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Monday, May 23, 2016

Obama's Hiroshima Visit

One of many photos of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the 1945 nuclear bomb

According to CNN (emphasis mine):
President Barack Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit the site of the U.S. atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima, Japan, the White House said Tuesday, a charged final-year stop meant to advance his goal of nuclear disarmament.

[...]

The White House has said the United States does not owe Japan a formal apology for using the atomic bomb in August 1945. Instead, officials say the visit will serve as a reminder the terrible destruction that nuclear weapons can inflict....
Read the rest HERE.

Also see the Reuters article Obama's Hiroshima visit looks to future amid charges of selective amnesia.

The following Letter to the Editor expresses a different opinion about Obama's visit to Hiroshima (from the Washington Post, emphases mine):
Regarding the May 11 front-page article “Obama to visit Hiroshima site”:

The poor optics of President Obama’s upcoming visit to Hiroshima, Japan, underscore the fading memory of successive generations. As decades pass, new political filters erase and attempt to rewrite the realities and suffering from Japan’s treachery in World War II. There’s a strong whiff of White House appeasement.

Be assured, the ceremonial-inclined Japanese will view the visit as an apology. It is an unsettling abandonment of the precious U.S. lives lost and risked to shield this country from ruthless Japanese belligerence. My generation cannot ignore the costs in American — and even Japanese — lives had the atomic bomb not been used to end the war. The alternative, an invasion of Japan, would have meant millions more American and Japanese casualties. Our brave actions saved millions of lives.

Also forgotten are other truths about Japan: a brutal invasion of Manchuria, the infamous rape of Nanking, the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Bataan death march, the starvation of prisoners of war, the use of Korean women as sex slaves and the unconscionable use of American prisoners of war as guinea pigs for testing biological weapons.
 
Gene Poteat, Alexandria
What is your opinion of Obama's visit to Hiroshima?

37 comments:

  1. More about Obama's visit to Asia:

    In historic move, U.S. lifts arms sales embargo to Vietnam

    HANOI, Vietnam -- The Obama administration announced Monday that the United States would fully lift a longstanding U.S. embargo on lethal arms sales to Vietnam, a decision that reflects growing concerns about China’s military clout and illustrates the warming bilateral ties between the former enemy nations.

    President Obama unveiled the new arrangement at a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang during the opening day of his first visit to the country. Obama emphasized that his decision reflected a maturing relationship and deepening cooperation on security and economic investment four decades after the end of the Vietnam War....

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  2. Merely more grist for the media drama mill. If they would spend more time substantive issues and less on meaningless optics, the electorate might actually become engaged.

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  3. Why are we giving weapons to a communist country? No doubt our latest technology? Afghanistan all over again. When will we ever learn? But then this will create jobs for America. Nothing like building military armaments. No doubt Bill gave a good speech to the manufacturers.

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    1. Lyrics:

      Oh thought it was a might mare
      Though it come so true

      They told me don't go walking slow
      The devil's on the loose

      Better run through the jungle
      Better run through the jungle
      Better run through the jungle
      Don't look back to see

      Thought I heard a rumbling
      Calling to my name

      Two hundred million guns are loaded
      Satan cries take aim

      Better run through the jungle
      Better run through the jungle
      Better run through the jungle
      Don't look back to see

      Over on the mountain Thunder magic spoke
      Let the people know my wisdom
      Fill the land with smoke

      Better run through the jungle
      Better run through the jungle
      Better run through the jungle
      Don't look back to see

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    2. Brings back those bad bad days. We knew these end months of Obama would be bad. But sticking war memories to us is over the top. And that is exactly what he is doing.

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    3. And just in time for Memorial Day, too. So many of our military perished in Vietnam!

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    4. And, regarding the topic of this blog post (Hiroshima), so many of our military died at and were tortured by the hands of our WW2 enemy Japan, which struck first at Pearl Harbor.

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  4. Vietnam and China are historic enemies. Look at where Vietnam is at on a map. It is a tiny peninsula of the Chinese sub-continent, but China has never been able to conquer it.

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  5. Can anyone explain why President Obama does anything? Can anyone discern any logic? I hate to join with the conspiracy theorists, but it seems like the principle aim of his presidency has been to troll ordinary Americans who didn't vote for him.

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    1. Silverfiddle - he does what he is told to do and says what he told to say because he's nothing more than a sock puppet.

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    2. SF,
      It DOES seem as if that is Obama's basic principle.

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    3. He does what he does because he is a sadistic B******. Now on the Japan. For those of us who lost relatives in Japan, an uncle, I never got to know, and friends in Vietnam, and dredges this up right at Memorial day. Only to dimmish us and our sacrifices.

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    4. Very sadly I have to say I think you're exactly right, Bunkerville.

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  6. As to the topic of the post. My first step father (my mom kind of went through men for a while, but they were all great people) fought in the Asian theater. In turn, he witnessed the absolute savagery of the animals that were the Japanese. When I was able to finally get him to talk about it, the horrors he told of were unthinkable (at least until ISIS came along.

    While I'm not going to go into all of that he also pointed out one important fact, having been through a few battles and wounded at Iwo Jima. He was sure in his heart the Japanese would never surrender but would in fact fight to the last man as has been stated so many times. He was also dead sure the bombing was not only needed but in fact justified for many reasons but mostly to save lives in the long run that would definitely have been lost on both sides if there was an invasion.

    Personally, Obama and his like are not only an embarrassment to this country but in fact an insult to the men and women who fought the scourge of the Japanese and the NAZIs.

    It is really quite strange how the left with it's apologists and worse refuse to even take into consideration that in many ways the Japanese were every bit as barbaric and sometimes worse than the Radical Muslims and their ISIS friends. As with that problem, this bonehead of a President refuses to face the fact of what was (or is as according to him, there is no such thing as a radical Muslim terrorist.

    Sorry folks. The only apologies owed to anyone is from the Japanese for having degenerated into heathens, not for the U.S. for stopping them in any means neccessay

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    1. Yes, Joseph. Anyone who doubts the barbaric nature of the Japanese should read The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.

      Of course ALL human beings are capable of monumental cruelty and barbarous acts. White men of and women English and European stock are no exception.

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    2. Joseph,
      I had a cousin and an uncle who served in the Pacific theater.

      My uncle was one of those tortiured on the Bataan March. He never got over what he endured and what he witnessed.

      My cousin fared better, but never slept a night through for the rest of his life.

      Both are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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    3. FT,
      Yes, all human beings are capable of horrors. But I must say that the WW2 Japanese were incredibly barbarous -- a throwback to primitive times.

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    4. I remember Slim actually shaking as he related things to me he saw and experienced. He never really wanted to discuss it but in fairness to him he he also realized I was a nut as a history buff and in turn wanted me to know the truth as he saw it.

      My second Step Father, Art actually was involved in the liberation of 2 concentration camps and again his recounting the horrors to me was gut wrenching to say the least.

      Man's inhumanity to man is and always will be something that is on one hand hard to understand but on the other hand something that unfortunately will always be with us.

      None the less, to think for one moment that we as a country should ever have to "apologize" to anyone as to actions taken against such atrocities including dropping the bomb is repugnant to me and as I said an insult to all who faought to give me what I have now

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    5. One other note here. For all the crying and moaning of the limp wrist apologists, let it never be forgotten that we, The U.S. were also the people that stood up and helped rebuild the very country that reaped havoc on us and the world, both in Japan and in Europe.

      The Bullsh.. has to stop somewhere. I have no remorse and neither should the rest of us as to the past in Japan.

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  7. AOW... the rape of Nanking, the Bataan death march and many other events of WWII rank up there with many of the atrocities of Germany and the old Soviet Union. No doubt we would all agree those events were horrific.

    But people and times change. Should a US President never visit Hiroshima? Would any visit by a sitting US president be seen as an apology?

    President Obama is not going to apologize for US actions in dropping the bomb. He may acknowledge the reality of how many died from that action, and even call for a renewed effort to make sure the world never sees these weapons used again. Just as President Reagan did several times as ne negotiated with the USSR.

    Silver hit a little on the reason behind this trip... the US is working to provide a counter balance to China.

    Realpolitik, as it used to be called.

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    1. Dave,
      I presented both viewpoints in the body of the blog post.

      I DO find the timing of Obama's visit offensive if he makes the visit close to Memorial Day.

      I am not knowledgeable about Japanese culture. Is the winter of the letter to the editor correct?

      I know one pro-America Japanese man (lives in Japan and does not hold American citizenship) who has staunchly opposed Obama's visit to Hiroshima -- except as a platform to rebuke Donald Trump.

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    2. I freely admit that I don't trust ANYTHING that Obama does. Do you?

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    3. "Would any visit by a sitting US president be seen as an apology?"

      No, of course not. ONLY with Barack Obama, the most truly anti-American president in our history with the possible exception of FDR, who either wickedly or stupidly welcomed Socialism into our economy –– maybe both.

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    4. AOW, I trust his intentions, as I have our past presidents. Call me naive if you wish, but that's just how I am. Doesn't mean they get it right though...

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    5. Dave,
      I trust his intentions.

      Why? Specifically.

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    6. It's a faith stance... If I'm a Christian, and I am, I must acknowledge that all people are made in the image of a good and loving God. So I try hard as a first response to find the good inside.

      I never said GWB was a bad man, evil, or set on destroying as many libs did. He made some terrible decisions, but in what he thought were the best interests of America.

      Is Pres Obama a good man with good intentions for America? I choose to believe so. Are his political decisions perfect for us? Nope. But I choose to believe his intent is to do good for America.

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    7. Dave,
      A faith stance?

      Yes, all humans are made in God's image. But that does not prove that ANY AND ALL politicians' intentions and goals are inherently good.

      One of my laws of history: "Never trust ANY politician."

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    8. Yeah, I can understand that. I think it leads to cynicism, but I get it.

      Two things come to mind with that. The first is doesn't it lead to a fatalism that no matter what, politicians are always suspect? As a class of people? Are none to ever be trusted?

      Secondly, and again, I get it, but many on the right have been very strong in this viewpoint since Obama took office. How come we didn't see the right standing as vociferously in the "Never trust ANY politician" camp during the Bush Admin?

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    9. Dave,
      1. Not fatalism, but wariness. Also, my approach avoids the cult of personality. God is not a respecter of persons, correct?

      2. I never sang the praises of GWB -- although I twice voted for him. In fact, I wrote him one critical letter (got a reply from a staff member, the gist of the reply being that I needed to respect Islam). I also criticized his proposed ports deal with Dubai and the truckers' highway (whatever it was called). I also criticized Laura Bush for wearing an abaya.

      PS: I've never been a member of the GOP. Always registered as an Independent.

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  8. Sell arms to the Vietnamese and make a visit to Hiroshima to keep it below the fold.

    Standard Obama technique.

    I am curious that there is such a negative reaction to the visit which acknowledges the fact that the bombs were dropped and we are now in a constructive corporate relationship with Japan.
    Just how Japan sees it, I don't know. I have watched a number of films produced after WW II and I'm struck by the different tones present.
    Except The Burmese Harp which almost states it, Japan is clearly not able to admit fault.
    So we move on.

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. I fail to see the relevance to the topic.

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    2. Ed,
      There isn't any relevance.

      I'll be taking out the trash in a minute.

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  10. And he is stopping in Vietnam on the way...maybe he's just trying to get in all the free, luxurious, ego-gratifying travel he can possibly get in?
    But, seriously, I'm not totally against the Hiroshima visit but am waiting to hear what the teleprompter tells him to say.
    Vietnam, on the same trip, smacks of something I'd rather ignore.

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