Change you can believe in: Obama bows to Saudi king

tangobob

Registered
My understanding is that as they are both heads of state then there is no need to bow, they are equal rank. That is why Michelle was allowed to touch the Queen.
 

sergio

Registered
Americans belong to a republic. The United States was formed in opposition to monarchy. It is wholly inappropriate for an American citizen to bow before a foreign potentate, in particular one who leads a totally undemocratic state. President Obama gave Queen Elizabeth, the titular head of one of the world's leading democracies, a slight nod of the head yet he bowed very deeply from the waist before the King of Saudi Arabia, apparently kissing his hand. A friendly handshake would have been the appropriate greeting. That is surely what the king had expected. Symbols carry great weight.
 

HDM

Registered
Friendly handshake? Not a big juicy kiss and holding hands while strolling? That's how Bush greeted the dude.
 

RWS

Registered
HDM said:
Friendly handshake? Not a big juicy kiss and holding hands while strolling? That's how Bush greeted the dude.
Kissing and holding hands are a common form of greeting between male equals in the Arab world. We might be irked that Mr. Bush used the foreigner's custom in greeting instead of our own (or we might -- yes, I know it would be difficult! -- actually approve his cultural sensitivity in acceding to the other's custom), but at least he evaded symbolic debasement of the United States.
 

Celia

Registered
"they are equal rank. That is why Michelle was allowed to touch the Queen."

Michelle broke protocol by touching the Queen. Tangobob, I thought you were a fellow brit, surely you know that no one is allowed to touch Her Majesty!
 

RWS

Registered
Celia, I think that Mrs. Obama did act out of sheer ignorance. As it's common among the more refined American lower and lower-middle classes to believe that they put others at ease by physical contact, she probably even thought (or subconsciously felt) that she was putting the queen at ease by touching her without being invited to do so!
 

bigbadwolf

Registered
RWS said:
As it's common among the more refined American lower and lower-middle classes to believe that they put others at ease by physical contact ...
RWS, this is an honest question (and not a rhetorical one), but how does it change as one moves up the American socio-economic spectrum and are there pronounced regional differences? Apologies to all and sundry for going off-topic.
 

Ries

Registered
Baloney.
This is common politeness, nothing more.

When George Bush met the king, HE bowed too. And then he held hands, and politely declined to mention that most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis, funded and directed by a member of the Saudi royal family.

Several US presidents have done this exact same thing, in the past, both democrat and republican.

If you dont like Obama's policies, thats fine, say so, but this is Fox News/ Rush Limbaugh smoke and mirrors, and means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

The republicans in the USA are really dredging the bottom of the barrel, when this is the worst thing they can come up with- and the poor radio and tv provacateurs in the US are all over this right now, being answered by a profound lack of indignity from the american people.

Obama, and his policies, are VERY popular in the USA right now.
 
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