Tuesday, June 15, 2010
A thought experiment
"This is a protest against parading in a Muslim area. We love death the way you love life."
Hey, remember that whole thing about the Japanese in the US and Canada being interned during the war because they were thought to belong to a nation that we were at war with?
Remember how everyone was really embarrassed about it afterwards because the Japanese-Americans and Japanese-Canadians were actually law-abiding citizens who had businesses, sent their kids to the normal schools and generally had completely integrated (as best one could in the 1940s)? Remember how the Canadian govt' went through one of their periodic spasms of guilt and started offering pay-outs to the families, even though it was 60 years later and all the people who had actually done it and had it done to them were more or less dead?
We felt bad about it, and did all that apologising and paying-out because the ethnically Japanese in our midst (a bunch of whom fought for their country - ie: Canada and America) were not actually any threat. None whatever. They had been there for generations and had genuine patriotic loyalty to the US and Canada. They weren't enemies. They were us.
But just for a second, imagine if they weren't.
Imagine for a moment, if there really were a huge group of people living in your country, and I mean millions, who were from a country your country was at war with.
And what if these people really hated your country and everything it stood for and was about, even though they were living in it and enjoying its protections and a great deal of financial support. Who worked night and day to destroy it. Who protested every time your country won a victory over their place of origin. Who advocated and sometimes committed horrible acts of violence against your people.
And who, moreover, got into the newspapers as often as they could and told you that your country is no good. And who would show up at public events with placards that read "We will destroy you". And who have some extremely unsavoury family practices.
What if these people were well organised and being funded by some very rich foreign countries to do everything possible to overthrow your entire culture, your way of life, your way of thinking, your civilisation.
What if, in other words they really were a proven deadly threat?