This online Breitbart article by Joel B. Pollak …
… is pure, unadulterated, right-wing InBuSh.*
The introductory paragraph of the Breitbart article is an outright lie, intentionally misrepresenting what the president said in his Hiroshima speech.
Compare that opening paragraph …
“President Barack Obama told the world on Friday in Hiroshima that the American decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945 arose from humanity’s worst instincts including ‘nationalist fervor or religious zeal’.”
… with what the president actually said:
“On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.”
It is clear that the president was commenting on the motivation of the people who have historically started wars, including World War II, NOT the American decision to end it by using atomic weapons.
Breitbart’s writer also misrepresented Obama’s speech when he said that the president “said nothing about the fact that Japan started the war”, despite the second paragraph of his own story, which correctly quotes part of the speech asserting that the war:
“… grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.”
Everyone except the most oblivious of people knows that the war was started by Germany and Japan, not the United States (which actually stayed out of it for more than two years before finally entering after Pearl Harbor). The president’s reference to the cause of the war impliedly lays blame where it belongs … on Germany and Japan … and there was no need for him to overtly confront the Japanese with that moral culpability (for which Japan has, repeatedly over the years, apologized … and which has since motivated Japan to become one of our most steadfast allies).
Pollak also misrepresented the president’s speech when he said that, “Obama cast a moral equivalence between different civilizations, implying that Americans were just as bad as the Imperial Japanese, or anyone else.”
There is nothing in the president’s comments which can be fairly interpreted as implying a moral equivalency between Japanese aggression to start the war and America’s use of nuclear weapons to end the war.
Finally, Pollak committed yet another blatant misrepresentation of the president’s speech when he said that Obama “went further, casting doubt on the American effort in World War II itself”, quoting this passage from the speech:
“Nations arise telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats. But those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.”
That comment, in context, was obviously a reference to humanity’s violent history, including the rise of xenophobic, militaristic regimes in Japan and Germany … and was NOT a reference to the American participation in World War II.
The full text of the president’s speech is here:
I am not a big fan of Barack Obama … I disagree with many of his policies, particularly those related to health care, climate change and the Second Amendment … and I think he has been a rather mediocre president (ranking right about the middle of all presidents of my lifetime), though the blame for some of his failings rightfully falls on the recalcitrant Republican congress with which he has been saddled.
Nevertheless, I think criticism of the man should be based on actual facts, not the kinds of blatant lies and/or intentional misrepresentations used by Mr. Pollak.