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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Should Obama apologize for Hiroshima

Seven decades after the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima is finally going to happen. The US President will arrive “heroic deeds” of their ancestors and speak feelingly here. Knowing the habits of Obama, I do not feel a shadow of doubt: his speech will be amazing, touching, poignant. But words from the U.S. President the Japanese are waiting for the most, the words of apology, most likely, never sound.

American leaders do not like and do not know how to apologize to foreigners for the actions of their state. In American popular consciousness firmly driven into the thesis: our country is the best, our country is a force for good and light in this dark and evil world. Of course, such stubborn things as facts often do not fit into such a radiant picture of the world. And then American politics prove that if you want “stubborn facts” can if not to win, to put aside as something unnecessary, irrelevant and untimely.

A specific example is the visit of Barack Obama to Vietnam, which took place a few days ago. America, as we know, has brought this country untold suffering. During the years of the Vietnam war, the Americans literally burned here “Communist mutiny Napalm. The number of women, elderly and children who died in terrible agony as a result of American bombing is incalculable.

And this despite the fact that now in Washington political circles, almost all admit that the entry of American troops into Vietnam was a terrible mistake. The then American leaders thoughtlessly believe in fashion at the time the “Domino theory”: if Vietnam were allowed to become Communist then all the other States of Southeast Asia also tumbled down behind him like dominoes. That’s because this whim, which is now without a grimace of confusion and impossible to remember, a great number of people had to prematurely part with life.

But were there any in Obama’s speech in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, the word “sorry”? Perhaps I badly searched. But I there did not find. But I found in the speech of the President of the United States is a clear indication that America is not ready to admit they were wrong: “Even if we don’t agree on the war, we must always honor those who served”.

However, whether we should put an equality sign between the lack of apology from the lips of Obama in Hanoi and Hiroshima? To be honest, I have no answer to that question is no, even despite the fact that I have long and painfully pondered over it. The whole outcome of my thinking came down to this: I have formulated a few more questions, the answers to which were never found.

The first question. Would have surrendered so quickly Japan, if America has not used against its nuclear weapons? This question is not academic. The price of the issue — hundreds of thousands of lives of soldiers of the anti-Japanese coalition, which could be lost if the war Tokyo was delayed. I want to remind you that the USSR was part of this anti-Japanese coalition. Among those who had to die, would our citizens — to fight the Japanese at that time were very good.

The second question. If America did not use nuclear weapons against Japan, against whom would she have used it? To resist the temptation to show the world what they are now strong and powerful, the Americans just could not. And what country has turned into a main rival of the US soon after the defeat of Germany and Japan? That’s right: this country was the Soviet Union.

I want to remind you a few more facts. For several years after 1945, the Americans had a monopoly on atomic weapons. They have it already, we have it was not. Meanwhile, the prospect of a military confrontation between the two superpowers seemed in those years very real. Recall, the Berlin crisis of 1948, when Stalin blocked land delivery channels of food in the Western sector of the occupation of the German capital. Of course, reflection on the theme of “what would happen if” — employment prospects. But not to engage in such thinking is also wrong — especially as the conclusion is, I think, is obvious.

The third question. Should we forget the fact that during the Second world war Japan was an aggressor? In December 1941, Japan treacherously attacked the United States. Japan made a huge number of atrocities in China and Korea. Japan was ready to break the recently concluded non-aggression Pact with the USSR and send troops into our country at a time when we barely held back the advance of Hitler.

Thanks, of course, Tokyo for what they never did. But the solution is not to attack the USSR was taken by the Imperial government of Japan is not out of kindness. The basis of this decision lay bare pragmatism: we better first let’s deal with the American and British possessions in the hemisphere. And the Russians aren’t going anywhere! Like Hitler’s Germany, Japan was obsessed with insane and hateful racial theories. Those who stood in power in Tokyo, was not going to spare anyone — anyone, including us.

All these questions without answers, of course, does not mean that the tragedy of Hiroshima has an excuse. There is no such justification, and there never will be. These questions — just a reminder about the insane difficulty, the contradictions and moral ambiguities of the world around us, that the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should not be repeated.

The Barack Obama’s speech in Hanoi I was not convinced — not convinced, perhaps because relations between the US and Vietnam, I look from a position of complete detachment. To perceive with detachment what happened in Hiroshima, I can’t. Therefore, Obama’s speech in this city, I waited for quite other feelings: suddenly it is not restricted to the beautiful, but devoid of inner content rhetorical delights? Suddenly, and without saying the word “sorry”, he did say something really important?

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