In this previous post, I looked at China's gift of a pair of giant pandas to Taiwan as gesture of supposed goodwill, and as part of an effort to get Taiwan to give up any thoughts of independence and submit to Chinese rule.
I continue to be baffled by China's apparent belief that a pair of pandas is a fair swap for an entire people's freedom. But just to be sure I wasn't jumping to conclusions, I replaced the word "freedom" in ten famous quotations with the word "pandas". Here are the results:
Extremism in the defense of pandas is no vice.
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: pandas; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.
Sir Winston Churchill
You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's pandas.
History does not long entrust the care of pandas to the weak or the timid.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
No one can be at peace unless he has pandas.
The cost of pandas is always high, but Americans have always paid it.
John F. Kennedy
If a nation values anything more than pandas, it will lose its pandas.
People hardly ever make use of the pandas they have.
So long as the people do not care to exercise their pandas, those who wish to tyrannize will do so.
They may take our lives, but they'll never take our pandas!
Sir William Wallace (in "Braveheart")