Thursday, 27 August 2015

Peter Enav Recommends Hillary Clinton...

My comment at "Thinking Taiwan" here. Contrary to the two other comments on Peter Enav's article, I thought it was very poor because there doesn't seem to be much to go on, other than a few scattered remarks from the various possible candidates, only some of which directly mention Taiwan. It was the journalistic equivalent of reading tea leaves. However, his recommendation of Hillary Clinton stands out. On the face of it, she is correct about the threat China poses to Taiwan. Mr Enav was also correct to point out that, among all the possible candidates, she alone has been the most outspoken on Taiwan. There can be no argument with that. However, what was missing was any acknowledgement of Clinton's disturbing history. It is a history which invites a very particular inference as to what kind of person she is, and the corollary implication that she is fundamentally unsound and cannot be trusted. That point simply must be made - even if it is a point that other people I disagree with also make.


"...Taiwan should probably not expect much of an American embrace, regardless of who becomes president..."

Then quite what the purpose of this article was is not clear.

Nonetheless an argument that Mr Enav has his recommendations the wrong way around can still be made.

To paraphrase a certain Mr Rumsfeld from ten years ago, Hillary Clinton is a known unknown. Perhaps Hillary Clinton's statements on Taiwan indicate potential support in the event of a diplomatic or military crisis, but one must also consider the possibility that she simply "misspoke" as she has done more than once in the past. There is also the possibility that her "support" for Taiwan might end up lost in emails recorded on a server stashed in some bloke's toilet cupboard. So rather than take Der Rodham's proclamations at face value, it would be wiser to assume that her apparent support for Taiwan depends not on anything like principle, but merely on whether Taiwan happens to be a useful tool for her or not at the time. The wonder is not that Trump is taken seriously - he isn't - but that Der Rodham still commands support in the media twenty two years on.

By all means let the next U.S. president be a woman, but let's have a person who actually tries to communicate by reference to the facts rather than one who slips away by trying to manipulate the non-facts.


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