Obama Uses Visit to Hiroshima to Reward Abe for Remilitarising Japan

In order to understand the world, both natural and social, one needs to look beyond appearances. This is especially the case with President Obama, whose uplifting rhetoric is designed to hide a much grubbier reality.

The much hailed visit to Hiroshima serves as a graphic example of this. Obama’s speech at Hiroshima, as reported in the New York Times, in parts, reads as if it were written by Bertrand Russell,

“Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us,” Mr. Obama said, adding that such technology “requires a moral revolution as well.”

The New York Times report did make the following point, to its credit.

In a striking example of the gap between Mr. Obama’s vision of a nuclear weapons-free world and the realities of purging them, a new Pentagon census of the American nuclear arsenal shows his administration has reduced the stockpile less than any other post-Cold War presidency

Obama has, and had, no such “vision.” The “vision” of a nuclear weapons free world was announced during his first term, in the so called “Prague speech.” The “vision” basically amounted to public diplomacy at a time when the US sought to achieve its preferred outcomes at the NPT Review Conference. It was necessary to offer a “vision” of nuclear disarmament, given that the nuclear weapon states under the NPT pledge to pursue nuclear abolition, in order to ensure that the Rev Con process would not collapse as it had during the Bush administration.

I could discuss nuclear modernisation in depth here, but I prefer to highlight the following point made in the New York Times article.

Mr. Obama’s decision to visit Hiroshima was in part intended to reward Mr. Abe for his efforts to improve ties and forge a closer military relationship between the two countries.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, seeks to remilitarise Japan as a part of Washington’s “pivot to Asia,” which includes the offensive US military doctrine of “AirSea Battle.” China responds by increasing the saliency that it places on nuclear deterrence in its strategic policy.

Think about that.

Obama has used a visit to Hiroshima to reward Abe for his efforts to remilitarise Japan, directed at the leading victim of Japanese imperialism, which increases nuclear danger in Asia.

I can think of only one word to describe this.


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