AFTER BRUSSELS, REFLECTIONS ON AMERICA’S OWN DARKEST HOUR

Tuesday morning, when I read about the seemingly synchronized bombings—two at the main airport and one at a major subway station—I was convinced that the attacks on Brussels were made by Jihadis. Brussels, Belgium, is the Headquarters for both the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  So, although these were attacks in the Heart of Europe, they were also made on “The West”—and against all civilized peoples of the world!

As Americans woke up to the news from Europe, they were soon greeted by comments from the various remaining Presidential candidates—of both parties.  Secretary Hillary Clinton, Governor John Kasich and Senator Bernie Sanders offered their condolences and pledged their support in the event they are elected. Unfortunately, Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz took the opportunity to offer an poorly-timed appeal to their supporters’ baser instincts, and to pander for votes!

Just hours before the attacks, Trump had suggested that the U. S. cut-back on its financial support for NATO.  Then, after the attacks were known, he called for a moratorium on foreign Muslim immigration into the United States.  And Cruz stated that we need to patrol and segregate Muslim neighborhoods, and that we should institute a National Muslim Database.  Will check-points and Red Crescents be next?  These comments made me think about when America tried a similar segregation program, and has been regretting it ever since.

In 1942, two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which re-located 120,000 persons of Japanese descent, many of whom were American citizens, into Internment Camps.  No similar Order was executed to forcibly take away the rights of residents who were of German or Italian heritage.  Among the internment camp population, there were many Japanese-American War heroes, who fought in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Theaters.  The Japanese were only allowed to return to their homes, beginning in 1945.

Few Japanese-Americans, if any at all, carried-out any acts of sabotage or sedition; however, they were removed from their homes, their livelihoods—their very lives—and transported hundreds of miles away. Obviously, its easy for me, some 70 years removed from the situation, to find fault with FDR’s order; but, I wonder how this might have been used—by Tokyo Rose or Axis Sally—to gain support for the Japanese and Nazi war machines.

The Muslims in America, for the most part, are peace-loving, educated and do not live in ghettos, as many do in Europe.  They have been integrated and accepted into American Society–at least in most areas.  This means that Muslims in America are the best sources of information regarding radicalized followers of Islam—or those sent to recruit them.

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