Sunday, May 15, 2005

How the US is treating and loosing friends 

Today Austria is celebrating an important anniversary: e.g. from BBC:

Austria is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of the allied occupation after World War II.

Officials from Britain, France, the US and Russia - the four occupying Allied powers - are attending the event.

Russia has lent Austria the original copy of the State Treaty through which the country regained its sovereignty.

The state treaty was signed 50 years ago by the foreign ministers of the Allied Powers Pinay(France), MacMillan(GB), Molotow(UdSSR) and Dulles(US). The basic idea was to have similar ranks attending the anniversary, and this was also honored by 3 of the signatories: France and Russia sent the foreign ministers Barnier and Lawrow, GB is sending Alexander, the Minister for European Affairs. And what about the US?

Since Condolezza is exhausted from attending the other anniversaries in Europe and Russia last week, George is feeling sympathy with the poor woman and sending a high-ranking replacement: Rudy Boschwitz, Ex-Senator from Minnesota. Nothing against Minnesota, I am really fond of Minneapolis in March hosting the annual Spring IETF meeting, but who is Rudy Boschwitz and what is his relation to Austria?

This is just another nit: I always liked to travel to the US, both on business and vacation, but in the last two years I am starting to dislike to travel to the US. The hazzle starts with the special security checks at home, now you can't even take a gas lighter with you, immigration to the US is getting more and more a pain in the a**, maybe in fall I will need a new passport, although my old one is only 5 years old, and so on. What is more important is that I recognize that attendance to meetings in the US is shrinking, lot of nations stop to show up - just look at the number of different countries attending IETF meetings in the US and elsewhere.

Of course I understand the importance of the US market, but why not holding meetings intended for the US market for some years in Canada only? Spring VON in Vancouver and Fall VON in Toronto, Spring IETF in Winnipeg?

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