When is a bow not cause for alarm

Charles Johnson, at Little Green Footballs, has been urging less heat on the Obama bow matter because, as he and Newt both point out, Bush bowed too.  I agree with Johnson that hysteria on the subject is badly placed — although I think hysteria on any subject is badly placed.  Still, I do think the bow is important in that it’s one more piece in the puzzle of the cipher we elected for President.  Here’s the comment I left at Little Green Footballs:

I was under the impression Bush bowed his head for the mechanical act having a medal placed on his head by a shorter man. Even if one accepts, however, that it was a true bow, (a) I don’t believe it was from the waist, which is a much deeper homage than a head/shoulder bow and (b) and this is the important one, it was George Bush doing it. I know that last sounds fatuous, given that every liberal in the world thought Bush was in love with Big Oil, but even they thought of that in purely economic terms.

No one doubted but that Bush placed America front and center — in his mind and in his world. Indeed, for the Left, this was Bush’s biggest fault.

The problem with Obama for libertarians, conservatives, moderates and good ol’ patriots, is that his every utterance shows his embarrassment about being America’s representative, his belief that America is deeply flawed, and his resolve to make America over entirely. In other words, he doesn’t much like American or what it stands for (such as liberty, individualism, capitalism, etc.).

When someone like Obama pretty much abases himself before the leader of one of the most tyrannical nations in earth, it’s more unnerving than when America’s biggest cheerleader does it. Wrong in both cases; scary only in the first.

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  • suek

    Both Charles and Newt are avoiding the real question raised by Obama’s bow – is he actually muslim?

  • Charles Martel

    In many respects there’s not a hell of a lot of difference between Islam and Communism. Both are abolutist systems whose deity—the state or Allah—are all-powerful, capricious, unknowable and jealous.

    Does Obama believe in God/Allah? I doubt it, despite his professions of belief, primarily because of his narcissism. There is no room in a narcissist’s world for any other object of worship.

    But he does believe in the almighty state, which is something he imagines controlling. It’s a state that would impose its own form of sharia, a “Brave New World” version where sexual pleasure is man’s highest good, but almost everything else you can think or do gets you into deep trouble.

    Is Obama really a Muslim? He has the mindset of one in that he is comfortable with an intrusive, arid, totalitarian form of politics. But I think Obama’s real goal, possibly very much like that of the old caliphs, is “L’etat c’est moi.”

  • Mike Devx

    Regardless of whether Obama is a Muslim or a Christian, I doubt he’s a devout believer in either.

    What is important is what be believes in. As one example: I am certain, now, that Obama believes Israel is an illegitimate country. There are plenty of Muslims and Christians who believe that. Does it really matter *why* Obama believes Israel is illegitimate and should cease to exist?

    The security meetings in Israel must be interesting. Once they agree that it will be up to them alone to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, they face a problem: Obama will prevent them from overflying Iraq, to attack Iran, thus making any attack impossible.

    Therefore, they must find a way to make it imperative for Obama politically to have to allow Israel to overfly Iraq. Obama will violate his belief system on this, only if it benefits him politically, because the destruction of Israel is *not* one of his primary three goals (which are health care, green energy, statist control of business in the USA). Obama will not deviate from those primary goals, no matter what. But there is a slight possibility that he will, politically, find it acceptable to allow Israel to overfly Iraq. If the right levers can be applied to him. But time is running out.

  • Zhombre

    I don’t find Bush cozying up to Saudis palatable but the obsequious Obama bow fills me with unalloyed revulsion. For a man whose Presidential campaign relied on symbolism — his European speech, his mock Greek temple speech at the convention, his invocation of hope and change — the gesture of an American President bowing so avidly and spontaneously to a foreign monarch speaks dismal volumes. The American mea culpa he has blabbed across Europe may certainly contain some grain of truth — yeah OK we have been arrogant and this country has flaws, though compared to the Europeans we’re rank come-lately amateurs in arrogance and imperialism and we did pull their Euroasses out of the fire multiple times in the 20th century — but what does this mea culpa gain for us? Squat. Obama won’t find the support he sought for Af-Pak among the debellicized Euros. Gordon Brown might play Ed Mcmahon to Obama’s Johnny Carson during joint press conferences but it’s strictly show biz. And Obama’s overtures to Turkey aren’t going to be well received by Europeans, who in no way want Turkey in the EU. The inspiring speeches and the adulation will result in naught. If “cowboy diplomacy” was disdained, why should “American Idol” diplomacy succeed?

  • Charles Martel

    The Israelis must have certainly known as soon as Obama was elected that there would be no way he would allow Israeli overflights of Iraq.

    Or were they foolishly committed to hoping that HopeyChangey could be persuaded otherwise? Still, the Israelis, although known for misplaced hopes, are not known for stupidity. I think we have to assume that they have a Plan B or Plan C in lieu of the original plan that Obama has subverted.

    I’m not knowledegable about military technology, but it could be that Israel will choose to disable Iran’s military command structure via cruise missile attacks, perhaps hoping to goad the Iranians into a stupid military gesture against the United States. This would give The Narcissist permission to retaliate directly against Iran—or let the Israelis act as proxies.

    The problem there is that Obama is a nancy boy. I think the use of U.S. military power terrifies him, as it does any man who is a physical coward and who has never had any contact with military tradition. So, trying to bait him into making a forceful response is also very likely a wan hope.

    The irony here is that Obama’s indifference to Israel’s survival could move us far closer to a nuclear confrontation than would be the case if he took out the Iranians. If pushed into a corner, Israel will use its nukes. I’m not sure that The One or the New York Times are going to be able to explain away why all of a sudden Teheran is smoking rubble, or why Russia or China are lobbing nukes at Tel Aviv.

  • Bonzo

    Bookworm, you protect Charles and LGF from ridicule? Why?

    Ridicule? Why?

    I can only guess.

  • Mike Devx

    I’m not prepared to say that this was a bow of fealty and submission from a Muslim to a Muslim king. But I can’t offer any explanation that makes any psychological sense, either.

    If Charles Johnson (and Book) do not want to overplay this, that’s their choice. Certainly Book has issued three posts on the topic, and that’s impressive enough to me!

    Team Obama has tried to pretend that the entire event never happened, and the entire MSM went along. I’m gratified to see that the story has spread widely enough that Team Obama has been dragged kicking and screaming into making a public comment. Their comment may be: “What bow?”, but at least they’ve been forced into comment. A good start!

  • 11B40


    The president’s bow to the Saudi king was the official opening of the Barack Hussein Obama Presidential Library and Lifetime Financial Security Campaign.

  • Mike Devx

    Ralph Peters (columnist for NY Post and war expert) has done it again. God is he good.

    From: http://www.nypost.com/seven/04082009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/os_amateur_hour_163368.htm?page=0

    Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, the AKP, means headscarves, Korans, censorship and stacked elections. The country’s alarmed middle class opposes the effort to turn the country into an Islamic state. Obama’s gushing praise for the AKP’s bosses left them aghast.

    Read the whole thing, another excellent commentary on “Barack And Michelle’s Excellent Adventure To Turkey”

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Charles Johnson has fallen into the pitfall of being blinded by his own prejudices concerning George W. Bush.

    The Left accused Bush of everything under the sun. None of it was true. Many accuse Bush of being in league with Saudi Arabia. But the deciding factor as to whether that is true or not, as it was with the Left, will come when the real deal presents itself. When the real Bush Hitler, who in reality was Obama, comes before us and teaches us what is reality and what is illusion.

    But until then, until a real American ally of Saudi Arabia shows itself, and I dare say Obama may do us this favor, people will still pray to their delusions and illusions.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Ralph Peters lobbied for Iraq to be separated into 3 different zones before and during 2006.

    Peters was no fan of protecting the individual Iraqi’s human rights. Peters was also too incompetent at pragmatic politics, because his partition strategy would only have ended up with the chaos we see in Somalia, Georgia, and Mexico. Partition=wars, period. Yet peters billed it as the “solution” to Iraqi intransigence. As if.

    So when Ralph Peters says he wasn’t a Bush cheerleader, he is right. But only in the sense that he was wrong and Bush was right.

  • Mike Devx

    I never heard about Ralph Peters buying into the partition scheme. That’s definitely a huge negative point against his judgment.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar



    Speaking of Iraq as a single, integrated country is a form of lying. Its borders were drawn by grasping European diplomats almost a century ago, with no regard for the wishes – or rivalries – of the local populations.

    The reason why Peterson cares about how Leftist considers his authenticity, with his comments about blasting Bush, is because Ralph sounds all too much often like a Leftist himself and thus he craves their attention and respect. WHy that should matter to him, I know not, but it does.

    We are punishing our friends, rewarding our enemies and alienating the neutral. President Bush needs to perform radical surgery on Iraq now, while the world remains in a funk over our success. We still have a window through which we can thrust major reforms. But the window is closing. Defending the status quo is deadly folly.

    You may have never heard about it, Mike, because Peters won’t ever admit it in his columns after Petraeus’ victory.

    Stop worrying about Shi’ite extremism. If we mean what we say about democracy, the Shi’ites should be free to choose whomever they want as their leaders – even fundamentalists.

    Let the extremists control the Sons of Iraq. Yes, that is a great solution, on both humanitarian and US national interest perspectives. As if.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Let the extremists control the Sons of Iraq

    And Basra, where the British allowed Americans and Iraqis to go under the Sadr and militia death squads.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Ralph Peters, however, unlike the Left, is actually a member of the loyal opposition. Meaning he said or did what he did, not to sabotage Iraq, but to try to help.

    Of course, that didn’t make him any more correct or any less wrong.

    His mind is not the mind of a Petraeus. Thus his grasp of certain human fundamentals are off. Petraeus has an excellent grasp of human motivations and how to channel them in warfare and peace. That’s why he succedes in insurgencies and COINs. Peters, however, prefers a more tribal, a more parochial, and a more divided contention. He has limited foresight and limited vision.

    Then leave the Sunni Arabs to rot.

    That worked real well with the French and Britain’s Treaty of Versailles. In the end, who got to pay the price for that? A bunch of defenseless Jews and Americans, of course. That would have been the fate for America had Peters been in charge of the war. Fortunately he wasn’t. FOrtunately, Obama and Ayers wasn’t in charge of Iraq either. Otherwise you would have seen them plant their government corporations in and suck the Iraqi people dry.