The President of the United States of America, the world’s remaining superpower, bows to a king of a rich but militarily powerless new country. This is truly amazing.
I remember in the 1970s, there was an uproar in the US when an American protocol officer curtsied to the British Crown Prince, Charles the Prince of Wales. The Americans then were aghast that a citizen of a world superpower would curtsy to a “princeling”, the adjective they ascribed to the Prince of Wales.
I thought then, as many did, that the protocol officer was simply showing off that even though she was American, she knew how to curtsy properly.
But President Obama bowing — and quite a deep bow, too — to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is really a shock, even to me.
OBAMA NOT MUSLIM
First of all, the accusations or allegations that Obama’s bowing to the Saudi King is an indication of him being a Muslim is TOTALLY BASELESS. Muslims bow to NO MAN or WOMAN. Islam forbids us to bow to any human or statues (idols). We bow only to God. Even Saudi citizens do not bow to the Saudi king.
So why did President Obama bow to King Abdullah?
OBAMA NOT DUMB
All throughout the almost two-year presidential campaign, Mr. Obama had shown that he is an intelligent man. He is no George W. Bush. He bowed for a reason.
OBAMA NOT AWED BY ABDULLAH’S ROYAL LINEAGE
I doubt very much that Obama was awed by Abdullah’s royal lineage. Obama did not bow to England’s Queen Elizabeth II, who comes from an old royal house — The House of Hanover / Saxe-Coburg und Gotha (Windsor) which started ruling the United Kingdom at the start of the 18th century.
In contrast, the House of Saud is a new one, started by the present King’s father and founder of the nation-state Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud, sometime in the 1930s.
So why did the President bow to the King?
MIDDLE EAST FACTIONS
Pundits are now making a big fuss about the alleged factions in the Middle East. According to their scenario, the “evil axis” is composed of Iran, Syria and Qatar while the “good alliance” is composed of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Israel. The US, of course, is allied with the “good guys”.
Israel of course, is an extension of the US. Iraq is now occupied territory. Egypt has been a docile friend of America since the Camp David Peace Agreement. Besides, Egypt is too poor to go to war. Saudi Arabia, although militarily weak, is economically strong. It is a potential leader in the region.
GESTURES SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
In many cultures, gestures speak volumes. A simple gesture is worth a thousand speeches. When Yasser Arafat of the PLO kissed Saddam Hussein on the chest, it had reverberations in the Arab world. Arafat was saying then that Saddam was more than his peer, he was Arafat’s leader.
Could it be that by bowing to King Abduallah, President Obama is telling everyone in the region to kow tow to Saudi Arabia because Saudi Arabia is America’s favorite?
It looks like Obama is paving the way to making Saudi Arabia a real regional power by selling them as much weapons of destruction as possible, just like what former US Presidents did to Iran’s Shah Reza Pahlavi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.
This also means that the US forces will remain in Saudi Arabia for quite some time.
MEDIA NEWS BLACKOUT
The bowing incident was not reported at all in the mainstream media. It seemed like it was just by chance that the Spanish TV crew’s camera happened to catch Obama’s obeisance act right when the Spanish crew’s camera was panning in that direction.
When the Spanish media ran the clip, it was picked up in the Internet. And a week later, American conservatives are up in arms. I suppose even American democrats would be at a loss to explain their President’s unpresidential act.
I presume that the US presidential bow would be all over the Arab media.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
The Saudis must not forget that America gave the Shah of Iran the most sophisticated weapons of the time. The Shah had the biggest and best armed forces in the region. But, the Shah ended up deposed by his people.
With the American boy (Shah Reza) kicked out of Iran, America turned to Saddam Hussein. With America’s full support, Saddam built the region’s biggest military. But since Saddam and his military could not defeat an already weak Iran, Uncle Sam disposed of him like a common criminal when the time was ripe.
And now, it is Saudi Arabia’s turn.