After the 1941 Pearl Harbor attacks…Fred Korematsu challenged President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 that authorized the U.S. military to forcibly remove more than 120,000 people, mostly of Japanese descent, from their homes and into incarceration camps throughout the country. Two-thirds of these people were American citizens. Mr. Korematsu went into hiding in the Oakland area, becoming a fugitive, and was arrested and convicted of violating the federal order. His case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
'…the United States is far from the only hypocrite in international politics. But the United States’ hypocrisy matters more than that of other countries.'
That’s because most of the world today lives within an order that the United States built, one that is both underwritten by U.S. power and legitimated by liberal ideas. American commitments to the rule of law, democracy, and free trade are embedded in the multilateral institutions that the country helped establish after World War II, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and later the World Trade Organization. Despite recent challenges to U.S. preeminence, from the Iraq war to the financial crisis, the international order remains an American one. This system needs the lubricating oil of hypocrisy to keep its gears turning.