--Nuclear Future, Paresh Nath (UAE)
The tragedy is not that things are broken.
The tragedy is that things are not mended again
--Cry, the Beloved Country,
The West's post-Holocaust pledge that genocide
would never again be tolerated proved to be hollow,
and for all the fine sentiments inspired
by the memory of Auschwitz,
the problem remains
that denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good
--We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow
We Will Be Killed with Our Families,
Bellum ominum contra omnes
(a war of all against all)
President Obama recently laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in the presence of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. His disingenuous proclamation played well to the crowd, but was so much well-scripted fluff. He said Hiroshima was,
“the start of our own moral awakening”. We come to mourn the dead. Their souls speak to us, they ask us to look inward, take stock of who we are.”
So let's talk about morals and some dead, of the recent variety. When the United States handed Saddam Hussein over to the new Shia-led government, they set on him like a pack of hyenas, snapping his neck with a rough cow rope in a mosh pit of celebration after an amateur show trial.
The U.S. celebrated in the carnage and joined in the morbid ebullience, despite the fact that Hussein had done nothing to the U.S. to warrant such bloodlust. What had he done that our friends the Saudis or Egyptians do not?
Ditto the grotesque murder of Libyan President Muommar Qaddafi. Our sociopathic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gleefully acknowledged his death-by-mob in the street on commercial television. Her delusions of grandeur were exposed with her petty, "We came, we saw, he died".
And yet life for Libya and its people -- just as for Iraqis post-Saddam -- has grown exponentially worse since Qaddafi was deposed. What, exactly, does the U.S. have to crow about, and what moral direction can it provide?
But to the Japanese empire circa August, 1945. Hirohito was the divine emperor of an operation in which Koreans were used as labor and sex slaves. U.S. and British Prisoners of War were tortured, murdered and used for bayonet practice. Japanese medical officers used U.S. P.O.W.'s in chemical and biological research. The litany of terror goes on (even ignoring the fact that the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into the war.)
The point is: the Emperor was a war criminal of the highest order, and yet the U.S. never bothered to treat him as such. [He reigned until his death in 1989.]
What has changed from 1945 to 2016? Do our recent actions speak of "moral awakening"?
Are we listening to the newly dead which we have created, and what do we see when we "take stock of who we are"?
Labels: Akihto, atomic bomb, denouncing evil does not equal doing good, hirohito, Japanese war crimes, Moral proclamations, Obama's visit to Hiroshima, Shinzo Abe, United States' violence, world war II