Monday, November 26, 2012

FOD 2012.11.26

Well, obama's second term is off to a flying start - literally.

Shortly after the election he took off for a tour of Southeast Asia, ostensibly to improve ties with countries there, and to attend a regional summit meeting.

The trip went about as well as his presidency has gone so far - and was covered by the media in similar fashion.
It is only two weeks since his re-election, and his second term remains two months away, but Barack Obama is already blundering again on the world stage, with the kind of gaffes that would have been plastered on the front page of The New York Times if they had been committed by George W. Bush when he was in the White House.
Not just the NYT, but practically every daily paper and TV 'news' program.

More specifically:
In his tour of Burma .. it was clear he was in way over his head, even on small things. Obama repeatedly referred to the country's Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader Aung San Suu Kyi as Aung Yan Suu Kyi, an astonishing error given her global fame.

He also bungled the norms of Burmese polite address, calling Thein Sein, the nation's leader "President Sein," an error comparable to addressing Cambodia's Pol Pot as Mr. Pot.
Hell, he couldn't even get the name of the country right.
In addition ... Obama was quick to use the Burmese regime’s preferred word “Myanmar”, to describe Burma, which is not the term officially used by the US government...
But that's not the worst part.
The trip highlight for Obama, however, was visiting Aung San Suu Kyi, the world-famous dissident who actually did something to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, unlike some recipients. She underwent years of isolation, oppression and house arrest while speaking out for democracy in her now moderating homeland.

She consented to appear jointly with the president on her front porch. Both spoke briefly, she more cautiously than he.

Eager to take advantage of such a photo opportunity before the world media, Obama leaned in for a little kiss, as a Chicago pol might at a South Side rally where women would squeal for a presidential peck. Obama is a big political kisser. He kisses females everywhere. Introduce him at a rally, you get a kiss. Hug too, probably. He knows the ladies love it.

But Asia ain't Hyde Park. Public kissing, even between husband and wife, is rarely seen. Between a man and woman not married it's downright outrageous, even scandalous. So Obama's presumably affectionate but impolite, totally out of place smooch created an international moment more awkward than a first date.
Shades of Bill Clinton.


Moving on:
On his trip to Cambodia, a country he claimed didn't deserve a visit due to its strongman government, first lady Bun Rany greeted Obama with a traditional "sampeah" pressed-hands greeting reserved for servants, a little dig that was probably lost on him but not to Asians.

So what is really Obama's tour about? Apparently a get-out-of-town photo-op all about himself as a means of avoiding pressing problems back home. The Asians deserve better — and so do the Americans.
But not to worry, folks. obama made it back to the good ol' U.S. of A. right before Thanksgiving, just in time to pardon two turkeys.

No, not Eric Holder and Harry Reid...


9 comments:

Old NFO said...

Sigh, they REALLY need to get and pay attention to a good staffer that at least reads the briefing papers on greeting/courtesy/dos and don'ts...

CenTexTim said...

I think the key there is "pay attention." They've got diplomatic and protocol professional staffers, but they're so arrogant they think they know it all.

Old NFO said...

True... dammit!

kerrcarto said...

It is going to be a LOOOOOONG four years.

CenTexTim said...

kerrcarto - at least we have four years of pretty easy Monday posts...

Harper said...

My kids and I caught a news clip of the turkey pardoning - it kept gobbling at the Obama girls, quite loudly. My kids thought it sounded like the turkey was saying, "get out of the White House".

CenTexTim said...

Smart kids ... and a smart turkey.

InsomniacSeeker said...

Thought he was going to bow to the turkey, there for a minute.
-Tina

CenTexTim said...

Why not? He's bowed to everyone else.