President Obama has turned apologizing for American exceptionalism into an art form. He will not rest until he has atoned for all of America’s sins—real or made up. Last week in Japan he seemed to say that former president, Harry S. Truman (the first head of state to recognize Israel) was an evil, murderer. Well, he didn’t use those words, but he didn’t need to.
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.
Of course he was not referring to Pearl Harbor, but to the United States dropping the first atomic bomb on a city, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths.
He went on to compare the Japanese and Germans as moral equivalents of the British and Americans; something that leftwing ideologues often do when comparing democratic Israel and the Hamas terorists.
The world war that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet 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.
In addition to saying, see, it is not just Islamists who commit acts of barbarianism, he is saying that the Japanese acts of War against the U.S. and China and the German acts of war and genocide are morally equivalent to the forces that stopped them. In the same way he seems to always point to the Crusades to rebuke us for concluding that Mohammedism is a gruesome philosophy of murder and domination, he fails to remember that Japan was the aggressor and we merely responded.
And then, with the most eloquent of words, he blames America…again.
Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction. How the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our tool-making, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will — those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction.
That would have been a great speech referring to ISIS/Al Qaeda, the Nazis or Japanese atrocities during World War II. But not towards America in 1945. He seems to forget that the Germans were desperately seeking an atomic bomb of their own. Imagine if they invented it first! The world would be a different place.
You should read the whole speech. He goes on to speak of never letting such a thing happen again, in same way that Jews say “Never Again” when speaking of the Holocaust. However, one was an act of savagery to commit genocide, and the other was a response to aggression which ended the bloodshed. Before Hiroshima, 60 million had died in World War II. Truman ended the slaughter.
The further we get from that fateful day 71 years ago, the more we forget just how evil and barbaric the Japanese military was. In fact, I have asked myself, “Did we really need to drop the bomb?” A brief survey of the war revealed the answer—Yes, we did.
Here are some facts about World War II and the Japanese.
We did not attack Japan. Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor. All the while, pretending to make progress to prevent war. But they had no intention of easing hostilities as they were desperate to expand.
Japan was to Southeast Asia what Hitler and the Nazis were to Europe. They were ruthless in every way possible towards their enemies. During the Rape of Nanking, “The Japanese troops responded to Chinese resistance to their invasion by embarking on an orgy of murder, rape, and looting, that shocked the civilized world at that time.” Chinese civilians were buried alive as the Japanese troops competed to see who could invent the most inhumane way to murder the subhuman Chinese.
Thus, every day Japan was not defeated, more people would die.
The U.S. had already bombed Tokyo to rubble with conventional weapons, but the Japanese would not surrender.
The Japanese war machine treated their emperor as a deity and were wiling to sacrifice Japanese women and children (much like Hamas), and their own lives (unlike Hamas), before surrendering.
So radical were many of the officers, that as many as 1,000 raided the emperor’s palace to destroy the recording he made of Japan’s unconditional surrender. They were unsuccessful.
The only other option was a land invasion. Yes, as in D-Day, where there were over 200,000 casualties. The cost of American lives was not worth the invasion when the belligerent Japanese could be stopped another way. This weighed heavily into Truman’s decision—Saving American lives.
Some say Pearl Harbor was a strategic military installation, whereas the Japanese cities were civilian targets. In truth, the Japanese were seeking every possible way to attack America’s mainland. They simply didn’t have the ability. However regarding the Chinese and other Asian countries much closer, they killed as many as 10 million people!
Even after the first bomb on Hiroshima, the Japanese did not surrender.
Around 150,000 Japanese died in the two bombings, compared to 60 million during the entire war.
Six days after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the Japanese finally surrendered unconditionally. We had to drop the second bomb to convince the Japanese that we had an unlimited arsenal. In truth, we had two. Only then, did they surrender.
If Japan did not surrender ‘unconditionally’ the free and prosperous Japan of today would not be a reality. We rebuilt Japan into its present self. Japan was a brutal imperialistic force in Asia prior to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Obama wants to see a nuclear free world. Me too. The problem is North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and Iran do not. The American nuclear arsenal has been the greatest deterrent to a third world war.