Obama and Obeisance
This story refuses to go away.
Did he or didn't he?
It appears increasingly obvious that he did and is now somewhat embarrassed about it. Why else would his acolytes pretend that it did not happen, or that what we saw was not what we saw?
Is Obama’s deep bow (with slightly bent knee) to the Saudi king as bad as it seems? The White House, apparently forgetful that we live in the Internet age, where everything is swiftly documented and disseminated — or else thinking it leads a nation of the blind — insists the president did not bow. He supposedly always bends in half when shaking hands with shorter people, though he certainly seemed quite erect when saluting the British queen, who is much shorter than the Saudi king.
of Pajamas Media went exploring a bit about the historical meanings of a bow or a kiss and brings us some interesting insights:
Writing in the 5th century B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus explained: “When the Persians meet one another in the roads, you can see whether those who meet are of equal rank. For instead of greeting by words, they kiss each other on the mouth; but if one of them is inferior to the other, they kiss one another on the cheeks.”
This explanation reminds one of Bush’s hand-holding/kissing sessions with the same Saudi monarch, which some insist exonerate Obama’s bow. Not so; as the Greek historian explains above, such behavior is representative of equal rank in Eastern cultures.
As for Obama’s conduct, Herodotus continues, “yet if one is of much less noble rank than the other, he falls down before him and worships him.”
And then goes on to put the matter in the present context:
... Obama’s obeisance should give nuke-seeking Iran even more hope in its endeavors. After all, if the leader of the free West so readily bends the knee to Wahhabi despotism, how long before he bows to Iran, the true heir of proskunesis-Persia? ...
... any would-be “moderates” or assertive governments who may have been serious about combating radical Islam and its attendant humanitarian abuses via Sharia have, through Obama’s bow to the personification of radical Islam, just received a clear message: aside from occasional, perfunctory lip service, you’re really on your own.
...When Alexander the Great, drunk with hubris, took on despotic ways, demanding that others prostrate themselves before him, the Macedonians revolted; some were put to death. What a long way Western civilization has come when today the leader of the free world and heir to democratic ancient Greece, far from despotically demanding that others offer him obeisance, voluntarily opts to prostrate himself — and in essence, all of America — before another. And what another.
It is a strange affair and I have to wonder who it was that gave President Obama such bad advice. Could it be the same source responsible during Obama's campaign for Obama's nontraditional salute to the American anthem and flag?
When I first saw the clip, I thought the notion that Obama would bow to the Saudi king was so outlandish that for sure there must be some other explanation. Maybe his trouser leg rode up and he bent over to straighten it when he realized the king was already extending his hand. So he stopped right in the middle of bending down and awkwardly extended his hand. The whole thing is done pretty gauchely and Obama is usually a graceful man.
In which case, why did the White House spokesman offer his lame excuse for the incident?