Presidential speech on nuclear weapons

Mr President: Below is the draft of your proposed remarks in Japan regarding nuclear weapons. We have included points (marked by “[Shouts]”) where it is possible that troublemakers might attempt to disrupt your presentation, especially if the Japanese authorities fail to take measures to prevent such discourtesies.

No, we’re not going to apologize. That would imply that we had done something wrong, and we never do anything wrong. That’s what makes us exceptional. And if we weren’t exceptional, people might dispute our right to run the world.

So: no apology. Yes, I know 140,000 innocent Japanese civilians, and maybe more than a few American prisoners of war, were killed by that first bomb. But we didn’t know that that many people would be killed, because we’d never exploded one of these bombs before.

[Shouts] Except in a few tests, of course. But we didn’t have many people nearby for the tests, so we couldn’t know for sure that the bomb would actually kill people. [Shouts] Well, yes, I believe that there may have been some American Indians in the general neighborhood. But most of them didn’t die until later – along with John Wayne, I believe, so you can’t say that racism entered into it.

So, at the time, we couldn’t be sure that the bomb was going to kill so many people. It might have been one of the first instances of collateral damage – except for the firebombing of Dresden, but it was the Brits who did that; you can’t blame us for that.

So, the Hiroshima bomb killed 140,000, more or less. But we learned. We learned how to reduce the collateral damage. Only three days later, at Nagasaki, the civilian toll was only 80,000. That was a 43 percent reduction in the collateral damage in only three days. Nothing like that to reduce civilian casualties of war has happened before or since, and I am really amazed, as a Nobel laureate myself, that President Truman wasn’t awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for that tremendous contribution to the protection of civilian populations in war time.

[Shouts] While we are on the subject of nuclear weapons, let me say that they were invented by scientists in the United States. We copyrighted that invention under US law, and we are not at all happy that some countries are copying our inventions without even asking permission. If the TPP, the Trade Pig in a Poke, eventually becomes effective worldwide, you can be sure we will enforce our intellectual property rights over means of universal destruction, as well as over everything else.

Now that I am about to leave office, I know that some of you are upset because I got the Nobel Prize for just talking and not actually doing anything. But I still have eight months left, and I could still do something to roll back nuclear proliferation. We are currently working on a proposal that North Korea store its nuclear weapons safely in a third country. Israel, for example.

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