U.S. President Barak Obama doesn’t just hold press conferences about Donald Trump/Antichrist and how Americans have too many guns. He actually does other stuff too. Work-related stuff, if you can call what politicians do “work.”
Like all politicians, he travels the world. Obama traveled to Japan for the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in May as a guest of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The summit is a get-together for the leading western economic powers, including Germany, Canada and others.
While Obama was in Japan, he visited Hiroshima, the first U.S. president to visit the site of history’s first atomic attack. As we all know, the two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki, finally compelled Japan to surrender and end World War II. But here’s where it gets interesting.
A bizarre movement emerged recently pressuring the American government to apologize for dropping the atom bomb on Imperial Japan, as if doing it was unjust, illegal or just plain wrong. Obama did no such thing, which was rather surprising, as he’s allowing Russian president Vlad Putin to basically rebuild the USSR right now. The very thought of such an apology is sickening to anyone who knows what the Empire of Japan did during World War II.
The Empire of Japan entered World War II on Dec. 7, 1941 by launching a sneak attack against the U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. While Japanese diplomats dropped hints at peace treaties in Washington, the Japanese fleet was steaming to Pearl Harbor and in a few hours would kill thousands of U.S. troops who weren’t even at war with Japan.
Then there was the Bataan Death March. After U.S. forces were defeated in the Philippines by Japanese forces in early 1942, up to 80,000 U.S. and Filipino troops were forced to march up the mainland “to be transported to POW camps.” It’s estimated over 10,000 of the captured Filipino and U.S. soldiers died on the march as they were denied water, beaten and, in some cases, bayoneted. A U.S. military court found after WWII the march was a war crime perpetrated by the Imperial Japanese army.
Then there was the Nanking Massacre, which was masterminded by the Empire of Japan against Chinese citizens of the city of Nanking over about six weeks in 1937. The Imperial Japanese army attacked Nanking, located on the east coast of China, and after capturing it, according to Iris Chang’s book The Rape of Nanking, “The massacre occurred over six weeks starting December 13, 1937, the day that the Japanese captured Nanjing. During this period, soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army murdered Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants numbering an estimated 40,000 to over 300,000 and perpetrated widespread rape and looting.” Currently, a Japanese apologist movement attempts to minimize or deny that the Nanking Massacre ever occurred.
Perhaps the most disturbing chapter of Japanese war crimes before and during WWII was human experimentation conducted on civilians and prisoners of war, predominantly Chinese, but including Koreans, British Commonwealth and Americans. According to author Gregory Dean Byrd, “To determine the treatment of frostbite, prisoners were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water until frozen solid. The arm was later amputated; the doctor would repeat the process on the victim’s upper arm to the shoulder. After both arms were gone, the doctors moved on to the legs until only a head and torso remained. The victim was then used for plague and pathogens experiments.”
Prior to Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government was doing what it could to prevent war, regardless of what loony conspiracy theorists think. The Japanese chose war through a sneak attack against a nation that was not their enemy which is an act itself considered a war crime.
The atom bomb was part of the consequences for the path the Empire of Japan chose to walk. It’s called “karma.”
Stu Salkeld is the editor of The Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.