Obama was the first sitting United States President to visit Hiroshima since the bomb was dropped. Folks on the right were quick to say that the stop was the latest in Obama’s “apology tour,” whereas folks on the left were just as quick to point out that Obama made no apology at all. When all is said and done, I guess the question is: do you have to say the words “I’m sorry” to be apologetic? Here’s the way that I look at it, after having listed to the speech and having read the full transcript.
Here are a few excerpts, from President Obama’s Hiroshima speech, to examine first (then we’ll build context around these points). We’ll start with:
- “Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past.”
- “Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill.”
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