[podcast]https://blastmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/podcasts/Your World in Focus 5 Bowing and Settlements.mp3[/podcast]

I’m very proud to be a citizen of both Canada and the United States. I’m even prouder to call myself an American, even though I haven’t lived there in years. I’ll be back in the States in less then two years and I’m very excited.

But sometimes certain factions of the American population really anger me.

This time, unsurprisingly, it’s a few of the more conservative “pundits” and those who share their views.

Here’s why: Obama took some flack today from those conservative voices for bowing to the Emperor of Japan. Seriously.

He bowed to an EMPEROR. Apparently that’s a problem. Here’s a quote from a conservative who spoke on Fox News: “..it’s not appropriate for an American president to bow to a foreign one.”

Now, a conservative voice on CNN: “It’s ugly. I don’t want to see it…We don’t defer to emperors. We don’t defer to kings or emperors. The president of the United States — this coupled with so many apologies from the United States — is just another thing.” Apparently the U.S. president is King of the WORLD.

We actually still owe Japan an apology for nuking them. That deserves an apology. We’re assholes for doing that. No excuses for nuking.

Conservatives are comparing Obama’s bow to the last U.S. visit to Japan. Cheney was the last to go and he didn’t bow, he just shook Emperor Akihito’s hand.

First of all, how conservatives think using Cheney as an example of what TO do makes no sense. The man is the embodiment of Satan.

Second, how arrogant can you be? How can anyone think it wrong to adapt to a people’s reasonable customs? It was a sign of RESPECT. It does NOT symbolize apathy or a flaky attitude. It does NOT symbolize the U.S. being weak or too apologetic.

The only negative of Obama bowing is the reaction it got. And that’s not Obama’s fault. It’s not his fault that some of his countrymen are idiotic and arrogant.

I sincerely believe the majority of Americans are humble and not arrogant. So, World, don’t think us as such.

I’m glad Obama bowed and I hope he does it whenever appropriate.

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at http://sachinseth.com or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

20 Responses

  1. Butch

    Amen. I couldn’t have said it any better. Sign of respect is not sign of weakness. Conservatives can be idiots sometimes.

    • conservative

      that’s a stereotype..i’m conservative and i don’t find the bow an issue.if i said liberals aren’t patriotic would you think that would be stereotypical?
      or if black people aren’t patriotic? or if white people are dumb? and any of those stereotypes? because i’m pretty sure that they all are, including yours.bringing in stereotypes and random hate doesn’t help the situation…staying factual is for the best.

      • paul

        you guys cant read between the lines obama is the weakest pres in a long time just shake hands … wait for the defineing moment when they find one of these 9/11 guys not guilty rember la riots to many people affected by 9/11 1 guy in la things that make u go ummm..

      • vee

        not gonna take what you say too seriously because you can’t even spell defining correctly

      • Bee

        Why do you guys think he is a weak President? He is not. There is nothing
        wrong with the President bowing to someone who is much older than he is. Plus
        he was simply respecting the culture. By the way Americans in general should
        learn to respect other peoples cultures. President Obama is one of the most intelligent U.S Presidents in history. I feel sorry for Republicans who take every slight thing Obama does to make it look like a big thing. This only goes to show how arrogant and disrespectfu Americans are.

  2. MDF

    The issue is that one head of state does not bow to another head of state. Obama was misinformed — which is frankly bizarre, given that he should have learned this lesson after that thing with the Saudi king.

  3. Jen

    This nation was created out of the bloody rejection of a king who claimed the us as his subjects. We fought to rule ourselves. That is why our presidents do not bow to monarchs. That is why we do not dip our flag to foreign heads of state; not even in Olympic processions.

    Obama’s insistence in violating accepted and expected protocol even after the flack he received with that Abdullah bow makes me wonder if he truly understand what it means to be the President of the United States of America, or even just to be an American.

  4. Matt

    It is not because he bowed that should be criticized, it is the kind of bow. I am not Japanese but grew up in Japan and bowing is a sign of respect shown by the person bowing to the person being bowed to, however, there is a right way and a wrong way. Obama apparently was not properly given the correct information for proper protocol. He should not have bowed very low as in his case — doing so showed himself being subservient to the Emperor, he is not, he is not even Japanese and he is a Head of State. He should have bowed only slightly. In the manner that he did, he may have embarrassed the Emperor. Showing too much subservience can also be taken as an insult. This American president is certainly ignorant of Japanese customs, and I am sad to say that he may not be the intelligent person most Americans perceive him to be. Little by little the truth about Obama is coming out — a “dumbo”.

  5. DnrNDrt

    Bowing while trying to shake hands in Japan demonstrates either a lack of understanding of the proper protocol, or a serious immaturity. Bowing too deeply to a peer (heads of state) is viewed as flippant and insulting. Respect is demonstrated in Japan by a carefully practiced and dignified bow of the appropriate depth and length. President Obama’s bow is not even close to correct on either of those points! So, either his protocol advisors should be fired, or President Obama did it intentionally for some reason unknown to the rest of us. Either way it was wrong!

    President Obama was either very misguided (very unlikely), or intentionally disrespectful to the Emperor of Japan for his own self serving purpose. Either brings disgrace on the office of the President and the people he represents.

  6. Arbit Rabbit

    I personally don’t find anything wrong with the bow for the following reasons:

    – In Japanese culture, bow is a sign of respect, not weakness. So all you have done is to show respect for their culture. This will only endear Obama to people of Japan. “Why do we care about what Japanese people think?”, you ask, which brings me to my second point
    – On the negotiation table, it is much easier for Japanese government to yield to someone liked by their people on small points than someone who is utterly disliked and any concession would be seen as treachery by the Japanese people
    – And lastly, personal rapport matters a lot in negotiations, be it in government or the business world. If a small gesture can establish that rapport, then why not?

  7. Alfred Cossi Chodaton

    Obama, as a man who has african roots, understands quite well the tradition relating to bowing. This bowing is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it is the sign America, which culturally is a diversified country , can adapt to other poeple’s traditions.

    I think such a message should and can make a difference in the way America has been viewed accross the world as an arrogant superpower. America has more to gain by promoting respect and cooperation among Nations, whatever their differences may be.

  8. ty urus

    George Washington would never have bowed to any member of any form of royalty. In fact as president he did not even shake hands with anyone. Anyone.

    The writer is seriously deficient in his knowledge of how and from what types we won our freedom from. This is not a farting elephant or jackass issue. This is an AMERICAN issue. Americans do not bow to kings queens and emperors.

    We did not choose to nuke Japan. The Japanese character of the time forced us to. Consider how tenaciously they fought. How many of them surrendered in Iwo Jima? They committed suicide rather than live a life after the war.

    The Japanese emperor owes his people an apology for letting a handful of lunatic generals and admirals lead them into a war they had no possibility of ever wining.

    If someone is going to write these things then they should approach from reality rather than from the left wiev versus the right view. By now we all should be aware that both views suck and we are effing stuck with dingbats running our lives into the ground.


    ty urus

  9. Gary

    If everyone thinks Obama should respect the traditions and cultures of other nations then let’s send him to Iran and let him stone a woman to death because she was accused of infidelity. That’s part of their culture and their tradition.

  10. Matt

    Most of the people here who commented that Obama’s bow was something to be praised are so naive and ignorant of Japanese customs! They share the same traits as Obama’s protocol people. Kyodo news did not choose to print the Obama bow photo as most Japanese are actually embarrassed, choosing instead the photo of Obama greeting the Empress.

  11. Chicago Translation

    In another site, I saw these photos taken just three years ago up to present, compiled by students, leaders from different countries greeting the emperor with a handshake and none of them bowed as low as what Pres. Obama did. Bowing is a nice gesture of respect but I don’t think presidents should bow to anyone.. oh well, that’s just my opinion…

  12. Cynicalastheycome

    There’s nothing wrong with respect, if done properly and sincere. The President should have been coached on the accepted protocol. Even Debra Kerr refused to bow lower than Yul Brynner in “The King And I”. What’s wrong with a handshake and a nod? Meanwhile, it seems he’s intent on alienating us from some of our staunchest allies, namely the UK and Isreal. And yet he, as the CinC, could not see himself either saluting or placing his hand on his heart during the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National cemetery. To me, and the majority of Americans, that was an insult to our honored dead. Respect starts at home.

  13. josh jones

    The critics only make the president better. You only stop learning when you die.

  14. Tana

    well, what is wrong with showing respect for another, especially if you are in another country with intent of peace? bowing is the tradition when meeting important people. that said, he should have just slightly tilted his head as bowing too much can mean the other is superior.

    however, in japan, bowing IS the custom. lets say for eg: country A’s way of recognising an important person is a light slap to the face. what if obama visits this country A and completes this recognition? it may seem bad to the world, but in fact it may mean no evil intent.


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