Saturday, November 14, 2009


I know Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck will trash him next week for this... but dammit, look at this picture of our president.

Who-da-hell told Barack Obama that he, as President of the United States, should ever bow down to a foreigner?

I don’t like this, y’all. Makes Obama look chumpish. (And I had already started wondering whether he’s a lightweight.)

I’ve only spent a little time in New Orleans, but I can tell you... a Mardi Gras Indian wouldn’t bow down to the Emperor of Japan. Nor to anyone else. (If you don’t understand what I mean, listen to this.)

Who is Obama gonna bow down to next? Ice Cube?


Anonymous said...

I love it! I don't think it's a sign of weakness at all, more of a sign of respect!

'Drea said...

I think Obama does try to be aware and respectful of other cultures.

I feel like so many are trying to suss out what they perceive as *punkness* or *sissiness* in the president but those are not characteristics that I associate with Obama.

I still find him rather evolved and appreciate this quality over troglodytic behavior.

Undercover Black Man said...

MBLS, welcome. Thanks for commenting.

Have you ever seen a photo of a white president bowing down to some foreign leader?

Jeff Vaca said...

American Presidents shouldn't bow down to royalty, period. I don't know who is advising him on protocol, but they're doing a terrible job.

jayesel said...

It's called being culturally sensitive. There is always the option of being and insensitive and unknowledgeable Republican if one wants. Obama did the right thing. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

The Emperor of Japan is a ceremonial head of state and a religious figurehead of sorts. Obama's bowing is, to my mind, a sign of respect for the Japanese culture, not a show of subservience to a 'foreign leader'.


Jeff Vaca said...

Well, I'm not a Republican, and you'll just have to take my word for it that I'm not unknowledgeable. I also like to think that I'm culturally sensitive. And I voted for Obama. I still think the bowing is a bad trend.

Undercover Black Man said...

jayesel, I appreciate your comments, dude. But I hope you'll have more to contribute in the future than "Get over it."

bklyn6 said...

I think Obama does try to be aware and respectful of other cultures.... I still find him rather evolved and appreciate this quality over troglodytic behavior.

Word, 'Drea.

Heck. He was born in Hawaii, lived in Indonesia and has Kenyan roots. He pronounces "Pakistan" "PAHK-istan" and thinks it's okay for Americans to learn a foreign language. Seems like his multi-culti upbringing has a little something to do with this.

Have you ever seen a photo of a white president bowing down to some foreign leader?

Of course not. When you think you're the king of the world, you don't have to.

Sally said...

Dave, don't lose faith in the president so quickly i.e., he's no lightweight, far from it. As far as the bowing, it is my understanding that a bow in Asian cultures is considered a sign of respect to the person's soul. After the last 8 disastrous years of a president who seemingly had no respect for any differences, I think we're ready for a president who's cognizant of cultural norms and respectful of them.

Undercover Black Man said...

... he's no lightweight, far from it.

What had gotten me wondering, Sally, was all the leaks concerning Afghanistan in the last couple of weeks.

Every other day, there was a different headline in the news, each one contradicting the last. Obama's gonna send 35,000 more troops... Obama leaning towards a compromise of 20,000 new troops... Obama rejects all proposals, tells the Army to give him an exit strategy...

The White House has sprung a hundred leaks, and it's making the president look bad. And Obama (or his chief of staff) should know all these leaks make him look bad (i.e., like a "ditherer") and should plug 'em up.

Of course, if Obama's a lightweight, then people are gonna continue to tell tales out of school... without fear of consequences.

Undercover Black Man said...

By the way... how deeply did Obama bow to the Queen of England?

Those of you unbothered by the idea of a black president bowing to and Asian or an Arab... how'd you feel about a black president bowing to a white man?

Anonymous said...

Interesting question UBM!

I think it'd be unthinkable for an American President (white or black) to bow to the Queen of England.

In fact, I don't think national leaders (of any nationality) bow for other national leaders or for foreign royalty. Ever.

The Japanese Emperor is in a class of his own. From Wikipedia: "Unlike most constitutional monarchies, the Emperor is not even the nominal chief executive."

The Queen of England has no real political power but she IS a nominal chief executive. For example, laws don't take effect until she has signed them. She also represents Britain on foreign ground etc. She symbolizes the State.

On the other hand, the Japanese Emperor is purely a local institution, cultural and religious in nature.


maria said...

i think maybe he only bows when he's in their country? that it is a custom that surely he would have been briefed on?

i understand your feeling about his position on afghanistan. but those were not leaks (maybe mychrystal in london was).

they're trial ballons.

and while i hope he does not send more troops. i have been impressed with the fact that so far he has actually REJECTED all the proposals that everyone has given him, and in a very public way.

he has flat out said i need time to study this, i want to hear from lots of people, clarify the goal then give me a plan to get the hell out of there.

i find no fault with that whatsoever. far cry from the actions of the last guy who sat in his chair.

he is keenly aware of the weight of this war and this decision. his behavior has demonstrated that.

Undercover Black Man said...

i have been impressed with the fact that so far he has actually REJECTED all the proposals that everyone has given him, and in a very public way.

We don't know that, maria. That is a leak. A leak to the Associated Press last week. To wit:

"At the war council meeting, Obama asked for changes in the four options he was given..., according to another official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Obama's thinking."

A day or two before, someone had leaked that Obama was planning to send 35,000. We don't know what the hell is going on behind closed doors.

maria said...

ok, i stand corrected on the leaks, but who really knows who is behind them? of COURSE they would deny being part of a leak, but it's done all the time.

i assume that discussions are going on. do we need to know more? he said, i'm not done. i do hope they will lay out the options in public, but we're not going to get a vote on what he does.

White House: No Decision on More Afghanistan Troops Yet »

The White House continues to knock down reports President Obama has made a decision on Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request that 40,000 more troops be deployed in Afghanistan.

“Reports that President Obama has made a decision about Afghanistan are absolutely false. He has not received final options for his consideration, he has not reviewed those options with his national security team, and he has not made any decisions about resources. Any reports to the contrary are completely untrue and come from uninformed sources,” said retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones, the White House national security adviser.

The leaks in question enraged White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who had discussions today with Pentagon officials about the reports.

The statement by Gen. Jones came just hours after White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced that Obama will convene his war council on Wednesday for further consultations before making his decision. It’s the eighth such meeting Obama has presided over as he weighs his options for Afghanistan.

November 13, 2009
Gates Condemns Leaks on U.S. Afghan Policy and Ft. Hood

OSHKOSH, Wis. — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is normally a mild-mannered man, at least in public, but he unleashed a torrent on Thursday about leaks during the investigation of the Foot Hood shootings and during President Obama’s deliberations on sending more American troops to Afghanistan.

First, on the president’s meetings on Afghanistan: “I have been appalled by the amount of leaking that has been going on in this process,” Mr. Gates told reporters on his plane en route to a Wisconsin factory that is churning out thousands of armored trucks for use by American troops in Afghanistan. He added that he thought “a lot of different places are leaking” and that he was “confident that the Department of Defense is one of them.”

Then he made a threat: “And frankly if I found out with high confidence anybody who was leaking in the Department of Defense, who that was, that would probably be a career ender.”

The defense secretary moved on to the investigation of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who was charged in the deaths of 13 people on Nov. 5 at Fort Hood, Tex., and what Mr. Gates called “unconscionable” leaks from “everybody out there with their own little piece of the action.”

Then he concluded, “Everybody ought to just shut up.”

Undercover Black Man said...

I predict two new widely disseminated but contradictory leaks by the middle of this week...

One saying Obama leans toward sending many more troops.

Another saying Obama leans toward sending half that many more troops.

Undercover Black Man said...

Donna Brazile on CNN just a minute ago: "I hope the president tries to crack down on the number of leaks."

I agree. The leaks are making him look chumpish.

Anonymous said...


I think pic #2 is photoshopped to make it appear that Obama is bowing deeply to either Nicolas Sarkozy or to the Saudi(?) guy on the right.

Look at the eyelines of the five men in the little circle. They're all focusing on the same point (Obama too).

What Obama exactly is doing is not clear.

Offhand I'd say he was signing something or writing something but that can't be the case because he's left handed apparently.

The suspect area is the strange blackness on Obama's right -- obscuring something -- and his right arm which has been crudely photoshopped (elbow).

Where does this photo come from?


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you about the leaks, but in Japan, bowing is form of greeting more than a sign of respect, like a handshake. I would indeed feel weird to see him bowing to, say, Sarkozy or Berlusconi, but that's because it's not a part of french or italian folklore.


Anonymous said...

... what I mean to say:

Obama is clearly bending over something, one leg in front of the other, not bowing to someone.


estiv said...

On the leaks, I think you're missing something. It seems like you're saying that the leaks represent conflicting views within the White House, but it's just as likely that some of those leaks are coming from people like McChrystal, who is definitely not in the White House. A "leak war" between opposing factions in different bureaucracies isn't that uncommon. The first leaks might have come from people like McChrystal, trying to box Obama in by planting the idea that conventional wisdom has already established that 35,000 troops are needed. The second set of leaks would then come from the White House, saying that no decision had been reached. But this second set of leaks would have another purpose: to show the first set of leakers that the WH team was on to what they were doing, and willing to oppose them. No offense, I know that you worked as a journalist in DC and have on-the-ground experience with such things, but I think that you may be underestimating Obama's skills as a political tactician.

Lynda V. said...

When was the last time we saw a white president bowing down to some foreign leader??? Have you forgotten (or have you not seen) the pictures of Bush the Second holding hands with that Saudi dude?

Gimme a break !!!

Show some love to Obama, please !

Anonymous said...

jeff said,
".... I still think the bowing is a bad trend....."
- - - - -
It's not a "TREND" it's a respect for the culture. You know that thing people in the US no nothing about. *SMH*
I bet you would want them all to speak "American".

maria said...

david, i believe you prediction will have come true by the end of the talk show circuit today!

Undercover Black Man said...

how some love to Obama, please !

We don't owe him love, Lynda V. That's an emotional holdover from the campaign. The election's over. We put our trust in the man.

Now it's about what Obama owes to the job... to the nation... and to us.

Undercover Black Man said...

Have you forgotten (or have you not seen) the pictures of Bush the Second holding hands with that Saudi dude?

That's about personal friendship, Lynda. The Bush family and the Saudi royal family been tight for years.

It wasn't about Bush, as president, making an official gesture to a foreign potentate.

Undercover Black Man said...

I think pic #2 is photoshopped to make it appear that Obama is bowing deeply...

Let's go to the videotape, Anna... BAM!

9thWardChick said...

I agree those who have posted maybe he is bowing as a sign of respect. I think there is a perception of strength (and what defines it especially in terms of maleness) in many things that are not strong at all. I rather have a President who bows as respect but is able to still show strength when needed. I am comfortable with the strength that President Obama has shown thus far instead of acting strong and then displaying nothing but weakness especially when making decisions regarding war (i.e. former President Bush).

bklyn6 said...

Thanks for the videotape, UBM. I don't have a degree in digital forensics, but I still didn't think that was photoshopped.

eclectique916 said...

Someone explained to me that in Japan you always try to one-up by seeing who can bow the deepest out of respect. Have you seen business men do the see saw on this? It can be quite amusing. The younger also bows lower than the elder. The shaking of hands breaks the bow protocol, but apparently it's tolerated or expected from Westerners. I need to take out my Emily Post.

As for the British monarchy, the protocol is only "subjects" of the sovereign are expected to bow. The U.S. is no longer a colony and its citizens are not subjects, so there’s no bowing by anyone high or low before the crown of the UK.

Where’s that photo of the lady in South East DC who gave the queen a hug? Michelle did not curtsy which was correct. But I’m not sure about the President in the clip. Could be the polite nod even though it resembles the polite bow. Sometimes I find myself nodding when I greet people in certain social settings. Kind of a knee jerk thing. I’m sure “the birthers” will say it’s because of his Kenyan up-bringing.

Anonymous said...

UBM spends a lot of his time reading hate websites and right-wing news organizations. They have infected his thinking. Any time they criticize Obama, UBM's first thought is "maybe they're right?"

Maybe Obama is hell bent on making the notion that "a president shouldn't bow to a foreign leader" into an absurdity.

See, Obama, being the head of the most powerful country in the world, can bow to anyone he damn well pleases. It's only second-place nations that specially have a chip on their shoulder about stuff like that.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I don't know about "hell bent," but he certainly is bent... damn near in half!

I. Don't. Like. It.

dx said...

"I don't know about "hell bent," but he certainly is bent... damn near in half!"


thats some funny s**t!!!

Undercover Black Man said...

UBM spends a lot of his time reading hate websites and right-wing news organizations. They have infected his thinking.

By the way, here's what my old nemesis Lawrence Auster says about it:

"Anyone who claims not to see what [the bow] signifies -- the deliberate abasement of the United States by its president, the submission of the West to the non-West -- is blind or lying."

Anonymous said...

Googling "obama bows down to saudi king" turns up I don't know how many thousands of results -- I'd never heard about this before!

This is the most awkward bow I have ever seen in my life -- what's this about extending your hand, suddenly diving like a loon and placing your other hand on your knee?

If Obama is going to make a habit of bowing to foreign dignitaries he really needs to work on his style :)


Smile said...

Then why didn't he bow, and where was the curtsy by Mrs O, while meeting the Q of E?

So it can't be just a matter of showing respect or careful observance while visiting.

So, what is it? I'm not hearing any cred in this area.

Smile said...

Perhaps he just likes bending over which seems the more plausible so far...still, don't like it. It seems...over done.

Maybe someone needs a fork.

Smile said...

Maybe it's perception. The WH said it was an adjustment to height difference.

They both tower over the Q of E.

They need glasses and perhaps have a astigmatism that comes and goes (shrugs).

Anonymous said...

BekkaPoo said...

"Have you ever seen a photo of a white president bowing down to some foreign leader?"

Eisenhower bows to DeGaulle:

Nixon to Japanese Emperor (sorry don't have his name - Akihito maybe?):

Shrub 2 to Pope:

Anonymous said...

You should rename the site FOR THOSE IN DENIAL.

Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead ...

Last I heard it's government of, by and for the people.....

But I guess the NEA took that out of the curriculum.

I think Obama/Barry is a very accurate representation of the "majority" of Americans.

A fraud and a sap, out to screw others out of as much as they can. No morals, no conscious, no integrity, of poor character, a sell out destroying America for a quick buck.

Anonymous said...

The comments section is discrediting your gut reaction. And so are your responses, particularly the one about how one would feel about a black president bowing to a white man. You are reaching now.

That's actually the dumbest argument I've heard on why Obama shouldn't bow. No offense.

I'll just substitute your false analogy with another completely irrelevant point: you and Fox News share the same opinion on this.

He was just being culturally sensitive. Get over it.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ "Get over it"??

Motherfucker, this was two weeks ago, and you're the only one still talking about it.