August 5, 2004  ·  Tim Wu

Every so often someone defends, with a straight-face, that which we think undeniably wrong. They say, for example, that the holocaust never happened, or perhaps that slaves actually liked slavery, or that some degree of torture is fine as government policy. Orwell called this ability “Blackwhite,” or “a willingness to say black is white when party discipline demands this.” In its advanced form it leads to “the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know black is white, and forget that one has ever believed the contrary.”

Michelle Malkin, a journalist, has released a book that is does just this: it defends the eviction and incarceration of more than 70,000 American citizens during World War II. Her book “In Defense of Internment,” takes the position that the Government was right to round up the Japanese then, and Arab-Americans now. The mainstream position that the internment was wrong (expressed in Ronald Reagan’s apology), Malkin attributes to a “conspiracy.”

It is true that, on rare occasion, something everything takes for granted is wrong, like, say, the Bohr model of the Atom. But more often, moral sense is restored by rebuttal — we remember that black is, in fact, black, and regain our senses. This time sense is restored by this week’s must-read Volokh Conspiracy which features two historians who destroy the book in every aspect. Malkin, it turns out, is more Ahmad Chalabi than Albert Einstein.

As historian Greg Robinson concludes, “Malkin’s book is not a useful work of history, but a polemic that relies for its attraction on sensationalism and overstatement.” Or in the words of Eric Muller, “A person certainly can ‘provoke debate’ (uninformed debate, at least) by going about things in this way. But a person can’t “correct the record” in this way, or report history in a way that anyone ought to believe. It’s just not possible, and it’s not credible.”

But there is more than historical accuracy or the career of a silly journalist at stake. The role of the Constitution in wartime is defined by a consensus that Korematsu was wrongly decided. Thankfully, that consensus is unlikely endangered by this soon-to-be-forgotten leaflet. If you want to be radical, you have to actually be good.

  • http://homepage.mac.com/restiffbard Christopher Cabanillas

    Thank-you. That was more enjoyable to read than you know.

  • http://www.shawnhooley.com/ Shawn Hooley

    That’s actually not what BlackWhite means. Poor George Orwell has been unrepentantly abused by people who believe that 1984 is finally here, and his words and ideas are continually misappropriated in argument after argument all over the Internet.

    The real meaning of BlackWhite from Orwell�s book was for a *single* person to hold two logically conflicting ideas simultaneously, and believe that either was true, or more still that both are true, based upon the requirement of the state. This theoretical person would not commit this appalling error because they’d been brainwashed to believe the illogical, but because they had been conditioned to accept the conclusions the state needed them to believe.

    Everyone who quotes Orwell should either re-read his books and understand his intent or let the man rest in peace.

    -Shawn Hooley

  • http://www.monarch-info.com Frederick Scholl

    First of all, the Bohr model was not “wrong”. It explained many things in its day. I would have been happy to come up with it. Would we say that a measurement carried out with a tape measure was wrong, just because it is not perfect? Also, people in general often take positions completely at odds with available information. This does not have to be the result of “party discipline”. It’s the human condition.

  • jiritsu

    My adventures in RSS land occasionally lead me to Michelle’s blog, where I try not to spend too much time because I have a sinking feeling that reading what she writes makes one dumber. I have been skimming her entries over the last few days, however, and aside from her last, long-winded post, it seems she’s quite fond of responding to her detractors with a shrill cry of “read the book before you criticize it!” What she doesn’t seem to realize is that when the book is based on such a ridiculous premise, it’s hardly necessary to read the entire thing before making some preliminary judgements about it.

  • EOA

    The Bohr model was not “right”, either. Perhaps “incomplete” is a term you’d accept, though most things scientific tend to be either right or wrong, with no middle area. The Bohr model was plausible, just as was the view that the earth was flat, or that it was the center of the universe. Plausibility, however, is not enough, While Bohr could explain all of the atomic behaviors known at that point, it became insufficient to explain new results; clearly it is not correct (a condition most people refer to as being “wrong”).

  • Matthew Saroff

    Consider these facts:

    * DHS has expressed concerns that Al Queida will be using non-Arab recruits.

    * The largest non-Arab terrorists/insurgent groups in the world are probably in the Philippines.

    * There is no way to tell the difference between a Muslim and Catholic Filipino.

    * Michelle Malkin is a Filipino.

    Maybe she’s an Al Queida mole?

    Better safe than sorry, let’s intern her.

    BTW, why the #$%@ is someone from the Philippines called a Filipino? Why do they change the “Ph” to a “F”?

  • Jardinero1

    jiritsu,

    I am not defending Michelle’s work but she is correct to say you do have to read something to fairly criticize it. Strictly speaking there isn’t really any such thing as a “ridiculous premise” only ridiculous conclusions.

  • Bob

    It is well-documented that the evacuation was motivated, not by racism, but by information obtained by the U.S. from pre-war decoded Japanese diplomatic messages “MAGIC” and other intelligence revealed the existence of espionage and the potential for sabotage involving then-unidentified resident Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans living within the West Coast Japanese community.

    You can read about MAGIC and it’s subseqently being ignored by the reparations commission here.

    http://www.athenapressinc.com/

    The actual declassified MAGIC intercepts are here.

    http://www.athenapressinc.com/smithsonian/Appendix3.html

    The U.S. Congress immediately passed legislation providing enforcement provisions for FDR’s Executive Order, unanimously in both the House and Senate, provided under Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution.

    Only persons of Japanese ancestry (alien and citizen) residing in the West Coast military zones were affected by the evacuation order. Those living elsewhere were not affected at all.

    It is not true that Japanese-Americans were “interned. Only Japanese nationals (enemy aliens) arrested and given individual hearings were interned. Such persons were held for deportation in Department of Justice camps. Those evacuated were not interned. They were first given an opportunity to voluntarily move to areas outside the military zones. Those unable or unwilling to do so were sent to Relocation Centers operated by the War Relocation Authority.

    At the time, the JACL (Japanese American Citizens League) officially supported the government’s evacuation order and urged all enemy alien Japanese and Japanese Americans to cooperate and assist the government in their own self interest.

    Is is misleading and in error to state that those affected by the evacuation orders were all “Japanese-Americans.” Approximately two-thirds of the ADULTS among those evacuated were Japanese nationals–enemy aliens. The vast majority of evacuated Japanese-Americans (U.S. citizens) were children at the time. Their average age was only 15 years. In addition, over 90% of Japanese-Americans over age 17 were also citizens of Japan (dual citizens)under Japanese law. Thousands had been educated in Japan. Some having returned to the U.S. holding reserve rank in the Japanese armed forces.

    During the war, more than 33,000 evacuees voluntarily left the relocation centers to accept outside employment. An additional 4300 left to attend colleges.

    In a questionaire, over 26% of Japanese-Americans of military age at the time said they would refuse to swear an unqualified oath of allegiance to the United States.

    According to War Relocation Authority records, 13,000 applications renouncing their U.S. citizenship and requesting expatriation to Japan were filed by or on behalf of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Over 5,000 had been processed by the end of the war.

    After loyalty screening, eighteen thousand Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans were segregated at a special center for disloyals at Tule Lake California where regular military “Banzai” drills in support of Emperor Hirohito were held.

    The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Consitutionality of the evacuation/relocation in Korematsu v. U.S., 1944 term. In summing up for the 6-3 majority, Justice Black wrote:
    “There was evidence of disloyalty on the part of some, the military authorities considered that the need for action was great, and time was short. We cannot —
    by availing ourselves of the calm perspective of hindsight — now say that at the time these actions were unjustified.” That decision has never been reversed and stands to this day.

    It should be noted that the relocation centers had many amenities. Accredited schools, their own newspapers, stores, churches, hospitals, all sorts of sports and recreational facilities. They also had the highest percapita wartime birth rates for any U.S.community.

    More history for you to consider regarding the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians:

    Consider that of the nine commission members, six were biased in favor of reparations. Ishmail Gromoff and William Marutani, relocatees themselves, sat in judgment of their own cases. Arthur Goldberg and Joan Bernstein made sympathetic, pro-reparation statements publicly before hearings even began. Arthur Fleming had worked closely with the JACL (he was a keynote speaker at its Portland convention in the ’70s). Robert Drinan was a co-sponsor of the bill establishing the commission.

    Consider that notices of when and where hearings were to be held were not made known to the general, non-Japanese public.

    Consider that witnesses who gave testimony were not sworn to tell the truth.

    Consider that witnesses who were pro-reparation were carefully coached in their testimony in “mock hearings” beforehand.

    Consider that witnesses against reparation were harassed and drowned out by foot-stomping Japanese claques, that the commission members themselves ridiculed and badgered these same witnesses.

    Consider that not one historian was asked to testify before the commission, that intelligence reports and position papers contrary to reparations were deliberately ignored.

    Consider that as a result of the above, the United States Department of Justice objected strongly to the findings of the commission.

    Lastly while we’ve all been educated on the doctrines associated with the rise of Nazism, I would be curious to know if courses are provided teaching the history of the doctrines of Japanese militarism, a belief system similar and equally as insidious as Nazism?

    Any clasess on the kokutai? Hakko Ichiu? Any reading of Kokutai no Hongi? Shimin to Michi? The role of Nichiren Buddhism and Japanese “Language Schools” in teaching these doctines of Japanese racial superiorty to ethnic Japanese colonies throughout the word prior to Pearl Harbor?

    Those of you learning this history at your public schools and universities should understand you are being taught an extemely biased and partial version of what really happened and why. I would urge you to go beyond the politically correct version of this history as propagated by the Japanese-American reparations movement.

  • http://weblog.burningbird.net Shelley

    And go with Malkin’s version, Bob? Biased is what you call those who don’t agree with you.

    All of history is ‘bias’. The best you can hope for is to capture enough different biased views so that you can find the kernel of truth among all the rhetoric. But this takes time, lots of time. I would say this book was less than a year overall in actual development and research — from what I know of the book business. That’s not enough time.

    But Malkin does want to sell the book. By giving us an outrageous statement, and then disdainfully saying, “You can’t criticize it without reading it” she hopes to sell to as many people who will hate the book, as will love it.

    Muller and Robinson had their excellent say. Others such as Tim Wu also added important points — even among those who agree with Malkin. Now it’s time to let that lady and her deliberate manipulation of the weblogging space go.

    Consider it yesterday’s news. And hope that weblogging routes around damage.

  • Mike

    Hmm. Having been raised in a family with tight connections to at least five separate families of American citizens of Japanese ancestry (with six folks who actually were “evacuated” to either Manzanar or Tule Lake) Bob’s laundry list is kind of bothersome, at best.
    Re: MAGIC
    I’d say that the phrase “flawed pre-war intelligence” might also be applicable to MAGIC. Do we really think intelligence gathering and “intercepts” were any better back in 1938-1941? But I will go and read the info contained in the links.

    “Evacuation” vs. “relocation”??? That’s slicing the ol’ log of semantic bologna pretty thin. I suppose a guy I grew up with was just being overly sensitive when his father, a U.S. citizen, was stripped of two grocery stores and farm outside of Sacramento because he refused to sign a document that seemed to contradict the other vow he took when became a citizen a couple of decades before. My friend’s father was a “no-no” and was shipped to the Tule Lake internment/relocation camp.
    And, you know, what does one do with Bob’s “…many of the relocation camps had nice amenities…”??? I suppose if you consider canvas tents, barbed wire and guards with automatic weapons to be “nice amenities” then Tule Lake Camp wasn’t so bad. Anybody ever been to Tule Lake? In February? Bob paints a very nice easy-to-swallow picture of the “no-nos” and the history of E.O. 1066. It really is a lot more complex.

  • Tim Wu

    I agree that “Blackwhite,” has a slightly different meaning in 1984, but the nature of a free language is that it evolves.

    Tim Wu

  • Bob

    “Bias” is what I refer to as cherry-picking one’s history. That’s exactly what the Japanese-American reparations movment had done and has been feeding the American public for the last twenty years, hence the typical repsonses to my post.

    As for Muller and Robinson’s comments….”Densho” is about as unobjective as you can get in providing a source for you information. These people have gone so far as to rewrite the language of the era. It is truly Orwellian.

    At the link, click down to “CLPEF Resolution Regarding Terminology”

    http://www.momomedia.com/CLPEF/backgrnd.html

    As for the “no proof MAGIC had an impact in the decision to evacuate” argument, this is old pro-reparations talk that seeks to belittle the role of MAGIC in general, a belief military historians no to be false.

    MAGIC intelligence in its raw form was available to just ten men. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Director of Naval Intelligence Admiral Theodore Wilkinson, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall, Army Director of Military Intelligence General Sherman Miles, Chief of Army War Plans General Leonard T. Gerow, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt � they were the only men in a position to make a knowledgeable decision.

    To state that no document exists that says, “WE ARE MAKING A DECISION TO EVACUATE BASED ON MAGIC” is disengenuous.

    My repsonse to such a charade is “Show the document that states the evacuation was based on “racism, wartime hysteria, and lack of political will.”

    Regarding the reference to the MAGIC cables in Personal Justice Denied (pp.471-475), the Commision had never even heard of MAGIC intelligence until their report was completed. Shortly after the report was released, David Lowman http://www.athenapressinc.com/ wrote an article in the New York Times that questioned the absence of MAGIC in the report. The commissioners had never heard of it!

    Without any expertise whatsoever on the subject of military intelligence in general and MAGIC in particular, the commission’s staff quickly “analyzed” MAGIC communications intelligence and reached conclusions about it which were contrary to the opinions of every recognized authority on MAGIC for the last 47 years.

    Not long after it was released the mistake-laden addendum so quickly written to cover the commissions ignorance was quietly withdrawn.

    And hears the kicker. The mistake-laden addendum written up after the report produced by people who had never even heard of MAGIC and had absolutely no authority to comment officially on it is the same stuff being provided as “extraordinary detail” from Personal Justice Denied (P.471-475) – WORD FOR WORD!

    To summarize, p.471-475 was never a part of the original report and you’ll not find it in original versions of the report. The it exists in later volumes today after the commission originally withdrew it after admitting how ridiculous it is only serves to continue to undermine the credibilty of the circus known s the Commission on Wartime Internment and Relocation of Civilians.

    Now to the worn out attempt at villifying General DeWitt’s “a Jap’s a Jap” comment. First of all, DeWitt’s report was entirely for public consumption and in fact justified many of the fears that existed in the general populace. The comment was also for the consumption of the Empire of Japan, for the Americans had to justify the mass evacuation of 120,000 people without letting the enemy no their diplomatic and military codes had been compromised.

    The plan worked flawlessly. The Empire of Japan immediately used the evacuation for propoganda purposes (like today’s reparations movment), but knowledge of Japan’s codes being broken was never revieled.

    Unfortunatley, DeWitt’s comments are now bandied about and taken entirely out of historical context.

    The reality is Japan’s knowledge that Japanese were held in America saved the lives of Allied civilians held by the Japanese under much harsher conditions. POW’s weren’t so lucky.

    As for American citizens of Japanese ancestry, the historical truth (referred to above) is that the vast majority of evacuated Japanese-Americans (U.S. citizens) were children at the time. Their average age was only 15 years. In addition, over 90% of Japanese-Americans over age 17 were also citizens of Japan (dual citizens)under Japanese law. Thousands had been educated in Japan. Some having returned to the U.S. holding reserve rank in the Japanese armed forces.

    Nisei born before December 1, 1924 could nullify thier Japanee citizenship by submitting formal notification to the Home Minister. Those born afterwards would lose their Japanese citizenship within two weeks of birth unless their parents registered them with the Japanese Consulate.

    Thus, after 1924, older Nisei could renounce their Japanese citizenship while the parents of those born after 1924 needed only to do nothing, and their children would have no legal ties with Japan.

    However by 1933, only 8% of Nisei born before 1924 had renounced their Japanese citizenship, and by then, also, some 40% of Nisei born after 1924 had been registered at the Japanese Consulate so as to acquire Japanese citizenship.

    Further, in 1938, it was announced that children of dual citizens (Sansei) were eligiable for registration as Japanese subjects.

    Stripped of two grocery stores? By whom? Certainly not the government. As Karl Bendetsen points out in a 1972 interview long before this history became politicized…

    First, about their assets, their lands (Nisei could own land), their possessions, their bank accounts and other assets, their household goods, their growing crops–nothing was confiscated. Their accounts were left intact. Their household goods were inventoried and stored. Warehouse receipts were issued to the owners. Much of it was later shipped to them at Government expense, particularly in the case of those families who relocated themselves in the interior, accepted employment and established new homes.

    Lands were farmed, crops harvested, accounts kept of sales at market and proceeds deposited to the respective accounts of the owners.

    Whenever desired, Shinto and other religious shrines were moved to the centers.

    Second, it was never intended by Executive Order 9066 and certainly not by the Army that the Japanese themselves be held in Relocation Centers. The sole objective was to bring relocation anywhere in the interior–east of the Cascades and Sierras Nevada and north of the southern halves of Arizona and New Mexico. Japanese were urged to relocate voluntarily on their own recognizance and extensive steps were taken to this end. The desire was to relocate them so that they could usefully and gainfully continue raising their families and educate their children while heads of families and young adults became gainfully employed. They were to be free to lease or buy land, raise and harvest crops, go into businesses. They were not to be restricted for the “duration” so long as they did not seek to remain or seek to return to the war “frontier” during hostilities.

    In furtherance, from the very beginning I initiated diligent measures to urge the Japanese families to leave with the help and funding (whenever needed) of the WCCA (Wartime Civil Control Administration) on their own recognizance and resettle east of the mountains. To this end, I conferred with the Governors of the seven contiguous states east of the mountains. I called a Governors� Conference at Salt Lake City. I invited them to urge attendance by members of their cabinets, by members of their legislatures and by the mayors of their communities. It was a large and successful conference. I advised them in full, sought their full cooperation, asked them to inform their citizens and to welcome and help the evacuees to feel welcome without restrictions, to become members of their inland communities and schools and to help them find employment and housing. I told them that these people would become a most constructive segment of their respective populations. These who resettled certainly did. Where needed I told them that the WCCA would provide financial support for a limited period.

    Further to this end, I conferred with the elders of each major Japanese community along the Pacific Coast, wherever they were and, as well, in Arizona and New Mexico. I carefully explained all this to them. I urged them to persuade their fellow Japanese to leave before the evacuation to assembly centers began and while it was proceeding. I assured them that the WCCA would provide escort, if requested, by those who felt insecure. We organized convoys and shipped to those, who had resettled, their stored possessions.

    I suspect you’ll not be able to provide any particulars regarding the “stripping” of the two grocery stores. I also find it curious that none of the horror stories regarding losing posessions occured in my community at the time (and I come from a community with a historically large ethnic Japanese population).

    If your buddy’s dad was a no-no, then he was sent to the section of Tule Lake that was the segregation center.

    Nice amenities? Berkley had plenty of photos on line. Look for yourself….

    http://jarda.cdlib.org/search_images.html

    Everybody’s got an opinion. The hard part is backing it up with historical evidence. Something I find lacking with all Malkin’s critics on these blogs.

    P.S. Want to read some cool F.B.I. documents on Japanese-Americans? Check this out….

    http://www.internmentarchives.com/

    And take a look at this guy…

    A big contributor to the Smithsonian exhibit, “A More Perfect Union, Japanese-Americans and the Constitution”.

    Oh, and he spent time at Sugamo prison as a Japanese war criminal.

    Think he has an agenda?

    http://www.athenapressinc.com/smithsonian/Appendix15.html

  • Bob

    One more thing….

    I was enlightening Richard over at “Peking Duck” and when it became obvious his rebuttals held no weight he chose to start deleting my posts and attempted to ban me from posting ( I surf with an anonymizer).

    Well that got boring…..

    All I want is the opportunity to debate this history based on historical evidence and substance, i.e. proof….

    Opinions are great, but everybody’s got one.

    If you disagree with my comments provide proof to back up your argument.

    Bob

  • Bob

    One more point on Tim Wu’s comment that “The role of the Constitution in wartime is defined by a consensus that Korematsu was wrongly decided.”

    What’s that supposed to mean? The reality is the Korematsu decision stand to this very day, regardless of who’s consensus he’s talking about…..

    In a crushing blow to the JACL and the NCJAR the Supreme Court Justices on October 31, 1988, without comment, let stand the findings an appellate court that effectively put an end to courts actions for additional money (they wanted $27 BILLION!).

    It also left the Korematsu and Hirabayashi cases in place. The had the opportunity to reverse the decisions and they did not. Renquist supports the desisions in a book he wrote.

    Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld provided another opportunty to comment on the “consensus” but criticism of the wartime cases was relatively minor and then only by Souter and Ginsberg.

    Here’s a quote from Korematsu that sums it up…

    “It is said that we are dealing with the case of imprisonment of a citizen in a concentration camp soley because of his ancestory, without evidence or inquiry concerning his loyalty and good disposition towards the United States. Our task would be simple, our duty clear, were this a case involving the imprisonment of a loyal citizen in a concentration camp because of racial prejudice.

    Regardless of the true nature of the assembly and relocation centers – AND WE DEEM IT UNJUSTIFIABLE TO CALL THEM CONCENTRATION CAMPS WITH ALL THE UGLY CONNOTATIONS THAT TERM IMPLIES – we are dealing with nothing but an exclusion order. To cast this case in outlines of racial prejudice, without reference to the real military dangers which were presented, merely confuses the issue. KOREMATSU WAS NOT EXCLUDED FROM THE MILITARY AREA BECAUSE OF HIS RACE. HE WAS EXCLUDED BECAUSE WE ARE AT WAR WITH THE JAPANESE EMPIRE.”

    Supreme Court Decision, Korematsu vs. USA
    (323 US 214-248) October 1944

    I like this one from Hirabayashi, also…..it applies to current events as well.

    “THE ALTERNATIVE WHICH APPELLANT INSISTS MUST BE ACCEPTED IS FOR THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES TO IMPOSE THE CURFEW ON ALL CITIZENS WITHIN THE MILITARY AREA, OR ON NONE. IN A CASE OF THREATENED DANGER REQUIRING PROMPT ACTION, IT IS A CHOICE BETWEEN INFLICTING OBVIOUSLY NEEDLESS HARDSHIP ON THE MANY, OR SITTING PASSIVE AND UNRESISTING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE THREAT. WE THINK THAT CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT, IN TIME OF WAR, IS NOT SO POWERLESS AND DOES NOT COMPEL SO HARD A CHOICE IF THOSE CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE HAVE REASONABLE GROUND FOR BELIEVING THAT THE THREAT IS REAL.”

    Chief Justice Stone
    Hirabayashi vs. United States

  • Bob

    Here’s my favorite Orwell quote…..

    “If all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
    -1984

    That pretty much sums up the Japanese-American reparations movement over the last 25 years….

  • http://oknarb.web-log.nl Branko Collin

    Nice statistics, Bob. I am sure you’re right that whoever wanted to stay out of your concentration camps, could do so easily.

  • Bob

    Yawn….of course I’m right….

    P.S. Did you know that after June 1942, one had to petition and fill out an application to ENTER a Relcoation Center?

    I didn’t think so…..

  • Bob

    Nice bomb though, Branko!

    Keep ‘em comin’!

  • jiritsu

    Jardinero1:

    I agree that to completely review/critique a book you need to read the whole thing. But, at the same time, if I write a book claiming the sky doesn’t actually appear blue, you probably wouldn’t have to read the whole thing to figure out that I’m nuts. And if you also happened across my blog and found that I made other outrageous claims along the same lines, you could probably make some pretty safe guesses about my book without paying for it.

  • Xich

    Shawn Hooley,

    His quote of BlackWhite was accurate. I read the book last week. It does mean that one person can think Black is White if the Party demands it. The idea of BlackWhite is that someone can steadfastly argue, and indeed believe wholeheartedly, that black is white (or whatever other silly cause they are arguing for).

    What you are describing is DoubleThink in general, of which BlackWhite was a specific skill. BlackWhite exists as a tool for DoubleThink, but true BlackWhite involves complete zealotry for a single idea, no matter how backwards it may be. BlackWhite is useful for dealing with simple issues that can be refuted, like seeing four fingers and saying there are five, or ignoring the disappearance of a coworker.

    DoubleThink itself is far more subtle, where, like you describe, and individual can hold both opinions simultaneously and defend whichever side that needs defending given the situation. DoubleThink is hence far more useful, especially when Oceania switches enemies, or the Chocolate Ration is reduced and the Party claimed that it is raised.

  • David DeMers

    On “the Bohr Model was wrong” discussion.

    A model is an abstraction. All models are wrong.
    However, some models are more useful than others (I believe
    that Box said something like this).

  • A. Sceptic

    Did you ever eat an egg? One that was rotten? Did you have to eat the whole egg to confirm that it was rotten?

    �You can�t criticize it without reading it�

  • liberal japonicus

    Bob, your statistics and points seem to contradict themselves. You wrote
    ——–
    As for American citizens of Japanese ancestry, the historical truth (referred to above) is that the vast majority of evacuated Japanese-Americans (U.S. citizens) were children at the time. Their average age was only 15 years. In addition, over 90% of Japanese-Americans over age 17 were also citizens of Japan (dual citizens)under Japanese law. Thousands had been educated in Japan. Some having returned to the U.S. holding reserve rank in the Japanese armed forces.
    ——
    If the majority of were children, then the ones over 17 must have been a very tiny minority of the total. Also, since kibei usually were sent to Japan for only elementary and middle school (high school was then the equivalent of a German ‘Gymnasium’ and it was highly competitive) then your fact that the average age was 15 means that the 90% figure is purposely misleading

    Nisei born before December 1, 1924 could nullify thier Japanee citizenship by submitting formal notification to the Home Minister. Those born afterwards would lose their Japanese citizenship within two weeks of birth unless their parents registered them with the Japanese Consulate.

    I don’t believe this is true. If you could provide some citation for this claim, I would appreciate it. My father, Hawaiian nisei, and his brothers and sisters had to go down and formally renounce their Japanese citizenship even though they were born the date you give.

    However by 1933, only 8% of Nisei born before 1924 had renounced their Japanese citizenship, and by then, also, some 40% of Nisei born after 1924 had been registered at the Japanese Consulate so as to acquire Japanese citizenship.

    Given the fact that their parents were prohibited by law from acquiring US citzenship, you would have to agree that the choice facing nisei is not as clear cut as you make it. Also, given that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise to everyone one, I don’t understand how it would have been logical to expect Nisei to renounce the only citizenship that their parents could have when there was no reason to do so.

    I would also add that there were many in the JA community which did not want the reparation settlement because they knew that there would be people who would make the same kinds of claims that you have made, so your comment quoting Orwell is rather ironic in that regard.

    You also argue that the Commission on Wartime Internment didn’t even inquire about the MAGIC intercepts. Given that the Commission finished up in the late 80′s and the MAGIC intercepts were declassified in the early 90′s, I don’t think this argument holds any water.

    Finally, you point out that it was necessary to fill out an application to enter an relocation camp in 1942. This underlines how the relocation camps were not a military necessity. The Japanese-Americans who were interned were only those who lived in the coastal areas (there is a map at Eric Mueller’s blog) A handful of Japanese who lived outside of those areas (because before the war, relocating was not a simple matter) and were not interned. Thus, your fact underlines that there was no military necessity for interning the Japanese, as can bee seen by restricting the relocation to the west coast but allowing Japanese to remain uninterned if they lived inland or could afford to relocate. IIRC, a number of those applying for entry to the relocation camps were college students who were able to avoid the relocation camps by transferring to universities outside the exclusion area, but needed to enter the camps in order to take care of aging Issei parents. The University of Washington has a website about some of these students here

  • Bob

    If the majority of were children, then the ones over 17 must have been a very tiny minority of the total.

    Answer: Does that somehow reduce the threat?

    I don�t believe this is true. If you could provide some citation for this claim

    Answer: The laws are on the books and and the numbers are in the census…

    were born the date you give.

    Answer: Born before or after?

    Given the fact that their parents were prohibited by law from acquiring US citzenship, you would have to agree that the choice facing nisei is not as clear cut as you make it.

    Answer: What your point, here?

    I don�t understand how it would have been logical to expect Nisei to renounce the only citizenship that their parents ..

    Answer: According to War Relocation Authority records, 13,000 applications renouncing their U.S. citizenship and requesting expatriation to Japan were filed by or on behalf of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Over 5,000 had been processed by the end of the war.

    I would also add that there were many in the JA community which did not want the reparation settlement ..

    Answer: Out of the thousands who accepted the check, I believe about 20 declined, the parents of Ken Masugi being the latter.

    Given that the Commission finished up in the late 80�s and the MAGIC intercepts were declassified in the early 90�s, I don�t think this argument holds any water.

    Answer: Historically incorrect. The MAGIC intercepts regarding Japanese-American espionage were released in 1977. Personal Justice Denied was released in 1983 (or thereabouts). Reagan signed the Japanese Money Bill in 1988, and election year – against the advice of his own Department of Justice…

    underlines how the relocation camps were not a military necessity.

    Answer: I agree. The evacuation from the military zones was a military necessity, however. Do you not think the government had an obligation for those people who could not or would not care for themselves? I can assure you if the government had dropped off 120,000 at the border of the military zones and left them to fend for themselves, today we’d be in an uproar about how ethnic Japanese were tossed at the doorstep of a racist American public and left to fend for themselves.

    In fact, should such an occurance in a time of war repeat itself, I predict that is exactly what will happen….

  • liberal japonicus

    In acknowledging that the majority were children, you are also acknowledging that the 90% figure you list is a red herring, as well as the number of kibei who were holding reserve rank? Many of the kibei returned to the US, after being bullied and harassed in Japan, more patriotic and appreciative and at any rate, as you acknowledge, the number was actually quite small.

    You must be aware that the Issei were prohibited by law from taking US citizenship (a prohibition which extended even to those Japanese who had served in the US armed forces). A number of Nisei choose to accompany their aging parents back to Japan. If given a choice between your parents well being and retaining your citizenship, which would you choose?

    My father and about half of his brothers and sisters were born _after_ the date you mention and they did not have an automatic cancellation of Japanese citzenship. Given the recent fuss about former Peruvian president’s status as a Japanese citizen (he claimed that he didn’t have it, but after fleeing the country, and settling into exile in Japan, he just happened to be eligible) it forces me to ask you be a little more forthcoming. You are able to relate a precise date, but you say ‘laws are on the books’? What laws, what books? What census figures support your assertion?

    You are correct that approximately 10 percent of those interned renounced citizenship. However, a good number were children who were being cared for by grandparents or those who felt that they would be attacked and lynched when they returned to the West Coast. Given the fact that many of them had been forced to sell all their possessions and had nothing to return to, this seems logical.

    I would also point out that the majority of those renouncing their citizenship were incarcerated in Tule Lake, which had substantially poorer conditions than the other camps, which led to the other motivation for renouncing their citizenship, which was anger and disgust at their treatment. Please read _Beyond Loyalty_ by Minoru Kiyota (UH press) for the story of one such person. Bear in mind that Tule lake was set up as a camp for the ‘no-no’-ers, based on their answers to a loyalty questionnaire that was so poorly written as to make the questions meaningless.

    As for the MAGIC intercepts, you are correct, I got my decades confused. But I am a bit confused. You specifically agree that there was no military necessity for the evacuation, which seems to refute Michelle Malkin’s main thesis and the citation of the MAGIC intercepts. If there was no military necessity, then the MAGIC intercepts have no bearing on the evacuation and internment process. Your thesis is that the Japanese-Americans were interned to protect them from a vengeful public. If that is the case, then all of the evidence of 90% of the kibei being dual citizens (obviously the case because Japan has citizenship as jus sanguinis and the US is jus solis) and 10% renouncing their citizenship has nothing to do with it, unless you are suggesting that it was only because the japanese were excluded that they didn’t carry out sabotage and espionage and had they stayed, but the government, after excluding them, had to take care of them. This is similar to Walter Lippmann’s thesis that the absence of Japanese espionage was a sure sign that such cells existed. Are you taking the same line?

    If I thought that you had an open mind on this, I would urge you to read the transcript of Min Yasui’s trial, which exposes the absence of any foundation for all your citations of kokutai and Shinto nationalism.

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