Thursday, August 23, 2012

Olympics, Politics, and the true nature of Pan-Blue and Pan-Green

The Olympics is a sports event? Of course not. The Olympics must be politicized. It would be foolish for politicians to not fully capitalize an event that happens only once every 4 years. In 1936, Nazi Germany used the Game to showcase their National Socialism. In response, the Soviet Union, Spain, and some individual Jewish Americans boycotted the Game. In the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, the student movement flew a black-dove-shaped kite in protest of the Tlatelolco massacre, two African Americans raised their fists in black gloves during the medal ceremony for the civil right movement, and Czechoslovakian athlete Věra Čáslavská turned her head down while the Soviet Anthem was played, in protest of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring. In the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the United States led her allies to boycott the Game in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union led her allies to retaliate in 1984. The most peculiar of all is the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Almost all African countries boycotted the Game because the IOC refused to ban New Zealand, whose rugby team had been touring South Africa, a country that had the apartheid policy.

In 2012, there are at least 4 incidents about flags
The civil war is still on-going. A report in May hinted that the Syrian athletes may bear the neutral Olympics five-ring flag. But it turned out that they still used the existing flag.
The ship has sailed, but forces of the old faction still try to stop the athletes from bearing the new flag by kidnapping the president of the Olympics Committee of their country.
I believe it's an honest mistake
Same old same old

For the very last item, the debate is getting really old. In the article "Political Symmetry", I have pointed out that on the subject of the Flag of Republic of China, Pan-Green likes to criticize Pan-Blue for "loving to use them for the most part, but would compromise in an international setting or when encountering the Communist", and inversely Pan-Blue would criticize Pan-Green for "normally not using them, except in an international setting or when encountering the Communist". Because of this symmetry, both sides get to say what they say in an infinite loop. Such infinite loop is not without precedence, to say the least.

What I'm trying to say is not "Because this is so cliché, so stop talking about it". It would sound like I'm trying to avoid a certain topic. I'd like to offer an alternative perspective, something that the Facebook populace has not said. I'd like to reveal the true faces of Pan-Green and Pan-Blue.

Chen Shui-bian visited New York in 2003
Everyone knows that the Pan-Green never liked symbols or icons related to the "Republic of China" or the Flag that is "Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth". On the contrary, they prefer symbols and icons that is green in principle, or with the outline of Taiwan. Such claim can be seen from the picture to the right where "overseas Taiwanese" welcomed Chen Shui-bian in New York. The only problem is that factions of Pan-Green have not agreed on a single flag that is commonly recognizable and satisfy the desirable traits. So the second best option is the Blue-White-and-Red Flag of Republic of China, which is a commonly recognizable icon for Taiwan. They would stop using the Flag when it cannot be used as a weapon against Pan-Blue, because they don't like the Flag fundamentally, much like the HK-ers using the Flag in 7-1 Rallies as a mere instrument against the Beijing government (see picture). Pan-Green and Pan-Blue supporters alike must acknowledge this fact about Pan-Green.

On the other hand, the KMT has a recurring pattern of making compromises in its hundred-year history.
  • To overthrow the Qing Dynasty, they made an alliance with Triad, which later became an criminal organization.
  • To maintain a republic system in the early republic days, they gave the presidency to Yuan Shikai.
  • To fight the Beiyang warlords, they joined forces with the Chinese communists and the Soviet Union, making the so-called First United Front.
  • To united the north and the south, they made a pact with Zhang Xueliang. After the Unification of 1928, Zhang had significant autonomy in the northeast and the north.
  • To fight the Japanese during the Second World War, they joined forces with the communists again, forming the so-called Second United Front.
  • In the later years of the Second World War, they traded Mongolian independence with the Soviet Union, in exchange for Xinjiang not getting independence.
  • In 1981, they negotiated with the International Olympics Committee so that athletes could participate in the Olympics and other international games, with the name "Chinese Taipei".

It goes without saying that any compromise consists of cost and benefit. In the said compromises, whether the benefit outweighs the cost is up for debate. But the debates would be out of the scope of this article. Regardless, Pan-Green and Pan-Blue folks must realize the compromising nature of the Pan-Blue. Pan-Green folks must not only see the cost, and Pan-Blue folks must not only see the benefit.

It sucks to be Pan-Blue because compromising policies are hard for political marketing.