Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Why does Obama suck?

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 19, 2009

That’s what this article might as well be called. It’s from a site called “Suppressed News”, which should really be called “The media reports (mostly) unbiased news and I don’t like that so I put a huge bias into the news and then publish it here and call it suppressed so people feel sorry for me and read it.” But that title is too long to fit on one line.

There he goes again. The president, when he met the emperor and empress of Japan in Tokyo on Saturday gave the typical deep bow expected from subjects not peers.

According to about.com, the definitive source on Japanese etiquette, a deep bow is an appropriate sign of respect. And according to the infallible Guardian, Obama was in the right.

You would think the president would have learned his lesson when he caught such wrath for “bowing” to the King of Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

What this tells me is that he does what he and his administration think best, not just what angry and uninformed pseudo-politicians* want him to do.

American presidents do not bow to anyone. They do not bow to heads of state, monarchs, potentates, popes or any other mere mortal.

Why the hell not? The thing about foreign policy is that you have to do this little thing called “cooperate“. And that involves doing something called “compromising“. When you are completely unwilling to compromise (as some of these blatantly nationalistic pseudo-politicians* seem to be), you can only get so far. America may be the best nation in the world (well, I don’t really believe that, but let’s just say it’s true), but that doesn’t mean that we can just do whatever we want.

When President Obama bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia earlier this year the White House rushed to spin it away. They claimed that it was not a “bow” at all. The White House stated that the president was “stooping” to look the feeble king in the eye while shaking hands. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time. The pictures and the video said it all. — Obama bowed to the Saudi king.

Yeah, how terrible it is that we have a compromising president who cares more about making peace with foreign nations than about looking good. Seriously, get over it. Your president is making an attempt to solidify relations with powerful countries. If you were in charge of foreign policy, we’d probably be in the midst of nuclear war, all because you were unwilling to take the risk of maybe looking silly.

The White House’s take on the president’s latest “bow-movement” is that, while it was a bow, it was done pursuant to protocol. That is an outright lie. There is no such “protocol” for a president of the United States to bow to anyone for any reason.

I’m starting to think that this article might be a joke.

I have been to Japan numerous times with a vice president and president of the United States and never once did they bow to the emperor and nor were they told to do so.

And so if Obama does anything different, it must be terrible, right? Wrong. Obama is greatly different from Bush (the president being referred to by the author) in his foreign policy. He has much less of a “you have to do what we want, because we’re America” attitude. Obama may be moving pretty slowly right now in a lot of areas, but it can be said that his foreign policy is exceptional.

Words and deeds are ways in which foreign governments size up their friends and their enemies. Obama’s silent bow is yet another way of apologizing for America’s misperceived arrogance and superiority. Our president has found yet another way to pander and apologize without ever uttering a single word.

Is an apology really so terrible? Face it: America has not exactly been very nice to some other countries out there in the world. Maybe an apology is due. But if an apology is really the worst thing that you think is going to happen, then I don’t see what you’re all in a fuss about.

America has nothing to apologize for. We are the most generous, compassionate nation on the planet.

I just groaned aloud. Is this really the sort of person I’m dealing with? Go to Vietnam forty years ago. Ask some Vietnamese if they think we are generous and compassionate. Ask some Iraqis if we are generous and compassionate. Hell, ask the British. Get past your stupid nationalism and try actually reading some history.

We have crossed oceans to free Continents from brutal dictators.

Yeah, that’s totally why we entered Iraq (the most recent “brutal dictator”). It wasn’t because they had WMDs and were a threat to us. It wasn’t because they supposedly had a link to Al Qaeda. It wasn’t because we had previously been at war with Hussein and the administration may have had some bitter feelings. It wasn’t because we wanted the oil under their soil. No. It was because we wanted to free the Iraqi people. Because we are just that nice.

When we have fought on foreign soil we never did it to stake a claim to more land for our country. We fought for principle.

The principle of getting as much power as possible, so that we can fight off any enemy that even thinks about trying to attack us. That might be why we spend almost as much money on military than the rest of the world combined, even though we only make up 0.7% of the total expenditure on foreign aid. Our principle is not foreign aid, it is getting and keeping as much power as possible.

When the president bows to heads of state, various representatives of foreign governments or any other “leader” he sends a message that America is weak and subservient.

And you just proved my point. Wow.

Either President Obama does not understand or he does not appreciate what exactly he represents by these wrongful misplaced gestures of “respect.” Or maybe he does and he simply does not care.

Or maybe he fully understands what he is doing — he is the President after all, and has plenty of educational resources about this sort of thing — and does what his administration thinks is best for healthy foreign relations.

America at this time in world history is a great power that commands respect. We are the last best hope for a more peaceful and democratic world.

This sounds like something straight out of one of the Star Wars prequels. Or maybe from one of Hitler’s speeches. As Colin Mochrie would say, this is crap.

Our leaders do not bow out of arrogance — we do not bow because as a free and democratic nation we do not dip our flag or bow our head to any other for any reason.

At this point, I’m only quoting this stuff so my readers can laugh at it.

The fact that a president of the United States does not appreciate this most basic of all protocols is very troubling. It reminds me of his initial refusal to wear a flag pin as a candidate for president and his unwillingness to put his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem.

Why is he so ashamed of the country he now leads?

Because he sometimes apologizes and even *gasp* shows respect, that doesn’t mean he’s ashamed.

Bradley A. Blakeman is a professor of Public Policy and Politics at Georgetown University. He served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001- 04.

Hmm. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Probably not, because I don’t know what I’m thinking. But now you know: Professor Bradley A. Blakeman is a complete nutjob and should be avoided at all costs.

*I don’t exactly know what this word means, but it sure is fun to use.

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