History Revised: The Wrong Lesson
Vol: 36 Issue: 20 Monday, September 20, 2004
The biggest danger America faces from the terrorists who want to destroy us comes, not from the terrorists, but from revisionist historians. Thanks to them, even something as obvious as profiling is widely seen as un-American and ‘racist’.
As a consequence, if you are a little old white-haired lady with a walker, you just might be pulled out of line at the airport and singled out for a secondary search and inspection. Not because little white-haired old ladies represent a threat to national security.
Instead, little white-haired old ladies, (not to mention 87 year-old former governors who hold the Congressional Medal of Honor – Joe Foss was ordered to remove his shoes as the airport inspector tried to confiscate his CMH) are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.
A political correctness that was born out of the historian’s horror stories about Japanese relocation during World War II. Revisionists call that one of the darkest periods in American history.
The relocations were chalked up to latent American racist tendencies being allowed to rise unchecked, due to mass ‘war hysteria’ — instead of a common-sense approach to homeland security in time of war.
As proof, they point to the fact that there wasn’t a single instance of Japanese-American sabotage throughout the entire war. And that the 442nd “Nisei Battalion” fought with distinction during World War II, earning significantly more medals than the average combat unit. Both are true.
But in the first instance, historians give no credit whatever to the relocation camps for taking potential Japanese-American saboteurs out of circulation in the first place.
In the second instance, Japanese-Americans of the 442nd fought with distinction because they were Americans first and Japanese second, men who volunteered for combat like millions of other Americans.
They fought hard and distinguished themselves, BECAUSE they represented America, not Japan. They fought against the REASON there were relocation camps. They weren’t fighting against American racism. They were fighting against Japanese imperialism, realizing that with victory, the relocation camps would be unnecessary.
But that isn’t the way American history remembers it.
The 19th century philosopher Santayana warned, “those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” In the rarified atmosphere of liberal academia, historians spend more time learning about America’s response to Japanese atrocities than it does to the atrocities that started the war in the first place.
With the typical self-loathing that so often accompanies liberal academia, the Japanese get a pass for STARTING the war, (because of the way it ended — in a mushroom cloud).
Thanks to that mindset, we’ve learned the wrong lesson.
An exclusion order signed by President Roosevelt, included “any and all persons” living within a prescribed military area. The order did not apply strictly to the Japanese as revisionist historians would have the public believe.
“Any and all persons” included those whose countries of origin, not race were at war with the United States. The primary targets of the exclusion order were Germans, Italians and Japanese.
All were directed to move out of the State of California and from the western halves of Oregon and Washington as well as from the lower one third of Arizona. Thousands complied.
The order was a direct result of the American Signal Corps having broken the secret Japanese diplomatic code thus, the American government was reading what the Japanese government was advising its consulates around the world.
These Top Secret messages were dubbed “MAGIC” and only a mere handful of people knew about this code-breaking feat until after the war. MAGIC messages were not made public until 1980. Therefore all books or articles written prior to 1980 about why the relocation was necessary are obsolete by error of omission.
Historical revisionists don’t like to have the record corrected, particularly if it means that the lessons of history they worked so hard on making clear are the wrong lessons.
It would mean going back to the drawing board to revise history from 1941 to the present all over again to learn the REAL lesson history teaches.
It would require the relocation of ‘political correctness’ to the trash heap of history where it belongs.
Knowing the rest of the story puts the relocation camps, and their contribution to America’s victory, into a different perspective.
In dozens of MAGIC messages, persons who were loyal to the Imperial government were named and locations given. This data, added to other information from German and Italian sources, caused American government agents to swoop down on hundreds of German, Italian and Japanese on the day war was declared (December 8, 1941) with named warrants to arrest these persons.
Each person was given an individual hearing. As a result of the hearing, the person was either paroled and permitted to rejoin his/her family, or sent to an Internment Camp to be deported.
Of particular concern to the U.S. government was the fact that all Japanese children were required to be registered at birth with the nearest Japanese Consulate.
When the boys reached age 17 years of age, they were required to join the Japanese army or perform other military service as directed — including spying for Japan, if called upon to do so.
Question in the minds of U.S. authorities: Would these men side with Japan in the event of war or side with their birth land, the United States? As history shows, there were lots of each.
MAGIC revealed that, by mid-1941, six months before Pearl Harbor, Japan already had an extensive espionage network along America s West Coast. There were Japanese spies watching military bases, shipyards, airfields and seaports. A Honolulu cell provided important last-minute help to the attackers at Pearl Harbor.
History shows the vast majority of Japanese-Americans were as loyal as the men of the 442nd. But Japanese ultranationalists were broadcasting into the United States, sending coded messages to enemy sleeper cells embedded near strategic sites.
All US intelligence knew was that there WERE sleeper cells of ultranationalist Japanese scattered up and down the West Coast. The intercepted Japanese coded messages proved that. But they didn’t know who or where. The only way to watch them all was to put them where the government could see them.
Now, I am NOT advocating the revival of relocation camps for followers of Islam or Arab-Americans. In the first place, I don’t think it would work. This is 2004, not 1941.
And in the second place, the vast majority of Arab-Americans and American Muslims are as loyal as were the majority of Japanese-Americans in the 1940’s.
But the Twin Towers weren’t brought down by white-haired old ladies or former governors or by a sect of Norwegian monks. And profiling isn’t relocation or deportation.
It is this revisionist view of history that spawned the politically correct worldview that profiling Muslim males between the ages of 17 and 35 is as racist as the relocation of enemy aliens and potential enemy sympathizers during World War II.
Ironically, the lesson of history that revisionist historians miss is the one they keep trumpeting to promote the current politically correct view that profiling is ‘racist’ and un-American.
There were no documented acts of Japanese sabotage or disloyalty after the Japanese and other potential enemy aliens were relocated.
If we had learned the correct lessons of history, 19 Muslim males of Arab descent between the ages of 17 and 35 may have been ‘profiled’ before they boarded their flights on September 11, 2001.
And maybe it would have been just another day.