The Hiroshima Threnody
They say that “Winners write the history books,” but that isn’t quite true anymore, is it?
As the President prepares to visit Japan and Hiroshima, pressure is building for him to take some stand on the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Much of that pressure to “apologize” for an attack coming from the 79% of living Japanese today who believe that the attack was “unjustified.” So far the President has refused to concede that he will issue such an apology. In fact, the President told NHK in his remarks something that I was not surprised by, but honestly never expected to hear from him publicly.
In point of fact, Japan sees itself as the “victim” of World War 2, rather than as the aggressor. This is what is taught in their public schools. The other incidents of the 1937-1945 War are downplayed as either hyperbole or flat out propaganda.
In the US, we are told that we can no longer use terms like “Jap,” which is derogatory. We cringe today when we watch a war time produced film with its monikers and slang. We are told that the decision to use the atomic bomb was “highly controversial” at the time.
If the current President, who was born long after World War 2 ended, chooses to apologize for the atomic bombing, is there anything that he could say that would both salve the Japanese spirit and be true to actual history? Or would it just be another “America is a big bully, sorry I wasn’t there with my Nobel Peace Prize to save you” apology? How is it that once again, we are more concerned about “victimization” than we are reality?