The Obama 'wags finger' at Canada's Prime Minister pic: I just don't see it. Sorry.
This photo has drawn a lot of comments around the blogosphere .. most of them deploring what appears, at first blush, to be Obama pointing, rudely, at Prime Minister Stephen Harper. After taking a closer look I have to say that I just don’t see it. Here’s my take, a lighthearted one, which I posted originally (I’ve decided to make a few edits and expand it from the original) as a comment/entry in Small Dead Animal’s informal caption contest. BTW: It’s not often that I disagree with the likes of Mark Steyn, Pamela Geller and The Anchoress:
Obama is obviously posing a question. So far, he’s found Harper’s knowledge to be virtually encyclopedic .. so he tries very hard to assume the pose of the intellectual (he’s not George Bush, you know) and best him on some arcane, pseudo-intellectual trivia. He’ll have set up the cute question with something like:
“Wasn’t it Derrida? .. Yeah I think it was Derrida who said ‘if he is not the first to address the other, if he is not the first to offer his hand, the war will not end. If one waits, if one always places a precondition on the ceasing of hostilities, then there will be perpetual war‘. One of my favorite quotes in ISLAM AND THE WEST .. you know .. ‘A Conversation with Jacques Derrida’ by .. shoot, what’s his name? Do you know?”
As he says this, he points at Harper (his brain, to be more specific!) with his thumb and middle finger apart – he retracts his hand and pinches together his thumb and fingers, as if he were picking something out of the air. He knows the answer of course .. or part of it .. (“Mustapha .. something. Damn, I had it!”) but he wants to see if Harper knows.
Harper, looks down in serious thought ..
Harper looks up and replies: “Hmm … seems to me the fellow’s name is Cherif, Mustapha Cherif. I happened to run across a review of it in our Canadian Military Journal.”
Much to Obama’s consternation and amazement.