Tuesday, September 21, 2004

if not me, them ! and if not now, 1941 !

i know even indulging john leo is nothing but an exercise in frustration, but sometimes i can't resist. today he joins fellow fascist michelle malkin to burn some fraction of my daily 'news'paper with revisionism on one of those morally-cloudy gray areas that most of us just can't come to a firm conclusion about ethically, the ww2-era internment of japanese-americans.

leo's piece is so densely packed with dishonesty and fiction that i can't bring myself to deconstruct too deeply. but my favorites:

Though the U.S. intelligence community knew that the vast majority of ethnic Japanese in America were no threat, it also knew that the Japanese government was beaming messages of ultranationalism, sometimes calling on Nisei to return to Japan for political or military training -- the madrasahs of the day. A secret U.S. government estimate said perhaps 3,500 ethnic Japanese in America were active supporters of the Japanese war effort.

i cant but wonder if this estimate came before or after pearl harbor, when japanese imperialism was hardly anti-american in nature. regardless, even unsubtly comparing japanese citizens living in americans to islamic fundamentalists doesn't change the numbers. over 120,000 americans were moved to concentration camps so the government could keep an eye on 3500 people who had committed no crime ? that's like rounding up every voter in the country on nov. 1 to make sure you've neutralized the naderheads.

The U.S. government assumed, or hoped, that evacuees would find suitable jobs and homes in the interior, but only 5,000 to 10,000 did. The camps were set up when most evacuees either couldn't or wouldn't move east on their own.
unbelievable. message: 'you see liberals, we tried to be nice to the 'enemy' and allow them to voluntarily abandon every single one of their constitutional rights, but they INSISTED on being uncooperative. and even after all that ingraciousness, the internment camps were really just a federal jobs/public housing program. you lefties should love this stuff !'

Malkin's point is that if the threat to the survival of America is severe enough, some civil liberties must yield. She is right that the internment issue is currently being wielded as a club to prevent reasonable extra scrutiny of suspect Arabs and Muslims. But the twin towers were not brought down by militant Swedish nuns. It is always reasonable to look in the direction from which the gravest danger is coming.

which apparently, to leo, is anyone who looks different or worships a different god than he does. keep looking john, you'll find someone to call 'enemy' eventually.

- LH


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