Originally Posted by leadarrows
One of the founding reasons there is an America is the will of it's people to never bow to anyone. Japan is only an ally to our face as your Freudian slip attest you know already. Japan was our friend in 1941 as well right up until they bombed Pearl.
Americans do not bow to our allies or our enemies so your point is meaningless. If you do not understand this simple truth....you are not one of us.
1941 was a long time ago. Japan surrendered unconditionally, and was restructured under rules laid down by America. Japan is a success story we should replicate every single time we go to war.
I'm in real estate. It's in my clients' best interest that I have a courteous, professional relationship with my competitors, as my competitors' clients may perfectly fit my clients' needs. Sure, it might impress one of my clients to make a big show about how I stand up to the other side's agent and force them to lick my boot, but the fact is that such a show is just as meaningless as exchanging simple pleasantries with that same agent. The only thing that matters is what's written in the contract, and I can get greater concessions for my client when that agent doesn't need to save face in front of his own clients.
Teddy Roosevelt's philosophy works just fine. The President of the United States commands the biggest stick on the planet, and everybody knows it. (CVN-71, USS Theodore Roosevelt is quite aptly nicknamed "Big Stick", but I digress) The president can afford to speak softly. He can afford to render courtesies to any head of state, any 2-bit dictator, anyone he wants, really. Sure, it might not look "presidential" to follow the customs and courtesies of another culture, but there's nothing inappropriate about it.
Precedent has long been set:
(that's Eisenhower bowing to Charles De Gaulle
Given our history, these next two should be considered even more galling. The revolutionary war was fought specifically so that Americans would never have to bow before the British monarch. Yet:
Ultimately, it's fine to be concerned about the personal greetings of heads of state, but the only time the president's actions would have any real significance would be if he clearly intended to be impolite toward the other party.