We criticized Barack Obama when he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. Americans do not bow to royalty. When the royal is the ruling tyrant of a despotic regime, the wrong is compounded. Obama’s bowing to the King was deeply offensive.
When the story emerged from the shadows of the Internet, Ben Smith ran an item on Politico with the White House denying the bow. “It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah,” said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Bill O’Reilly ran a bemused segment on it once the White House denied what Obama had done.
A reporter asked Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs about the bow. Under his own name and on the record, Gibbs denied what any fool could see. Indeed, one astute observer commented on CNN that “Ray Charles could see that he bowed.”
Obama has now done it again. Andrew Malcolm asks (and reports): “How low will he go? Obama gives Japan’s Emperor Akihito a wow bow.”
Obama’s breach of protocol is of a piece with the substance of his foreign policy. He means to teach Americans to bow before monarchs and tyrants. He embodies the ideological multiculturalism that sets the United States on the same plane as other regimes based on tribal privilege and royal bloodlines. He gives expressive form to the idea that the United States now willingly prostrates itself before the rest of the world. He declares that the United States is a country like any other, only worse, because we have so much for which to apologize.
In the photo above, retrieved by Malcolm from Army archives for his post on Obama’s bow, Douglas MacArthur is pictured with Emperor Hirohito. Malcolm observes that MacArthur “treated Emperor Hirohito respectfully but, as his body language in this black and white postwar photo demonstrates, was not particularly deferential.”
MacArthur was a faithful representative of the only country in history founded on the proposition that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” When MacArthur stood beside the Emperor, he subordinated himself to his country. MacArthur not only believed in the proposition that all men are created equal, he sought to teach it to others. Japan was a case in point.
Malcolm thus misses the essential difference between MacArthur and Obama. Obama is not particularly deferential either. Obama is a man of extraordinary arrogance. He seeks fundamentally to transform the United States. With him, a new age begins.
JOHN adds: The context of Obama’s bow is worth noting. He has now carried his apology tour to Japan; his speech in Tokyo was largely an attack on his own country’s recent history and policies:
In a slap at President George W. Bush, Obama spoke of the importance of “multilateral organizations [that] can advance the security and prosperity of this region.”
“I know that the United States has been disengaged from these organizations in recent years. So let me be clear: those days have passed,” Obama said during the first major address of a four-country Far East swing, which will continue from Japan to Singapore, China and South Korea. …
The White House wants to signal U.S. re-engagement with Asia, and the speech was designed to provide an overture to Asia similar to the outreach to the Arab world in the president’s famous Cairo address.
It is untrue that “in recent years” the United States was “disengaged” from multilateral organizations in the Pacific region, but Obama’s serial apologies require no basis in fact.
As usual in such speeches, Obama cast himself as the hero who has redeemed his country’s sordid past. Describing himself as “America’s first Pacific President,” he said:
He sought to strike a balanced tone, saying, “We will not agree on every issue, and the United States will never waver in speaking up for the fundamental values that we hold dear – and that includes respect for the religion and cultures of all people. Because support for human rights and human dignity is ingrained in America. But we can move these discussions forward in a spirit of partnership rather than rancor.” …
“Since taking office, I have worked to renew American leadership and pursue a new era of engagement with the world based on mutual interests and mutual respect,” he said. …
“From my first days in office, we have worked to strengthen the ties that bind our nations,” he said.
Ashamed of his country but arrogant about himself–what a disgusting combination.
PAUL adds: Mark Steyn suggests it’s time for Valerie Jarrett to speak truth to bower.
UPDATE: Thomas Lifson and Bill Kristol have more, as does Malcolm himself in his own update.
JOHN adds: Unfortunately, Obama’s bow wasn’t his only blunder of the day, as we note here.