John Hinderaker of Powerline and Dan Riehl  are annoyed that Obama side-stepped a question about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings while on his trip to Japan. Conor Friedersdorf confronts them:

How dismaying that a loud subset of the right so consistently demands that President Obama privilege their childish desire for self-righteous rhetoric above the actual demands of statesmanship. What good would it possibly do to tell the Japanese, “Yes, I think it was right to incinerate your cities”? It wouldn’t do any good. On the other side of the ledger, it would antagonize an allied nation, put its leadership in a difficult spot that might impede its ability to help the United States.

President Obama is also endeavoring to slow nuclear proliferation, so it would hardly due to have headlines in Iranian newspapers pointing out that even as he demands that other nations give up nuclear weapons, he is saying that their only actual use in history was justified.

Asked whether the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified, President Obama correctly calculated that answering either yes or no would harm American interests, so he gave neither answer, the wisest course available to him, even if it didn’t satisfy the jingoistic vanity of certain critics.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.