April 5, 2017

Jordan's King Abdullah — standing on a little box — does a press conference with Donald Trump.



You can see the whole thing here. There's much worth watching, including attention to the chemical attack in Syria. And the King speaks English — some might say better than Trump. I thought the long view, showing the radical difference in height, was interesting and don't mean to disparage short people or to trivialize the many serious topics under discussion.

ADDED: Made me think of the old comic strip, "The Little King":



Here's The Little King with Betty Boop:

68 comments:

Earnest Prole said...

I shall call him "Mini Me"

Gahrie said...

King Abdullah and his father have been true allies to the U.S.. We should shift our efforts in the region from Saudi Arabia, which supports fundamentalist Islam, to Jordan which is a much more secular society, with strong ties to the west among the leadership class. Abdullah himself was educated in the west and his mother was British.

traditionalguy said...

He is our best middle east ally besides the Sisi. Both are western trained military career officers.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

Deerfield Academy in the US, Sandhurst and Oxford (Pembroke) in the UK. Of course he speaks proper English!

Michael K said...

I am always impressed with how tall Trump is and Rand Paul was surprisingly (to me ) short.

My wife is very impressed with how tall Melania is.

Drago said...

Gahrie: "King Abdullah and his father have been true allies to the U.S.. We should shift our efforts in the region from Saudi Arabia, which supports fundamentalist Islam, to Jordan which is a much more secular society, with strong ties to the west among the leadership class. Abdullah himself was educated in the west and his mother was British"

Stop kidding yourself.

Is the King as well as Sisi our best bet in terms of "strongmen" who are western trained, perhaps even some affection/respect for some aspects of the West and have some interests that align with ours? Yes.

But they are not allies. They are situational amigos in a very difficult geographic location and could be overturned at any time so we should do what we can to exploit any situation fully where our interests align.

But that's as far as it goes.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

We should shift our efforts in the region from Saudi Arabia, which supports fundamentalist Islam, to Jordan which is a much more secular society, with strong ties to the west among the leadership class.

What do you mean by "our efforts?"

Bay Area Guy said...

I think the proper, diplomatic way to describe the King is "Madisonian in stature."

Yes, Jordan is probably the sanest place in the Arab world. Pretty low standard, but nonetheless, we grade on a curve.


Scott M said...

I would never stoop as low as making fun of short people.

David Begley said...

"Many lines were crossed."

Trump will do something. Something big and powerful.

rhhardin said...

That's not a little box. It's a podium.

Gahrie said...

What do you mean by "our efforts?"

1) Protect the West's access to Middle Eastern oil. (much less of a priority now, and becoming ever increasingly more so)

2) Promote stability in the region (at least up until the Obama administration)

3) Support a Muslim alternative to Iran. (at least up until the Obama administration)

Inga said...

A man of small stature, but big on respectability.

Interesting how Trump changed his opinion of Assad... on a dime. I hope he realizes if he acts against Assad he will risk angering Putin. Trump criticized Obama on Syria and has a series on Tweets on record from back then admonishing Obama not to get involved in Syria. I sure hope Trump asks the Congress for war powers, if he does decide on acting militarily, like Obama did and was denied by the Congress.
----------------
"But Trump's tweets around the time that President Obama considered seeking congressional approval for military action in Syria — an idea discarded after the Syrian government agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles on September 10, 2013 in an agreement jointly negotiated with Russia — indicate an agreement with Obama's ultimate decision not to act, if not his methods.

June 15, 2013: We should stay the hell out of Syria, the "rebels" are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO

August 29, 2013: @walaa_3ssaf No, dopey, I would not go into Syria, but if I did it would be by surprise and not blurted all over the media like fools.

August 29, 2013: What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.

September 1, 2013: President Obama's weakness and indecision may have saved us from doing a horrible and very costly (in more ways than money) attack on Syria!

September 2, 2013: If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S.

September 3, 2013: What I am saying is stay out of Syria.

September 5, 2013: The only reason President Obama wants to attack Syria is to save face over his very dumb RED LINE statement. Do NOT attack Syria,fix U.S.A.

September 5, 2013: AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!

September 7, 2013: President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your "powder" for another (and more important) day!

September 9, 2013: Don't attack Syria - an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again!"

https://www.axios.com/trumps-2013-tweets-on-syria-tell-a-different-story-2344840197.html

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

I don't get how any of that makes sense in terms of your statement that we should "shift our efforts in the region from Saudi Arabia, which supports fundamentalist Islam, to Jordan." How would we treat Saudi Arabia and Jordan differently than we do right now?

Original Mike said...

He's a freaking King! If he's got a problem with being short, well, he seriously lacks perspective.

J. Farmer said...

@Inga:

September 9, 2013: Don't attack Syria - an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again!"

That's as right minded then as it is today. Syria poses no threat to the United States, and we have no significant interest there. It's completely foolish to inject ourselves into the middle of a horrible civil war whose outcome we can't control or predict.

David Begley said...

Trump also said he is very flexible. That's the key to understanding him and his politics.

mockturtle said...

Tillerson [also a king, 'Rex'] has advised Trump to leave the leadership of Syria to the Syrians. I could not agree more. Getting sucked into another 'war' in the ME is the last thing we need right now. Yes, our former administration was at least partly responsible for destabilization of Syria but let us not compound our mistakes by meddling further.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

Getting sucked into another 'war' in the ME is the last thing we need right now. Yes, our former administration was at least partly responsible for destabilization of Syria but let us not compound our mistakes by meddling further.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Todd said...

J. Farmer said...

...poses no threat to the United States, and we have no significant interest there. It's completely foolish to inject ourselves into the middle of a horrible civil war whose outcome we can't control or predict.

4/5/17, 2:15 PM


I have to admit that I am conflicted on issues like this.

Sometimes I am SO tired of the U.S. trying to be the world's cop and if the peoples of a place are being abused by their own government, well darn it, why don't they do something about it? Why always us? Or at least let someone else or the UN do it every once in a while.

Other times, the inhumanity that is allowed to take place simply because no one else has the moral fiber to say "no, enough is enough" and go in and put a stop to the abuses and killings and inhumanity.

It is a world wide shame that countries in the ME and Africa and elsewhere are digressing into tribal bands and killing each other for nothing. That a country as rich as Venezuela in resources is going broke and the people suffering due to their form of government. That children in Palestine are taught that they will live in paradise if they strap on a bomb and blow up a crowd of Israelis AND the government will give their families an allowance as a thank you.

At times it is enough to crush your spirit. I don't know the answer, not smart enough I guess and you can't MAKE someone or some place better, they have to want to be better.

OK, now I am starting to just ramble so I will stop now...

J. Farmer said...

@Todd:

At times it is enough to crush your spirit. I don't know the answer, not smart enough I guess and you can't MAKE someone or some place better, they have to want to be better.

I agree. It's called the problem of evil. Hell, 3,000,000 children starve to death every year. More than 20,000,000 people live as virtual slaves. Intermittent civil wars in central Africa have killed over a million people. The world is full of harsh, horrible conditions that we are mostly powerless to stop.

buwaya said...

"King Abdullah and his father have been true allies to the U.S."

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
And though the Jordanian State is as reasonable as one can expect Arabs to be, that's not necessarily true of the majority of the Jordanian people.

AJ Lynch said...

I am sure liberals think this is photoshopped to make Trump look YUGE.

Bob said...

The Richlee Shoe Company, which makes "Elevator" brand shoes which can add up to 3" to a person's height using a combination of outsole and insole, have a company logo of a man standing on a wooden crate.

Todd said...

J. Farmer said...

And it helps matters not ONE bit when people living in just about the most powerful, free, open, and equal place on the ENTIRE planet whine and moan like special little snowflakes when they have to [OMG] hear something that they don't agree with or have to deal with a cat-call on the street or don't get to curl up into a ball in the corner when they don't get what they want, when they want it is just disgusting. The number of people in this country with ZERO perspective and ZERO appreciation of history and ZERO appreciate of what other have done and given to enable them to cry and bitch that their coffee is too hot and DAMN IT SOMEONE MUST PAY and SOMEONE OWES ME is also disgusting. We have been failed by our politicians and by our media and by our educational institutions. A pox on all of their houses. They have taken America for granted and have squandered away her legacy on trivial things. Rape victims are still stoned in parts of the world. Girls have their privates destroyed, gays are thrown off of buildings or hung. Places in the world (too many) still own slaves.

Where is today's outrage directed? At those atrocities? At those crimes? No. It is directed at places and people that think anyone with a penis should use the men's room.

Oh, the waste...

Jay Vogt said...

". . . . and don't mean to disparage short people. . . . "

WTF Althouse! Since when did you feel the need to preemptively politically correct [verb not adjective] your editorial assertions?????

Disappointing.

J. Farmer said...

@Todd:

Where is today's outrage directed? At those atrocities? At those crimes? No. It is directed at places and people that think anyone with a penis should use the men's room.

Yes; it's called decadence.

Chuck said...

"And the King speaks English — some might say better than Trump."

I love you.

mockturtle said...

Of course, we can't possibly expect the UN to intervene. Heaven only knows what their function is.

M Jordan said...

What is it in the collective psyche sees short as feckless, weak, as comical? Because we all do. A short man has no way to avoid this instant judgement. So he's forced to strengthen himself opinion other ways: forcefulness, character, wit, ruthlessness ... something. In the end, it's not a disqualifier. Many short men have stood tall on the world's stage including Napoleon (5'6"), Martin Luther King (5'7"), Winston Churchill (5'7"), Andrew Carnegie ((5'2"), and Ludwig van Beethoven (5'3").

Jay Vogt said...

Although we're picking up most of the tab for the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, still It's a huge burden they are carrying. Hard to see how that will hold together much longer - funded or not. That's a lot of idle hands to have just hanging around in your country.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

Of course, we can't possibly expect the UN to intervene. Heaven only knows what their function is.

Well, the UN's primary goal in the aftermath of the Second World War was to prevent trans-border aggression. Violent conflicts taking place within the confines of a country's internationally-recognized borders is an entirely different matter.

The US is all too prone to the horrible crisis of do-something-ism. "We must do something!" "This is something." "Let's do it."

mockturtle said...

Can't help but think of Randy Newman. Short People

AllenS said...

The King would have looked a lot taller, if he had been sitting on Trump's shoulders.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

Trump is an adult. It is such a contrast to Obama the child.

There is nothing good that can come from the ME. It would take real effort to make a mess bigger than what Obama made.

The only thing that we can hope for is that Trump remembers America First in the coming months. I appreciate the silence about the plans militarily but there is really nothing for us there.

David said...

The alternative is to have Trump stand in a hole. A non metaphorical hole. Not Gonna Happen.

King Abdullah is highly educated (Deerfield, Williams?, Sandhurst and Georgetown Foreign Service school). He is a sophisticated man who has had to stand on boxes before. I doubt it bothers him at all.

David said...

Earnest Prole said...
I shall call him "Mini Me"


And he shall call you 'Prole."

The Bear said...

One might want to mention that King Abdullah is also a highly-trained and combat experienced soldier who is universally respected by military personnel around the world. Badass guy, loves his Harley's, too. One of the best friends we have in the world.

Bay Area Guy said...

One side (Assad) gasses people and kills babies -- the other side is ISIS.

Hard to intervene without getting bit in the butt.

Bob Loblaw said...

King Abdullah and his father have been true allies to the U.S.

Yes, but in that he's quite different than his people. Jordanians hold some pretty extreme anti-Israel, anti-US, and pro-Islamist views, and they've been getting more strident as time goes by. At some point the Jordanian monarchy is going to have to move in that direction or risk being deposed.

Bob Loblaw said...

Hard to intervene without getting bit in the butt.

That's why we should have stayed out of it except to assist the Iraqis in driving ISIS out of Iraq. To a certain extent we're on the hook for helping them with their security after breaking their army.

mockturtle said...

I doubt it bothers him at all.

I'm sure it didn't. It's just a camera angle maneuver and not meant to ridicule his size.

mockturtle said...

King Abdullah is the most trustworthy Muslim ME leader since Anwar Sadat. Of course, we know what happened to Sadat!

Rick Turley said...

Well if he doesn't stand on a box, there's always the Pythonesque solution of Trump standing in a trench.

Big Mike said...

Jordan seemed to have flat disappeared since September 2001. Welcome back, King Abdullah!

exhelodrvr1 said...

Rick Turley,
"Scott of the Sahara"?

Inga said...

I wonder if people here have forgotten that King Abdullah is a Muslim, one of those millions of Muslims that don't want to kill you. They do exist. I noticed how Trump didn't say the words "Radical Islamic Terrorism" standing there with the King.

Bob Boyd said...

"And the King speaks English — some might say better than Trump."

Very pretty. Very pretty.
But can he tweet?

FullMoon said...

Bay Area Guy said... [hush]​[hide comment]

One side (Assad) gasses people and kills babies -- the other side is ISIS.

Hard to intervene without getting bit in the butt.


These days, I tend not to immediately immediately believe the whole gassing children, rape rooms, bombing hospitals stories.
Seems many of our interventions start with those kind of stories.

Rick Turley said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
Rick Turley,
"Scott of the Sahara"?

Just so....

https://www.google.com/search?q=scott+of+the+sahara+monty+python&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwipjJiLrI7TAhUC4CYKHbukACMQ_AUIBygC&biw=1034&bih=489&dpr=1#imgrc=XlGUKVkp9s5knM:

CWJ said...

When talking about any disconnect between the Jordanian people and their monarch, it would be wise to recall that the current monarchy was installed by the British after the Saud family defeated Abdullah's family for control of the Arabian peninsula after WW One.

Inga said...

Did the Trump Administration's stance on Assad and Trumps fondness for Putin embolden Assad to commit this chemical warfare attack? Just last week Tillerson and Haley signaled the US was no longer going to try to remove Assad. I wonder if Trump is feeling guilty?

buwaya said...

One swallow does not a summer make;

And so one good King Abdullah does not make a peaceful Muslim population.

Bob Loblaw said...

Just last week Tillerson and Haley signaled the US was no longer going to try to remove Assad. I wonder if Trump is feeling guilty?

For recognizing reality? Why would he feel guilty about that? Besides, the precedent is already set for ignoring Assad's use of chemical weapons.

Bob Loblaw said...

Perhaps he should have droned on about a red line in the sand and said "we really, really, mean it this time"?

Inga said...

Trump said somrhing like: Assad crossed many many lines, all kinds of lines and I'm not gonna tell you what I'm gonna do, but oh boy yes I'm gonna do something...bigly! Because now I see that Assad is a bad guy after all. Oh those poor little babies. Putin deceived me! The world is a mess! I will fix it.

Inga said...

Yes, I think Trump might be feeling guilty. If not, he should be. Little Marco is on to something here.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/05/politics/kfile-rubio-tillerson-syria-attack/

(CNN)Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that he doesn't think it's a coincidence that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria occurred shortly after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad could remain in power.

"In this case now, we have very limited options and look, it's concerning that the secretary of state, 72 hours ago or a week ago, last Friday, said that the future's up to the people in Syria on what happens with Assad. In essence almost nodding to the idea that Assad was gonna get to stay in some capacity," Rubio said on the show "AM Tampa Bay."
"I don't think it's a coincidence that a few days later we see this,"
Rubio concluded.

Bill said...

Abdullah may be short, but he has stature.

n.n said...

Under Affirmative Action, their heights would be equalized through an elective application of the scalpel.

Alex said...

Are Israelis favorable to Jordan these days?

Earnest Prole said...

And he shall call you 'Prole'

Yes, that's the joke now isn't it?

Sebastian said...

The king thanked the U.S. for helping with the Syrian refugees in his country and argued for more support to get them back to Syria asap. Clearly hadn't been informed by US refugee groupies of the proper PC line on refugees. Is he even a real Muslim?

Gahrie said...

Are Israelis favorable to Jordan these days?

Jordan is one of the two Arab countries to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Egypt is the other.

Luke Lea said...

Here is a better piece of reporting on why we should be sceptical about who perpetrated the chemical attack in Syria: https://goo.gl/Sb0wCQ

Luke Lea said...

Correction: reporting on the current chemical attack in Syria is here: https://goo.gl/h9sMcs

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