Wednesday, January 05, 2011

It’s 2011 now, not 1920s

1920s was a bad time for China when warlords everywhere were warring against each other and people were suffering. Warlords were therefore called because, as official district military commanders appointed by the government, they privatized the men assigned under their command and used them to serve their own purposes. Although warlords were eliminated by Chiang Kai-shek, who led the Northern Expedition in 1926-1928, the warlord mentality underlaid in the minds of some territorial military leaders was not completely swept off after the ROC government withdrew to Taiwan after losing the civil war in 1949. In the early 1950s, Ching-kuo, Chiang’s elder son, who was assigned to lead the political warfare section of the military, devoted himself completely to making sure that the armed forces were nationalized. He made absolutely clear to the generals they did not own whoever and whatever under their command. All went well until 2011.

The evening news today reported that General Lei Yu-chi, commander of ROC’s Air Force, assigned a general and three colonels under his command to form a provisional task force to organize all the preparations for the wedding of his own son. To perform a perfect wedding ceremony, they drew a “battle plan” to commandeer men and equipment, which included a Humvee to be used as a photography vehicle along with six Mercedes-Benzs. The plan even detailed that all the cash gift received from the guests on the wedding day would be “donated” to a foundation chaired by Lei’s wife. When questioned by the press for the appropriateness, Lei argued that all men involved were only helping him “on their leaves” “voluntarily.” (Please note my quotation marks) Do you believe in his crap? I certainly don’t.

I really don’t know how General Lei, just two weeks after the accident of an AT-3 trainer that had killed two air force officers, could be so audacious in the extreme. I strongly urge President Ma, the commander of our armed forces, to fire General Lei at once. I can’t imagine what General Lei, himself a hot candidate for the next chief of the general staff, would do if he has another son who is going to get married once he is appointed.

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