I will never stop being amazed at the number of idiots in this country who are still so spiteful and so jealous of ‘That One’ that they come up with such ridiculous theories and attacks. I understand they think these attacks actually work, but it’s beginning to get old and frankly embarrassing.
I will also NEVER for the life of me understand what is so awful, so anti-American, so dangerous about our President trying to restore some of the diplomacy lost during the Bush/Cheney years? Nor will I ever understand what the crime is in knowing your audience.
We lost a lot during those eight years and did very little to maintain or create new allies or relationships. Any wonder why we’re falling behind.
Since when do we want a President that offends other world leaders? Since when do we want a President that is embarrassing because he doesn’t know the customs of another country? Since when do we want a President that makes our relationships with other countries tenser and more tenuous?
Do we really want a President that offends the very people he’s attempting to have discussions with?
Has the right become such a jealous and hateful bunch that they’d rather he go around the world kicking butt and taking names?
I for one prefer to see my President not only show respect for their customs, but their people as well. I want a President that is admired by other world leaders and citizens even if his politics may not be. I want a President that leaves a positive and long lasting impression on our fellow citizens of the world. I want a President that other world leaders view as not only intelligent, but respectful, yes I said respectful, which is conducive to progress.
I know what the majority of us would like, but the rest just want him out of the way.
This little snippet from The Washington Times editor Wesley Pruden’s column on Nov 17 illustrates just how delusional they still are about Barack Obama winning the White House, their White House.
A little traveling, like a little learning, can be a dangerous thing. Barack Obama on the loose in a foreign land is enough to frighten protocol officers and embarrass the rest of us.
He went off to Asia to tell the Chinese a thing or two about world trade, to prepare the world for a treaty to make the sun change its spots, and of course to pay his respects to assorted heads of state, with particular attention to any royal head (perhaps even including Miss Universe) who crosses his path.
So far it’s a memorable trip. He established a new precedent for how American presidents should pay obeisance to kings, emperors, monarchs, sovereigns and assorted other authentic man-made masters of the universe. He stopped just this side of the full grovel to the emperor of Japan, risking a painful genuflection if his forehead had hit the floor with a nasty bump, which it almost did. No president before him so abused custom, traditions, protocol (and the country he represents). Several Internet sites published a rogue’s gallery showing how other national leaders – the prime ministers of Israel, India, Slovenia, South Korea, Russia and Dick Cheney among them – have greeted Emperor Akihito with a friendly handshake and an ever-so-slight but respectful nod (and sometimes not even that).
Now we know why Mr. Obama stunned everyone with an earlier similar bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, only the bow to the Japanese emperor was far more flamboyant, a sign of a really deep sense of inferiority. He was only practicing his bow in Riyadh. Sometimes rituals are learned with difficulty. It took Bill Clinton months to learn how to return a military salute worthy of a commander in chief; like any draft dodger, he kept poking a thumb in his eye until he finally got it. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, seems right at home now giving a wow of a bow. This is not the way an American president impresses evildoers that he’s strong, tough and decisive, that America is not to be trifled with.
Some of the president’s critics are giving him a hard time, and it’s true that this president seems never to have studied much American history. Not bowing to foreign potentates was what 1776 was all about. His predecessors learned with no difficulty that the essence of America is that all men stand equal and are entitled to look even a king, maybe particularly a king, straight in the eye. Can anyone imagine George Washington, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson making a similar gesture of servile submission? Or Harry Truman? Or FDR, who famously served the lowly hot dog, with ballpark mustard, to the king and queen of England? John F. Kennedy, on the eve of a trip to London, sharply warned Jackie not to curtsy to the queen.
Douglas MacArthur, who ranked above mere heads of state in his own mind, once invented his own protocol on greeting Emperor Hirohito. The emperor, the father of Akihito, wanted to meet MacArthur soon after he arrived to become the military regent of Japan in 1945, perhaps to thank him for saving the throne at the end of World War II. When the emperor invited MacArthur to call on him, the general sent word that the emperor should call on him – speaking of breaches of custom – and the two men were photographed together, astonishing the Japanese. The emperor arrived in full formal dress, cutaway coat and all, and MacArthur received him in summer khakis, sans tie, with his hands stuffed casually in his back pockets. Further astonishing the Japanese, he towered over the diminutive emperor.
But Mr. Obama, unlike his predecessors, likely knows no better, and many of those around him, true children of the grungy ’60s, are contemptuous of custom. Cutting America down to size is what attracts them to “hope” for “change.” It’s no fault of the president that he has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what the America of “the 57 states” is about. He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.
He no doubt wants to “do the right thing” by his lights, but the lights that illumine the Obama path are not necessarily the lights that illuminate the way for most of the rest of us. This is good news only for Jimmy Carter, who may yet have to give up his distinction as our most ineffective and embarrassing president.
The Washington Times might want to get a new editor since Mr. Pruden seems not only challenged in his history and facts, but also appears not to understand quite how ‘The Google’ works. For that matter maybe he needs a lesson in ‘The Internet’ because he doesn’t seem to realize that it is full of proof that President Obama isn’t the only US Leader to show respect.
Then came the moment: When Mr. Bush approached the emperor’s casket, he bowed deeply.
Those of us who had lived in Japan thought nothing of it. That is how respect is shown in Japan. But the pre-cable pundits were screaming, and soon one of our colleagues, the late Gerald Boyd, asked Mr. Bush about it at a news conference.
Mr. Bush danced around an answer for a moment, mentioning members of his squadron who never came home, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s decision to keep the emperor system, as a way of unifying the Japanese people. Then he said this:
I’m representing the United States of America. And we’re talking about a friend, and we’re talking about an ally. We’re talking about a nation with whom we have constructive relationships. Sure, we got some problems, but that was all overriding — and respect for the Emperor. And remember back in World War II, if you’d have predicted that I would be here, because of the hard feeling and the symbolic nature of the problem back then of the former Emperor’s standing, I would have said, “No way.” But here we are, and time moves on; and there is a very good lesson for civilized countries in all of this.
So did President Obama violate protocol? Well, yes, but not by bowing. He made the mistake of both shaking hands and bowing at the same time, a big breach of etiquette. The truth was that he was supposed to choose one or the other.
Maybe Mr. Pruden needs a refresher course on etiquette AND history?