighted as President Bush or Ray Burghardt. You have far more friends here than you realize. Millions of us are in awe at your courage, strength, and dedication to freedom and liberty. We know how hard it is to stand up to Beijing and Washington, and we admire you every day you do it.
I, for one, hope you do it again.
For what it's worth, as I did four years ago, I hereby endorse, enthusiastically and without reservation, the Democratic Progressive Party nominee for President - Frank Hsieh - and all DPP and fellow "pan-green" candidates for the Taiwanese legislature. I will even go so far as to say the Presidential election (in March) is of equal importance to our own in November.