When President Obama first met the Saudi royals, he seemed to bow at the waist. Either that or he doubled over in pain.
Did he bow? Or didn't he? That was the topic du jour at the press briefing that day.
But now we have the answer: Obama is, indeed, really bowing to the Saudis as he visits the Middle East this week.
First, he is bypassing Israel. Visiting the Middle East and not going to Israel would be like touring North America and omitting a stop in the United States. It makes sense only if you interpret it as a deliberate slap in the face of Jerusalem and a statement to the Arab world that America's pro-Israeli policy is changing.
But as he goes to Saudi Arabia, the State Department, headed by Hillary Clinton, has announced that it has accepted the ground rules for media coverage of the Obama visit to the royal family and its domain. Reporters will be allowed to cover only the actual meetings between the Saudis and Obama and will not be permitted to visit the rest of the country or report on anything else they see during the trip.
Reporters who violate these terms are subject to arrest and imprisonment by the Saudi government!!!
Hillary and Obama accepted these terms.
Since when does the U.S. government act as the assistant to the Saudi monarchy in charge of controlling the media? And since when would an American president permit this shackling of the media and still proceed with the diplomatic visit without a murmur of protest?
Since when? Since Obama became president determined to appease Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and all of the extremists while slighting Israel and turning his back on democracy.
Obama is outraged at those horrible Israeli settlements. They have to go! They are the major threat to Mideast peace! Not the Iranian development of nuclear weapons or its subsidization of Hamas and Hezbollah or the Saudi royal subsidies for these terror organizations or welfare payments to the families of suicide bombers. No, it's those damn settlements.
It isn't enough if Israel promises not to build new ones. It can't be allowed to build new homes for family members who already live there! If junior gets married and has a family, he'd better move out back to Israel. He can't be allowed to build his own home in the settlements. The threat to world peace is just too grave to permit it.
The Obama Mideast policy is turning our priorities on their heads. It is painful to watch and it is likely to get worse until Americans get a fundamental point: Obama is determined to end 60 years of support for Israel, and this trip to the Middle East is the start of it.
© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann