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September 22, 2004


Malkin has already gotten way to much attention for a thesis that will soon be forgotten for what it is and what it pretends to be.
More play? She's had too much already.
The CBS fiasco? At least CBS is a media power ( What is Malkin again? ) though I find it hypocritical for many news organizations to not point out that major mistakes have happened to almost all of them and some never acknowledged.

Malkin has already gotten way to much attention for a thesis that will soon be forgotten for what it is and what it pretends to be.

I think this is a serious flaw in any sort of equation of Rather and Malkin. First, Rather is actually a "media personality", while Malkin is only one if you're trying to point out irony. And I think Instapundit and others have actually pointed out the debate; Muller being peevish about the lack of attention just isn't causing them to declare him victor just yet.

So, let's recap: Maureen Dowd's Bushworld is in the top 20 nonfiction, yet it's Malkin that's a seriously dangerous influence down in the 300s. So...the proposal is that the administration is somehow going to latch onto this book as an exemplar of policy?

Seems a bit of a reach, to me.

All wrong.

For many Americans, Malkin's odious revisionism will be the sum total they know about a shameful period in American history. And they will be convinced the internment of American citizens was not just justified, but a necessity. This makes the possibility of repeating such a wrong more likely.

WRT CBS, the rightwing blogosphere is merely "working the refs."

The fact the RW blogosphere seems to forgive and forget transgressions by certain other networks regarding the Vince Foster "murder" or Joseph Cafasso or John Lott.

Mureen Dowd, who I feel compelled to mention is an idiot, has been and will continue to be confronted on her mistakes and errors. Maureen Dowd, however, is not arguing that internments based solely on the race of the internee are justifiable on national security grounds.

Dowd is an op/ed writer and she certainly doesn't attempt to pass herself off as a historian. Unless, of course, one actually believes she truly is making a historical comparison between Bush and Mini-me.

OTOH, Malkin portrays her garabage as a serious historical study. Unfortunately, she bases her "research" almost completely on the discredited work of one man while studiously ignoring the bulk of scholarship which militates against her thesis.

I never claimed she was, von. Malkin's arguments will stand or fall on their own. I'm simply pointing out that the idea that she's dangerous because she's some sort of a media personality is laughable.

How forceful do you think her arguments become, simply from name recognition? My point is that name recognition isn't going to be a factor, here.

Oh, and I submit that a review like this is far more compelling than invective to those inclined to fire up a brain cell or two.

Unfortunately, Slart., even a negative review like the one you quote ends up passing on some of the distortions Malkin has made. Here is an excerpt of what I wrote to the author of the review
I would contest one point in your review. You write
" Along the way she makes some valid points. There is folk belief that all ethnic Japanese in America were loyal to the United States, and it is not true. Several thousand Japanese Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship during the war, and there was an organization inside the camps promoting loyalty to Tokyo. Before the internment, there were incidents of loyalty to Japan."

While you are right about the folk belief is correct, the renunciation process was a horrible miscarriage of justice. Here are some background
Perhaps the most tragic and divisive issue was created when Public Law 405 was passed by Congress and signed by President Roosevelt on July 1, 1944. This law, directed at the Japanese Americans in Tule Lake, authored by the U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle, permitted an American citizen to renounce citizenship during time of war. Passage of this renunciation law began one of the saddest and least known chapters of Japanese American history. Initially, only 117 persons applied to renounce their citizenship. Ultimately, 5,461 people or 70% of all adult US citizens at Tule Lake renounced their citizenship. At Tule Lake, 73% of families had at least one member who gave up their citizenship. 1,327 of the renunciants, including young children, were expatriated to Japan. Most renunciants remained in the US as Native American Aliens. Of the 5,589 Japanese Americans who renounced, 5,461 were from Tule Lake. Some who renounced had little understanding of what they were giving up, or that they would become enemy aliens who could be legally expelled. 5,409 renunciants eventually sought restoration of their US citizenship, including many of the 1,327 people that expatriated to Japan. Most of the renunciants regained their citizenship and returned to the US primarily because of the heroic and largely unsung efforts of Wayne Collins, Esq., who devoted years of litigation to help former renunciants regain their citizenship. Collins successfully convinced the federal courts that the renunciants citizenship should be restored because the renunciations took place under extreme duress and amidst impossibly difficult circumstances. Congress and President Nixon repealed the renunciation law in 1971.

Individual motives for renouncing citizenship varied widely. The renunciation law was announced when the end of internment was near. The segregation center was swept up in panic, anger and confusion. In the prison-like environment of Tule Lake, rumors, speculation, and a lack of trusted sources of information meant that making a rational decision about the future was extremely difficult. Second generation Nisei, both children and adults, described intense pressure from their non-citizen Issei parents to renounce their US citizenship as a strategy to keep the family together in case the Issei were purged and deported to Japan after the war.

Others describe coercion by angry and aggressive pro-Japan groups that led them to renounce their citizenship. Some believed that Japan was winning the war, based on news from contraband short-wave radios, and dismissed allied victories as propaganda. Others viewed renouncing as a way to show one was true Japanese. Some young Nisei men, classified as enemy aliens, renounced their citizenship to avoid the draft. Many renunciants feared that they would eventually be released into hostile US communities with no money, no promise of income and no place to live. For people with no legal forums available to them, renouncing became a way to express anger and to protest their treatment. When the war ended, the tragedy of the renunciants became apparent when the Department of Justice prepared for the mass deportations of these stateless individuals who were betrayed by the country of their birth.

Also, the mentions of pro-Japanese demonstrations fails to mention the conditions that gave rise to them
from <http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/anthropology74/ce10a.htm>

"Given the discontent, all that was needed was a spark for the center to
come close to open revolt. In November 1942 a suspected informer was beaten
and administration officials arrested two Kibei men. Demanding that the
arrested men be released, workers went on strike on November 19, and the
police station was picketed. The unity of the strikers wavered, however,
when many found the use of Japanese national symbols by some demonstrators
(flags and music) too anti-American."

I would also add that Malkin's invocation of the Nihau incident is a bit suspect. My understanding was that one of the Japanese-Americans fled, and of the two remaining, the main supporter of the Japanese pilot was mentally handicapped. An analogous situation would be if an group of terrorists were able to convince a down's syndrome child to carry a bomb to a local police station.

Finally, the acts of Kotoshirodo cannot IMO be taken as disloyalty as one does not know what he thought he was doing. On the other hand, American companies assisted Japan in an attempt to avoid the embargo.

I realize you write "The author's mistake is in trying to squeeze far more meaning from these stories than is in them." But be aware that internment apologists will simply quote the previous 2 paragraphs.

All to the good, liberal japonicus. Discussion of fact, as I've (probably poorly) stated, trumps invective.

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