Hitler in Taiwan
Actually, I don't think Adolf Hitler went to Taiwan after the fall of Berlin. Everybody knows that he went to Argentina. But this is really not about Adolf. This is an episode in an open democratic election of the type that the people in Hong Kong just can't wait to have for themselves ...
Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party was forced to withdraw a presidential election campaign advertisement featuring a picture of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler Friday after it drew protest from Jewish groups.
The full-page newspaper advertisement likened incumbent President Chen Shui-bian to Hitler and read: "Change the president -- put an end to A-bian's dictatorship." A-bian is Chen's popular nickname.
Chen and his Nationalist Party opponent, Lien Chan, are locked in a neck-and-neck race in a March 20 election that could be decided by a few hundred thousand votes out of an electorate of 16 million.
"We express our most sincere apology to anyone in the Jewish community who felt offended by this advertisement," Nationalist spokesman Justin Chou said. "It will be withdrawn immediately. We are very sorry."
"We express our most sincere apology to anyone in the Jewish community who felt offended by this advertisement," said KMT spokesman Chou Shou-tsun (周守訓).
"We were only trying to emphasize a certain aspect in A-bian's personality. In the ad, we did not mention the Jewish people nor the Holocaust, but still, we apologize" Chou said.
"But we are certainly not going to apologize to Chen Shui-bian," he said.
The KMT attack follows a newspaper ad placed by the pan-green camp which pictures Chen alongside four world leaders, including British prime minister Winston Churchill and US president John Kennedy, under the headline: "Only the real leaders know what peace means."
The ad referred to the so-called "peace referendum" being held the same day as the election.
In response the KMT's ad, headlined "Change President, End A-bian's dictatorship," says: "A-bian puts his pictures by those of Churchill and Roosevelt."
"But in fact he is becoming more like Hitler. The DPP is also becoming more authoritarian under A-Bian."
"Only a dictator equals himself as his country. A-bian thinks he is a symbol of democracy but he is hostile to those who oppose him, treating them like enemies," it said.
It features a grainy photograph of Hitler with Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini in the background.
This is quite nasty --- you design what you surely know is an objectionable and repugnant ad; you run it in all the major newspapers; the expected howling comes; you say you are sorry (but you're not) and you promise to withdraw the ads (and you had no intention to continue them anyway) after you've achieved your purpose.
And here are the two ads that replaced the Hitler ads (March 23, 2004) right before election day: