The White House assured us last week that President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima would not be an apology photo-op.
They lied. On Friday, President Obama said America’s use of the A-bomb to end the threat of Japanese fascism sprang from American desire for conquest, suggested that America had ushered in an age of “atomic warfare,” and said that we could achieve a “world without nuclear weapons” if only we clapped for Tinkerbell. This came shortly after his visit to Vietnam, where his White House announced that America would start selling weapons to the communist dictatorship.
Yes, our president is a total disgrace.
“Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself,” Obama said. This ignored the fact that mankind had in fact nearly destroyed itself over the previous three decades in two world wars, and that the Soviet Union and China would murder well over 100 million people using non-nuclear means. But the point of Obama’s speech was that the technology of atomic weaponry itself was uniquely evil.
Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner. Their souls speak to us. They ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.
In case you were wondering, at no point did Obama mention Pearl Harbor and the dead there, or the more than 100,000 Americans who lost their lives in the Pacific theater, or the half-million to one million Americans who would have had to sacrifice themselves to storm the island of Japan using conventional means. As Noah Rothman tweets this morning, veterans were overjoyed at the use of the A-bomb, knowing it ended the war and meant they would live to see their children.
Obama noted that war is not unique in human history; he even went full moral relativist with regard to World War II itself: “the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.”
This is disgusting. If you can’t spot the bad guys and the good guys in World War II, of all conflicts, you’re on the side of a valueless nihilism that allows the possibility of future world wars – after all, you can’t take a strong stand against evil if it doesn’t exist. Japan was wrong. America was right. Germany was wrong. America was right. End of story.
But Obama continued his relativistic reverie:
How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause. Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill.
Some religions are worse than others. Some ideologies are worse than others. But not according to Obama. We’re all equal in sin, according to the President of the United States – and the only solution is to destroy American nationalism, and replace it with some sort of Obama-created philosophy of peace: The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well. That is why we come to this place….we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.
Here’s an answer: take pre-emptive action to stop tyrannically fascist states from starting wars and then vowing to fight them to the last man. But Obama forbids that solution expressly:
We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe. We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics.
Obama is doing none of those things, because to deprive some nations of nuclear weapons while leaving moral nations with them would violate his code of moral equivalence. That’s why Iran will go nuclear within the next decade, why North Korea has gone nuclear, why rogue states around the world are rushing, in the absence of American power and influence, to arm up.
Obama doesn’t want realism. He wants the remaking of the world in his personal image. He wants humanity itself changed:
We must change our mind-set about war itself….we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race. For this, too, is what makes our species unique. We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted…. Those who died, they are like us. Ordinary people understand this, I think. They do not want more war. They would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life and not eliminating it. When the choices made by nations, when the choices made by leaders, reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of Hiroshima is done.
Hiroshima was not a “mistake.” It was a wartime decision. Pearl Harbor wasn’t a “mistake.” It was an attack driven by an aggressive and imperialistic Japanese policy that also resulted in the invasion of China and the murder of 100,000 civilians there.
But Obama thinks that the way to stop war is to kill ideology altogether, not to support and strengthen proper ideologies. This is John Lennon’s Imagine on crack. And in practice, it’s meant the death of hundreds of thousands of people as Obama has pulled out of Iraq, sinking the region into total war up to and including the use of chemical weapons; the murder of thousands in Ukraine, as Obama has left the field clear for Vladimir Putin; the strengthening of the Iranian and North Korean terror regimes. Obama’s foreign policy leads to Hiroshima faster than Ronald Reagan’s peace through strength.
Obama continued, “The world was forever changed here, but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace.” Neglecting to mention that Japanese children were living in peace thanks precisely to the use of the A-bomb he was decrying, Obama concluded, “What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child. That is a future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”
As Jim Geraghty correctly notes at National Review, “Hiroshima and Nagasake weren’t the dawn of atomic warfare. Nobody’s used an atomic or nuclear weapon since then…How many people would have bet in 1945 that no nuclear weapons would be used in war in the next seventy years?” Also worth noting: as Max Roser shows, war deaths have declined markedly since the advent of nuclear weapons and interstate-conflict war deaths have declined most dramatically, largely because everybody knows that if things go too far, someone will push the button. According to Milton Leitenberg of Cornell University, there were somewhere between 136.5 and 148.5 million war deaths during the 20thcentury. “Only” 41 million of those came after 1945.
But Obama can’t acknowledge facts or history – they undercut his basic argument, which is that peace can only be achieved by unilateral surrender of American patriotism and by the rise of a borderless, nationless, valueless world.
Hiroshima happened because the world slept as fascism rose; Obama wishes to sleep on evil again (or worse, forward it), hoping that national narcolepsy becomes contagious internationally, and we share the same peaceful dreams. We don’t. If we go to sleep again, our enemies will use that reverie to rise. But Americans increasingly believe in Obamaism – more Americans now think using the A-bomb was wrong than right. The result will be more Hiroshimas after 70 years of nuclear peace.