The reality couldn't be more different. He's not apologizing. His tours are exercises in smug triumphalism and obfuscation of the historical record.
If you actually listen to the speeches they are filled with historical revision, lies and condescending platitudes. The Right-wing pundits are right in that these speeches are disgusting displays, but not for the reasons they think.
They are so insulting that frankly if I were a leader in Cuba or Vietnam I would have to stop him mid-speech and send him packing. They are odious exhibitions of rank hubris and audacity.
Vietnam's legacy after the American War is a poor one. Freedom was certainly crushed and yet for a society that endured decades of war, the new unified government provided a degree of stability and peace. Its society was in chaos and its land in tatters.
Hanoi is not to be praised and it receives no accolades from any sector of political opinion. Socialists decry its Stalinism and its eventual turn to market capitalism in the 1980s. It broke faith with its population and turned them into a cheap labour platform as has the government in Beijing. This is hardly communism or socialism, let alone Left-wing.
They have degenerated into an authoritarian state dominated by a capitalist ruling class, an utter betrayal of the goals, aims and aspirations of their founder.
But for a US president to lecture them about human rights and the moral responsibilities of government is obscene. Is Obama serious? Is this a person who is acting with all his faculties intact? Is this some kind of satire or is this person quite literally mad, some sort of sociopath?
Human rights? The United States cares nothing for human rights or the rule of law. This is the nation that steals the world's data, spies on all peoples, has secret prisons, has kidnapped people off the streets, tortures, assassinates with missiles from remotely piloted drones, backs dictatorships, has created death squads, has toppled dozens of governments, ravaged the planet with its conventional bombs and chemical weapons, launched the world into the era of atomic warfare, and proliferates weapons on a scale unparalleled by any other nation in world history. Its economic model is wed to this system as it works in tandem with proxy regimes crushing dissent, polluting, stealing resources and all but enslaving multitudes of workers in a miasma of consumerist propaganda, lies and misery, driving many to flee and seek a better life.
Human rights? Will no one in the prostituted media dispute this? It's unbelievable that such statements are allowed uncontested and with impunity.
Human rights? The United States backs some of the worst abusers of human rights. Some of them are its closest allies.
The United States is responsible for at least a million deaths in Vietnam, perhaps two and probably closer to three or four when taking in the entirety of the Indochinese theatre. The war founded on lies was a disgusting exercise in brutality. Even advocates of war will struggle to justify the doctrines and actions implemented in this conflict. It is not an exaggeration to raise the question of genocide. I find that very few Americans have actually looked into the history of the war and probed the real nature of what was happening on the ground. It was a monstrosity worthy of some of the worst regimes in history.
The United States was not yet using depleted uranium which has led to a spike in cancers and deformities in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. And yet it used not only the hellish weapon of napalm but millions of gallons of defoliants like Agent Orange which effectively served as chemical weapons. Many of Vietnam's forests were destroyed and the people are still suffering from the effects of the toxic spray that has infected the soil and water.
The Vietnamese president should have paraded a long line of children born with birth defects, and people with limbs blown off my US landmines before the face of the so-called peace president. He might have put them in orange jump-suits for further effect.
The Vietnamese should lecture Obama on US support for the Khmer Rouge which Vietnam toppled. The US continued to support Pol Pot throughout the remainder of the Carter and Reagan administrations. Where was America's concern for human rights while supporting the genocidal Khmer Rouge responsible for nearly two million deaths in Cambodia?
But politics has its own ethics and its own historiography.
Obama did not apologize in Hiroshima as many Right-wing commentators report. He lectured them and he lied.
He lied about history (as have many American historians) when reporting the conclusion of the Asian War. The dropping of the bombs was not necessary nor did it force the Japanese to surrender. That's just not telling the whole story. It was not about saving lives, it was not morally justifiable or an act of love as some heretical Christians will assert.
It's just not the case. There's more to the story. It involves communications, the specificity of US demands with regard to unconditional surrender, the status of Hirohito and certainly the Soviet declaration of war. Truman's order to drop the bombs was little more than wanton murder and the actions of a megalomaniac. They were signals sent to the world that a new order was in place, a new era was upon the world. It was a message to its allies, enemies and future enemies. It was one of the greatest crimes of a war that was filled with black deeds almost unparalleled in world history.
Capping this round of duplicitous diplomacy Obama pledges once more to eliminate nuclear weapons and advocate for peace. This from a war-mongering militarist who has laboured to spread chaos and death across the Middle East and now Eastern Europe. The Right will decry this even though their icon Reagan had the same vision with regard to nuclear weapons. He didn't initially of course, but after watching 'The Day After', the Able Archer debacle, and the ascent of Gorbachev, he began to change course. They came very close to eliminating the bulk of nuclear weapons in Reykjavik but the talks ultimately failed.
Obama pledged in Prague that he would work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons but then has presided over the biggest increase in nuclear spending, perhaps in history.
It's a word game. Under the rubric of 'modernization' the United States is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal and spending a trillion dollars over the next couple of decades in order to do so.
What Obama clearly means is that everyone else should get rid of their weapons but not the United States. America will continue to modernise and expand its arsenal and continues to work toward developing tactical weapons that are included in its battle plans. As these plans become public what can other nations do but feel the need to proliferate in order to survive the threats of the Great Terrorist Nation, the American Empire?
It is perhaps one of the most outrageous lies of his administration and certainly one of the greatest lies of our generation. The media is almost silent. There has been very little mainstream coverage and I have yet to see a reporter call him out on his outrageous mendacity and deceit. His peace prize is a travesty and discredits the already discredited Nobel committee which has absurdly awarded the prize to figures like Henry Kissinger.
Obama's recent diplomatic escapades are not exercises in capitulation or apology. They are displays of triumphalist imperialism, sociopathic displays of American hubris and hypocrisy. The message is clear- We own the world and we determine what is truth.