Commentary Magazine


A Royal Minus

Barack Obama has literally bowed before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Here’s the question: Was this unprecedented embarrassment the result of the Obama team’s inexperience, incompetence, or inclination toward American humility on the world stage?

Here’s the answer: Who cares? Whatever the cause, the fallout will be the same. Among Muslim democrats and human rights advocates, utter dejection that the “leader of the Free World” has offered himself as a “subject” of the Saudi monarch; among Islamists, bliss over America’s seeming prostration before Salafist Islam; among international bad actors, assurance that America poses no threat; and among our allies, depression about the new systemic instability of the most dependable superpower in history.