Monday, August 08, 2005

Lee Teng-hui on Free Riding

Today's Taipei Times has an article entitled "Lee says China dare not attack." From the article:
Former President Lee Teng-hui said yesterday that China would not dare to attack Taiwan, because the US has deployed eight nuclear submarines in the Pacific Ocean carrying about 2,000 nuclear warheads targeted at China, preventing Beijing from taking military action against its democratic neighbor.

A senior DOD official was kind enough to clarify the former president's remarks for him:
However, a senior US military official told the Taipei Times that it had been standing policy for the US to maintain a "nuclear deterrent," most of which is kept aboard a number of nuclear missile subs that are constantly on patrol worldwide.
The patrols were not specifically directed at China, and the missiles would only be given specific targeting instructions on the order of the US president, the source said.

In case that wasn't enough to gain Lee a spot on the next morning's front page, he continued:
Implying that Taiwan is under the protection of the US, Lee said it was necessary to procure arms from the US.
"You can't take a bus without paying for it," he said.

I'm not sure what I find more revolting: the fact that he gives a speech about defending Taiwan from China and doesn't once mention the ROC Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines (as near as I can tell... although I haven't read the whole speech, just the blurbs) or that he makes it seem as though the only reason to purchase these weapons systems from the United States is to pay a fee for America's protection.

Am I the only person who doesn't think that purchasing these weapons are a form of Protection Money? Maybe I should invent a catchy phrase like "these millions are for defense, not one penny is for tribute" to rally people to my interpretation of this arms bill (apologies to Thomas Jefferson).