The Instigator
jlc0033
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
TheRussian
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Forcing American Japanese into Internment Camps during WWII was the correct decision.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheRussian
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 953 times Debate No: 54181
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

jlc0033

Pro

Not only was this correct decision, but it was the only decision. Roosevelt was a very diplomatic man who understood the Democratic preference that was needed in order to protect the majority of Americans. Forcing 100,000 thousand Japanese into camps was and remains very unethical, but protecting America from the very real possibility at the time of a Japanese Amphibious invasion outweighed those concerns. At this time in the war directly after Pearl Harbor, a large majority of our naval bases on small Pacific Islands had been taken out. Left with no early warning/defense system we as a nation were left to protect our own West Coast. With what could be described in some cases as an enemy behind our gates there was no need to run the risk of there being inside this large population enemy sympathizers, and even active participants in the Japanese Army such as spies. Roosevelt being left little to no other choice as acting President of the United States of America had to do his best to both protect and serve the Constitution. We forget that as time passes that it is easy to judge his decision. To plague it as out-dated, and morally wrong yet I argue that in fact he did his best to uphold some ethics in this situation. The camps were no where near the atrocity levels of those in Germany and although they were internment camps there were units comprised of only Japanese Soldiers that served in the European Theatre of combat. As I bring my opening statement to a close I leave you with a fact that this was a total war. Every facet of our nation was focused on winning a war, something that unless you're above 70 years old, have never felt. So we all made sacrifices, some big and some small, and we all made decisions some easy, and some hard that we had to make in order to continue on as the great nation we are.
TheRussian

Con

"Forcing 100,000 thousand Japanese into camps was and remains very unethical, but protecting America from the very real possibility at the time of a Japanese Amphibious invasion outweighed those concerns."
First off, there were almost 130,000 of them. I do not see how imprisoning civilians in camps helped protect America from a Japanese Amphibious invasion.

"The camps were no where near the atrocity levels of those in Germany"
Yes, the camps were not the same as German concentration camps, but they were still in bad conditions. They were forced to live in tar-paper barracks with no plumbing or cooking facilities.

"So we all made sacrifices"
Not "all", only the innocent Japanese-Americans who were forced out of their homes.

The only "crime" committed by these people was that they were of Japanese ancestry. They were forced to sell their homes and businesses, often for only a fraction of the real value. Even after these people were "free", they could not return to their homes because of the amount of hatred towards Japanese at the time.

About two-thirds of these Japanese were actually Japanese-Americans who were born in the US. Even Japanese-American veterans of WW1 were forced to leave their homes.

This is an immoral, unfair decision. There was no reason to make 130,000 people give up everything that they knew and live in poor conditions just because they were of Japanese ancestry. They committed no real crime, this was a decision made only out of paranoia.
http://www.ushistory.org...
Debate Round No. 1
jlc0033

Pro

First off I would like to thank you for accepting my debate! Your feedback, and more importantly our discussion around this pivotal topic in U.S. History, opens our minds and frees from being surrounded only by our opinions.
One thing I would like to say about your argument is that it sidesteps a lot of the facts while concentrating primarily on the moral dilemma that this situation posed. If you had read my argument carefully you would understand that in no way, shape, or form was i disregarding the fact this was highly unconstitutional, and morally wrong. What I am saying though is that it was the decision that needed to be made. In the Pacific at the time the U.S. really had no power. When this Order was put into affect we were on the losing side. With no protection really from a full frontal attack, as much of our fleet had been destroyed at Pearl Harbor, we were forced to look at the Western Coast as our defensive area. With such a large population of people with direct Japanese decent we had the right to be worried about what might happen if even 10 of those 130,000 people were spies. What we did not have at the time though was the Intelligence, and Surveillance gear that we now have at our disposal. Forced with the decision to either place 130,000 in Camps, or subject our whole entire culture to an onslaught by Japanese forces was a difficult choice for Roosevelt. I do agree with you that Japanese Americans made great sacrifices that far outweighed most of the average Americans, but their internment was necessary. Also when you say that you do not see how imprisoning civilians protected Americans from an Invasion I suggest that you again reread my argument. I tried to make it clear that there was a very high chance that a large number of those 'Civilians' could have been providing very important information to the Japanese. The discussion topic is not whether this decision was ethical, or moral, but if this decision was right and up to this point besides a moral plea you have failed to provide cold hard facts that derail my argument. The culture we live I think we all agree outweighs the needs of the individual. We live in a Democracy where if the needs of majority are threatened by a small minority we must overlook them and protect our people and way of life as best we can. The Romans lived in a democracy yet understood that in times of war turned over all power to one Philosopher King, and although I don't think this is a good idea, I do believe there is something to be learned from it that we must make hard decisions when in a time of Emergency.
TheRussian

Con

"while concentrating primarily on the moral dilemma that this situation posed."
Morality happens to be a very large part of this problem.

"In the Pacific at the time the U.S. really had no power."
The US fleet was equal, if not superior (as considered by many) to that of the Japanese at the time.
____________________US____ Japan
Aircraft carriers: ____8_______4
Battleships:_________17______12
Destroyers:________171_____169
Cruisers:____________37_____ 44

Plus, the US had an additional Patrol Craft and Mine Warfare force of 153 ships.
http://www.navsource.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

There was not such a sharp need or risk as my opponent portrays.

"as much of our fleet had been destroyed at Pearl Harbor"
3 battleships were sunk and 16 other ships damaged. This is no where near "much of our fleet".
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...

"if even 10 of those 130,000 people were spies."
A civilian spy is nearly useless. If these were US officers in military, then I would understand.

"Forced with the decision to either place 130,000 in Camps, or subject our whole entire culture to an onslaught by Japanese forces"
This is an exaggeration. The Japanese military was not so powerful. During the Pacific War, Japan suffered 1,740,000 casualties while the US only took 111,000. This shows that the Japanese threat was not so great.
http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com...

"there was a very high chance that a large number of those 'Civilians' could have been providing very important information to the Japanese."
Could you please show some examples of important information that the Japanese-American civilians could have provided?

"up to this point besides a moral plea you have failed to provide cold hard facts that derail my argument."
I would like to note that my opponent has also provided no reasoning for the internment other than a vague, potential threat by the Japanese with no numbers or actual facts to back it up. This "potential threat" was relatively weak as I showed above.

A combination of superior US strategy and technology gave Japan almost no chance. D-Day showed how difficult it is to mount an amphibious invasion. Allies lost 4 times as many troops as Germany. This can be applied to my opponent's idea of a potential Japanese amphibious invasion and shows that it would be almost impossible. The Japanese threat that my opponent speaks of is impractical. Numbers show that Japan took very heavy losses when mainly defending, these losses would be even greater when aggressively attacking the US.
Debate Round No. 2
jlc0033

Pro

December 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway.
December 8, 1941 - U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand.
December 9, 1941 - China declares war on Japan.
December 10, 1941 - Japanese invade the Philippines and also seize Guam.
December 11, 1941 - Japanese invade Burma.
December 15, 1941 - First Japanese merchant ship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
December 16, 1941 - Japanese invade British Borneo.
December 18, 1941 - Japanese invade Hong Kong.
December 22, 1941 - Japanese invade Luzon in the Philippines.
December 23, 1941 - General Douglas MacArthur begins a withdrawal from Manila to Bataan; Japanese take Wake Island.
December 25, 1941 - British surrender at Hong Kong.
December 26, 1941 - Manila declared an open city.
December 27, 1941 - Japanese bomb Manila.

1942

January 2, 1942 - Manila and U.S. Naval base at Cavite captured by the Japanese.
January 7, 1942 - Japanese attack Bataan in the Philippines.
January 11, 1942 - Japanese invade Dutch East Indies and Dutch Borneo.
January 16, 1942 - Japanese begin an advance into Burma.
January 18, 1942 - German-Japanese-Italian military agreement signed in Berlin.
January 19, 1942 - Japanese take North Borneo.
January 23, 1942 - Japanese take Rabaul on New Britain in the Solomon Islands and also invade Bougainville, the largest island.
January 27, 1942 - First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
January 30/31 - The British withdraw into Singapore. The siege of Singapore then begins.
February 1, 1942 - First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
February 2, 1942 - Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.
February 8/9 - Japanese invade Singapore.
February 14, 1942 - Japanese invade Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.
February 15, 1942 - British surrender at Singapore.
February 19, 1942 - Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia; Japanese invade Bali.
February 20, 1942 - First U.S. fighter ace of the war, Lt. Edward O'Hare from the LEXINGTON in action off Rabaul.
February 22, 1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General MacArthur out of the Philippines.
February 23, 1942 - First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.
February 24, 1942 - ENTERPRISE attacks Japanese on Wake Island.
February 26, 1942 - First U.S. carrier, the LANGLEY, is sunk by Japanese bombers.
February 27- March 1 - Japanese naval victory in the Battle of the Java Sea as the largest U.S. warship in the Far East, the HOUSTON, is sunk.
March 4, 1942 - Two Japanese flying boats bomb Pearl Harbor; ENTERPRISE attacks Marcus Island, just 1000 miles from Japan.
March 7, 1942 - British evacuate Rangoon in Burma; Japanese invade Salamaua and Lae on New Guinea.
March 8, 1942 - The Dutch on Java surrender to Japanese.
March 11, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur leaves Corregidor and is flown to Australia. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright becomes the new U.S. commander.
March 18, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur appointed commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater by President Roosevelt.
March 23, 1942 - Japanese invade the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
March 24, 1942 - Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific theater.
April 3, 1942 - Japanese attack U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.
April 6, 1942 - First U.S. troops arrive in Australia.
April 9, 1942 - U.S. forces on Bataan surrender unconditionally to the Japanese.
April 10, 1942 - Bataan Death March begins as 76,000 Allied POWs including 12,000 Americans are forced to walk 60 miles under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp, resulting in over 5,000 American deaths.
April 18, 1942 - Surprise U.S. 'Doolittle' B-25 air raid from the HORNET against Tokyo boosts Allied morale.
April 29, 1942 - Japanese take central Burma.
May 1, 1942 - Japanese occupy Mandalay in Burma.
May 3, 1942 - Japanese take Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
May 5, 1942 - Japanese prepare to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.
May 6, 1942 - Japanese take Corregidor as Gen. Wainwright unconditionally surrenders all U.S. And Filipino forces in the Philippines.
May 12, 1942 - The last U.S. Troops holding out in the Philippines surrender on Mindanao.
May 20, 1942 - Japanese complete the capture of Burma and reach India.
June 9, 1942 - Japanese postpone further plans to take Midway.
July 21, 1942 - Japanese land troops near Gona on New Guinea.
If you can see by this you will realize that in 1942 much of our forces were being pushed farther, and farther back and although as you have pointed out our forces may have been equal in size to those of the Japanese we also were fighting a war on two fronts as many of our troops, troop transports, and light cruisers were protecting the East Coast from German U-Boats. If you had looked up the dates of when this order was voted in, and put into effect then you would realize that 1941-1942 were very bleak years early in the war. Also with the help of Japanese sympathizers, Japanese Submarines were able to attack a lot of American towns and Bases. Most Notably the Aleutian Islands. The Aleutian Islands Campaign was a struggle over the Aleutian Islands, part of the Alaska Territory, in the Pacific campaign of World War II starting on 3 June 1942. A small Japanese force occupied the islands of Attu and Kiska, but the remoteness of the islands and the difficulties of weather and terrain meant that it took nearly a year for a far larger U.S./Canadian force to eject them. The islands' strategic value was their ability to control Pacific Great Circle routes. The Japanese reasoned that control of the Aleutians would prevent a possible U.S. attack across the Northern Pacific. Similarly, the U.S. feared that the islands would be used as bases from which to launch aerial assaults against the West Coast. In conclusion there were invasions that took place with the help of spies even though they were proposed useless by my opponent. Submarines attacks on Santa Barbra, and on Fort Stevens can be directly related to the intervention of hidden spies in America pre-planning the attacks, and relaying information. I ask you not to vote on the basis of Moral swaying and pot-shots made by my opponent but rather to vote using intellect and reasoning, and to understand that this decision was not made lightly but rather with the intent of preserving our nation, our land, and our people.
TheRussian

Con

"much of our forces were being pushed farther, and farther back"
The US forces were not being pushed very far back. I will remind you that the Japanese losses were horrendous compared to that of the US. The American victory at the Battle of Midway turned the tide (which was already weak).

"Also with the help of Japanese sympathizers, Japanese Submarines were able to attack a lot of American towns and Bases."
This is a very vague claim that is not backed by any source or fact.

"invasions that took place with the help of spies even though they were proposed useless by my opponent."
These spies were sent in by Japanese during the war. They were not US citizens that had lived in America for years.

"Submarines attacks on Santa Barbra, and on Fort Stevens can be directly related to the intervention of hidden spies in America pre-planning the attacks, and relaying information."
I read up about the attack on Fort Stevens and Santa Barbra and nothing about the "intervention of hidden spies" was mentioned.
http://www.school-for-champions.com...
http://www.historylink.org...

"I ask you not to vote on the basis of Moral swaying and pot-shots made by my opponent but rather to vote using intellect and reasoning, and to understand that this decision was not made lightly but rather with the intent of preserving our nation, our land, and our people."
In persuasion, there is ethos, pathos and logos. Logos is logic, Ethos is credibility and Pathos is emotion. Especially in a situation like this, Pathos (emotion) is a large part of the argument and I do not see the problem. If you disregard emotion, then my opponent could argue that stabbing a child to death is fine because according to logic, 20 more children are born within the minute. Stabbing a child is not fine because we are humans and have morals, which happen to be one of the only things that separate us from animals. Also, my opponent is not in a position to judge whether or not this decision was made lightly.

Not only was the forcing of Japanese Americans into internment camps a morally low decision, but it was also completely unnecessary. The US had all the means to defeat the Japanese Empire, as shown by history.

I would also like to note that my opponent has not provided a single source to support any of his arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
jlc0033

Pro

jlc0033 forfeited this round.
TheRussian

Con

My opponent did not provide a single source.

The internment of Japanese Americans was a morally low and unnecessary decision.

Thank you for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Dynasty2468 2 years ago
Dynasty2468
Hehe..my friend is japanese....
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Rhodesia79 2 years ago
Rhodesia79
jlc0033TheRussianTied
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Felt like Pro did the better point, but didn't have any sources so that goes to Con.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
Seeginomikata
jlc0033TheRussianTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: The Japanese were very aggressive... in faraway places in asia. The core U.S. territory was never under any threat for the entire duration fo the war. Con points that it was strategically infeasable to attack the U.S., and thus that imprisoning innocents for no good reason is unethical. Pro had no sources to back claims and forfeited last round.