Which they don't admit either.
Reading this, I was reminded of a recent column by Neil Steinberg in the Chicago Sun-Times:
You want to feel good about [America]? Talk about slavery.Steinberg was writing about the Turkish attitude toward -- and legislation concerning -- discussion of the deaths of hundreds of thousands, maybe more than a million, of Armenians in 1915 -- but I believe it applies in this context as well.
How, you may ask, can this shameful peak of human cruelty, whose lingering bad effects are felt to this day, be a source of pride to the nation that tolerated its existence for nearly a century?
Because at least we recognize it. We are aware of it; we teach about slavery in schools. We can talk about it. And if we don't face facts as much as we should, then at least debating them isn't against the law.
The horrors of the Battle of Okinawa helped persuade American authorities that it was necessary to use the atomic bomb: Tens of thousands would be killed by the bomb. But millions on both sides would have died in an invasion of the Home Islands -- if the Japanese military insisted on fighting to the death as it had throughout the island campaign and at Okinawa. And if their own military ordered, forced or frightened Japanese civilians into mass suicide -- as at Okinawa. Whitewash what the Japanese military did to their own people at Okinawa and future generations will not understand the desperation that led America to use the ultimate weapon.
That might make the world less safe from nuclear war, not more safe: Take away the agonizing balancing that American planners had to perform in deciding to use the Bomb and you make it merely an exercise in power. As in 'we have it, let's use it.'
Is that the false precedent that we want to transmit to military strategists in North Korean or Iran or Who-Knows-Where?
Most readers will recognize that slavery lasted on this continent for more than a century... but Steinberg went on to explain in his column that he used "less than a century" deliberately, since the United States of America did not come into existence until 1776.