Friday, April 08, 2005

Pope's Funeral: A Geopolitical Oddity

The assemblage of politicos from around the world for the Pope's funeral has led to some interesting situations.

First of all, Taiwanese President Chen Shiu-Bian attended the funeral. Italy does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan; it recognizes China as the "One China" and therefore Chen is generally not allowed to visit the country. The Vatican, however, is one of 25 nations that do recognize Taiwan, and so Chen was let into Italy to hobnob with the other world leaders.

Similarly, President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who's single-handedly responsible for starving a large number of his people, was allowed into Italy even though he is by law banned from traveling into the EU and the US, because a treaty requires Italy to let into the country dignitaries visiting the Vatican.

But perhaps the most interesting juxtaposition of the pope's funeral is the following:



Why yes, that is Jaques Chirac kissing Condi Rice's hand. Priceless...

1 comment:

greg said...

Check out the laser beam hatred in Laura's eyes. Jealous much? Also, if what I hear about the Secretariesse of State is true, M. Chirac's affections might be unreciprocated.