Here’s some more of my observations of President Obama’s first overseas trip:
Obama stopped in Turkey where he apologized again for our country’s past misdeeds and declared that our country was not at war with Islam. Right on. That’s exactly right. My only thought is who ever said we were. When was that declaration? Our last president made a point numerous times to state this exact message (that we were at war with radical Islam terrorists not Islam) but apparently the message never got through. Hopefully everybody’s listening this time.
Perhaps the highlight of Obama’s trip was his stop in Iraq to see the soldiers. This certainly helps morale and is a good move as our Commander-in-Chief. I was particularly intrigued by the content of Obama’s speech to the soldiers. Obama praised America’s many achievements in Iraq: “From getting rid of Saddam, to reducing violence, to stabilizing the country, to facilitating elections – you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement.” Wow. I never believed all these things when George Bush said them but now that Barack Obama is saying them they must be true. Good for America and good for Obama for saying so.
Finally, on a little reported but odd event during the G-20 conference, Obama appeared to bow to the Saudi’s leader, King Abdullah. (picture below) Although the picture looks telling I might have it wrong. According to the White House, it was not a bow but rather Obama using both hands to shake the King’s hand. Judge for yourself.
If it is indeed a bow, this violates a centuries’ old American tradition of not deferring to royalty. Honestly, that doesn’t bother me that much if it was just a mistake. More bothersome, is the refusal of the White House to admit such. I thought a major criticism of Bush and rallying cry for Obama was his ability to acknowledge when he messed up. It worries me that Obama won’t admit simple errors like mistakenly bowing to royalty.