Barack at Hiroshima

What oratory, what outreach, what uplift Barack was privileged to read at Hiroshima (full text here).  What masterful speechwriters we employ for our president.

We see these stories in the hibakusha [survivors of the atomic bombs]. The woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself.

Hating "war itself" is an impossibility, for war of necessity requires human agents.  You cannot hate the abstraction without hating those responsible.  What Barack is really saying is that this hibakusha forgave the American pilot for bombing her, forgave the U.S. for ending the war that her country started.  I feel so much uplift just contemplating the moral superiority of our erstwhile enemies.

The man is not given to irony, to understanding the import of what his handlers have put up on his teleprompter:

And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.

Isn't that marvelous?  The U.S. and Japan friends now.  Why couldn't they have come to that before the unpleasantness over Hiroshima and Nagasaki?  Oh, that's right – the two countries are friends now because of the bombs, because Japan was afraid of China and Russia, because she was forced to abandon her hegemonic, imperialistic ways (if one may apply such vile terms to a non-Western power).

And yet 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.

No indication of which nations, which actors, which people had "the same base instinct for domination or conquest."  Very mysterious.  When the kiddies in schools across the land are made to study this magnificent oratory, their instructors will no doubt clarify that there were no good guys or bad guys, just an abstract "instinct for domination or conquest" that apparently infected all participants in World War II.  But we really don't know.  After all, who are we to judge?

In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die. Men, women, children, no different than us. Shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death.

Again, in the interests of even-handedness, there is no agency, no indication of which countries did what, just agentless participles marching across the teleprompter.  The only cliché you missed, Barack, was "mistakes were made."

But there is hope.  Oh, is there ever hope: "Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us."  We're just one institution, one bigger, better bureaucracy away from nirvana.

If only the U.S. had joined the League of Nations, there would have been no Second World War.  If only the stiff-necked kulaks had got out of the way, Stalin could have established the worker's paradise.  If only the U.N. could levy taxes directly on the peoples of the world and field its own military to enforce its will, then they could establish the perfection in human affairs that eluded Stalin, because the U.N. would never prove corrupt or venal.

The dreams of the left never change: just a little more centralization of power, and all will be well, because our betters, like Barack and his buddies, will be wielding that power, and they will act only in our best interest.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona.  He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.

What oratory, what outreach, what uplift Barack was privileged to read at Hiroshima (full text here).  What masterful speechwriters we employ for our president.

We see these stories in the hibakusha [survivors of the atomic bombs]. The woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself.

Hating "war itself" is an impossibility, for war of necessity requires human agents.  You cannot hate the abstraction without hating those responsible.  What Barack is really saying is that this hibakusha forgave the American pilot for bombing her, forgave the U.S. for ending the war that her country started.  I feel so much uplift just contemplating the moral superiority of our erstwhile enemies.

The man is not given to irony, to understanding the import of what his handlers have put up on his teleprompter:

And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.

Isn't that marvelous?  The U.S. and Japan friends now.  Why couldn't they have come to that before the unpleasantness over Hiroshima and Nagasaki?  Oh, that's right – the two countries are friends now because of the bombs, because Japan was afraid of China and Russia, because she was forced to abandon her hegemonic, imperialistic ways (if one may apply such vile terms to a non-Western power).

And yet 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.

No indication of which nations, which actors, which people had "the same base instinct for domination or conquest."  Very mysterious.  When the kiddies in schools across the land are made to study this magnificent oratory, their instructors will no doubt clarify that there were no good guys or bad guys, just an abstract "instinct for domination or conquest" that apparently infected all participants in World War II.  But we really don't know.  After all, who are we to judge?

In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die. Men, women, children, no different than us. Shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death.

Again, in the interests of even-handedness, there is no agency, no indication of which countries did what, just agentless participles marching across the teleprompter.  The only cliché you missed, Barack, was "mistakes were made."

But there is hope.  Oh, is there ever hope: "Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us."  We're just one institution, one bigger, better bureaucracy away from nirvana.

If only the U.S. had joined the League of Nations, there would have been no Second World War.  If only the stiff-necked kulaks had got out of the way, Stalin could have established the worker's paradise.  If only the U.N. could levy taxes directly on the peoples of the world and field its own military to enforce its will, then they could establish the perfection in human affairs that eluded Stalin, because the U.N. would never prove corrupt or venal.

The dreams of the left never change: just a little more centralization of power, and all will be well, because our betters, like Barack and his buddies, will be wielding that power, and they will act only in our best interest.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona.  He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.