Skip to comments.Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters
Posted on 12/28/2004 7:55:25 AM PST by forty_years
For years, it has been my position that the threat of radical Islam implies an imperative to focus security measures on Muslims. If searching for rapists, one looks only at the male population. Similarly, if searching for Islamists (adherents of radical Islam), one looks at the Muslim population.
And so, I was encouraged by a just-released Cornell University opinion survey that finds nearly half the U.S. population agreeing with this proposition. Specifically, 44 percent of Americans believe that government authorities should direct special attention toward Muslims living in America, either by registering their whereabouts, profiling them, monitoring their mosques, or infiltrating their organizations.
Also encouraging, the survey finds the more people follow TV news, the more likely they are to support these common-sense steps. Those who are best informed about current issues, in other words, are also the most sensible about adopting self-evident defensive measures.
That's the good news; the bad news is the near-universal disapproval of this realism. Leftist and Islamist organizations have so successfully intimidated public opinion that polite society shies away from endorsing a focus on Muslims.
In America, this intimidation results in large part from a revisionist interpretation of the evacuation, relocation, and internment of ethnic Japanese during World War II. Although more than 60 years past, these events matter yet deeply today, permitting the victimization lobby, in compensation for the supposed horrors of internment, to condemn in advance any use of ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion in formulating domestic security policy.
Denying that the treatment of ethnic Japanese resulted from legitimate national security concerns, this lobby has established that it resulted solely from a combination of "wartime hysteria" and "racial prejudice." As radical groups like the American Civil Liberties Union wield this interpretation, in the words of Michelle Malkin, "like a bludgeon over the War on Terror debate," they pre-empt efforts to build an effective defense against today's Islamist enemy.
Fortunately, the intrepid Ms. Malkin, a columnist and specialist on immigration issues, has re-opened the internment file. Her recently published book, bearing the provocative title In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror (Regnery), starts with the unarguable premise that in time of war, "the survival of the nation comes first." From there, she draws the corollary that "Civil liberties are not sacrosanct."
She then reviews the historical record of the early 1940s and finds that:
Within hours of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, two American citizens of Japanese ancestry, with no prior history of anti-Americanism, shockingly collaborated with a Japanese soldier against their fellow Hawaiians.
The Japanese government established "an extensive espionage network within the United States" believed to include hundreds of agents.
In contrast to loose talk about "American concentration camps," the relocation camps for Japanese were "spartan facilities that were for the most part administered humanely." As proof, she notes that over 200 individuals voluntarily chose to move into the camps.
The relocation process itself won praise from Carey McWilliams, a contemporary leftist critic (and future editor of the Nation), for taking place "without a hitch."
A federal panel that reviewed these issues in 1981-83, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, was, Ms. Malkin explains, "Stacked with left-leaning lawyers, politicians, and civil rights activists but not a single military officer or intelligence expert."
The apology for internment by Ronald Reagan in 1988, in addition to the nearly $1.65 billion in reparations paid to former internees was premised on faulty scholarship. In particular, it largely ignored the top-secret decoding of Japanese diplomatic traffic, codenamed the MAGIC messages, which revealed Tokyo's plans to exploit Japanese-Americans.
Ms. Malkin has done the singular service of breaking the academic single-note scholarship on a critical subject, cutting through a shabby, stultifying consensus to reveal how, "given what was known and not known at the time," President Roosevelt and his staff did the right thing.
She correctly concludes that, especially in time of war, governments should take into account nationality, ethnicity, and religious affiliation in their homeland security policies and engage in what she calls "threat profiling." These steps may entail bothersome or offensive measures but, she argues, they are preferable to "being incinerated at your office desk by a flaming hijacked plane."
Besides the PC issues, we have another problem with the muslims, specifically the Arabs, that we didn't have with the Japanese.
Just 44%? Wait till terrorists start car boming malls,or maybe releasing anthrax,botulism, etc.. . What will the pc crowd say then? How about a small nuclear devise detonated in NYC, maybe in Times Square?
Its pretty stupid not to be watching muslims. I know I am leery of any middles easterner.
Yeah, and roughly 50% of Americans support a woman's right to kill her unborn child. That doesn't make it right.
I guess the phrase "Give me liberty, or give me death" no longer holds any meaning for mainstream "conservatives." WorldNetDaily columnist Vox Day did a credible job of debunking Malkin's ridiculous anti-freedom, anti-American arguments.
Typical neocon BS. In time of war, governments should take into account the right of citizens to protect themselves. Federal gun control laws were largely responsible for the tragic extent of the damage on 9/11. One or two armed passengers could have saved 3,000 lives. Why anyone would even consider trusting a government that has been systematically disarming the public is beyond my comprehension.
I will ask again: If "the survival of the nation comes first," then why don't so-called "conservatives" call for the internment of all Muslims? If doing so could save millions of American lives, isn't it worth it?
Unless, of course, the proposed threat has been somewhat exaggerated.....
"The only way to change a NY liberal's mind is to kill them."
And it would seem the Arabs are hard at work doing just that. Maybe we decent and normal Americans should just sit back and let the liberals give the Muslims a great big hug.
And then get a nice big guffaw as they try to pull that scimitar out of their back. Hey, killing liberals and Jews is a Muslim cultural thing and I suppose we should respect their cultural values. With social relativism who's to say it isn't wrong to kill liberals and Jews, right? I mean, really, is our culture really so much better than Islam that we should stand in the way of faithful Muslims killing liberals and Jews if that's what they truly believe they are called to do? (sarcasm)
Actually the Japanese attacked us because of their dependence on our oil.
True, but we weren't dependent on them for anything, and thus, had no impediment to interning them. Besides, we were at war with them and saner minds prevailed in those days.
I believe internment is a political albatross. I think the Admin wants us to believe that, while we are not 100% safe, all of the measures taken since 911 are having the intended effect of making us "safer". Let's keep business as usual, so we can continue to keep civilian production on track.
Internment would demonstrate that we are not "safer", that more extraordinary measures are necessary, which would have tremendous negative repercussions on the economy, if only on consumer confidence.
As to your point that one or 2 guns on planes could have saved 3000 lives, I have to point out that the hijackers would also have been armed, so very likely the situation would have remained the same. Just a thought. I'm OK with arming pilots, but I can't get behind allowing passengers to carry on board.
Isn't it amazing that libs can completely ignore what is going on around them? Are they so egotistical/irrational that they believe they would be spared by Islamofacists because they support their right to do whatever they want?
(Of course they will only support them until they become a MAJORITY!)
How many Freepers think that if a few dozen out of the millions of American citizens who belong to a church commit crimes against the government then all it's members' weapons should be confiscated?
One was administered by our great-uncle. His wife is still alive and gets angry at any suggestion that the internees (at least the ones at that camp) were treated badly.
It was still wrong to intern American citizens of Japanese descent without any evidence of wrongdoing.
Congressman Billybob also wrote a book on it. I think his comments on this are well worth consideration.
Michelle Malkin and Daniel Pipes are defending the indefensible in this case. There is simply no other phrase that can accurately describe it. Antonin Scalia properly placed the Korematsu ruling approving the internment next to Dred Scott in terms of bad calls.
"Specifically, 44 percent of Americans believe that government authorities should direct special attention toward Muslims living in America, either by registering their whereabouts, profiling them, monitoring their mosques, or infiltrating their organizations."
Aside from Muslims themselves, the remaining 56% of Americans are either braindead or totally unfamiliar with Islam and its tenets, practises and culture.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.