At a symbolic ceremony at Pearl Harbor, President Obama hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and took time during a solemn moment of remembrance to attack Donald Trump.
Obama, with the backdrop of what the Los Angeles Times describes as “the ascendance of President-elect Donald Trump,” described his rise as “when hatred burns hottest.”
He then added a racial element to the comments, saying that as the “tug of tribalism is at its most primal”, it’s important to “resist the urge to demonize those who are different.”
Unlike President Obama, who condemned the “mistaken” American foreign policy that led to dropping nuclear bombs in Japan, today at Pearl Harbor Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered condolences for the departed, but stopped short of apologizing for or condemning Japanese policy during World War 2.
Abe, while speaking of his country’s continued promise to avoid waging war, even conceded the Japanese “harbor quiet pride in the past.”
Obama, who spoke after Abe, took a dig at Donald Trump.
“It is here that we remember, even when a hatred burns, a tug of tribalism at the most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward and resist the urge to demonize those who are different,” he said, using his common attack line on Trump. “The sacrifice made here, the anguish of war, it reminds us to seek a divine spark that is common to all of humanity.”
Obama had visited Hiroshima in May and lamented the “mistake” the United States made in dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese Prime Minister would offer no such similar apologies.
Meanwhile, President-elect Trump has suggested an expansion of America’s nuclear arsenal.
“Let it be an arms race,” he said. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
Comment: What do you think of Obama ripping Trump and his supporters as willing to ‘demonize those who are different’ at a solemn war memorial such as Pearl Harbor? Share your thoughts below.
Cross-posted at the Political Insider