President Barack Obama made history by becoming the first sitting president to visit the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan. Donald Trump’s response – who cares?
At a campaign rally, the GOP candidate says it’s fine as long as the president doesn’t apologize.
According to Reuters, Trump dismissed the historic visit after chastising the current leadership as “incompetent.” He told supporters “it’s fine, as long as he doesn’t apologize, it’s fine. Who cares?”
He followed that up with a Tweet about the visit.
Does President Obama ever discuss the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor while he’s in Japan? Thousands of American lives lost. #MDW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2016
While visiting the nuclear memorial, President Obama gave a speech about the war and nuclear disarmament. He did not directly mention Pearl Harbor according to CNN, although Japanese leaders expressed regret over the sneak attack numerous times in the past. The president did criticize the Japanese government’s actions in the lead up to the war.
“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.”
As for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, President Obama did not apologize, but he did comment on the risk of nuclear war.
“Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder the terrible forces unleashed in the not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead… their souls speak to us and ask us to look inward. To take stock of who we are and what we might become.”
Nuclear proliferation has been a cornerstone of Obama’s foreign policies, describing nuclear terrorism as “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.” The White House put nuclear weapons above climate change and a host of other issues, but, in the end, the results have been mixed according to Foreign Policy Magazine.
President Obama has led four summits on efforts to secure the materials to build nuclear weapons, but the job is daunting. India, Pakistan, the Netherlands, North Korea, Britain, and, most troubling, Japan, have all increased their stockpiles of weapons-grade material.
Japan currently has 9.3 metric tons stored in various locations, including Rokkasho – which promises to be the world’s largest facility for producing plutonium. Once the factory opens, the stockpile will likely double in five and a half years, even though the energy system designed to use it won’t be ready for at least another 20 years.
The plan, along with security system for the materials, has become a major sore spot for Barack Obama’s hope to limit humanity’s ability to annihilate itself.
Some survivors from Hiroshima believe that Barack Obama’s historic trip, and his speech, will also be ineffective in curtailing nuclear proliferation according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Still, the President’s position on nuclear weapons differs greatly from the Republican nominee for president. According to Haartez, Donald Trump proposed using the weapons to fight ISIS, suggested that Japan might need to create its own arsenal to fight North Korea, and even refused to rule out using nuclear arms in Europe. The comments have rattled foreign allies.
Trump’s dismissive tone towards Obama’s Hiroshima visit still wasn’t as critical as other Republican voices. Sarah Palin described the trip as part of the President’s “apology lap.” She also claimed that the visit was “dissing our vets.”
President Barack Obama did not respond to Donald Trump’s comments or his Tweet about the trip to Hiroshima.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]