For John, BLUF: The trip is fine, but the facts need to be straight. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The President is trying to do good, as he sees it. Mr Edward-Issac Dovere, of Politico, examines it.
Here is the sub-headline:
Why this president sees himself as a force for confronting complicated truths about the past.And here is the lede plus two:
Seven years after kicking off his presidency with a famous speech in Cairo reaching out to the Arab world, but that skipped Israel, Barack Obama is about to bookend it with one of his last big trips on Air Force One, landing first here in Vietnam before going on to Hiroshima, Japan.Then we get down to this paragraph.
Obama’s critics call stops like this an apology tour. He and his White House aides call it “reckoning with history.” Some prefer “coming to grips with history.”
These trips are deliberate, ordered up by a president whose foreign policy has been shaped by a sense of himself as a catalyst forcing the world to deal with the past in order to deal with the future, according to current and former officials close to the president. He’s going to Vietnam to deal with China, and he’s going to Hiroshima to deal with North Korea.
That’s why South Korea, though not part of Obama’s itinerary or meetings, is cheering the Hiroshima visit — not because he might stop by the cenotaph at the site to mark the estimated 45,000 Koreans who were among the 400,000 killed as the Enola Gay flew away, but in the hopes Obama’s visit will be what a South Korean official expressed hope would be “a signal to North Korea against its nuclear ambitions.”400,000 killed in the initial blast?
As the event fades into the past "Little Boy" becomes more and more powerful.
The reality is that 70,000 to 80,000 were killed outright by the bomb. This is the commonly accepted number and the author is just plain wrong. And the Politico Fact Checkers asleep.
The strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were horrendous events, but let us not make them worse than they were. It is likely they saved a lot of Japanese lives, both military and civilian.
Regards — Cliff