View Poll Results: Do you obey the order to force Americans at gunpoint into concentration camps?

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  • Yes, I will obey the order.

    12 36.36%
  • No, I will refuse the order.

    16 48.48%
  • I Don't Know

    5 15.15%
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Thread: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s?

  1. #31
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    With the full benefit of history and hind-sight: Of course not. It's easy to say with knowledge of the consequences and clarity of history that it was wrong.

    However, you are conflating hindsight with foreknowledge in asking "would you do the same today?" The problem is that in a similar situation today, we don't have the benefit of history to inform us. The situation you pose is that of individual judgement vs. chain of command on who is or is not an "enemy." Essentially, this the "conscientious objector" situation.

    The situational details of a modern analogous situation would certainly dictate the actions of a number of military members, including the knowledge of history of the Japanese Internment.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Jamethon's Avatar
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post
    That does sound a bit weird given the responses in this thread.

    So would you have obeyed the order or not?
    I think if I was just a regular soldier back then, I probably would have. With how conservative our country was and how pro-american everyone must have been after Pearl Harbor that there would have been no question. Now-a-days? Probably not. Unless there was some sort of uprising and terrorism from within the United States, why would there be a need to?
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by imnohero View Post
    However, you are conflating hindsight with foreknowledge in asking "would you do the same today?" The problem is that in a similar situation today, we don't have the benefit of history to inform us. The situation you pose is that of individual judgement vs. chain of command on who is or is not an "enemy." Essentially, this the "conscientious objector" situation.
    I don't think this is the conscientious objector situation at all.

    If you are ordered to kill everybody wearing hats in a Wal-Mart in down town Phoenix, and I tell you they are the enemy, and that's all the information you have, well then certainly you do not have the benefit of history of that situation (we never do, obviously). But you do have other things. You have the law and the Constitution and you have your knowledge of both depending on how much study you put into it.

    If I refuse to do so, and I would, I'm not a conscientious objector by a long shot. I've killed hundreds of the enemy, but I won't do this. I'm not a conscientious objector, it's that I'm a professional military officer and not a thug.

    You make a great point - that studying what happened in the 1940s when our military unlawfully rounded up American citizens and threw them into concentration camps, can help us be ready if called to do something similar.
    COURAGE!

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Well, you aren't going to like this answer either, but yes [I would follow an unlawful order to round up innocent Americans by force and throw them into concentration camps]. ...I probably would have obeyed the order for self preservation purposes.

  4. #34
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post

    You make a great point - that studying what happened in the 1940s when our military unlawfully rounded up American citizens and threw them into concentration camps, can help us be ready if called to do something similar.
    Given how infrequently we've been attacked on our soil, which affects the level of "buy in" people have, it is tough to come up with a comparable situation, but given tensions at the time, you could easily transpose Pearl Harbor with 9-11... what if the order was given to go door to door and round up all the Muslims, citizens or not, in New York, DC, or wherever. I can see no circumstances where that would be an order anyone would act on. But that's essentially what happened in 1942. Given that context, I'd have to change my answer to your original question, knowing what I know now, no, I would not follow said order.
    "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the street so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. "

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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamethon View Post
    I think if I was just a regular soldier back then, I probably would have.
    Again, the question is with what you know now, you're put into that situation (knowing what you know now). So being a "regular soldier" as we all are, you would have obeyed? Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamethon View Post
    With how conservative our country was and how pro-american everyone must have been after Pearl Harbor that there would have been no question.
    So politics and popular opinion/prejudice would lead you to go with the flow?

    So I'm assuming you would have hung black Americans or at least cheered it not too long ago if you lived in the South, because that was the way the wind blew, and the path of least resistance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamethon View Post
    Now-a-days? Probably not.
    So you would have thrown Americans into concentration camps absent charge and trial in the 1940s, but today you probably wouldn't. What's the difference, and why is there some doubt as to whether you'd throw your neighbors into concentration camps today?
    COURAGE!

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Well, you aren't going to like this answer either, but yes [I would follow an unlawful order to round up innocent Americans by force and throw them into concentration camps]. ...I probably would have obeyed the order for self preservation purposes.

  6. #36
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by CrustySMSgt View Post
    Given how infrequently we've been attacked on our soil, which affects the level of "buy in" people have, it is tough to come up with a comparable situation, but given tensions at the time, you could easily transpose Pearl Harbor with 9-11... what if the order was given to go door to door and round up all the Muslims, citizens or not, in New York, DC, or wherever. I can see no circumstances where that would be an order anyone would act on. But that's essentially what happened in 1942. Given that context, I'd have to change my answer to your original question, knowing what I know now, no, I would not follow said order.
    OK, I guess the significant difference would be the fact that we were attacked by a nation, not members of a religion/unaffiliated terrorist group. Still doesnt change my changed answer... lol
    "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the street so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. "

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  7. #37
    Senior Member Jamethon's Avatar
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post
    Again, the question is with what you know now, you're put into that situation (knowing what you know now). So being a "regular soldier" as we all are, you would have obeyed? Why?
    Knowing what I know now? Of course I wouldn't have obeyed the order. It wasn't lawful.

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post
    So politics and popular opinion/prejudice would lead you to go with the flow?

    So I'm assuming you would have hung black Americans or at least cheered it not too long ago if you lived in the South, because that was the way the wind blew, and the path of least resistance?
    Politics/popular opinion would have affected my opinion because that is what I would have known. It wouldn't be a moral decision, it would have just been the norm.

    And as for your second question, who knows? I can't answer for what I would have been a part of. My family doesn't originate from the south and weren't slave owners. But for those who grew up and had a great influence by their family who did the same, what difference would they know? BTW, it's "hanged" not "hung" in this situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post
    So you would have thrown Americans into concentration camps absent charge and trial in the 1940s, but today you probably wouldn't. What's the difference, and why is there some doubt as to whether you'd throw your neighbors into concentration camps today?
    I already stated why I wouldn't now. The Internet. The access to information that makes it easier to open your eyes and realize it is wrong. Why there is some doubt now?

    I don't see "all enemies foreign and domestic" as those who just say bad things about us. Planned, attempted or actual acts of terror is what that means (to me). If uprising starts happening and American citizens start trying to revolt with violence then they should be arrested. Not to the extent of concentration camps, an actual due process.
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  8. #38
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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by PickYourBattles View Post
    I don't think this is the conscientious objector situation at all.

    If you are ordered to kill everybody wearing hats in a Wal-Mart in down town Phoenix, and I tell you they are the enemy, and that's all the information you have, well then certainly you do not have the benefit of history of that situation (we never do, obviously). But you do have other things. You have the law and the Constitution and you have your knowledge of both depending on how much study you put into it.

    If I refuse to do so, and I would, I'm not a conscientious objector by a long shot. I've killed hundreds of the enemy, but I won't do this. I'm not a conscientious objector, it's that I'm a professional military officer and not a thug.

    You make a great point - that studying what happened in the 1940s when our military unlawfully rounded up American citizens and threw them into concentration camps, can help us be ready if called to do something similar.
    Being ordered to kill everyone in wal-mart is not analogous to the Japanese Internment. The closest modern equivalent is the invasion of iraq, based on faulty intel of WMD. In hindsight, with the clarity of history, Iraq did not pose a "clear and present danger" to the united states. So was the invasion of Iraq a legal order? In hind-sight, likely not.

    That is the level of personal vs. organizational judgement you are asking people to make. Not the clear-cut decision to "go kill people in walmart" that you suggest.

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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    Quote Originally Posted by imnohero View Post
    Being ordered to kill everyone in wal-mart is not analogous to the Japanese Internment.
    No, but it is analogous to whether or not a person follows an order without regard to the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by imnohero View Post
    The closest modern equivalent is the invasion of iraq, based on faulty intel of WMD. In hindsight, with the clarity of history, Iraq did not pose a "clear and present danger" to the united states. So was the invasion of Iraq a legal order? In hind-sight, likely not.
    It was a lawful order. There is a difference between stupid orders, and unlawful orders. Going to Iraq was lawful, even though very stupid and even though it hurt the security of the United States. In contrast, going to Libya on day 61 was unlawful, even though it wasn't nearly as harmful to America but it was still unlawful.

    Quote Originally Posted by imnohero View Post
    That is the level of personal vs. organizational judgement you are asking people to make. Not the clear-cut decision to "go kill people in walmart" that you suggest.
    The clear cut decision is whether you follow the law and the Constitution, not whether or not it's a good idea. It is pretty clear cut.
    COURAGE!

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Well, you aren't going to like this answer either, but yes [I would follow an unlawful order to round up innocent Americans by force and throw them into concentration camps]. ...I probably would have obeyed the order for self preservation purposes.

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    Re: Would you have forced Americans into concentration camps at gunpoint in the 1940s

    When I first saw this thread, I thought "PYB, you've overstepped yourself. That was a pretty loaded question!"

    Then I log on again today - and see all these poor souls acting all muddled about a really simple question - would you violate the rights of fellow Americans and commit a terrible crime against them if you were ordered to do so?

    There is no doubt in my mind that if martial law was declared tomorrow, our military would carry it out mindlessly and without question... even these "libertarians" who ramble on and on about "fighting tyranny"... these very same people would sheepishly start herding Americans into camps.

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