By Finian Cunningham
American top diplomat John Kerry became the highest US official to visit Hiroshima this week. Kerry said his tour of the site where an American atomic bomb obliterated the Japanese city nearly 70 years ago was “gut-wrenching.”
Many observers around the world would agree with the US Secretary of State’s choice of words. But not for the meaning of horror he apparently intended. The sight of Kerry and other G7 foreign ministers laying wreaths at a memorial to the victims of that atomic holocaust was indeed “gut-wrenching” – considering the hypocrisy, deceit and criminal use of weapons of mass destruction by the US.
The G7 ministers then issued a joint Hiroshima statement which purports to call for a world free from nuclear weapons.
Now it is being mooted that US President Barack Obama may make a visit to Hiroshima next month during another G7 summit for world leaders. He would be the first sitting US president to ever do so, and the event, it is said, would underline a speech he made in Prague in 2009 during his first year in office when Obama called then for a world free from nuclear weapons. For that speech, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Oddly enough, perhaps, seven years on, Obama has done nothing to reduce the US stockpile of some 1,500 nuclear warheads. In fact, last year the president committed Washington to a three-decade upgrade of its arsenal which will cost some $330 billion per decade – or $1 trillion all told.
In typical “mixed signal” fashion – a euphemism for lying – the Obama administration is talking out of one side of its mouth about nuclear-weapons-free world, while out of the other side it is giving orders for a massive, unprecedented rearmament.
The nuclear arsenal upgrade ordered under Obama includes replacing plutonium cores in warheads, modifying tail-fins of bombs and developing a range of so-called mini-nukes, as well as hypersonic missiles that would enable first-strike potential.
So when Obama’s foreign minister, John Kerry, laid a wreath at the memorial for the Hiroshima bomb victims and talked about “working for world peace” it is enough to make a sane person reach for the sick bag – given that his government and any subsequent one in Washington has no intention of disarming its power to destroy the planet.
As a signatory to the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, the US – as with all signatories – is obligated to completely disarm. Nearly 50 years on, far from disarming, it is assiduously rearming, in flagrant violation of treaty commitment. Since the US is the first nation to develop these monstrous weapons and actually use them, the moral burden is on the US to begin disarmament.
Walking alongside Kerry at the Hiroshima memorial was British foreign minister Philip Hammond, who also donned a suitably solemn face. Yet, only last year, Hammond announced that his government would consider re-installing American nuclear weapons on British soil – allegedly to defend Europe from Russian aggression. “Aggression” that the Americans and British have done so much to exaggerate, nay fabricate, for geopolitical reasons. So much for making the world safe from nuclear weapons!
One gets the distinct impression that Kerry’s visit to Hiroshima – followed possibly by Obama – is all a cynical public relations exercise to burnish the international image of the world’s biggest warmongering rogue state as somehow a nation of peaceful intent.
The reality of wanton US belligerence, and that of its lackeys like Britain, is so egregious that they need to cover it up with flowers and superficial emotions supposedly dedicated to A-bomb victims.
A couple of further discordant signs of American raw, criminal power: on the same weekend that Kerry flew to Japan, the US air force reportedly moved a fleet of B-52 bombers to Qatar in the Persian Gulf. These nuclear-capable aircraft are a later generation of the B-29 which dropped the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August, 1945, respectively, killing some 200,000 people, mainly civilians.
The B-52s assigned to Qatar are being prepared for bombing missions in Iraq and Syria, allegedly against terror groups, which the US in fact created in the first place to topple foreign regimes that is disapproves of. There is no indication that the B-52s sent to Qatar at the weekend are fitted with nuclear warheads. That is not the point.
Rather the point is that while a high US official emotively talks about world peace at a memorial where America air power obliterated whole populations, at the very same time this same country is moving nuclear-capable aircraft to carry out bombing missions in foreign nations – all with the cavalier ease as if it has a divine right to do so. Bombing foreign countries at will is the exceptional American arrogance.
Another gut-wrenching anomaly about Kerry’s diplomatic theatrics in Hiroshima is that Washington said that it would not be issuing an apology over the A-bombings. The official narrative in Washington and among many ordinary Americans is that the bombings were necessary to end the Pacific War in 1945. Those officials claims have been extensively debunked by historians as bogus. The US simply wanted to demonstrate to the world and the Soviet Union in particular its immense new power. It was an act of state terrorism, as argued in a previous column.
But even if Washington is permitted to peddle its risible distortion of history, what is exceedingly chilling is that it refuses to apologize for such a barbarous act of mass extermination. Even if the US believes in its claim about swiftly bringing an end to the Pacific War, one would think that at least from a moral, humane point of view an expression of remorse for wiping out so many Japanese lives would still be appropriate.
Alas, no. The absence of apology is a clear message that Washington thinks it had the right to drop the bombs and, moreover, continues to have the right to use weapons of mass destruction. This is consonant with the doctrine of “pre-emptive first strike” that US administrations, including Obama’s, reserve.
American politics has always been prone to double-dealing and conceited deception. But the Obama administration has taken the black arts to a whole new level.
Waxing lyrical about a nuclear free world, and picking up a Nobel laureate in the process, the Obama administration is actually moving towards developing more sophisticated nuclear weapons and making a world war more likely.
US foreign policies of antagonizing Russia and China over trumped-up disputes, commensurate with reckless military posturing towards both nuclear powers, are an integral part of the inherent aggression that underpins American power.
No other nation has waged as many wars as the US since its inception as a modern state and certainly since the end of the Second World War. Tens of millions of people have died as a result of US’ military aggression in every continent.
The horrific deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to reverberate and manifest to this day in the Middle East and elsewhere from American rogue-state terrorism. And yet, sickeningly, this criminal regime postures as a force for peace, the global policeman, or as the Washington Post described Obama this week, the “non-proliferation crusader”.
Laying down a wreath is so easy. But when will the American people demand their rulers to lay down their weapons of mass destruction – once and for all?
*The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.