Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Obama snubs King Harald
I defended President Obama when neocon Americanists attacked him for bowing to the Emperor of Japan. But that doesn't make this a pro-Obama blog. Norwegians are apparently miffed that he has declined an invitation to lunch from King Harald V (which Nobel laureates have traditionally accepted) as well as other opportunities to cultivate goodwill in Norway. This is inexcusable. While Obama has expressed his admiration for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, he did not bow to her as he did to the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Japan, leaving one to wonder if it is only non-Western monarchies towards whom Obama feels inclined to demonstrate humility. Obama's insensitivity to Norwegians suggests that American arrogance and unilateralism did not disappear when George W. Bush left the White House, as Europeans are learning.