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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

What next for the disaster zones?

Two weeks have passed since Typhoon Morakot brought disastrous floods and landslides to southern and central Taiwan. According to the three-stage view of disaster relief, we have now entered the second phase: short-term recovery.

However, many tasks associated with the first phase — emergency rescue — have not been completed. For example, defining disaster zones, exhuming bodies, evacuating the injured and so on. The window of opportunity for most of these tasks has passed. The authorities have come under a lot of criticism for their slow response, and the government’s abilities to handle the disaster are not up to scratch.

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What was the NSC's role in US aid delays?

A week after Typhoon Morakot wreaked havoc in southern Taiwan, US Marine helicopters landed here for the first time since the US switched political recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979.

The helicopters are stationed at the US military base in Okinawa, Japan — less than 1,000km from Taiwan — yet they needed eight days to get here, thus missing the critical 72-hour post-disaster window.

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The political disaster is just starting

The government’s procrastination and passive attitude toward relief efforts in southern Taiwan is bringing additional suffering to victims of the disaster. The nation is in uproar and support for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) has dropped below 20 percent. Although Ma says a Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards, Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) has said that Ma and Liu will not discuss the issue until next month, suggesting that Liu will stay.

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Ma Ying-jeou, the Sycophant Syndrome, and the KMT's New Dilemma

Taiwan's Typhoon Morakot did more than finalize how Ma Ying-jeou in true Peter Principle fashion had risen far beyond the level of his competence. It also exposed what may be called the Sycophant Syndrome and a dilemma for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Let's deal with the Sycophant Syndrome first.

When people rise beyond the level of their competence, some will know it and seek a way to bow out gracefully. Others when facing the discrepancy between their duties and their capabilities will hire competent people under them to compensate for what they lack.

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THE LIBERTY TIMES EDITORIAL: Ma is at wit's end — and so are we

After being on the receiving end of criticism in Taiwan and in the international press for more than a week, President Ma Ying-jeou called press conferences for domestic and international media on Tuesday. But they were a disappointment.

Ma said that the process of relocating victims of Typhoon Morakot and rebuilding communities would be long but that he would not shirk his responsibilities. He also said he would show the public that he could do the job, and asked that the public wait before passing judgment.

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Ma Ying-jeou in the most crucial hours of Morakot

The international community always portraits Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou as a capable politician who can achieve magics, without acknowledging the fact that every single construction or major policy under Ma's administration during his two terms (8 years) of the Taipei Mayorship ends up a disaster (go google, don't take my word for it).

All those facts of incompetence are hidden from the eyes of western readers by journalists whose reports literally conspire to mislead people by beautifying Ma Ying-jeou with layers of lies.

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Newsflash

US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairperson of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, has issued a stern warning to US Vice President Joe Biden not to discuss arms sales to Taiwan while he is in China this week.

The warning came in a letter that was hand-delivered to Biden just before he boarded a plane to Beijing from Washington on Tuesday.

It followed a firm promise issued earlier in the week by the White House that arms sales would not be discussed and reflected suspicion in Congress that the administration of US President Barack Obama is being unduly influenced by Chinese sentiment on the arms sale question.