Not even a little, in a vague “hope you weren’t offended” sort of way? Aww. Not all Japanese survivors of the bombing want an apology, of course — but some do, including the secretary-general of a victims’ association. Quote: “We welcome the visit. But without an apology, it is difficult for us. We aren’t asking for reparations. We simply want the U.S. to apologize and get rid of its nuclear arsenal.” Given the prominence The One has bestowed on nonproliferation, there’s no better time than now to ask!
Besides: How else will we repair relations with our, er, incredibly close ally?
State Department spokesman Noel Clay said no apology will be offered by the delegation, to be led by U.S. Ambassador John Roos, at the ceremony in Hiroshima.
“As Assistant Secretary [P.J.] Crowley stated, at this particular point, we thought it was the right thing to do,” Clay said in an e-mail on Thursday. “Ambassador Roos will attend the ceremony to express respect for all the victims of World War II. From the tragedy of that war, the U.S. and Japan have become close friends and allies. We must continue to work together to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again.”…
Gene Tibbets, son of [Enola Gay pilot] Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., said the visit is an act of contrition that his late father would never have approved.
“It’s an unsaid apology,” Tibbets, 66, said Wednesday. “Why wouldn’t it be? Why would [Roos] go? It doesn’t make any sense.
“I know it’s the anniversary, but I don’t know what the hell they’re trying to do. It needs to be left alone. The war is over.”
Follow the link for Tibbets recounting the times vets told him that they’d have surely died during an invasion of the Japanese home islands if not for the fact that the bomb ended the war before X-Day. In fairness, though, there’s always been a distinction in protocol between respect for war dead and remorse for having killed them. Remember when the Gipper laid the wreath at Bitburg at a cemetery that held 2,000 German troops (and 49 S.S.)? As Fox notes, several Japanese prime ministers and even Hirohito himself have visited Arlington and laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. With all the body blows Democrats are taking right now, do you really think Obama’s going to punch himself in the face by angering voters with a gratuitous apology for something that happened 65 years ago? C’mon.