- The Washington Times - Friday, April 16, 2010

President Obama has disgraced the United States - again. During this week’s nuclear summit in Washington, he bowed when greeting Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The act was not only shocking but revealing. Mr. Obama has come under intense criticism for bowing to leaders in the past - the king of Saudi Arabia, the emperor of Japan. But never before has America’s commander in chief prostrated himself to a foreign tyrant on U.S. soil.

By bowing, Mr. Obama degraded and cheapened the office of the presidency; as commander in chief, he represents every American when meeting with other heads of state. He is supposed to embody the dignity of the Oval Office, reflecting our collective heritage as a self-governing, constitutional republic.

Republics do not recognize the supremacy of imperial overlords. This is the seminal principle of the Revolution of 1776: Americans do not kowtow to kings or dictators - the nation was forged in opposition to feudal subservience.

Perhaps Mr. Obama was not taught that elementary lesson during his childhood in Indonesia or his years immersed in post-colonial Marxist theory at graduate school. He is, however, learning it now. Americans despise bootlicking - especially when it comes from their president.

Every time Mr. Obama bows, his poll ratings drop and his prestige dwindles. Yet, he refuses to stop. He feels a compulsive, almost pathological need to do it. Why?

His actions reflect a fundamental, reflexive anti-Americanism - a profound contempt and hatred for his own country. Mr. Obama bows because it symbolizes America’s need to “humble” itself on the world stage.

Mr. Obama is the only sitting president in U.S. history who publicly - and repeatedly - apologizes for his nation’s “sins” and “mistakes.” In Europe, he bemoaned American “arrogance.” In the Middle East, he condemned past U.S. “imperialism” and “injustice” toward Muslims. In China, he welcomed the Red Dragon’s rise as an economic partner with the United States.

In short, Mr. Obama is bowing to the world. He seeks to establish a post-American multipolar order in which Washington is only one power among equals. He is a radical leftist, who welcomes the end of the United States as the world’s last superpower. The very notion of “American exceptionalism” is repugnant to him - as it is to most multicultural progressives.

Mr. Obama’s presidency can be distilled to one fundamental reality: He is presiding over America’s decline, the slow but relentless erosion in its once-dominant economic, military and cultural position.

Mr. Obama’s worldview is utterly disconnected from reality. Moreover, it is reckless and dangerous - pushing the world closer toward another international conflagration.

Rather than being the root cause of global instability and injustice, America has been the defender of order and freedom. In fact, no other nation in history - none - has done more to advance freedom than the United States.

It is America that led the struggle to liberate Europe from Nazi aggression and Soviet domination. It is America that toppled fascist dictatorships in Afghanistan and Iraq, freeing more than 50 million Muslims from totalitarian rule. It is America that bombed rebel fundamentalist Serbs, ending their genocidal campaigns against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo. It is America that protects the democracies of Asia from China’s militaristic expansionism.

Mr. Obama should be ashamed for apologizing on behalf of America. That’s like Mother Teresa apologizing for not taking care enough of the poor. It is a form of national self-abnegation bordering on masochism.

Yet, the multicultural leftists around Mr. Obama stress that all of his bowing and apologizing is really crafty, far-sighted statesmanship: the ultimate projection of “soft power” diplomacy. By making goodwill cultural gestures, Mr. Obama is supposedly helping to erect a broad, multinational coalition to confront the great threats of our time - especially, nuclear proliferation.

The opposite, however, is happening. Instead of stopping the world’s most dangerous states from acquiring nuclear weapons, Mr. Obama’s actions are ensuring the spread of nukes to rogue regimes.

This is the real meaning - and tragedy - of the Washington nuclear security summit. The White House claimed that Ukraine’s agreement to scrap its stockpile of highly enriched uranium was a major strategic breakthrough. Rather, it was a cynical publicity stunt. Kiev’s stockpile does not pose a threat to international security. But Tehran’s nuclear program does.

U.S. intelligence officials now admit that Iran is about one year away from getting the atomic bomb. Israeli officials believe the mullahs are even closer. Tehran’s apocalyptic clerics have based their Islamic revolution on erecting a global caliphate upon the smoldering ashes of Israel - and eventually, America. Once Iran acquires the bomb, a nuclear conflict with the Jewish state is not only likely but inevitable. The United States - and other powers - will then be drawn into the fighting, re-creating the European bloodbaths of the 20th century.

Mr. Obama seeks to isolate Iran. His strategy is to convince Russia and China to agree to impose crippling international sanctions on Tehran’s tottering theocracy.

Mr. Obama’s transnational feel-good diplomacy is a sign of provincialism - not sophisticated multiculturalism. Moscow and Beijing are anti-American, anti-Western authoritarian states. For them, the Cold War never ended. Their goal is to undermine the American hyperpower by propping up a belligerent Persian empire that will act as a bulwark against the West in the Middle East. They have no intention of curbing Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, Russia and China have been actively supplying Tehran with nuclear technology and missiles. Only a self-absorbed narcissist could believe he possesses the charisma - and cunning - to persuade these two gangster regimes into cooperating on Iran.

The president can bow all he wants. The Chinese leader was not impressed. Beijing refused to capitulate to Mr. Obama’s demands for tougher Iranian sanctions.

“Pressure and sanctions cannot fundamentally solve the problem,” an official Chinese government statement said.

Translation: Get lost. Nobody respects a groveling sycophant. Mr. Obama: Stop bowing and instead hold your head up high on the world stage as befits the world’s greatest nation.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank. He is the daily host of the “Kuhner Show” on WTNT 570-AM from noon until 3 p.m.