Obama to Hiroshima: Actions, Not Words

, former co-director, Global Security | May 10, 2016, 10:18 am EDT
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President Obama will be the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima when he travels to Japan later this month. He will give a speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which commemorates the atomic bombing by the United States on August 6, 1945.


Photo: Campaign for Barack Obama

According to the president’s speech writer, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s remarks “will reaffirm America’s longstanding commitment — and the President’s personal commitment — to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. As the President has said, the United States has a special responsibility to continue to lead in pursuit of that objective as we are the only nation to have used a nuclear weapon.”

But the president must do more than give another beautiful speech about nuclear disarmament. The world needs—indeed, is desperate for—concrete action.

There are many meaningful steps that President Obama can take that will make every American safer—without the approval of Congress or agreement of Russia. As UCS and its faith partners—the National Association of Evangelicals, the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition—noted in their May 4 statement Faith and Science Leaders Agree: Reduce the Threat of Nuclear Catastrophe Now, the president should:

In Prague in 2009, President Obama committed the United States to reducing the role of nuclear weapons and putting an end to Cold War thinking.

It’s time to walk the talk, Mr. President.

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  • Ryan Alt

    Pinning your hopes to the symbolic speeches of self serving politicians over and over again and expecting different results is nothing more than insanity. Do you really think that for the first time in history, political rhetoric is going to amount to more than empty promises? Really??? I predict US modernization of nuclear weapons will move forward since Russian deployment of new missile systems continues in number and at an accelerated pace. I know it may be difficult for some to swallow but this country is already a dictatorship masquerading as a democracy. I am far from the only person who sees this.

  • solodoctor

    Good suggestions for the President. I’d also hope he will make some conciliatory statements and even meet with some surviving victims and family members while he is in Hiroshima.