Tuesday, June 21, 2005

New World Order?

On Monday, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Phan Van Khai, visited the United States, stopping first in Redmond, Washington, to meet with Bill Gates, before going on to Washington DC to meet with President Bush. Am I the only one who finds this remarkable? As far as I can recall, when the leader of one foreign country visits another foreign country, he visits the leader of the foreign country. And if he makes other stops in the country, he is escorted by the host country's leader. Can you imagine President Bush stopping to meet with Richard Branson on his way to Downing Street? In any case, I thought it was diplomatic protocol to meet with the most important person first. Yet while newspapers all reported Prime Minister Khai's visit to Microsoft, I didn't see or hear any articles that remarked on the extraordinary itinerary. Am I totally mixed up on diplomatic protocol and precedent? Or is everyone just acknowledging that Bill Gates is more important than President Bush?

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