"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Friday, April 21, 2006
If only the whole damned administration had been sleeping - then, maybe, they could have avoided this sort of thing:
The protocol-obsessed Chinese leader suffered a day full of indignities -- some intentional, others just careless. The visit began with a slight when the official announcer said the band would play the "national anthem of the Republic of China" -- the official name of Taiwan. It continued when Vice President Cheney donned sunglasses for the ceremony, and again when Hu, attempting to leave the stage via the wrong staircase, was yanked back by his jacket. Hu looked down at his sleeve to see the president of the United States tugging at it as if redirecting an errant child.
Then there were the intentional slights. China wanted a formal state visit such as Jiang got, but the administration refused, calling it instead an "official" visit. Bush acquiesced to the 21-gun salute but insisted on a luncheon instead of a formal dinner, in the East Room instead of the State Dining Room. Even the visiting country's flags were missing from the lampposts near the White House.
For the record, I don't much care for China's government and its policies (and I had better be careful saying so, lest I face federal charges for "intimidating or disupting foreign officials"), but I see little upside in dissing the guy who holds our mortgage.