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August 03, 2004

Where will they stop?

Not, apparently, at trying to justify--and revive--one of the worst spasms of paranoia and intolerance in America's history. That's right, from Michelle Malkin, we now have In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror. I am not making this shit up.

If you don't know Malkin, you can check out her blog, preferably on an empty stomach.

She's an established wingnut with impeccable credentials: Town Hall, Creators Syndicate, and Fox News. But I must say I'm shocked to see the idea of internment pop up as a serious suggestion for the war on terror.

From the book's PR materials:

Everything you've been taught about the World War II "internment camps" in America is wrong:
- They were not created primarily because of racism or wartime hysteria
- They did not target only those of Japanese descent
- They were not Nazi-style death camps

In her latest investigative tour-de-force, New York Times best-selling author Michelle Malkin sets the historical record straight-and debunks radical ethnic alarmists who distort history to undermine common-sense, national security profiling. The need for this myth-shattering book is vital. President Bush's opponents have attacked every homeland defense policy as tantamount to the "racist" and "unjustified" World War II internment. Bush's own transportation secretary, Norm Mineta, continues to milk his childhood experience at a relocation camp as an excuse to ban profiling at airports. Misguided guilt about the past continues to hamper our ability to prevent future terrorist attacks. In Defense of Internment shows that the detention of enemy aliens, and the mass evacuation and relocation of ethnic Japanese from the West Coast were not the result of irrational hatred or conspiratorial bigotry. This document-packed book highlights the vast amount of intelligence, including top-secret "MAGIC" messages, which revealed the Japanese espionage threat on the West Coast. Malkin also tells the truth about:
- who resided in enemy alien internment camps (nearly half were of European ancestry)
- what the West Coast relocation centers were really like (tens of thousands of ethnic Japanese were allowed to leave; hundreds voluntarily chose to move in)
- why the $1.65 billion federal reparations law for Japanese internees and evacuees was a bipartisan disaster
- and how both Japanese American and Arab/Muslim American leaders have united to undermine America's safety.

With trademark fearlessness, Malkin adds desperately needed perspective to the ongoing debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security. In Defense of Internment will outrage, enlighten, and radically change the way you view the past-and the present.

So really, these were country clubs for Japanese Americans. And Auschwitz was a fat camp, I suppose! This is really beyond the pale. I read first-hand accounts of the camps in college, and it's impossible to live in Seattle and not know the terrible stories of Japanese families who lost their homes and businesses--practically all of Pike Market was Japanese farmers when the war broke out.

There are some chapters in our history that must not be rewritten--this is one of them. I'm sure the Japanese community in Seattle will be protesting this book, and when they do I plan to be with them. This is out of self-interest, not just outrage-- if the government starts throwing people in camps again, you can be sure I'll open my fat mouth and say something that gets me tossed in with them.

Posted by jay at August 3, 2004 04:41 PM | TrackBack
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Note the pictures used on the cover of the book: the 9/11 hijackers. The author might've written a by-the-numbers sort of treatise, but the marketing on the outside certainly isn't bothering with that.

I like the customer review that's currently first by "Gen. JC Christian"; I voted for it as helpful.

Posted by: Gary on August 3, 2004 06:44 PM
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