(I posted this at The American Catholic. Although it is sharper in tone than what I normally post here, I thought the history mavens of Almost Chosen People might find it interesting.)
The White House has stressed Obama will not apologize for America’s use of the bombs when he visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park — the first sitting president to do so.
An apology would please some in Japan.
“Of course everyone wants to hear an apology. Our families were killed,” Hiroshi Shimizu, general secretary of the Hiroshima Confederation of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, told The Associated Press.
However, it would risk alienating Americans back home — especially giving the trip’s timing just ahead of Memorial Day.
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Lester Tenney, 95, spent more than three years in Japanese prison camps, and still has the blood-stained, bamboo stick Japanese troops used to beat him across the face.
Go here to read the rest. Here is a proposed apology :
To the people and government of Japan,
It is a pleasure to visit your beautiful land, a nation the United States has enjoyed good relations with since 1945. The events of 1945 are upper most in my mind as I stand here in the city of Hiroshima. It is a grand city today, a tribute to the hard work of the Japanese people and a tribute to the role that Japan has played in the world since 1945. Hiroshima of course was largely destroyed by the United States on August 6, 1945 due to the blindness of the Imperial government in not surrendering prior to that time. Then Nagasaki was largely destroyed by the United States on August 9, 1945 when Japan still hadn’t surrendered. Japan finally did surrender on August 15, 1945 and the great blood letting that goes by the name of World War II finally came to a close. Thinking about all this I have a few regrets:
- I regret the loss of innocent lives in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- I regret the necessity of Japan and the US going to war at all, caused by Japan waging a war of imperial expansion and making a dastardly sneak attack on the US on December 7, 1941.
- I regret that millions of my countrymen had to put their lives on hold for years in order to repel Japanese aggression and I especially regret those who paid the ultimate price in stopping your nation’s march of conquest.
- I regret that Japan in its war of aggression slew some twenty million innocent civilians.
- I regret that Japan treated with unprecedented savagery my countrymen luckless enough to be guests of the Emperor during the War, along with all other Allied POWs, many of whom died in captivity due to forced starvation, brutality and casual murder by their Japanese guards.
- I regret that your former Emperor was so drunk with power that he approved of Japan attempting to conquer Asia, that he was so blind as to think that Japan could possibly win a war against the United States and that he was so cowardly as to lack the will to call publicly for peace until after both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- I regret that the Japanese government has never forthrightly admitted the shameful record of Japan during World War II and has instead told lies to its students for generations, seeking to paint Japan as a victim rather than as the aggressor state that the historical record reveals.
- I regret that too many of my fellow countrymen are focused only on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and are blind as to the events that made Hiroshima and Nagasaki the sad final notes in a symphony of blood begun by Japan.
- I regret that blunt, honest talk such as this is so rarely engaged in between nations and peoples.
- I regret that truth is always in short supply in this world.