politics

Obama visits Hiroshima to ponder 'terrible force unleashed'

47 Comments

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That was a good ceremony. I liked the way Obama had conversation with Hibakusya. Thank you President Obama.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

A very powerful seventeen-minute speech.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

I also liked how President Obama interacted with the two A-bomb survivors. He was a class act.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Impressive speech. The right tone and the right words. Touching gesture as well to meet some survivors.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

A visit long overdue but well planned. All nations burdened by grieviances of the past limit themselves to their naivety of the present and just can't foresee the posibilities of the future. Imperial Japan is gone, Nazi Germany is gone, fascist Italy is gone, now we have nations that are impacting positively on the world stage while carefully avoiding a possible reemergence of past idiosyncracies. If people keep on talking about the 71 year old devastation of war, the atrocities committed during that war, and still go ahead to admonish the perpetrators of that war, the cycle of hate would be never-ending and there will never be peace.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Excellently done. Even-handed and beautifully delivered.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Ponder? He probably didn't spend more than 10 minutes in the museum. Of course he gave a written scripted speech. Useless considering the US is the #1 weapons salesman on the planet. Some here will forget about the wars Obama create and supports, but I don't!

-22 ( +6 / -28 )

I am a dormant Republican but I think Obama will go down as one of America's best.

He scaled class-based walls on the way up but ended up schooling everyone in the meaning of "class" on the way out.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

“If Obama apologised, I could die and meet my parents in heaven in peace,” he said at the peace park, from which ordinary citizens were later ejected amid tight security ahead of Obama’s arrival.

And now you can't? It bothers me that anyone would comment like this, when it was only decided recently that Obama would visit Hiroshima. SO up until now, you wouldn't meet your parents in peace? Right.....sorry if I have a hard time accepting this statement.

Like Obama or not, what he did was a class act, and hopefully, yet doubtful, Abe could learn a thing or two from this.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Given timing and so many other factors, President Obama is probably the only post-WW2 US president who could have delivered this message, and he did it with grace.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

He probably didn't spend more than 10 minutes in the museum. Of course he gave a written scripted speech.

Who cares?! Every other president does the same, and frankly there are more pressing matters.

Some here will forget about the wars Obama create and supports, but I don't!

What wars? I have several problems with Obama's policies, but do not pretend as if the Republicans are somehow peaceloving doves. THAT, they clearly are not.

Well, done to the president. Beautiful.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The prez not only covered all the bases in his speech, he covered every blade of grass in the outfield. I'm glad he went there, but I was watching his Japanese audience squirm after the 10-minute mark, and switched off my TV after 12 minutes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Some here will forget about the wars Obama create

Pray tell, which wars has Obama created?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

For my money, Hiroshima is a must-see for any visitor to Japan. A terrible but arguable necessity. Low key display but very moving. Pro-tip: pack some tissues.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

'Obama...and urged the world to do better.' It's not up to us, mate. It's in the hands of your idiot mates with their fingers on the buttons.

I just love it when moron politicians blame the world at large for problems of their own creation.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

“I want Obama to say ‘I’m sorry’. If he does, maybe my suffering will ease,” said Eiji Hattori, 73, a toddler at the time of the bombing who now has three types of cancer.

“If Obama apologised, I could die and meet my parents in heaven in peace,” he said at the peace park, from which ordinary citizens were later ejected amid tight security ahead of Obama’s arrival.

It is not Obama who should be giving you an apology, it is the Japanese administration for starting the war in the first place that lead up to the bombings. If it wasn't an atomic bomb it would have been fire bombing.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Of course he gave a written scripted speech.

Sad, angry nihilist's limited perspective. No doubt your savior Trump would have talked about himself and probably would have mentioned that he has big hands.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I am pretty sure that there are more than a few Filipino, Australian and American who wouldn't mind an apology as well but when does it all end?

How about now? It finished 70 years ago.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Obama doesn't need to act nor anything. He went because He is a first class predident that's all. We are going to miss him.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

A nice gesture! Next, let's get rid of the WMDs!!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm so glad that Obama visited Hiroshima and laid a wreath in front of the A-bomb memorial. Although he didn't apologize in so many words, almost all Japanese people took his visit as an unspoken apology and accepted it. His speech was forward looking and very good too . A truly great president. Yes, we are all going to miss him.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I'm so glad that Obama visited Hiroshima and laid a wreath in front of the A-bomb memorial. Although he didn't apologize in so many words, almost all Japanese people took his visit as an unspoken apology and accepted it. His speech was forward looking and very good too .

A truly great president. Yes, we are all going to miss him.

I agree with every part of what you said, No complaints, thought it was a heartfelt speech, very moving and he didn't bungle it. As for the last part. His fan base and loyal followers will miss him, Yes, I think so, but there are many more that will not.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Very moving speech, and very well done. Whether you find fault with the man or not, or you wanted an apology, this was an excellent resolution to the issue, and hopefully there is indeed a push for getting rid of these weapons for good, and for our morals to catch up with our science, and an end to war.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Outstanding all round by Obama. A true statesman and leader of men.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Anyone who has visited Hiroshima (for more than 10 minutes) would see the speech as incredibly insensitive and completely missing the point. I can't imagine how one could only spend 10 minutes in the museum and then give a prepared speech. Truly inhumane. Close (politically perhaps) but no cigar...

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Well done President Obama... truly inspirational.

Now...

Will Abe or a any elected member of the Japanese government visit a foreign country to pray for peace at a place where non-combatants were killed by the Japanese military?

Why do foreign leaders come to Hiroshima to pray for peace but Japanese leaders do not do the same abroad?

There is a huge gap here.

Japanese political leaders are very insincere.

They claim they want peace but they NEVER visit places where non-combatants were murdered by the Japanese military.

Why is that?

Why do westerners have to visit Hiroshima but Japanese politicians never go anywhere?

The place Abe wants to visit is Yasukuni.

It's disgusting.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

As I predicted, Obama finessed his way through this visit admirably, I congratulate him on his foward looking comments, especially about Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be known in the future not as the dawn of atomic warfare, but as the start of our moral awakening.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A bombastic speech with a great dose of hypocrisy. Just look around the Middle East, East Europe and think about.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Two hellish bombs ended the war quickly.... we had no way of knowing if the Japanese would fight for every inch of their mainland or surrender upon our invasion. I will tell you this though, if those bombs were not dropped, and if we had invaded and if U.S. casualties were high.... the Japan you know today would not exist. History would have been totally re-written. The Russians would own Hokkaido and possibly Northern Honshu. The Americans, because the Russians took territory may have not pulled out of Japan... but may have kept Japan as a strategic possession. That scenario is extremely possible. Dropping the bombs was the right decision.... and regretting it is the right emotion.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"As for the last part. His fan base and loyal followers will miss him, Yes, I think so, but there are many more that will not"

People around the world will miss him. They are not 'fans' or 'loyal followers'. They just see an intelligent, rational and decent man not creating havoc.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Thank you very much President Obama. I was moved by your visit and speech.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It has been US news channels today with scenes of Hiroshima after WW II.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I to thought is was a goods speech but at the same time there was some contradiction!

Example: Mr Obama called on all nations to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. While he remains the commander in chief of the world's second largest nuclear arsenals, one that he has approved billions of dollars to modernise.

Example 2: Standing just a few rows away from the president, an officer could be seen holding the briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes.

Though it was a nice speech, he didn't exactly set a good example of those words spoken.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Didn't watch and didn't read the entire speech. Seemed like his speech writers did a good job. Leaders of countries have to be careful what they say, so an apology wouldn't work back home. The bombings were terrible acts, but necessary is how Americans see it. We don't expect Abe to apologize for all the Americans, Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos and others around SE Asia killed during the war either. It was a different time with different motivations.

Since Pres. Obama cannot run for office anymore, he can do lots of things like this without much danger to his political power back home.

After all was said and done, America and Japan are allies and friends. Sometimes friends don't always agree, but we'll talk, seek understanding and look for win-win solutions. THAT is the lesson here. We need to both move on and accept the past as the past.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

After all was said and done, America and Japan are allies and friends.

. . . but the Okinawans are still hoppin'-mad about that recent murder. A mere visit to Hiro by an incumbent US Pres. cannot just erase everything.

Obama did pretty good (foot-in-my-mouth). And he did not apologize. That deserves a high-5, and couple fist pumps!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Japanese brought this response on themselves. The Imperial Japanese Emperor refused to surrender in the face of overwhelming military force and odds. He, and the Japanese people were deluded into believing that they were invincible, and that he the Emperor was God, literally. In that context, the two atomic bombings could and actually should be viewed as merciful acts that spared many many more Japanese lives than they took. Had the allied forces been compelled to launch an invasion of Japan, literally millions more of the Japanese people would have died. America never needs to apologize for this action. It was war, and we ended it as mercifully for the Japanese as we possibly could.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

akoppa, do you know what "bombastic" means?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"Moral awakening". Then proceeds to approve a drone strike on someone, somewhere.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why do foreign leaders come to Hiroshima to pray for peace but Japanese leaders do not do the same abroad?

Japanese leaders have. Many, many times:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan#History

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People around the world will miss him. They are not 'fans' or 'loyal followers'. They just see an intelligent, rational and decent man not creating havoc.

And that time is coming to an end that's the main thing.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

From the ashes of war, a golden dream can be born for a tranquil future. I mean what the honourable US president Barack Obama said at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is that needs to be bridging reconciliation & friendship amongst nations for having a great future generation forgetting past adversaries. I do welcome his great speech. The honourable US president Barack Obama made a right comment on the right time paying utmost respect to the martyrs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm glad to have seen this moment. In some ways, it all seems so stupid that we make such a fuss about what happened 70 years ago. And yet we seem bound by our roots and prejudices. I admire Obama him as a genuinely good and strong guy. Let good and strong guys rule!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bass4funk: "And that time is coming to an end that's the main thing."

I noticed you stopped saying "come November" after being dead wrong about when he's actually finished, but hey. At least you have Hilary to look forward to next, friend. Two bad your guys can't get it together long enough to win.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Remember that this power would never have been unleashed, it might never have been invented in the first place, had Japan not started the war.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Obama has set the example; Abe your next - a visit to Pearl Harbor followed by Nanking and you may get a Nobel prize as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

His speech sounded more anti-American than anything else. Borderline pathetic.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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