Dropdown Menu Diplomacy
The new nation of South Sudan has been recognized by most of the international community, but there is one great power that denies it this status: Facebook.
The social media site — population 900 million or so — is being petitioned to recognize South Sudan, though perhaps “notice” is the more accurate term.
Meanwhile, the US Postal Service is conducting its own diplomacy, at least on its postal rate dropdown menus. While you can learn what it costs to send your package to PeÃ±Ã³n de VÃ©lez de la Gomera or the Zafarani Islands — both inhabited only by small Spanish military garrisons — you are out of luck if you want to mail something to the West Bank, Gaza, or (heaven forbid) Palestine. That’s fortunate for the one Spanish-American whose nephew is serving on the PeÃ±Ã³n de VÃ©lez de la Gomera, but the thousands of Palestinian-Americans sending things to relatives just have to wing it.
The Postal Service has gotten well ahead of the rest of the US government on Asia policy, however: you can mail to “Taiwan,” and not “Taiwan (China).” Alert the Taiwanese not-embassy (which you can find by searching Google for “Taiwanese embassy”).
Perhaps the USPS will soon be hearing that it has “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.”