Motives and Effects

One characteristic of the left which leads to many of its bizarre contradictions is an overwhelming attachment to motives rather than effects in its ethical calculus.

That's why the actual removal of grossly backward, anti-human regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan which are leading to concrete and extraordinary reforms, are not given any credit -- because the motives of Bush's advisors are (Halliburton!) suspect.

That's all that matters.

Rather narrow point of view, no?

Kind of disregards the person-hood of the liberated, doesn't it?

It all becomes an intellectual parlor game.

That's also why they defend and romanticize horrible mass executioners of the innocent, such as Che Guevara:
The fog of time and the strength of anti-anti-Communism have obscured the real Che. Who was he? He was an Argentinian revolutionary who served as Castro's primary thug. He was especially infamous for presiding over summary executions at La Cabaña, the fortress that was his abattoir. He liked to administer the coup de grâce, the bullet to the back of the neck. And he loved to parade people past El Paredón, the reddened wall against which so many innocents were killed. Furthermore, he established the labor-camp system in which countless citizens — dissidents, democrats, artists, homosexuals — would suffer and die. This is the Cuban gulag. A Cuban-American writer, Humberto Fontova, described Guevara as "a combination of Beria and Himmler." Anthony Daniels once quipped, "The difference between [Guevara] and Pol Pot was that [the former] never studied in Paris."
So as long as the people who are working for a "progressive" society free from class differences and full of "social justice", whatever that is, maintain that motive, it doesn't matter that the effect they achieve is just to murder 100 million people.

We see this same inversion in the question of the internment of some Japanese-Americans on the West Coast during WW2, in case they were spies.

This is taken as one of the most horrible violations of human rights imaginable, a real stain on the history of the United States, and a source of shame and a clear diminution of anything positive we might ever have achieved.

I submit, and will prove conclusively below, that such a view is utter nonsense and completely absurd.

The mistake made here is again to confuse motives with effects.

Let's assume the worst: that those who planned and ordered the detention (these people were merely detained, not tortured or harmed in any way) did so purely out of racist malice and xenophobia in their hearts towards people of Japanese origin.

Then, it would only be those specific persons who would have any ethical issues to answer for; but that says nothing about the effectiveness or ethicality of the policy itself.

The policy should be judged not by the motives possibly behind it by some of its architects, but by its effects.

And consider, in time of war, we normally have no problem at all with accepting that the government can draft people totally against their will, and then force them to go into harm's way in battle zones, thrusting them into a kill-or-be-killed situation.

So if that's the case, can not the government then also essentially "draft" people against their will, and then tell them to sit in a comfortable camp far from danger as their part to perform in the war effort?

The effect of the policy was thus less burdensome to the detainees than it was to the much larger group of draftees!

So what's the harm?

Aha, I can hear it already, the disagreement is welling up that the practice was wrong, because, well, because of the motivation behind it.

Like that really matters. It may be an issue to someone sitting at home, but to someone in a foxhole, they might wish to have been treated in such a "disrespectful" and "inhumane" fashion as the detainees!

I don't deny many or even most or even all of the detainees were good, patriotic upstanding citizens. But just to be sure there weren't spies among them (and there were indeed spy networks among the Asian population of Hawaii, I believe), why wouldn't they stride forth and gladly accept, for the safety of the country, that their part in the war effort is to be "drafted" into a detention camp to increase the chance of neetting the possible spies? And why must we now grovel and apologize for this?

There's not even any "big principle" to worry about here; it's legal to suspend habeus corpus in time of war according to the Constitution, and the Supreme Court has found that according to common sense, being drafted does NOT equate to "involuntary servitude" (which is prohibited).

It's only the armchair revolutionary intellectual or hollywood pundit, distanced from the brutalities of reality, that can indulge the luxury of worrying about motives rather than real effects. It makes getting real results in the real world -- a difficult thing to do -- not be required to claim membership in the smug club.

It also allows for the maintenance of the cognitive dissonance of living a material life exceeding the wildest dreams of the kings of old, and driving an SUV and wearing sweat-shop shoes, because it is not the real effects of their lifestyle on which they are judged, but rather by the cocktail-party conformist motives in their heart, and the authenticity of their hatred for Bush.

Leftism is nothing but a poisonous combination of laziness and infantile narcissism.

Oh, by the way, Michelle Malkin has written a book on the topic (which I haven't reaad, because I'm sure I already agree 100%):
In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror
Book Description
This diligently documented book shows that neither the internment of ethnic Japanese--not to mention ethnic Germans and Italians--nor the relocation and ecacuation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast were the result of war hysteria or race prejudice as historians have taught us.

From the Publisher
Everything you've been taught about the World War II "internment camps" in America is wrong: - They were not created primarily because of racism or wartime hysteria
- They did not target only those of Japanese descent
- They were not Nazi-style death camps In her latest investigative tour-de-force, New York Times best-selling author Michelle Malkin sets the historical record straight-and debunks radical ethnic alarmists who distort history to undermine common-sense, national security profiling. The need for this myth-shattering book is vital. President Bush's opponents have attacked every homeland defense policy as tantamount to the "racist" and "unjustified" World War II internment. Bush's own transportation secretary, Norm Mineta, continues to milk his childhood experience at a relocation camp as an excuse to ban profiling at airports. Misguided guilt about the past continues to hamper our ability to prevent future terrorist attacks. In Defense of Internment shows that the detention of enemy aliens, and the mass evacuation and relocation of ethnic Japanese from the West Coast were not the result of irrational hatred or conspiratorial bigotry. This document-packed book highlights the vast amount of intelligence, including top-secret "MAGIC" messages, which revealed the Japanese espionage threat on the West Coast. Malkin also tells the truth about:
- who resided in enemy alien internment camps (nearly half were of European ancestry)
- what the West Coast relocation centers were really like (tens of thousands of ethnic Japanese were allowed to leave; hundreds voluntarily chose to move in)
- why the $1.65 billion federal reparations law for Japanese internees and evacuees
was a bipartisan disaster
- and how both Japanese American and Arab/Muslim American leaders have united

to undermine America's safety. With trademark fearlessness, Malkin adds desperately needed perspective to the ongoing debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security. In Defense of Internment will outrage, enlighten, and radically change the way you view the past-and the present.
Start profiling now.

We can start now or we can start later. The only question is, will it be your family that becomes the sacrificial object lesson that finally wipes away resistance to the idea?