I must admit that I’ve always believed that it was the – unmentionable – United States of America.
But the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, recently taught the world otherwise. When introducing the Japanese prime minister as the recipient of the militarist NATO-support organisation Atlantic Council’s Prize, she mentions that he comes from Hiroshima and that nuclear bombs fell on it when he was a child. At this point in her speech, she does not mention who dropped these bombs and destroyed the two cities.
Why? Well, watch from about 6 minutes into the video below and, in particular, around 6:45. Here, her speech writer, or she herself, wants to be able to blow off the bizarre sentence that today “Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again.”
And then comes a series of condemnations of that threat – but no condemnation of the – unmentionable US – that de facto committed the crimes of nuclear bombing. (Which, btw. no American president visiting Hiroshima or Nagasaki has had the decency or courage to apologise for).
In a style that is both phoney and preachy as if to convince herself and to be oh-so intimate with her dear Fumio, she reads from a manuscript. So that “once again” must have been included with a purpose. (I don’t take up whether or not Putin/Russia has threatened to use nukes). The point is that she omits mention of the US as the perpetrator.
If she had mentioned that it was the US that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that “once again” sentence could not serve its purpose of associating Russia – not other NATO countries – with the atomic bomb.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a demagogue is “a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.”
This is the ethical and intellectual level of the highest official of the European Union in the year 2023.