President Obama laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on Friday. It was a historic visit, the first of a sitting U.S. president to either Hiroshima or Nagasaki since the end of the Pacific War in 1945.
In both Japan and the United States, an emotional controversy had simmered over whether Obama would — or should — apologize for the atomic bombings. For many Americans, his presence alone in Hiroshima symbolized an unwarranted and offensive apology for those unprecedented attacks.
But the atonement debate was beside the point, yet another way for Americans to avert their gaze from the suffering of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.… Seguir leyendo »
On Aug. 9, 1945, the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, situated on a long, narrow bay on Japan’s southernmost main island, Kyushu.
From the beginning, this attack was different than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima three days earlier, yet the experiences of the two cities have been fused in memory, to the point that we use the term “the bomb” to refer to both events. The result has been to consign Nagasaki to the edge of oblivion.
Many Americans believe their government’s official narrative: that the two bombs, dropped in close succession, led to Japan’s surrender. But it is now well known that the surrender was prompted at least as much by the Soviet Union’s decision to join the Allies in the war against Japan.… Seguir leyendo »