|One of these people is Not Happy to Be Here|
Barack Obama cuts short his state visit to India, but not before lecturing his hosts on tolerance and women's rights, so that he can kiss the slippers of the new Saudi king, Salman.
So, Barack, how do you explain that one? “Sometimes we need to balance our need to speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns we have in terms of counter-terrorism or dealing with regional stability.”
Okay, I get it. The state that has had its sticky fingers in every major terrorist outfit from al Qaeda to ISIS, whose citizens crewed the 9/11 planes that launched the West into a 15-year fiasco of hapless (and potentially endless) wars in the Middle East and South Asia, is vital to counter-terrorism and regional stability so we'll just look the other way at their lethal religious intolerance and their oppression of their women folk.
(For a little eye-opening look into King Salman's shady past, go here.)
Of course in Harperland we're falling over ourselves to deliver $15-billion worth of armoured democracy-suppression combat vehicles to the same herd of swine. Who knows, maybe we can win the contract to sharpen their headsman's swords.
|But this Gal is All Smiles|
Obama arrived in Riyadh at the head of a large delegation, which included senior officials from past and present administrations, members of the U.S. Congress – both Republican and Democrat – and top U.S. security officials, signaling the strong ties between the two states.
Joining Obama in paying respects over the death of King Abdullah was Secretary of State John Kerry, who arrived on a separate flight from Germany, as well as Republican statesmen James Baker, who served as secretary of state in the George H.W. Bush administration, and Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state for President George W. Bush.
CIA Director John Brennan, Lisa Monaco, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser and Susan Rice, the U.S. National Security adviser.
Former security officials Stephen Hadley, a former U.S. National Security adviser, and Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush were also listed as part of the delegation.
Members from both ends of the U.S. political spectrum also took part in the visit, including Democrat Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senator John McCain, who is often critical of Obama’s foreign policy.
What, no Dick Cheney? C'mon fellas.
The new king shook hands with President Obama at the Erga Palace but didn’t acknowledge the first lady during a brief meeting at the funeral for King Abdullah. Barack and Michelle Obama cut short their trip to India to attend the funeral.
Several videos posted on Saudis' Facebook pages obscured Michelle Obama's face. They were removed shortly after they were posted. I captured a screenshot of one such video before it was taken down. The Arab news service Mashahead posted on YouTube a video allegedly taken from the Saudi government television broadcast showing the blurred spot.
Saudi television officials are denying they blurred images of Michelle Obama from their broadcasts. You be the judge.
Next time, Michelle, bring your Happy Face when you're meeting the Lizard King.