06 August '10
No, no one is suggesting dropping an atom bomb on Gaza. The comparison comes from a different direction, as we commemorate the 65th anniversary of dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima.
In Hiroshima, Obama, and Truman, Jonathan Tobin writes that there is nothing wrong with the fact that for the first time, an American representative has appeared in Japan to participate in the mourning of so many lives.
The problem lies in the short memories of the Japanese people:
the Japanese have never taken full responsibility for their own conduct during the war that the Hiroshima bombing helped end. Indeed, to listen to the Japanese, their involvement in the war sounds limited to the incineration of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the fire bombings of many other urban centers in the country, followed by a humiliating American occupation. The horror of the two nuclear bombs didn’t just wipe out two cities and force Japan’s government to finally bow to the inevitable and surrender. For 65 years it has served as a magic event that has erased from the collective memory of the Japanese people the vicious aggression and countless war crimes committed against not only the Allied powers but also the peoples of Asia who fell under their cruel rule in the 1930s and 1940s. The bombing of Hiroshima was horrible, but it ought not, as it has for all these years, to serve as an excuse for the Japanese people to forget the crimes their government and armed forces committed throughout their empire during the years that preceded the dropping of the first nuclear bomb.
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