« Novak's Latest | Main | More George C. Marshall »

April 21, 2006


Yikes, just as I was deleting the double post (I deleted the one with the fake torn sleeve), I realized someone had commented in the deleted post.


(What did I just say about Americans and manners??)

Why when Hu came to the US was his first visit to Seattle? Microsoft and Boeing?

Wasn't that also a slight towards Bush?

But I see your broader point, that the Bushies simply don't understand or care about diplomacy, and Bush does not know how to function as a Head of State.

On Diane Rehm today, that point was made explicitly--that Hu is working through executives to smooth the way with the US government (and the public). So you start your visit by dropping some cash with Boeing and talking nice on IP with Gates, addressing the issues you know will come up later directly. Of course, what does it say about our diplomacy if the real important visits are to businessmen, not elected officials. Is Hu going to visit UNITE? Because if he's not (and no, he's not), then we need to make sure our government retains the upper hand in this diplomacy.

Try as I might, I have been unable to find a guide book for the proper etiquette of a heckler. I decided I would come up with my own list of the do’s and don’ts of heckling. I’ve also provided some novel suggestions.


1. When you determine it is time to begin heckling, do not raise your hand in hopes of being called upon.

2. Do not begin your heckling with, “sir, excuse me…may I say something?”

3. Do not ask security for a copy of the speech so you can find a point in the speech to cue your heckling.

4. Unlike with the exit row in an airplane, do not ask those seated next to you if they feel comfortable with their role of being seated next to the heckler.

5. Do not ask those seated at either end of the aisle if they mind tripping security when they race to remove you from the room.

6. If asked for your press credentials at the door, do not say, “Oh, I’m just here to heckle.”


1. You must yell and screech in a shrill and inaudible voice…otherwise your incoherent message may be understood.

2. Check with all the cameramen in the room to assure they have had time to get a preliminary focus for your seat…your time will be limited and you don’t want to miss out on a good photo-op.

3. Provide your credentials and a brief synopsis of your rant to the press in advance so you will not be misquoted.

4. You must appear outraged and emotional…if you are having trouble getting prepared, ask the person seated next to you to administer several bitch slaps.

5. Once captured, continue to yell but be sure to look back at the person you are yelling at…it’s rude to avoid eye contact.

6. Whenever possible, speak in a foreign language…it heightens the curiosity of the media.

read full handbook here:


The contrast is evident in the extreme when our two civilizations arrive after much arduous work, at that defining moment in human history when Americans have excess leisure time, and mainland Chinese must cope with spread of opulence.
Perhaps the Bush-Door vignette had a historical cast, in politics of the time of the US Open Door policy, which impacted China.
We have come a long way, and much is invested. I am glad the Bush administration has learned from the sorry lessons of the Reagan bunch: now Bush plans to invest in tech R+D; Reagan gave us a trade barrier with Japan microchips, in a protectionist measure which effectively rendered WYSIWYG workstations the exclusive property of business and the wealthy, and retarding development of software until the 'graymarket' manufactured sufficient imported computers here that the trade policy was ineffective, a ten-year setback.


I have called you a Goddess of the internet, and I still feel that way. Your reporting is great, and good Lord, the Bush Monster did not represent us well.

I will split hairs with you a little as I am something of a naive optimist: Bush is an idiot, and yes, the Chinese have centuries of experience over the majority of Americans as to diplomatic games. That said, we have within our population the people with the skills to make things right. We just need to put the call out to them.

Emptywheel, I had not given thought to whether the door episode in China was staged. What a brilliant trick. (Do you know how the President was led onto stage? I assume he didn't know about the back exit.)

I love the notion of Hu breaking through Bush's Presidential bubble on the last visit, and again apparently on this one. Bush thanked Hu for his "frankness," but it almost sounded ominous. I am particularly intrigued by your invocation of the tectonic, long-view approach of Chinese civilization, which is in some ways seems China's own sense of eminent domain; I wonder if you would agree with that characterization. China is confident in its dominance. But the reality of our country's debt to China (and the punishing specificities of China's ongoing and increasing economic dominance over us), well, that's almost too much for me to contemplate. Hu doesn't need to say that the market will exert its own cruelty over our imperial ambitions. Isn't that the shut door?

That Dana Milbank article is a gem. How the hell did that Falun Gong protestor, who heckled Jiang five years ago in Malta, get a White House press credential?

How the hell did that Falun Gong protestor, who heckled Jiang five years ago in Malta, get a White House press credential?

Well, I've suggested that the sheer number of vetting "mistakes" probably mean they weren't mistakes at all. Could this heckler be the same?

I don't know how Bush was led onstage in China. But boy, it seems like the kind of thing you'd do to an obviously outclassed rival. I mean, I'm not all that devious. But if I were fighting for world domination, I might try something like that.

Tic-for-Tac diplomacy?

I agree with you, Emptywheel, that the Chinese (and Hu in particular) are masters of diplomacy. One need only look at the results, world-wide, of their diplomatic efforts. The most important U.S. counterpoint to the Chinese global diplomatic blitz, our soft power, has been so eroded by the present failed Administration that I fear it may take years to rebuild it. China will take maximum advantage of this. The question is, can we afford to wait that long?

Emptywheel, I left a response for you on the Berlusconi's Strategy of Tension thread.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad