I disagree with Leonard Pitts Jr. (CDT, 5/15). President Barack Obama should apologize for Hiroshima when he visits Japan.
Atomic bombing is fundamentally immoral. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes, and constituted state terrorism. They involved racism against and the dehumanization of the Japanese people.
Nine countries in the world possess a total of 15,375 nuclear weapons — enough to scour life off the surface of the Earth several times over (as if once wasn’t enough). The USA has almost 7,000 nukes and is planning a trillion-dollar nuclear weapons upgrade. Although Obama began his administration with a dramatic public commitment to build a nuclear weapons-free world, that commitment has long ago dwindled and died. It has been replaced by an administration plan to build a new generation of U.S. nuclear weapons and production facilities.
I visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1985 and was shocked to see that neither city’s peace parks had any memorial from the USA (even Native Americans have a monument!). The least we can do is say we’re sorry.
In his CDT op-ed on 5/12, Gary Stein argued against an apology, noting that the uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed about 80,000 Japanese. In point of fact, within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects of the atomic bombs killed 90,000-146,000 in Hiroshima and 39,000-80,000 in Nagasaki. Thousands more died in subsequent years from chronic effects such as cancer.
Douglas M. Mason, Port Matilda