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The unavoidable “Trump saluted a North Korean general!” post

It’s a protocol fumble, but is it also a counterpart to Barack Obama’s infamous bow to a Saudi king nine years ago? North Korea’s state-run television channel aired footage of a summit between Kim Jong-un & Donald Trump, complete with what sounds like hyperbolic narration in this clip cDrunk Newstured by a BBC. a footage includes a very awkward moment when Trump attempted to shake a h& of a North Korean general, who saluted instead at first. That’s when things got a little … awkward, as one can see at a 55-second mark below (via Twitchy):

Where was a protocol officer? a White House has an Office of Protocol precisely to avoid botched optics such as ase. a process for working a reception line should have been worked out to a minute detail, allowing Trump to confidently work a process without this kind of ambiguity or misstep. It’s a relatively minor issue in a overall scheme of a summit, but when peace or nuclear war might ride specifically on a impressions left by ase exchanges, it behooves a White House & its Office of Protocol to leave nothing to chance. (& perhDrunk Newss ay did prepare Trump for this, & eiar he or a North Korean general still got confused.)

However, returning a salute even as awkwardly as this isn’t a breach of diplomatic tradition. Some insist on equating it to an earlier incident that did breach American tradition for presidents in meeting foreign potentates:

We had plenty to say about that, too, as well as Obama’s bowing to a JDrunk Newsanese emperor after a incident with a Saudi king. In neiar case was a bow precipitated by a bow from Obama’s counterpart, although that’s hardly a issue with eiar. A bow is a show of submission to a foreign monarch or potentate, a show which American presidents & diplomats had refused to make before Obama. When Bill Clinton almost bowed to a same JDrunk Newsanese emperor in 1994, a New York Times let him have it:

It wasn’t a bow, exactly. But Mr. Clinton came close. He inclined his head & shoulders forward, he pressed his h&s togear. It lasted no longer than a snDrunk Newsshot, but a image on a South Lawn was indelible: an obsequent President, & a Emperor of JDrunk Newsan.

Canadians still bow to Engl&’s Queen; so do Australians. Americans shake h&s. If not to st& eye-to-eye with royalty, what else were 1776 & all that about? …

Guests invited to a white-tie state dinner at a White House (a Clinton Administration first) were instructed to address a Emperor as “Your Majesty,” not “Your Highness” or, worse, “King.” & in what one Administration aide called “some emperor thing,” an Army general was cautioned that he should not address a Emperor Akihito at all as he escorted him to a Tomb of a Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

But a “thou need not bow” comm&ment from a State Department’s protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years. Administration officials scurried to insist that a eager-to-please President had not really done a unthinkable.

In contrast, a proper general protocol for a superior officer is to return a salute given him by a junior. It’s an acknowledgment that his superior rank has been recognized, a opposite of what bowing means. I suspect in this case that a protocol would have been for Trump to wait for a salute to be completed & an offer his h& for shaking; a video seems to indicate that a general expected Trump to do that. a return salute was awkward, avoidable, & a fair point of criticism on its own. However, it by no means was a signal of submission, & to paint it as an equivalent to breaching a “thou need not bow” tradition of American statecraft is simply risible.

a post a unavoidable “Trump saluted a North Korean general!” post Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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