Yes, I believe there would be an outcry against Obama's bowing the same way before the emperor of Japan - maybe even worse as the memories of Pearl Harbor have yet to fade. Neither the king of Saudi Arabia nor the emperor of Japan, however, expect such obsequious greetings from westerners. I lived in Japan for a number of years. Westerners were never expected to imitate the complex system of bowing. A simple slight bow of the head such as Obama gave Queen Elizabeth was considered more than enough. Trying to follow the Japanese custom of bowing would very likely backfire as it is complex - the depth of the bow and the length of time the head must remain down are dependent on the status of the person to whom you are bowing as well as the situation. Westerners are far more likely to make fools of themselves than to please their hosts when they adopt customs they do not practice or understand. I am quite sure that King Abdullah, a worldly man, expected nothing more than a handshake from the President of the United States. I doubt that he would receive such groveling behavior from many of his own subjects, given the fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is divided over the issue of the monarchy with both liberals and ultra conservative Wahabbi extremists opposed to corruption within the royal family. What surprises me on this website is the willingness of expats, many of whom are surely feminists, to tolerate Obama's act of obeisance to the king of a nation that denies fundamental human rights in particular to women who are not allowed to leave their homes unaccompanied by male relatives, who may not leave the Kingdom without written consent from their closest male relative, who are prohibited from driving cars and generally denied what we in the west consider fundamental human rights. This is why I must disagree with the poster who dismisses Obama’s foolish bow as insignificant. It was an important symbol. Symbols say a lot and what that bow says is disturbing.