During a Monday press conference, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told WW2 veterans to get over their bitterness regarding Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor. He told them to get over it for the sake of America.
The Daily Caller reports that Earnest said:
“Yes, there may be some who feel personally embittered,” he said. “But I’m confident that many will set aside their own personal bitterness, not because they’re personally satisfied by the words of the Prime Minister, but because they recognize how important this moment is for the United States.”
American war veterans should never be told, especially by someone who has never served in the military, especially someones whose only work has been in politics, to “get over” any war-related feelings. Returning war veterans should be allowed to get over anything they want, whenever they are ready. Or not. They have been to war, protected our nation and the nations of our allies, fought on behalf of freedom. Yet they have been shamed. They have been called baby killers. They report being spat upon, though the liberal media chooses to dispute this. Their post-war medical care has been ignored to the point of negligent homicide. And WW2 vets are now being told what to think about Pearl Harbor.
Come on, now.
Lest we forget: the attack on Pearl Harbor put us into a war we didn’t want to be in in the first place. We had just gotten over WW1 and The Great Depression, and no one was itching to go to war anytime soon, but we were called to it when the Japanese cold cocked us by attacking our naval base at Pearl Harbor, completely destroying the USS Arizona, 160 aircraft, 12 other ships, and 2,300 American soldiers. 1,178 soldiers were wounded, some of whom are still alive and are currently being told how to think about Pearl Harbor by a boy in a suit who has never done work outside of the political sphere.
I don’t care about the diplomatic games President Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are playing. I don’t care that President Obama didn’t apologize when he visited Hiroshima. It represents one of few times when traveled abroad and didn’t apologize. In fact, I’m glad he didn’t because he shouldn’t have. I don’t care that Shinzo Abe is announcing — weeks before visiting Pearl Harbor — that he will not be apologizing either.
Bully for y’all. It’s a fine plan. Don’t apologize if you don’t feel like it. These were acts of war committed by other people several generations ago, but they still matter. They affected most American families and we still remember. You can host visits from political leaders, you can talk about statistics, which matter — WW2 killed 60 million people, many of them friends and family members of Americans alive today — you can talk about the atrocities of war, which matter. But telling people how they should think about something that affects them personally is insulting and out of place.
It is not the press secretary’s job to spin our feelings and he or she should never tell our veterans how to manage their memories, especially during the week of Pearl Harbor Day.