As further proof that the Obama administration is absolutely indistinguishable from the George II administration—what: you mean it’s not?—the United States Ambassador to Japan, John Roos, was dispatched to the official Japanese ceremony mourning the obliteration of the city of Hiroshima by an atomic bomb. This marked the first time that a US ambassador to that country had ever attended such a ceremony.
Until Friday, American officials had always skipped the annual ceremony, fearing their presence would renew the debate over whether the United States should apologize for the World War II bombings, which together killed more than 200,000 people in explosions so intense that many victims were vaporized, leaving only ghostly shadows on walls, while others died in agony from burns and radiation sickness.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also attended, also for the first time, and also called for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. It is time, he said, to move from “ground zero to global zero.”
While Roos did not speak at the ceremony, the US embassy in Tokyo issued a statement reaffirming the Obama administration’s position that “for the sake of future generations, we must continue to work together to realize a world without nuclear weapons,” and that in Hiroshima “it is fitting that we renew our determination to ensure that such a conflict is never again repeated.”
Obama is set to visit Japan in November. In light of his April 2009 speech in Prague calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, many Japanese, and other enlightened peoples, believe that a stop in Hiroshima would be appropriate and right.
A new sense of hope that the world’s nuclear powers, and particularly the United States, may finally share a desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons seems to have permeated this city. In front of City Hall, a large sign proclaimed Hiroshima to be part of an “Obamajority.”
However, because a majority of the people in this nation seem to be immured in ignorance, knuckledragging Know-Nothings, a visit by Obama to Hiroshima would be politically dicey. While an actual apology for the unnecessary slaughter occasioned by the atomic incineration of Hiroshima would probably be a form of political seppuku. Too many Americans are not ready for either. Too many believe that nuclear weapons are “necessary.” Though they are anything but. As too many are wedded to the persistent fiction that it was “necessary” to detonate nuclear weapons in Japan in order to stop WWII. Though it was not. And too many are determined that the United States shall never apologize for anything. Even when, as here, it was in the wrong.