Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions


Posted by Andrew Roman on June 11, 2009

obama with his feet up

The picture in question (taken Monday) depicts the President of the United States speaking on the telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

I have a few reactions to this now controversial picture –  the least of which is that someone needs to tell the President of the United States to take his damn feet off the furniture. Using such a celebrated and historic piece as the HMS Resolute desk as a hassock is unbecoming.

It simply would never occur to me to lay my feet on such a treasured artifact, let alone allow a less-than-flattering photograph of me doing so to be released. Of course, I am not cut of messianic cloth, nor do I play a messiah on this blog, so I admit to being out of my league.

As I have written about several times since his anointment, tradition and history mean less to this President than his predecessors.

A far cry from the famous images of John Kennedy working at the Resolute desk while little John John played below, Obama’s regular-guy, kick back style is presumably meant to depict this White House as more accessible and relatable to the common folk – like having vulgar comedians speak at what used to be “stuffy” washington insider events, or taking the wife to New York City for a “Date Night.” Unfortunately, his less-than-presidential approach serves no purpose beyond making the White House a less dignified one.

Looking at the picture, I also cannot help but wonder where his liberal heart has gone.

How is it that the man whose stated mission is to tear down cultural and political barriers and bring the world together for a giant group hug – the man whose compassion and appreciation of the sensitivities of people from every corner of the globe has been heralded and slobbered over as one of the benchmarks of a new age of global understanding – didn’t make it a priority to remember that Middle Easterners take it as an insult to be shown the sole of the foot?

It’s not as if he is prone to ignorance, mind you. He certainly made it his business to avoid “insulting” anyone during the first leg of his American Apology Tour by bowing to the Saudi king, remember? The picture, after all, does show the leader of the free world – a man who has promised to wash away the bad feelings created by the previous administration – leaning back, with the bottom of his feet to the camera, speaking to the leader of the Israel.

Not particularly presidential, nor very complimentary.

Not very bright either.

Granted, it isn’t a traditional insult to Jews as it is to Arabs, but many Isrealis are taking it as such.

Howard Arenstein from CBS World Watch writes:

Israeli TV newscasters Tuesday night interpreted a photo taken Monday in the Oval Office of President Obama talking on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “insult” to Israel.

They saw the incident as somewhat akin to an incident last year, when the Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at President Bush in Baghdad.

It is considered an insult in the Arab world to show the sole of your shoe to someone. It is not a Jewish custom necessarily, but Israel feels enough a part of the Middle East after 60 years to be insulted too.

Was there a subliminal message intended from the White House to Netanyahu in Jerusalem, who is publicly resisting attempts by Mr. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to force Israel to stop any kind of settlement activity in occupied territories once and forever?

Whether or not it is true, it shows the mood in Israel. They feel cornered. The reactions out of Israel reflect that feeling.

In and of itself, under normal “non-leftist-in-office” circumstances, the photograph would probably not have triggered nearly as much controversey as it has.

But the controversey is real … and certainly the most critically important point in this matter is the perception among many Israelis that their country’s relationship with an Obama-led United States is rapidly changing for the worse. The steadfast alliance between the two nations has now hit a very dangerous crossroads, and the President seems more than willing to let that very important friendship take a big hit. The obsession with bonafide leftists like Obama to create moral equivelancies across the board in the form of elevating the enemies of freedom while abandoning liberty’s defenders is now manifesting itself in the form of high ranking Israeli officials talking about possible sanctions against the United States.

This is coming from one of America’s strongest allies.

How long has Obama been in office?

From the Jerusalem Post:

In a sign of growing concern in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies, Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled proposed Israeli sanctions on the US in a letter to cabinet ministers on Sunday.

In the 11-page letter, obtained by The Jerusalem Post from a minister on Monday, Peled recommends steps Israel can take to compensate for the shift in American policy, which he believes has become hostile to Israel.

“Obama’s ascendance represents a turning point in America’s approach to the region, especially to Israel,” he wrote in the letter. “The new administration believes that in order to fight terror, guarantee stability and withdraw from Iraq, a new diplomatic slant is needed involving drastic steps to pacify the Muslim world and the adoption of a more balanced approach to Israel, including intensive pressure to stop building in settlements, remove outposts and advance the formation of a Palestinian state.”

Peled added that faced with an American government with an activist agenda that does not mesh with Israel’s, traditional reactions are no longer relevant. He said he expected that Obama would eventually realize that appeasement and dialogue with countries that support terror would not have positive results.

Obamacrats are concerned with legacy.

The most disturbing passage in Howard Arnstein’s article reads:

Israel’s Channel One TV reported that Netanyahu was told Tuesday by an “American official” in Jerusalem that, “We are going to change the world. Please, don’t interfere.” The report said Netanyahu’s aides interpreted this as a “threat.”

Prior to embarking on the latest leg of his American Apology Tour to the Middle East last week, the President made it a point to declare that he was not in favor of the United States (or Israel, for that matter) imposing their values on other nations. Yet, Bam and Company are unwavering in saying Israel must stop any and all settlement activity in the occupied territories.


Imposition anyone?

Indeed, one of the most overused – and incorrectly applied – words in public discourse today is “hypocrisy.”

Not in this case.

Gabriel Malor from the great Ace of Spades blog writes:

I don’t even have the words to say how shameful Obama’s treatment of our allies has been. But this is more horrifying than merely irritating our coalition partners; it goes beyond destroying our special relationship with the UK. Those are bad things, but this is beyond the pale. He is throwing a good people to the wolves. It sickens me.

The Messiah has been in office less than six months.


One Response to “THE PICTURE”

  1. Alice L. said

    Obama is a shameless opportunist as well as our first “Moslem president”. He does not represent traditional American values of patriotism, love of family and love of democracy. I suspect that many people are having buyers’ remorse. He has a deep hatred for Judaism and Christianity which explains his hatred towards Israel. His speech in Cairo was a disgrace. I also see that his reverend, the Reverend “Wrong” (Wright) is back in the public eye. We are supposed to believe that Pres. Zero sat in his church for twenty years and did not absorb Wrong’s anti-Semitism and hatred of America!

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