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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Decline of the United States

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1370 2610928
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170928Z SEP 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9962
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8601
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0050

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001370

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - NIDA EMMONS
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: DECLINE OF THE UNITED STATES

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage September 17 on the Taiwan Central Bank's decision to cut
the reserve requirement for bank deposits in the wake of the
bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers; on local investors' panic amid
reports about Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy and AIG's attempt to seek
a loan from the United States government; on the ongoing rescue
effort in typhoon-devastated central Taiwan; and on the revelation
that as many as 69 brands of Chinese baby formula were found to be
toxic. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a column in the
centrist, KMT-leaning "China Times" lashed out at U.S. President
George W. Bush and his administration, calling Bush the "chief
culprit who has caused the decline of the United States." End
summary.

"[George W.] Bush is the Chief Culprit who has Caused the Decline of
the United States"

Columnist Lin Po-wen wrote in his column in the centrist,
KMT-leaning "China Times" [circulation: 300,000] (9/17):

"... One can hardly find a worthy rival in U.S. history when it
comes to the rapid decline of U.S. national strength under the
governance of the Bush administration. The Chinese government spent
US$40 billion to host the Beijing Olympics, starting many
large-scale building projects [in the country] and making the
[Olympic Games] an impressive show, which has won the admiration of
the world. Without a doubt, US$40 billion is a huge figure. But to
think better of it, the military expenses that the United States
spends in Iraq every month is as high as US$10 billion. In other
words, with merely four months' worth of the [military] costs
Washington spends on invading Iraq, the Chinese government was able
to host a remarkable Olympic Games. The money spent on invading
Iraq has cost the American taxpayers hundreds of billions (or maybe
reaching a trillion) U.S. dollars. But what is more horrifying is
that, during an era when other countries are striving to move
forward, the United States instead is wasting humongous resources on
the war in Iraq. [As a result,] budgets for many federal agencies
(particularly those research-oriented ones) were cut significantly;
many things that should have been done remained undone, and many
public construction projects were either canceled or suspended. The
United States is like a patient that is frail and failing before his
time.

"Factors contributing to the decline of the U.S. national strength
are too numerous to be cited individually, a majority of which are
artificial factors. ... Among such leaders, the worst one and the
one who should be held notably responsible is Bush. Quite a few
political commentators have long since judged that Bush is the
number one politician who has gone 'brain dead.' What is most
ironic is that Bush is the first president in U.S. history who has
an MBA degree (from Harvard Business School). All policy decisions
regarding of the outbreak of the financial meltdown this time and
the sub-prime mortgage crisis months earlier were all made by the
heads of the Treasury Department and the Office Thrift Supervision.
Bush, who 'does not look like a head of a state,' can do nothing but
stand aside [in terms of these crises], and there is no room for him
to express his views.

"... [D]uring the eight years of Bush's governance, the Department
of Justice has degenerated into a filthy place where people accept
bribes and confer official positions for money. These servile
followers of Bush and his administration do whatever pleases them
and do everything they can to ruin the federal prosecutors' system.
Under the command of those neo-conservatives at the White House and
the Pentagon, these people treat international laws and the UN
Universal Declaration of Human Rights as wastepaper, secretly set up
gloomy prison cells at Guantanamo Bay, and put thousands of innocent
Muslims behind bars (including some Uyghur people from Xinjiang)
without trial ... All the ideals and dignity advocated in the
U.S. Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the U.S.
Constitution have become disposable rubbish during the Bush era, and
the United States is akin to a country without a soul. It would be
very difficult for it not to be in decline! ..."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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