Last month US Secretary of State John Kerry paid a visit to Hiroshima in remembrance of the US’s use of the atomic bomb towards the end of World War II. Tomorrow, his boss will do the same. Western media praises Mr. Obama’s effort to fight proliferation of the horrific weapons, but, without an apology for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, isn’t it all hollow words?
The United States has been the only country to have ever used The Bomb during a war. At least, that is the widely accepted version of history we are taught to believe. We are learned too that without their use World War II would have been longer, adding far more civilians deaths to its tally than the 140.000 individuals who lost their lives the moment the bombs exploded. Let’s not discuss the arguments against this common view here. Even if we do accept these debatable concepts as fact, I think most in their right minds would agree that an apology would be in place. It is not because a wrong led to something better, that the wrong in itself is something you can not apologize for. Certainly not if that wrong is as extremely wrong as killing 140.000 innocent bystanders using only two devastating bombs. The collateral damage accepted here, is far too great to not offer your apology for. You do understand what we mean, right?
Seeds of Extremism
Over the last few decades the US and its allies have been complicit in many a dubious conflict. Their real reasons often are anybody’s guess. Iraq was about WMD which were never found, Libya to oust Gadhafi as he was tyrannously responsible for innocent deaths although there are at least as many now. Syria? Polemics sounds the same. If innocent lives warrant destruction still, then it is understandable no apologies are given. However, shouldn’t we react on the very real possibility that innocent lives – however you turn or twist it – are responsible for the creation of more extremism? Shouldn’t we wonder about how support for an oppressionist regime like Israel defensibly-so really is, can be grounds for the very same roots we want to get rid of? And, if this kind of extreme violence is warranted as a means to an end without ever having to wonder about giving apologies, should it not only be “fair” to accept it when it is done by others to get their points across?
We believe most parents would bring up their kids by teaching them that you can never say “sorry” enough. That even if your aggression was warranted and has resulted in a bleeding nose with the losing party, you should, when things calm down, apologize for the conflict you were part in. “Sorry” is a strong word and it is unbelievable that diplomatic and corporate circles seem to refuse to use it – even when witnessing to matters as evil as the use of an atomic bomb above major cities. Planet News believes that politicians should set examples as we do live in a democracy – something we are so keen to spread. As many know, “democracy” has been accepted to come from the Greek words “Demos” (the common people) and “Kratos” (rule). Planet News believes that, should the common people rule, they would cry out their apology, kneeled, sad and forlorned. Yet democracy might have another etymology where “-cracy” stems from the Sanskrit word for wisdom: kratu. What Obama seems intent on doing, namely not offering a genuine, heartfelt apology to the many, many deaths the US is responsible for – even if it did end that horrendous war – is far from wise.
On the contrary – Planet News is afraid it will hold the world in the polarizing and destructive spiral it has set course on.
Here’s to hoping he will still.