Monday, May 23, 2016

Apology Tour: As Shadow of War Fades, Obama Visits Vietnam and Japan (VIDEO)

Ralph Peters spoke for me earlier with his comments on Obama's visit to Japan, "Lt. Col. Ralph Peters Slams Obama's Upcoming Visit to Hiroshima (VIDEO)."

Just going there represents an apology. He's the president of the United States. He dignifies the far-left, pacifist (and anti-American) demands for U.S. groveling.

And to top it off, O's visiting Communist Vietnam, which adds to his whirlwind tour of Marxist-Leninist regimes.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Obama heads to Vietnam and Japan to confront the ghosts of old wars amid turmoil in modern ones":

For nearly eight years, President Obama has struggled  to end wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Next week, he’ll finally succeed in closing chapters on two other ones instead – Vietnam and World War II.

Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima and will meet with survivors of the atomic bombings that ended World War II. He will also travel to Vietnam, to whose communist government he is considering selling more weapons, a sign of how the U.S.-Vietnam relationship has blossomed in the decades since the war there ended.

For the president who promised to end two wars only to watch them persist, the end points this week in Vietnam and Japan — decades in the making — show just how hard that is, and how long peace could ultimately take.

“We’ve seen the difficulty or inability to disengage from the war on terror, including in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center. “And he has seen that these U.S. commitments to protect friends and allies can be long-standing commitments, as evidenced by our continued presence in South Korea and Japan and Germany.”

Obama will pay heed to the past by promoting how far the alliances with Vietnam and Japan have come since the countries were bitter enemies of the U.S. He plans to highlight growing commercial ties in Vietnam, one of the 12 countries that are part of the massive Pacific Rim trade deal being negotiated. In Japan, where he will also meet with the heads of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, Obama's visit to Hiroshima is an opportunity to revisit his efforts toward nuclear nonproliferation.

“The very fact that the United States is traveling to Japan, that it’s now one of our closest allies in the world, and Vietnam, which is an emerging partner of ours, demonstrates how you are able to move beyond difficult history,” said White House deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes....

Obama may encounter some anti-American sentiment in Japan, where the arrest of an American suspected of killing a woman who disappeared last month has sparked outrage. Police say he's also suspected in her death but have not charged him.

On his final day in Japan, Obama will go to the city of Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb used in war in 1945. That bomb, and another dropped on Nagasaki three days later, killed at least 129,000 people and poisoned a generation with radiation.

Obama will pay tribute to the suffering and loss of war, aides say, though he won’t apologize for the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which he views as having been necessary to end the war and save the world from tyranny.

At the time, President Truman made a decision he believed was “consistent with our national security priorities,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in explaining Obama’s refusal to apologize. “He believed that lives on both sides of the conflict could be saved by dropping the bomb.”

Obama has offered a similar defense of his own decision to use armed drones in the fight against terrorists in the Middle East.

More than that, though, he has spoken admiringly of Truman’s commitment to a new post-war order in which nations of the world worked together – the very kind of shift he has sought to enable the world to fight off crisis while still taking steps toward progress.

That new order was a marriage of “idealism to hardheaded realism, an acceptance of America’s power with a humility regarding America’s ability to control events around the world,” Obama wrote in his 2006 book “The Audacity of Hope.”

But the lessons of the 20th century wars only go so far, said [former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt] Campbell. They don’t necessarily provide a clear pathway for today’s leaders...