Posted 23 January 2009 - 10:03 AM
The Japanese had no problems dehumanizing and destroying entire civilian populations in China. Although the primary "reason" for internment was to protect against sabotage to West Coast military installations, the fact is that civilian targets like food canning factories, port facilities, and civilian infrastructure like electrical and water systems were far more vulnerable and easy to get into.
We certainly had no issues with attacking civilian targets to try and force an end to the war.
The thing that the two have in common is a knee jerk, racially defined reaction that was not well thought out and made the US look like a lesser nation than it's purported ideals suggest at the end of the day. The people were placated into thinking that something being done is always better than nothing being done, with the added benefit that racial or religious differentiation makes it easier to put our enemies on a lesser moral or intellectual plane than we are. If we want to continue to evolve past our animal instincts we have to intellectually dismiss these types of emotions, as hard as it can be sometimes. And yes, we sometimes have to do it unilaterally, because if the most powerful and advanced nation on earth cannot do it, how can anyone else be expected to?