In the wake of Barack Obama becoming the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima, conservative pundits and media outlets wasted no time in labeling the trip as another stop in his “apology tour.” But it was nothing of the sort.
“An American president’s highest moral, constitutional and political duty is protecting his fellow citizens from foreign threats,” former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Bush neocon John Bolton wrote in the Post. “Presidents should adhere to our values and the Constitution, and not treat America’s enemies as morally equivalent to us.”
“If they do, they need not apologize to anyone,” he added.
The only apology Obama did make while he was in Japan was when he offered his “deepest regrets” for the death of a Japanese woman who was murdered by a former U.S. Marine. Not one hint or suggestion of an apology came out of the President’s mouth during his visit and subsequent speech.
While critics of President Obama preemptively condemned him for apologizing for the United States’ 1945 actions (which collectively killed more than 100,000 people), and while the President did apologize for an unrelated incident, he did not actually offer an apology during his speech.
You can read the full text of Obama’s speech in Hiroshima, Japan here.
Featured image: Boaz Guttman (Flickr)