COMMENTARY | Barack Obama is the president of the United States. He is the face, the voice and attitude that represents We The People when he travels to another country or meets with foreign leaders or their representatives here in America. While his world apology tour was infuriating and his repeated bowing to dictators is embarrassing, Obama's repeated demonstrations of utter disrespect to the Dalai Lama are nothing less than humiliating for our entire nation.
After facing criticism from pro-Tibetan activists, Obama begrudgingly met Saturday with the Dalai Lama, who is in the United States for an 11-day Buddhist ritual. It was the Dalai Lama's birthday. He's 76, and thousands of Tibetan expatriates joined in on the celebration last Wednesday.
Again, the meeting was without the greeting fanfare, which is standard with other world leaders and dignitaries. The press was not allowed to observe, photos were again prohibited and again the White House issued the single approved shot of the two leaders. This time, the Dalai Lama appears to be talking. Obama looks bored, slouched in his chair with his face propped against his hand. He didn't even bother to put on a tie.
This wasn't the first time Obama insulted the spiritual leader. Out of fear it might upset the Communist leaders during his trip to China last November, Obama initially snubbed the Dalai Lama during his visit to Washington in October. However, Obama did give the Dalai Lama a token face-to-face in February of 2010. However, because the Chinese dictators threw a fit, Obama made sure that the Dalai Lama's greeting at the White House was unceremonious, Mr. Obama made no public comments and reporters were banned from the room.
Afterward, the president issued a single, brief statement through a spokesman and distributed a single, White House approved photo that curiously shows Obama appearing to be lecturing rather than listening to the Tibetan Holy Man.
According the U.K. Daily Mail, Obama told the Dalai Lama that he backs the preservation of Tibet's culture and "supports human rights for its people." That being said, Obama sent the Dalai Lama packing, having him escorted through "a rather undignified departure from the White House" to exit from a side door, "walking past big piles of bagged garbage" according to the New York Post. The parting gift for the spiritual leader, who wears nothing but sleeveless robes -- cufflinks.
That the president is eager to cow-tow and have himself photographed repeatedly bowing to dictators who oppress and murder their people, while humiliating a spiritual man who wants to see them free is one thing. That Barack Obama is a coward who disrespects some at the demand of others as he represents America is unacceptable.