“President Obama is going to Hiroshima. Do you believe he’s going there symbolically, to honor the American war dead, who gave their lives in the Pacific to secure our freedom against a murderous religious cult that was running the Japanese government at the time?” SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon asked former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily.
“Well, I’m sure that thought hasn’t crossed his mind,” Bolton replied.
“In the abstract, I’m sure it’s appropriate at some point for an American president to visit Hiroshima,” he continued. “If it were Ronald Reagan, I would not have the slightest qualms at all about his ability to explain why Harry Truman decided to use the first nuclear weapon in combat, and why it was both military and morally justified, while feeling compassion for the Japanese victims.”
“This is something that remains to cement the U.S.-Japan relationship, and I think Ronald Reagan would have done it perfectly,” said Bolton. “With Barack Obama, I have this sick feeling in my stomach that he’s gonna go and apologize. The White House says that’s not gonna happen. Honestly, I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Bannon compared the current situation in Northeast Asia to Europe on the eve of World War I, worrying that “something could happen in a remote area that could light off something, and I don’t think that area of the world is getting enough attention, for what the tensions are – and frankly, how poorly the United States has managed our relationships over there.”
“I think that’s right, and I think it’s true not just in Northeast Asia, but if you look along the East China Sea, and the South China Sea, as China is assertive – even belligerent – in not only its territorial claims, but its maneuvers with its naval vessels, I think South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the ASEAN nations are extremely nervous about what’s going on,” Bolton agreed.
“Despite the Obama Administration’s much-trumpeted ‘pivot’ from the Middle East – where, of course, they’ve been so successful – their pivot from the Middle East to Asia is invisible,” Bolton added, with a dash of sarcasm.
He warned that the continued decline of U.S. naval power “hampers our ability to project American power out on the western shore of the Pacific, where our allies are located.”
“It is a very dangerous time, particularly when adversaries, or at least competitors, like China, and adversaries like North Korea, see American weakness. The danger of miscalculation is enormous,” said Bolton. “They may see weakness and take chances that they wouldn’t otherwise have taken, that could prompt even Obama to have to respond. It’s that kind of miscalculation that leads to hostilities.”
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