Take a Bow, Barry

In an incredible breach of protocol, President Obama bowed before King Abdullah of Saudi Ruled Arabia upon greeting him at the G20 Summit last week. It is inappropriate for anyone who is not a subject of a monarch (especially a fellow head of state) to greet that monarch with a bow. Miss Manner Book Of Etiquette advises, “One does not bow or curtsy to a foreign monarch because the gesture symbolizes recognition of her power over her subjects.” Additionally, it is not even required that a monarch’s own subjects bow before him or her. In answering the question about the proper behavior upon meeting the Queen, subjects are told by the official website of The British Monarchy that, “The simple answer is that there are no obligatory codes of behavior – just courtesy. However, many people wish to observe the traditional forms of greeting. For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simple to shake hands in the usual way.”

For a man who prides himself on his intelligence and his preparedness, the President should have known better than to do a deep waist bow before a dictator of a repressive regime. Where was the Chief of Protocol from the White House or the State Department? Shouldn’t he have been prepared for this encounter? Even my 7 year old knows that Mr. Obama’s behavior was inappropriate. Upon seeing the attached video, he asked, “Why would Barack Obama bow to a king? That’s crazy.” And indeed it is.

The press has been absent in covering this faux pas. Remember the big deal about President Bush holding hands with the Saudi King at his Texas ranch, the press tried to spin that into President Bush being too chummy with the House of Saud. But holding hands does not show subservience. A bow from the waist does. Are we to infer from his actions, therefore, that the current occupant of the Oval Office is subservient to the hereditary ruler of a regime that subjugates women? I think not, but the President will be better served if he really is prepared for his meetings that are in full view of the world.

In addition to being another instant of bias press coverage in favor of President Obama, the reason that the deep bow is important is because it plays into the narrative (I loving using that term because it is a favorite of our friends on the left) that Mr. Obama is weak on Islamist extremists. In only just two and a half months in office, this is another in a long line of actions that lead to the conclusion that the President is weak on the War on Terror. Among them are:

o His apology for our conduct of the War on Terror during his first network TV interview to the English language Arab network, Al Arabiya;

o The prohibition of the use of the phrase “War on Terror”;

o The prohibition of the use of the phrase “Terrorist Attack” in favor of the phrase “Man made disasters (ask the families of the 9/11 victims if their loved ones died in a terrorist attack or a man made disaster – I’d bet they’d say terrorist attack);

o The closing of Guantanamo Bay;

o The freeing of the mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole;

o The announced goal of negotiating with “moderate” Taliban;

o The sending of $900,000,000 to the Palestinians;

o Continuing to insist that we should talk to the Mullahs in Iran;

o Allowing the imposition of Sharia law in the Swat Valley in Pakistan;

o Announcing a date certain for our withdrawal from Iraq; and

o Halting military tribunals for those that sane people refer to as enemy combatants.

During the presidential campaign I repeatedly told some of my fellow conservatives that Barack Obama is not a secret Muslim, because he is not and that such false allegations undermined the legitimate arguments against his then candidacy. Unfortunately, however, for some reason, President Obama is not so secretly excessively solicitous to Islamist extremists.

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