September 17, 2021

WATCH: Breaking Down President Obama’s Speech at Hiroshima

Japan-Obama-Hiroshima_Byun-1Bruce Klingner, who specializes in Korean and Japanese affairs as the senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, gives his take on Obama’s speech at Hiroshima:

“President Obama’s speech at Hiroshima was a poignant discourse on the horrors of war. But his remarks reflect an aloof view disdainful of all violence, lumping aggressors and defenders together. He laments the “terrible force unleashed” at Hiroshima but neglects to mention the millions of lives spared by their use.

Hiroshima was a tragedy, but so are each of the gold stars on the National World War II Memorial representing 400,000 lives lost. Without Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there would be twice as many stars on those walls. As George Orwell commented, “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

Hiroshima reflects the tragedy not just of a weapon of war, but of aggressive regimes and the wars they impose. Rather than a utopian quest to eliminate nuclear arms, he should have called on nations to band together against the despots who still threaten us today.”