This week, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, incinerated and vaporized by American nuclear bombs 71 years ago. For the U.S., as with Japan's own wartime atrocities that still deeply rankle the emotions of its Asian neighbors, the profound apology that matters is not about the past but the future. It is about taking convincing actions today that ensure what happened in the past never happens again. That future-oriented apology remains lacking all around. (continued)
President Obama is not one to shy away from historic moments. His Hiroshima trip is further evidence of that. But, again, nice words in Hiroshima are not enough. With his $1 trillion upgrade to our nuclear arsenal the president has moved us backwards, away from the goals he set early in his presidency.
President Obama's visit to Hiroshima this morning was a piece of history. He rose to the occasion in his remarks, speaking not only of the need to eliminate nuclear weapons but also questioning the institution of war itself, all with a clear focus on the devastating human consequences of armed conflict.