first in a seriesBefore Michelle Malkin, there were Keith Robar, Lillian Baker, Roger McGrath, David Lowman, and Dwight Murphey. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting short excerpts from the work of folks who broke trail for Michelle "W.J." Malkin's In Defense of Internment. Today's lucky winner is...Keith Robar. (Audience claps politely.) Take it away, Keith:
-- Keith Robar, Intelligence, Internment, & Relocation: Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066: How Top Secret 'MAGIC' Intelligence Led to Evacuation (Seattle: Kikar Publications, 2000). Pg 125.
Preparing three meals a day for a large family month after month was a heavy burden for the Japanese housewife. Mess halls were the answer to a prayer for her. Nitpickers tell us that the practice of communal dining resulted in breaking family ties, and, in addition, they never pass up a chance to make disparaging remarks about the food. Family ties probably were "loosened" a wee bit, and that was very likely a "plus" as the Issei family heads were inclined to be a bit autocratic. Food served in the relocation dining centers was raised, prepared and served entirely by the evacuees themselves. That should have given the critics a clue as to where to direct their finger pointing.
Fascinating! But what about the barbed wire?
The Still Pictures branch of the National Archives has about 3,500 photos of the then relocation centers filed in thirteen large boxes. Several of these prints are included to show that the fences to which the Japanese objected were simply the three-strand cattle fences found all over the United States. AJA ["Americans of Japanese ancestry"] might have had a case had the fences been designed to confine people, six feet high and topped with razor wire. As it is, however, our Japanese friends come across as nit-picking whiners, willing to go to any length to make the rest of the nation feel guilty. Fortunately a few people with personal knowledge of conditions have recorded their observations on the barbed wire issue.-- Ibid, 201-02.
People go under, over, or through the wire. The wire nonsense has become a rallying cry or buzz word and one is expected to have an emotional fit when they hear the term "barbed wire." At that point all thinking stops. Without the fencing to control the cattle herds the citizens in the relocation centers would really have had something to complain about. If just one barefooot youngster had had the misfortune to step up to his ankles in a fresh one you can bet the evacuees would be screaming at the center administration for fencing.
Enjoyably, Robar frames that narrative with a terrific opener: "AJA preoccupation with barbed wire is an obsession." And what does that tell us? It could only lead to this, of course: "Remember what Adolf said? Present your own side of the story in the best possible light -- and repeat often!"
Coming later this week, when I feel like typing it: The Vast Japanese Conspiracy to manipulate Congress and the media...People with suspiciously Japanese-sounding names go to work for the committee investigating internment...A commission member is revealed to have once spoken to a group that was once (in 1953!) said to have communists in it...Another commission member is revealed to be a Jew...and Japanese-Americans at hearings of the commission are revealed to have been "completely out of control, a ravening mob."
In a future episode, Lillian Baker reveals that the Reagan White House was stuffed full of radical leftist, politically correct minions of the Vast Japanese Conspiracy!
All this and more! Stay tuned!