No Case for Internment
by Vox Day
Defense of Internment runs to 416 pages. Seldom have so
many words been written to such pointless effect. While Ms. Malkin
appears to have done copious research with regard to the bureaucratic
justifications for the internment, she also reveals her utter ignorance
of military history and strategic logistics.
is a rather serious flaw, as her entire case rests upon the flimsy
and ultimately unsupportable notion of the military necessity for
the federal government to violate the life, liberty and property
rights of 120,000 individuals of Japanese descent, many of them
American citizens. She states in the book:
disparate treatment of ethnic Japanese vs. ethnic Germans and
ethnic Italians is often assumed to be based on anti-Japanese
racism rather than military necessity. Japan, however, was the
only Axis country with a proven capability of launching a major
attack on the United States.
attempts to prove this military necessity by quoting intelligence
memos, having neither the background nor the dedication to examine
the question of military necessity for herself. Nor, clearly, did
she bother to ask anyone who does. Consider the following facts.
Overlord invasion required 4,600 ships to travel 100 miles under
the air cover of 12,000 planes to land 156,000 troops on a French
coastline 3,437 miles long. Over the next three weeks, the Allies
brought in another 850,000 men, 148,000 vehicles, and 570,000
tons of supplies.
unopposed landing at Anzio required 369 ships to land 100,000
men. Over the next four months, the Allies brought in another
14,000 men and 450,00 tons of supplies. Despite this, and the
fact that the British Eighth Army and U.S. Fifth Corps were only
50 miles away on the other side of the Gustav line, the Sixth
Corps remained helplessly trapped in its small beachhead.
January 1942, prior to both Executive Order 9066 and the battle
of Midway, the Imperial Japanese Navy possessed 717 carrier-borne
planes and 176 ships, of which 15 were troop transports. The IJN's
troop-bearing capacity was about 42,000 men. Reinforcement and
resupply required a roundtrip transit of 11,000 miles to a coastline
only 1,359 miles long.
of this is hindsight, as the facts and logistics of the Pacific
situation were very well known to American military strategists
at the time. So much for the fears of invasion.
West Coast, where the vast majority of ethnic Japanese were concentrated,
was uniquely vulnerable to attack, invasion, spot raids, sabotage
and surveillance that could potentially cripple the war effort.
blissful ignorance of the realities of World War II military production
is sublime. From January 1942 to August 1945, the United States
launched 37 fleet carriers, 83 escort carriers and 349 destroyers.
The Japanese built three fleet carriers, six small-carrier conversions,
and 63 destroyers. Even if those sneaky, treacherous Japs could
have destroyed 50 percent of the West Coast production facilities,
the war effort would not have been slowed, much less crippled.
was never a genuine military threat to the West Coast or to the
war effort from individuals of Japanese descent on either side of
the Pacific Ocean. To argue military necessity in support of the
internment requires a complete disregard for the relevant facts.
Reference links and additional points can be found on Vox
the unlikely event that you still believe Michelle Malkin has a
shred of credibility left to her with regard to this matter, consider
the opinion of a former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a man
not entirely unfamiliar with amphibious invasions.
Is it credible to assert that fears of a Japanese invasion of the
West Coast were well-founded?
No, as in it was improbable, or no, absolutely not?
Absolutely no. At that time, after Pearl Harbor, the average American
was afraid of just about anything. The fear factor was so bad, they
had the Japanese storming the Presidio. The reality was that the
Japanese did not have any amphibious shipping to speak of, they
had no ability to resupply over great distance, they had no ability
to manage the umbrella of air. It was not feasible.
Was that known to the military strategists of the time.
Yeah, yeah, it was.
is fortunate that In Defense of Internment has some heft
to it. Worthless as a contribution to the historical debate, the
reader may find it to have some utility as a doorstop.
Questions for Michelle Malkin."
Day [send him mail]
is syndicated nationally by Universal Press Syndicate. Visit his
web log, Vox Popoli, for
daily commentary and responses to reader email.
© 2004 Universal Press Syndicate