Showing fealty

Demonstrating fealty to the SaudisJon Stewart parodied the Bush-Ahmadinejad face off at the U.N. on Thursday, characterizing George Bush’s address as a Mafia don trying to intimidate his subjects.
In this light, the significance of Bush holding hands with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah earlier this year finally hit me. Bush is probably taking out on us what he’s getting from his masters. The public hand-holding was none other than a show of fealty.

At first I thought Bush could have been helping the not-so-elder along a Texas trail. Or maybe hand-holding might be a Saudi custom between friends. I laughed a bit at the gay innuendo, thinking about Jeffrey Gannon/Guckert, the gay prostitute who frequents the White House but nobody knows for whom, keeping in mind Stephen Colbert’s chiding White House Spokesman Scott McClellan for retiring to “spend more time with Andrew Card’s children.”
What does it mean to kiss the Don’s ring? Or the Pope’s? Or to touch another’s feet? It isn’t affection, it isn’t submission. It’s the literal origin of what it is to kiss ass. An act which both parties agree to be distasteful and beneath one’s dignity, but necessary to demean oneself to show deference.

It means subjugation, to humiliate yourself, in the original sense of humility, to abase yourself before your superior, before everyone’s eyes, to demonstrate your allegiance.

Holding Prince Abdullah’s hand was not about kissing up to the Saudis to cement an oil deal. It was an offer George W. could not refuse. Who owns a major share of the US treasury bonds? Who could break the US economy at will? To whom does Bush owe his fortune and ascendency? “Hold my hand.”

What could it mean for the President of the United States to be demonstrating his fealty to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia?

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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