Jerome Keating reminds that Sec Rice’s comments that the referendum is a “provocation” may be responded to at the following email addresses:

Be nice when you talk to the Administration, I’m sure it will be a new experience for them….. Alton Thompson over at Conductor’s Notebook has a good response:

Dear Secretary Rice:

Like many Americans living in Taiwan I think your recent statement is a provocative action. It unnecessarily raises tensions between the democratic ideals Americans cherish and the policies of your administration. The statement promises no real benefits on the international stage for the people of either America or Taiwan. Or even China.

The moment was not worthy of you, Ms Rice. History has recorded your name already as a crucial player in the advancement of democracy. You were your country’s Russia expert during the fall of the Soviet empire. The people of central and eastern Europe did not achieve peaceful liberation from their nightmare because you or your boss sent mixed messages from your side. The motto then was peace through strength, not status quo.

I think the US has reached the point of self-defeating overkill — which may in fact be the goal. This bombast-by-proxy policy may be intended to have the opposite effect than it conveys on the surface. Perhaps they are just subtle…

…but I sorta doubt it. It should also be noted that the Chinese wanted Bush himself to make a statement, and instead they got Rice. Since westerners often get rice when they want something else in Chinese settings, it’s only natural that we return the favor. (badda bing!). Sec. Rice’s comments were certainly uncalled for, but it could have been worse….

I wish Chen would stop misrepresenting the referendum:

Responding to Rice, Chen said the referendum was an engagement the government had made in response to the request of the people.

“The referendum comes from the bottom up, from the 23 million people of Taiwan. The people took the initiative to make the proposal and enthusiastically put their signatures on the petition to sustain the referendum,” Chen said.

The referendum was initiated by the DPP and approved by the people. It was not initiated by “the people.” This is a game that is beneath our dignity. It might also be wonderful if Chen would shut up until the election and step down as Chairman of the DPP, but I haven’t seen any pigs flying outside my window lately…. one thing everyone is saying is that they are tired of Chen, who says things that everyone is thinking, but probably should not be said by any major politician (’there’s no cap on the Pacific ocean’). Is the DPP’s strategy to make everyone sick of Chen, then trundle out Hsieh to hit the big time for the last six weeks of the campaign?