Mourning Hiroshima While Facilitating the Next Nuclear Disaster

On a recent visit to Tinian, an island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, I visited North Field, site of the B-29 bomb-loading pits for the famed Little Boy and Fat Man atomic bombs.  Early on the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay took off for Hiroshima and released Little Boy.  Three days later, Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki, delivering the final blow to the Japanese that led to the surrender of the imperial government.

A few days later, as part of a follow-up visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park, I viewed the monument dedicated to the legacy of the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack and to the memories of the bomb's victims.  Much to my surprise, I learned that until recently, no sitting American president had visited the site since the dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945.  Previous presidents had been wary of a visit that could be misconstrued as an apology for an action that many believe definitively ended the war and potentially saved up to one million lives in the process.

Although, technically, President Obama did not offer a formal apology during his visit in May this year, his remarks could easily have been interpreted as such.  He stated that he hoped that his trip to the bombing site would prompt America's "shared responsibility to look directly in the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again."

He ended with a reference to a future "in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening. ... I hope that sometime in the future, they will start to realize that this was not the right thing."

According to news reports, the rationale for Obama's visit was to remind the world of the dangers of nuclear weapons, highlight the threat of a world that continues to produce nuclear weapons, and call for a nuclear "moral revolution."  The visit was of a piece with Obama's perceived mantle as a world peacemaker.  Yet, in truth, his actions have increased the opportunities for nuclear proliferation among nations hostile to the West while undermining the military strength of the U.S. and our longtime ally, Israel.

Early in his presidency, in Prague in 2009, Obama proclaimed his vision of a world without nuclear weapons.  In fact, this declaration was largely responsible for his being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize with the hope that the award might spur his peace efforts.  In Prague, Obama told a crowd of 20,000, "Today, the Cold War has disappeared, but thousands of those weapons have not.  In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up."

In light of these facts, it is puzzling to consider the meaning of Obama's Hiroshima visit after his promoting and signing of the Joint Commission Plan of Action or JCPOA with the Islamic terrorist state of Iran, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal; his ardent push for the treaty known as New START with Russia, thereby relieving the U.S. of nuclear weapons stockpiles; and his apparent tolerance for North Korea's nuclear testing.  This is curious indeed at a time when rogue states and non-state actors have been actively involved in the acquisition of nuclear weapons with little comment from the White House.  

In his book, Obamabomb: A Dangerous and Growing National Security Fraud, Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and senior vice president with the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., explained how the JCPOA increased the threat of Iran's nuclear weapons program and made Iran a greater danger to regional and international security. 

In July, the AP leaked information from a confidential document, an add-on agreement to last year's JCPOA deal, revealing that Iran will be able to install centrifuge technology that will double the terrorist regime's uranium enrichment rate, effectively reducing the time to produce weapons-grade uranium to six months.  This after the JCPOA provided Iran with a path to becoming a nuclear power without provisions for nuclear site inspections.

Ironically, Obama's vision for a "nuclear-free world" includes asking for disarmament from Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East that just happens to be surrounded by Islamic terrorist states and jihadist groups.  When a gravely alarmed Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel warned Congress in 2015 about the danger of a nuclear, genocidal Iran to the free world, he was rebuked by Obama.  Netanyahu cautioned that negotiations between the U.S. and Iran would "all but guarantee" that Tehran would get nuclear weapons at great risk to the entire world.  Although Netanyahu's speech drew a standing room only crowd in Congress and was received with vigorous standing ovations, Obama failed to attend as did many of his Democrat supporters.  Perhaps, not coincidentally, at the time of the Israeli prime minister's congressional address, the Obama administration released an extensive Pentagon report revealing Israel's nuclear weapons capabilities. 

Obama signed "New START" with Russia in 2011, agreeing to cut America's nuclear arsenal by one third.  This was a flawed agreement that placed a disproportionate burden for weapons cuts on the U.S. and lacked adequate provisions for verifications.  Obama was not deterred by his knowledge that Russia, whose word was not to be trusted based on experience, had been in violation of the terms of the Immediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty for several years.  According to a report in the New York Times, the State Department had complained to Russian officials in 2013, yet Obama declined to formally declare this a treaty violation at the time.  Even prior to his efforts to sign a nuclear deal with Iran, Obama was well aware that the Russian "reset" program had failed and was willing to overlook the violations and offer new concessions to the Kremlin. 

Clearly, Obama's Iran deal is not stopping Iran's nuclear proliferation.  Iran has already breached the heavy water production cap provisions twice.  A truly verifiable inspection process does not exist.  Under the terms of the agreement, Iran independently produces soil samples for international inspectors from sites where nuclear weapons testing has allegedly taken place.

Obama's Iran deal actually put Iran on the pathway to becoming a nuclear power – far from the president's proclamation that with the deal, the "prohibition on nuclear weapons is strengthened."  In the final analysis, it was foolhardy to ostensibly trade the removal of economic sanctions for an unverifiable, improbable freeze in Iran's nuclear weapons development. 

Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea remain committed to increasing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals.  Far from meeting the objective of encouraging global disarmament by example, Obama's plan has had the opposite effect.  Russia is planning to build up to New START levels and is actively designing and introducing advanced strategic weapons.  China has an extensive underground tunnel network believed to house hundreds of nuclear weapons, and North Korea announced that it completed its fifth nuclear warhead test in September.  Strangely, despite this proliferation, the Obama administration called attention to a perceived threat from Israel's nuclear arsenal and favored a deal, which was clarified in a conference call coordinated by the George Soros-funded Ploughshares Fund, whereby Israel would give up its nuclear weapons to "ensure that Iran doesn't obtain them." 

The fact that the U.S. produced its last nuclear warhead in 1988, that most of its stockpile was built in the 1970s with a life expectancy of ten years, that no U.S. nuclear weapon has been tested in almost 25 years, and that we no longer have the capacity, know-how, and infrastructure to produce one today does little to inspire confidence in the nuclear security guarantees the U.S. has provided to over 30 countries.

Far from setting an example for world peace, the global nuclear threat has increased since Obama proposed the Prague agenda.  From New START to the so-called Iran deal to the lack of action against North Korean nuclear testing, Obama has, in effect, aided nuclear arms proliferation and stimulated a nuclear arms competition.

His policies, marking the first time a U.S. president committed to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, have served merely to constrain and weaken the U.S. while doing little to rein in hostile nuclear states and terrorist entities.

My visit to Hiroshima's Peace Memorial reminded me, once again, of Obama's past actions and his failure to reduce the world's nuclear threat.  Indeed, his visit there accomplished nothing but to chasten America and remind the world of our weakened state and our diminishment as a credible nuclear deterrent.

On a recent visit to Tinian, an island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, I visited North Field, site of the B-29 bomb-loading pits for the famed Little Boy and Fat Man atomic bombs.  Early on the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay took off for Hiroshima and released Little Boy.  Three days later, Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki, delivering the final blow to the Japanese that led to the surrender of the imperial government.

A few days later, as part of a follow-up visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park, I viewed the monument dedicated to the legacy of the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack and to the memories of the bomb's victims.  Much to my surprise, I learned that until recently, no sitting American president had visited the site since the dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945.  Previous presidents had been wary of a visit that could be misconstrued as an apology for an action that many believe definitively ended the war and potentially saved up to one million lives in the process.

Although, technically, President Obama did not offer a formal apology during his visit in May this year, his remarks could easily have been interpreted as such.  He stated that he hoped that his trip to the bombing site would prompt America's "shared responsibility to look directly in the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again."

He ended with a reference to a future "in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening. ... I hope that sometime in the future, they will start to realize that this was not the right thing."

According to news reports, the rationale for Obama's visit was to remind the world of the dangers of nuclear weapons, highlight the threat of a world that continues to produce nuclear weapons, and call for a nuclear "moral revolution."  The visit was of a piece with Obama's perceived mantle as a world peacemaker.  Yet, in truth, his actions have increased the opportunities for nuclear proliferation among nations hostile to the West while undermining the military strength of the U.S. and our longtime ally, Israel.

Early in his presidency, in Prague in 2009, Obama proclaimed his vision of a world without nuclear weapons.  In fact, this declaration was largely responsible for his being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize with the hope that the award might spur his peace efforts.  In Prague, Obama told a crowd of 20,000, "Today, the Cold War has disappeared, but thousands of those weapons have not.  In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up."

In light of these facts, it is puzzling to consider the meaning of Obama's Hiroshima visit after his promoting and signing of the Joint Commission Plan of Action or JCPOA with the Islamic terrorist state of Iran, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal; his ardent push for the treaty known as New START with Russia, thereby relieving the U.S. of nuclear weapons stockpiles; and his apparent tolerance for North Korea's nuclear testing.  This is curious indeed at a time when rogue states and non-state actors have been actively involved in the acquisition of nuclear weapons with little comment from the White House.  

In his book, Obamabomb: A Dangerous and Growing National Security Fraud, Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and senior vice president with the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., explained how the JCPOA increased the threat of Iran's nuclear weapons program and made Iran a greater danger to regional and international security. 

In July, the AP leaked information from a confidential document, an add-on agreement to last year's JCPOA deal, revealing that Iran will be able to install centrifuge technology that will double the terrorist regime's uranium enrichment rate, effectively reducing the time to produce weapons-grade uranium to six months.  This after the JCPOA provided Iran with a path to becoming a nuclear power without provisions for nuclear site inspections.

Ironically, Obama's vision for a "nuclear-free world" includes asking for disarmament from Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East that just happens to be surrounded by Islamic terrorist states and jihadist groups.  When a gravely alarmed Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel warned Congress in 2015 about the danger of a nuclear, genocidal Iran to the free world, he was rebuked by Obama.  Netanyahu cautioned that negotiations between the U.S. and Iran would "all but guarantee" that Tehran would get nuclear weapons at great risk to the entire world.  Although Netanyahu's speech drew a standing room only crowd in Congress and was received with vigorous standing ovations, Obama failed to attend as did many of his Democrat supporters.  Perhaps, not coincidentally, at the time of the Israeli prime minister's congressional address, the Obama administration released an extensive Pentagon report revealing Israel's nuclear weapons capabilities. 

Obama signed "New START" with Russia in 2011, agreeing to cut America's nuclear arsenal by one third.  This was a flawed agreement that placed a disproportionate burden for weapons cuts on the U.S. and lacked adequate provisions for verifications.  Obama was not deterred by his knowledge that Russia, whose word was not to be trusted based on experience, had been in violation of the terms of the Immediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty for several years.  According to a report in the New York Times, the State Department had complained to Russian officials in 2013, yet Obama declined to formally declare this a treaty violation at the time.  Even prior to his efforts to sign a nuclear deal with Iran, Obama was well aware that the Russian "reset" program had failed and was willing to overlook the violations and offer new concessions to the Kremlin. 

Clearly, Obama's Iran deal is not stopping Iran's nuclear proliferation.  Iran has already breached the heavy water production cap provisions twice.  A truly verifiable inspection process does not exist.  Under the terms of the agreement, Iran independently produces soil samples for international inspectors from sites where nuclear weapons testing has allegedly taken place.

Obama's Iran deal actually put Iran on the pathway to becoming a nuclear power – far from the president's proclamation that with the deal, the "prohibition on nuclear weapons is strengthened."  In the final analysis, it was foolhardy to ostensibly trade the removal of economic sanctions for an unverifiable, improbable freeze in Iran's nuclear weapons development. 

Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea remain committed to increasing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals.  Far from meeting the objective of encouraging global disarmament by example, Obama's plan has had the opposite effect.  Russia is planning to build up to New START levels and is actively designing and introducing advanced strategic weapons.  China has an extensive underground tunnel network believed to house hundreds of nuclear weapons, and North Korea announced that it completed its fifth nuclear warhead test in September.  Strangely, despite this proliferation, the Obama administration called attention to a perceived threat from Israel's nuclear arsenal and favored a deal, which was clarified in a conference call coordinated by the George Soros-funded Ploughshares Fund, whereby Israel would give up its nuclear weapons to "ensure that Iran doesn't obtain them." 

The fact that the U.S. produced its last nuclear warhead in 1988, that most of its stockpile was built in the 1970s with a life expectancy of ten years, that no U.S. nuclear weapon has been tested in almost 25 years, and that we no longer have the capacity, know-how, and infrastructure to produce one today does little to inspire confidence in the nuclear security guarantees the U.S. has provided to over 30 countries.

Far from setting an example for world peace, the global nuclear threat has increased since Obama proposed the Prague agenda.  From New START to the so-called Iran deal to the lack of action against North Korean nuclear testing, Obama has, in effect, aided nuclear arms proliferation and stimulated a nuclear arms competition.

His policies, marking the first time a U.S. president committed to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, have served merely to constrain and weaken the U.S. while doing little to rein in hostile nuclear states and terrorist entities.

My visit to Hiroshima's Peace Memorial reminded me, once again, of Obama's past actions and his failure to reduce the world's nuclear threat.  Indeed, his visit there accomplished nothing but to chasten America and remind the world of our weakened state and our diminishment as a credible nuclear deterrent.