Unapologetic State of U.S. International Affairs: What Else Is New?
In 70.5 years that have passed since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. Air Force, Washington has not apologized to the Japanese people for horrific civilian casualties of at least 300,000. And now the U.S. President Barack Obama is taking time off his precious golf course to visit Hiroshima, of all places? He picked the most painful place on Earth to visit before his presidency expires next year, and it’s not the first time he does that. Remember him going to Cuba earlier this year and how humiliating that trip was for him? Let’s just hope that Japanese collective memory is just as good as Cuban.
While people who American Military have wronged in the past 70 years are still alive, an apology for numerous atrocities would be nice to hear, but as George H. W. Bush have stated back in 1988 as a Vice-President of the U.S., “I’ll never apologize for the United States – I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.” Who is? Obama is probably not that kind either. And yet, here he goes – visiting Hiroshima next week…
The upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama to Hiroshima may be used by Washington as a PR (Public Relations) mission to demonstrate friendship between the only country in the history of the world that had used nuclear weapons in combat and its unfortunate victim. However, the United States have been ignoring the protests of Japanese population against the presence of U.S. military bases on Japanese soil for decades, so Obama’s good intentions may fall on deaf ears, at least in Japan. Unless he does this PR trick to show off in front of the whole world, going to Japan without plans to apologize for the use of nuclear weapons against their country is not worth getting away from his favorite golf course…
Let’s forget Obama for a second and see if any regular Americans would be willing to apologize to Japanese for the war ending with nuclear blasts and huge loss of life? After all, as ABC News article states, “about 180,000 people recognized by the government as survivors are still alive. Many have remained unmarried and without children because of concerns about birth defects, or have suffered from cancer and other radiation-induced illnesses.” In my book, human suffering from a nuclear blast is worse than from the Pearl Harbor’s bombing, not to mention that civilians were the primary targets in bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and not the Japanese Military.
And yet, after interviewing a few of otherwise kind American men who seem to know what nuclear physics is all about, I’ve heard the same story again and again. Apparently, “it was necessary to bomb the hell out of Japan to spare hundreds of thousands of American soldiers’ lives that would be lost if America were to engage in combat on Japanese soil.” As “USA Today” reported in its cliché editorial, “American veterans and historians say that the attacks hastened the end of the war and saved thousands, if not millions, of additional lives.” However, what many of you may not know, on the same day the second nuclear bomb was dropped on Japanese city of Nagasaki (on August 9, 1945), the Soviet Army began a massive land operation on Japanese military installations (note: not civilians!), overwhelming Japanese forces in Manchuria, and so the losses of Japanese military to the Russians between August 9 and August 27 of 1945 were the real reason for Japanese surrendering to the Allied Forces. Therefore, the desire to stop the WWII faster is probably not the real reason behind America’s use of its first two nuclear bombs. I bet it was a show off for the Soviets to hint who’s the boss now that U.S. have created its first nuclear weapons (with the help of defected Nazi scientists, I must add)… Nevertheless, the bogus explanation of “saving American lives” is what is being taught as justification for the use of nuclear weapons to all students in American schools and universities, and the role of Soviet Army in winning of the WWII is being unfairly diminished.
What’s more interesting, though, is that Japanese history books have also fell under U.S. “magic spell” because younger population of Japan is now being taught that the “Allied Forces” of WWII bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and so many automatically assume that Soviet Army did it, with no questions asked. It’s unfair to the Russians, but lucky for Americans, isn’t it? And Japan is now such a good friend to the U.S. that this huge lie is making my skin crawl!
But what if Obama’s visit to Hiroshima is simply another attempt to justify the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him back in 2009? Does anyone care for his Peace Prize by now after his administration has bombed seven countries in the last 7.5 years? If he wasn’t impeached for his disrespect to the American ideals and worldwide war crimes, who would want his Peace Prize back? Remember, Barack Obama’s recent trip to Havana that was promoted as a breakthrough in Cuban-American relations has actually brought no real results. Chances are, his Hiroshima trip will be no better.
Author: Melinda White