Ok the uproar over this gesture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WlqW6UCeaY) is completely out of hand. Conservatives see it as an admission of Middle Eastern sovereignty over the United States. Liberals see it as a simple miscue.
Is it either? Well, it is both, but let’s be reasonable. Does the Saudi King now believe he has absolute sovereignty over the United States? Has he claimed the United States and its possessions into the domain of Saudi Arabia?
It is ignorant to continually dispute things like this. These are dignitaries. They are not gods. That is, they make mistakes, and they realize people from other cultures make mistakes.
I am not 100% convinced that Obama is bowing, because it looks more like he’s bending over to pick up a quarter he dropped or something. However, if he did bow, it was undoubtedly a gesture of good faith. President Obama did not hand the keys of the United States over to King Abdullah. Yes, a bow to that nature in the Muslim culture is a gesture of complete submission. Obama is not a Saudi citizen however, and Abdullah must be accustomed to interacting with people of different cultures. To that point, it is not likely that the Saudi King recognized this gesture as anything but one of good will.
You’ve got to remember. Leaders constantly get immersed in different cultures and have no choice but to be lenient in their interpretations both in spoken and body language. Look at it this way: if King Abdullah would have smacked Obama on the butt like a basketball player in the locker room, would we really think they were good buddies? You can be certain that the first glance interpretation we made of the gesture would be accompanied by a great deal of skepticism and debate.
If the Saudi King believes he has gained any control over the United States, he did so because of the failed policies of our previous, incompetent, arrogant former President. You know, Dubya? He is the most significant cause of our dwindled respect from our worldly observers.
The “terrorist attacks” of September 11th, 2001 occurred approximately 8 months after George W. Bush was inaugurated the 43rd President of the United States of America. Therefore, Bush’s failure to demonstrate a firm stand against the terrorist powers of the world directly led to this attack.
Disagree? Not preventing that attack is equally as at fault for Muslim sovereignty over the United States as Obama’s apparent faux pas.
Get over it, and, instead of nit-picking Obama’s non-godly ability to make mistakes, help us regain respect, not some ill-conceived reverence, in the international community.
We are not THE power, we are a communal power, and everyone is trying to get along.
But that is another entry …