Marielena Montesino de Stuart
The other shoe: Why Obama changed the national security team
A satirical look at President Obama's strategic intent
By Marielena Montesino de Stuart
April 30, 2011

Arabs, Oil and Etiquette

With all of the bail outs and all of the taxpayer money being wasted on worthless programs, it would seem that the White House could have spent a few dollars on etiquette training, so that Robert M. Gates could stay out of trouble — at least in the presence of Arabs, who control oil prices.

Moreover, it is not a good idea to offend an official representative from the United Arab Emirates — the world's sixth largest crude oil reserve, considering our dependence on foreign oil.

On April 26 Mr. Gates met with the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nubayan, in McLean, Virginia — no doubt to discuss strategic issues in the Arab neighborhood.

Mr. Gates appears to have become distracted while sipping fine Emirati tea, and crossed his leg exposing the sole of his shoe.

Social and diplomatic etiquette dictates that one never shows the sole of one's shoe in the presence of an Arab — since this constitutes a huge insult in the Middle Eastern and Muslim cultures. During that same meeting the Crown Prince is shown seated with both feet firmly on the ground.

The shoe is considered an unclean item in the Muslim world. Indeed believers are asked to remove their shoes before prayers. Shoes are not allowed inside mosques.

When President George W. Bush visited Iraq in December, 2008 an angry reporter threw his shoes at him as a sign of extreme disrespect.

But maybe Gates was crying out for help — and meant it, when he showed the sole of his shoe, in the presence of the Crown Prince. He may have simply wanted out — based on Obama's weak Middle East policy and dependence on foreign oil — including that which flows from the Arab world.

But wait a minute!

President Obama himself has not particularly followed the rules of etiquette. Here he is during a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, in June, 2009. Even though this shoe insult is not part of Jewish custom, Obama, who is very respectful of Middle Eastern culture, must feel that the Jewish community in the Middle East does not deserve the same degree of respect as their Arab neighbors. This photo, which was released by the White House for the world to see, speaks volumes.

Time to bow

Now things are changing for Obama — who has quickly turned the United States into a subservient nation, as he goes around the world bowing to dictators and less than democratic governments.

So, President Obama has initiated a complete reshuffle of the National Security team. Obama — who has a confusing and shaky Middle East policy, which in part is causing gas prices to skyrocket, has decided that he cannot afford to have anybody showing the sole of their shoes anymore — including himself. For starters he is getting rid of Gates, who will leave his position on June 30.

Obama decided that Gates has overstayed his welcome anyway, since he is the first U.S. Secretary of Defense in the history of the United States to be grandfathered into a new administration. Gates has been at this job since December, 2006.

But you cannot change the Secretary of Defense without shifting the whole National Security team.

President Obama plans to assign the job of Defense Secretary to CIA Director Leon Panetta — regardless of the fact that under Panetta the CIA may have experienced one of its lowest points in terms of effective interception — particularly in Afghanistan where CIA agents were killed by double agents in December, 2009.

The deaths of these agents has brought under scrutiny how the CIA has been recruiting and using operatives.

On April 16, 18 and 27, 2011 Afghan servicemen carried out the latest round of attacks on coalition personnel in Afghanistan — again bringing into question our intelligence capabilities.

Panetta will begin his duties as the new Secretary of Defense, simply by demonstrating during a Senate Hearing that he is able to keep both shoes on the ground — so that he can make a quick exit as our defense strategy continues to weaken.

The International Security Assistance Force Commander Army General, David H. Petraeus will assume Panetta's position as CIA director, and Marine Lt. Gen. John Allen, the current deputy at U.S. Central Command, will be nominated to the ISAF command. As soldiers both Petraeus and Allen should have no problem keeping their boots firmly on the ground.

This shuffle also includes U.S. diplomat Ryan Crocker as the next U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. Crocker has been ordered to wear the proper shoes and gear, given his diplomatic métier.

The Other Shoe

President Obama is known for being, above all, a true internacionalista. As such, during the National Security reshuffling Obama ordered that American personnel involved in diplomatic and military duties wear a series of ethnic shoes, that will give the international community a better perception of us, as we are seen walking away from our role as leader on the world's stage.

By presidential decree:

The French Chestnut Crushing Low Boot is required for U.S. military personnel (in honor of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's military leadership in Libya) :

For personnel involved in diplomacy and foreign affairs a more "ethnic" look is required, so as to fit in better amongst our international friends:

President Obama has personally chosen to wear the Chinese embroidered shoes shown below, in honor of Communist China — which, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may leave us behind by 2016, as the world's most powerful economy. These embroidered shoes should make it even easier for Obama to bow to China's dictator, Hu Jin Tao.

Are we supposed to feel better now about Obama's strategic intent?

Time will tell — although we don't have much time left.

But in the event that things don't work out, we will at least look interesting.

Related Reading:

Proven Crude Oil Reserves

CIA Agents Killed

Coalition Personnel Killed by Afghan Servicemen

Age of America Nears End

© Marielena Montesino de Stuart


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Marielena Montesino de Stuart

"...absolutely serious journalism, with a touch of humor."

Marielena Montesino de Stuart's commentaries cover politics, foreign affairs, religion and culture, at and Her insightful opinions are read by thousands around the world.

Marielena is a former candidate for the United States Senate (on the ballot, Republican 2012). Her memorable campaign is regarded as a turning point in the restoration of authentic conservatism in America. Please click here to read her full bio. You may contact Marielena Montesino de Stuart through the following link.


Receive future articles by Marielena Montesino de Stuart: Click here

More by this author

December 20, 2014
REWARDING EVIL: Obama embraces communist Cuba

May 26, 2014
When Francis meets with Israelis and Palestinians... the explosive truth behind this story

May 19, 2014
There is anxiety in Ankara

May 15, 2014
EXTREME INCLUSION: Francis welcomes Marxists and Martians to the Vatican

May 1, 2014
NOT A GOOD MIX: John XXIII, John Paul II... and I

April 27, 2014
THE GATES OF HELL: Aborted babies used as waste to generate electricity

April 20, 2014
HOLY WEEK IN SPAIN: Honoring my Roman Catholic traditions

April 12, 2014
JESUIT CREATIVITY IN THE VATICAN: Is Francis sending mixed messages about marriage?

March 29, 2014
Francis rolls out the red carpet for Obama, the most extreme pro-abortion president in U.S. history

March 22, 2014
TOTAL DISSONANCE: When certain nuns and certain rhythms come together

More articles


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it!

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Scriptural sobriety: Rethinking wine in the Lord’s Supper

Cherie Zaslawsky
April 13th, 2024: Iran’s shocking dress rehearsal

Jerry Newcombe
Is America a 'failed historical model?'

Victor Sharpe
The current malignancy of America's Fourth Estate

Tom DeWeese
The University of Tennessee uses our taxes to advocate radical energy agenda. I took them to court!

Bonnie Chernin
Pro-abortion Republicans

Cliff Kincaid
Make Sodom and Gomorrah Great Again

Pete Riehm
The FISA debate misses the point again

Curtis Dahlgren
The year the lions lay down with the LAMB

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 14: Changing Hearts and Minds

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Scriptural sobriety: Challenging assumptions about Jesus’ wine miracle

Jerry Newcombe
The Key to our national motto
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites