A man who instinctively knows how to be inappropriate for any occasion, President Obama flew to Japan just before America mourns her war dead. Not just Japan, but Hiroshima, one of the two cities where America used the ultimate weapon to end World War II.
[Source: The New York Times]
“The world was forever changed here, but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace,” Mr. Obama said. “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.”
In World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy were prepared to fight to the last man’s death. Japanese who lived in their homeland were prepared to fight to the last standing person, to the death. They’d been steeped in racial propaganda, believing that Americans were less than fully human. We know what they did to the Chinese and Koreans during that war.
People in Asian countries that were brutalized by imperial Japan had warned that a presidential apology at Hiroshima would be inappropriate. Mr. Obama not only did not apologize, he made clear that Japan, despite a highly advanced culture, was to blame for the war, which “grew out of the same base instinct for domination, for conquest, that had caused conflicts amongst the simplest tribes.”
Despite the fact that Obama acknowledged that Japan was not innocent, that doesn’t cover for the fact that he’s the first U.S. president to actually go to Hiroshima, and right before Memorial Day to add insult to injury. That he did it in the last year of his presidency is very, very telling.
“We have known the agony of war,” he wrote in the guest book. “Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.”
We all know that’s not going to happen–that in fact it can’t happen–because physics is objectively true, unlike Obama’s worldview. If America were, today, to destroy all our nuclear weapons, along with Russia, the U.K., China, India, Pakistan and all the other nations with that capability, someone else would develop them. That genie is forever out of the bottle.
The Japanese have no need to apologize for Pearl Harbor (2,403 Americans killed, 1,143 wounded, total 3,546 casualties), Saipan (16,612 casualties), Leyte (15,584), Iwo Jima (26,821), Okinawa (49,151). The Japanese lost the war and paid with their sovereignty for decades while America rebuilt their economy better than it ever was.
If America had invaded the Japanese home islands–an area the size of Alaska–the consensus was that even for the first landing on Kyushu, casualties could surpass a quarter of a million, with KIA and MIA rates topping 40 percent. That’s 100,000 American war dead. For the rest of “Operation Coronet,” which Truman never approved, the estimates topped out at a mind-boggling 500,000 dead, with over a million casualties.
Historian Edward Drea describes the situation: “It was as if the very invasion beaches were magnets, drawing the Japanese forces to those places where the Americans would have to land and fight their way ashore. It was also very clear in those messages that the Japanese intended to fight to the bitter end.”
Obama’s bankruptcy of moral fiber is obvious to all who possess those things called honor and virtue. C.S. Lewis referred to this bankruptcy as producing Men without Chests.
And all the time — such is the tragi-comedy of our situation — we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.
Our president’s sacrilege in despoiling an American Memorial Day in a gesture which offers no apology for Japanese barbarity yet invites us to consider ourselves morally culpable that many of us live because a half-million of our progenitors did not die invading Japan is sickening and truly bereft of virtue.
The saddest part is that we expect nothing more from this man.