From Enemy Alien to Honored War Hero

As a new member of the Institute's General Advisory Council, I'm excited to be able to contribute to this blog. Many of my postings are likely to reflect the analytical shape of my professional career and will--under the blog's "Inform" category of the blog--try to shed new light on key developments in the Middle East and the world.The first posting, though, takes a different tack. I'd like to call attention to the life and death of one man, which--in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 74 years ago today--should remind us Americans how not to respond to the murders in San Bernadino and other terrorist atrocities.Major media outlets last week noted the death on December 2 of George Sakato. This Japanese-American soldier earned a Medal of Honor for courage and coolness under fire against Nazi forces in France in 1945--while the US Government held his family in an internment camp.Americans should keep Sakato's heroic service to his country in mind as certain politicians try to out-do each other in whipping up hatred against citizens of Muslim faith or Middle Eastern origin. I know from my own experience how Muslim- and Arab-Americans play irreplaceable roles in America's military, diplomatic, and intelligence efforts in the Middle East. Let's not repeat the panicked mistakes of the past and instead honor the wisdom of the Continental Congress when in 1782 it adopted the motto, E pluribus unum--out of the many, one.Image credits: NY Times and NBC news