President Obama is apparently on a mission to retroactively declare America’s defeat and/or moral culpability in every global conflict of the 20th century. Beginning with his repugnant apology tour of the Muslim world and Europe upon winning the president, Obama has dedicated his foreign policy to the proposition that America is always in the wrong – or at least to the proposition that we must accept the alleged sins of our pockmarked past in order to push Obama’s priorities now. That means re-losing the Cold War by turning over Crimea and Syria to the tender mercies of ex-KGB honcho Vladimir Putin and turning over control of the South China Sea to China, re-losing the Gulf War by precipitously pulling out of Iraq and handing control over it to Iran, and now, declaring mea culpa for defeating Japan in World War II with the use of an atom bomb.
This week, Obama will head to Hiroshima, where he will become the first sitting American president to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Ben Rhodes, the Obama administration official fabulist, says that Obama isn’t visiting to apologize for using the A-bomb – a ridiculous contention to anyone with a functional pre-frontal cortex. “He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II,” Rhodes wrote, presumably between drafts of his new short story, The Chicken Poops, You Deconstruct Its Meaning. “Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”
But presumably the only reason to visit a park for those who died in the A-bomb blast is to lament the horrors of the atomic bomb, not to praise the decision to use it. Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, admitted as much: “The president certainly does understand the United States bears a special responsibility. The United States continues to be the only country to have used nuclear weapons, and it means that our country bears a special responsibility to lead the world in an effort to eliminate them.” Then, presumably aware that he had let the cat out of the bag, Earnest backtracked, “If people do interpret that way, they’ll be interpreting it wrongly.”
Which is sort of like saying that it shouldn’t have been controversial for Ronald Reagan to visit the Bitburg cemetary holding the remains of SS criminals in Germany as president. After all, he wasn’t apologizing or anything.
Everyone understands the branding opportunity here for Obama. And if it means tacitly endorsing the idea that the United States committed a grave sin in saving a million lives, both American and Japanese, by dropping the atomic bomb, Obama will do it. Obama’s glory comes before everything else. The man has to bulk up his resume if he wants to be United Nations Secretary General.