He is pushing for the establishment of free trade agreements, similar to those that we have elsewhere in the world. On his first leg of the trip, the President went to Japan and met with the island nation’s new Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama.
After several meetings and press gatherings, the President swung by to see Japan’s Emperor Akihito. It was really a courtesy call. Nothing much came of the visit, nor could it have. The Japanese royal family is largely ceremonial with no official role in foreign or domestic affairs. But while he was in the neighborhood, why not do the courteous thing and stop by to say hi?
Nothing wrong with that.
But leave it to President Obama to turn it into something troubling.
Since he did not see fit to go abroad and apologize for America or make sure that terrorists know we’re willing to be friends if they just stop trying to kill us, he had to instead, bow down to the Emperor of Japan.
Now I know many of you Obama apologists will suggest it was a mere sign of respect.
That would be a convenient response but not a justifiable one. Diplomacy is both an art and a science. It is a careful dance of signals, gestures and messages combined with a rather heavy dose of traditional formality and a careful pinch of a personal touch that allows world leaders to connect on a level that is deeper than the grip and grin photo-ops afford.
All diplomatic journeys are carefully orchestrated events and many times , they are even rehearsed. For American Presidents, no where is bowing down to foreign leaders or royalty a part of that rehearsal. The symbolic importance of a formal, public bow doesn’t usually go unnoticed by Presidents. That is why they refrain from doing it. Foreign heads of states accept and understand that.
As for respect, Apparently the President does not understand that the mere fact that the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, personally traveling to Japan and acknowledged their role in the world is itself a respectful. He seemingly also does not comprehend the additional fact that the scheduling of a visit from the leader of the most powerful nation in the world to stop by and say hello to the Japanese royal family, rather than just ignore, them, was also a show of respect.
Unlike the President and his liberal admirers, the sight of my American President, bowing to the son of Hirohito, is actually quite sad and highly disrespectful, especially to all the veterans of World War II who have given more for their country than this or many other Presidents have.
Perhaps I have more respect and reverence for the office of the presidency than some do. Maybe even more than the current President does? I understand that President Obama is no longer just some citizen of the United States. I realize that he represents all citizens of the United States. I understand that he is the leader and representative of the nation that has done more and sacrificed more for freedom than many or any combination of nation’s on the face of the earth. This understanding allows me to realize that the President of the United States does not bow down to anyone or anything other than the alter of democracy of which our nation is the King of Kings.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that the President’s bowing down to the Emperor of Japan won’t prevent the terrorists that he wants to try in a New York civilian court, from having a national stage to deliver their message from. I realize it won’t get the above 10 percent unemployment rate down any lower. His bowing wont change the price of tea in China…….at least I don’t think so? I know that this is not a life altering incident. But the symbolic importance of his almost knee jerk reaction to bowing down to foreign leaders every time he jets out of the country is becoming embarrassing and the symbolism in it is degrading to the American presence on the world stage. Defenders of the President will charge that symbolism is not important and that it doesn’t really matter. To them I find myself asking, if symbolism is not important than why is President Obama bowing down to Muslim royalty, Saudi princes and Japanese Emperors? A bow is merely nothing more than a symbolic gesture of respect, but it is symbolic. So if symbolism doesn’t matter, why would this President go out of his way to break normal diplomatic conduct and bow down to foreign leaders?
President Obama’s bowing problem may not be quite as bad as President George H. W. Bush was on one trip to Japan on January 8th of 1992. During a state dinner, he took ill and started feeling faint. He soon began to pass out and proceeded to vomit into the lap of Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa.
That was pretty bad. But that was an accident. What President Obama is doing is no accident. He goes to Europe and apologizes for America. He goes to Japan and bows to the son of the man who helped lead a World War against us. He goes to the Middle East and tells the enemy we want to be friends with them and bows to Saudi Princes.
Personally, I’d rather have my President throw up on a few particularly troubling despots than bow down to all of them.
The President’s habit of bowing has helped me though.
As the holiday’s approach I have been wondering what in the world I could get our great leader. Well now I got it. It’s both patriotic and practical. This year I am getting the President a diplomatic tool that will help us save face and help him act presidential. It’s a metal rod with instructions that explain to the White House Diplomatic Corps how it is to be used. Before the President visit’s foreign dignitaries, they are to stuff the rod down the back of his his pants and duct tape his body around it, thereby making it impossible for the President to bend anything but his neck.
Even President’s could use a good stocking stuffer and this one, I hope really stuffs it.