Thursday, March 18, 2004

Taiwanese President and Vice President Shot, wounded

Here's a strange tale:
Taiwan president shot in stomach

Taiwan's President, Chen Shui-bian, has been shot in the stomach during campaigning on the final day before the presidential election.

Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Wang Sing-nan says Mr Chen was bleeding from a deep wound to his stomach.

The lawmaker says the bullet hit the ankle of Vice President, Annette Lu, before hitting Mr Chen's stomach.

The president has been rushed to hospital in the southern city of Tainan, where TVBS television says his wounds are not believed to be life-threatening.
CNN is reporting that they were shot while campaigning. I wanted to capture this excerpt from the above URL because it seems very unlikey that a bullet would first hit an ankle and then angle upwards to hit a stomach unless the shooter was below the level of the ankle. Very bizarre. I'll be following this. Would it surprise you to know that the elections are scheduled for tomorrow? Footage on CNN International shows a motorcade route reminiscent of Dallas, with people lining the streets and waving. "Most people in Taiwan were shocked, and are very concerned about the security of their President," says James Huang, Taiwan Presidential Spokesman. He says the Taiwanese Security Council is holding an emergency meeting. Asked for his suspicions of who was behind this, his voice cut out. Coincidence, or conspiracy?

In other news, the Venezuelan Supreme Court said that hundreds of thousands of recall vote signatures are valid. But the Chavez government is looking into possible misdeeds and its possible the three judges who ruled this way could be fired on an ethics charge. This is a good example of how difficult it is to understand history while it's happening. The American press, subservient to the Oil company owners, would love to make the case that the people of Venezuela wants President Chavez out. And Chavez would have equal motivation for saying that this is all hogwash, that the CIA and other forces are working to undermine his government. It's likely there are elements of both points of view at work, but one is predominately more correct than the other. Given that Chavez was a popular leader, elected by the people, who already survived one CIA-sponsored coup attempt, and given that Bush is doing all he can on the planet to open up foreign oil reserves to American privatization, it sure makes sense to me that Chavez is perhaps closer to the truth here. Chavez warned that Venezuelan oil prices would go up if the US ousted him. But I doubt that warning carries much weight. If there is a plot afoot, it's already well underway and may yet succeed.

The Spanish Government has released an intelligence report trying to prove it didn't lie when it tried to link the bombing to a Basque separatist group. According to this news item,
The ruling party lost Sunday's general election amid allegations that it had provoked the bombings and made Spain a target for Al Qaeda by backing the U.S.-led Iraq war.
If only the American people would stand millions together as the Spanish people did when they felt their government was misleading them. Here in America, a just completed poll from the Annenburg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania shows more people now feel the Iraq war effort was 'not worth' going to war over. But Americans do not protest as they do in other countries. Perhaps that's a testament to the lasting effects of the COINTELPRO operations run by the FBI in the sixties. Or maybe people just don't care enough about what happens to others, thinking it isn't affecting them. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Spain gets it. America either doesn't get it or doesn't care. Either is depressing to contemplate.


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