June 4, 2009

Obama/The Pyramids

Obama Pyramids.jpg

Oh Giza.

I’m wondering if this becomes the (Stateside) lasting image of Obama’s trip. Like he went to Disneyland or the land of Jafar. On the other hand, images like this are like waving a red cape in the face of the wingnuts who can’t stand Obama’s popularity, his multinational self, his big vision (here’s what one of them makes of it) and especially, his escalating deconstruction of the war on terror/Islam.

And then, how does this image read in Egypt? Is it nothing but the perfunctory tourist snapshot? Or, is there some analogy to be drawn — in contradiction to “The Speech” — with America’s dynastic impulses?

And then, on a more practical level, what I don’t understand — on a day where Obama’s major, number one mission was to break down U.S. – Arab world stereotypes — was the business with the camels. Obama implied he was tempted, but told the press he wouldn’t hop up on one with reporters present. Smart move, but it didn’t stop his team. Unless acting out mixed-feelings (and given the baggage), I especially don’t know what got into Rahm.

Love the caption (my bold, their caps) and the speck of a guard, by the way.

(image: Larry Downing/Reuters. caption: U.S. President Barack Obama is given a tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza by the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Dr. Zahi Hawass (NOT IN PICTURE) while in Cairo, Egypt June 4, 2009)

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Michael Shaw
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