The Left's response to an attack on America by alien enemies was to immediately form a "Society for the Protection of Enemy Aliens."
"On September 11, the nearest television set at my college was in the video laboratory, and around me there swirled a reassuring bustle of purposeful and competent activity. One faculty colleague worked to hook up the recorder, another crouched and leaned to snap still photos from the television screens. Standing among them, as we watched the World Trade Center topple, I felt a palpable and unanticipated gregariousness, a concord of mood and feeling.
"This sense of commonality barely outlasted the towers themselves. One of my younger colleagues, a woman who keeps an apartment in Brooklyn, turned to me, badly shaken, and said, "I have to do something about this in my class. I have to show them the video about the Japanese internment camps."
"So much for collective mood. Why should the murder of thousands of men, women, and children, accomplished in an instant, concern us? Well, it turns out, because it might lead to something really serious, like civil-rights violations. [War comes to Williams, By Michael J. Lewis, Commentary Magazine, November 2001]
That was their first thought; not fighting back, not protecting America, not anything as normal as, say, revenge, but this: protect the enemy aliens.
The mythology attached to the internment of Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans is more important in high school history classes than anything like the wartime activities of the Empire of Japan, or the heroism of the Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific.
I myself had never heard the story of the Niihau Island Incident, discussed in Michelle Malkin's In Defense of Internment, when, as Steve Sailer wrote,
...the first two Japanese American citizens to have their loyalty spontaneously tested by a Japanese incursion ...flunked. A Japanese pilot returning from shooting up Pearl Harbor crash-landed on Niihau, the privately-owned ranching island that serves as a cultural preserve for Native Hawaiians. The two American-born citizens of Japanese descent on Niihau collaborated with the pilot and briefly took over the island, until a wounded Hawaiian killed the aviator with his bare hands. One of the quislings then shot himself.
All this is news to me, and I'm a conservative. But I was recently gratified to see that Ken Masugi of the Claremont Institute was explaining all this to an Internet audience only two months after the attacks.
Read the whole thing, to see what a sensible policy towards racial profiling and illegal enemy aliens would look like. Here are some of the important quotes from the chat.
David: Without resorting to internment, don't you think that it would be wise to consider deportation of all illegal aliens, particularly those from Arab and Islamic nations?
KEN MASUGI: Deportation of ANY illegal alien should always be a possibility.
KEN MASUGI:Again, disparate measures, by which I mean legal actions which hit those of Middle Eastern ancestry disproportionately (e.g., being searched at an airport more frequently than others), are to be expected and are wise policy.
KEN MASUGI: I reiterate that there will be disparate, disproportional treatment of persons of Middle East ancestry or dark skin and hair that will inconvenience them and sometimes find them in jail. This is nothing to rejoice about. We need to be concerned about all Americans and all those legally in our country. Criminals should be treated as criminals, and the authorities should not feel shackled by a bad understanding of the relocation/internment. That is my fear this ignorance of the relocation will encourage.
["Current Lessons from the Japanese-American Relocation of WWII" Townhall.com Live Chat, 11/14/01]
You can also read Masugi's article, Second-Guessing FDR: The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, in which he more or less demolishes Eric Muller's thesis that the Japanese Americans who, as Masugi puts it "turned against their country in time of war and resisted the draft" were the "patriots."
This is projecting the left-wing values of the Vietnam War era backwards in time.
Remember, in the controversy about where and why to fight wars, that there are not only the people that want the US to fight wars, there's also the group that wants the US to lose wars.
Oh, and that, of course, comes right up to fight to control the southern border.