Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Michelle Malkin and the Destruction of Civil Liberties
By Kurt Nimmo
On the right-wing web site, TownHall.com, John Leo has nothing but effusive praise for Michelle Malkin’s best selling book, In Defense of Internment, an apologetic screed arguing in favor of the internment of thousands of Japanese-American citizens during World War II.
Malkin argues in her book that it was not racism that led to mass internment—that is, in her estimation, nothing short of a liberal bugaboo and can be thus dismissed—but rather the result of “secret codes” intercepted and supposedly revealing nefarious plots by a small number of Issei (Japanese aliens) and Nisei (Japanese-Americans). But then, considering the political climate in the here and now of America, Malkin’s book is not really about the Japanese.
It’s about Muslims.
Malkin is preparing the ethical skids for internment of Muslim Americans who are, simply by virtue of their religion, considered somehow less than American and deserving of a FEMA camp if, per chance, Osama bin Goldstein pulls off another attack. In the last paragraph of his review dwelling primarily on the excuses Malkin builds in defense of locking up innocent Japanese—sans habeas corpus or due process and considered traitors and enemy collaborators en masse—Leo writes the following:
"Malkin’s point is that if the threat to the survival of America is severe enough, some civil liberties must yield. She is right that the internment issue is currently being wielded as a club to prevent reasonable extra scrutiny of suspect Arabs and Muslims. But the twin towers were not brought down by militant Swedish nuns. It is always reasonable to look in the direction from which the gravest danger is coming. It’s also reasonable and important to open an honest discussion of internment, past and present."
In fact, there is little if any evidence the twin towers were brought down by Swedish nuns—or for that matter any other ethnic or religious group, including Muslims.
Bush never explained his reason for accusing Osama (an accusation that appeared almost immediately after the attacks) or did he provide evidence, as initially promised—that is before all objectivity was quickly subsumed by a tidal wave of national insanity, including but not limited to the murder of several Arabs (or people who were taken to be Arabs) in the days and weeks following the moment “everything changed” in America. As it now stands, more than three years after the attacks, the only “evidence” Bush has of Osama’s complicity is a poor quality videotape of a guy that may be compared to the Evil One if he had facial surgery and spent a few months gobbling cheeseburgers in an Afghan cave.
But then Bush and his Straussian crew need not evidence, as they did not need evidence that Saddam Hussein harbored nasty bio and chemical weapons before they commenced to decimate Iraq—in the Bush Bizarro World of political unreality, unsubstantiated accusations are well and good as a pretext to invade defenseless countries, destroy civilian infrastructure, and kill tens of thousands of innocent people. As Bush and Ashcroft have pronounced, asking questions about evidence and such may be translated into a suspicion that you are with the terrorists and not the Good and Righteous.
“Malkin fearlessly contradicts the Leftist conventional wisdom that anyone who champions profiling and even internment must by definition be a free speech-hating, Bill of Rights-trampling, immigrant-bashing tyrant,” another reviewer testifies. “She provides conclusive proof that wartime presidents can’t afford to indulge pandering nonsense from those who would make our security secondary to anything: a nation can’t stand for anything unless it is still standing.”
But this is exactly what Malkin is doing—advocating the unrestrained trampling of the Bill of Rights in favor of a baseless hysteria (effectively engineered by the Bushcons for cynical political purpose and advantage). The 9/11 attacks did not leave America flat—but continued invasions and occupations, as planned by the PNAC Mafia and the Bushcons, may very well bring the nation to its knees both financially and morally.
As we know, Muslims summarily rounded up in Ashcroft’s politically motivated raids after 9/11 were treated abhorrently—held incommunicado, denied access to lawyers or legal representation, and physically abused and tortured.
Is it possible Malkin sincerely believes the next time around Muslims will be treated any less deplorably? Does she think Muslims will be sent to quaint little camps in the desert, sheltered in air-conditioned row houses, fed three squares a day, and treated with human dignity and respect?
Chances are she does not particularly care.
After all, as neocons and many Christian Zionist Republicans believe, Islam is a gutter religion, the Prophet Mohammed was a despicable pedophile and sadist, and Arabs are an incurably backward people, devoid of modernity, and low on the yardstick of civilization. Regrettably, far too many Americans, effectively brainwashed by the quasi-patriotic pabulum emanating from the likes of Fox News, believe likewise. Don’t expect them to stand up for what is right in the wake of another attack (according to more than a few observers—including so-called government officials and terrorism “experts” parading across the telescreen—such an attack is assuredly on tap in the near future, maybe even prior to the election).
It can be argued as well that in addition to Muslims and Arabs, the Bushites are keenly aware of the threat posed to their Master Plan for the Middle East by non-Muslim or Arab Americans, that is to say Americans actively engaged in opposition to their policies. Is it possible Malkin would champion the internment of political opponents since, as more than a few neocons and Republicans argue, such people ("Marxists," as David Horowitz calls them) are actively engaged in treason during a “time of war” (recall key Republicans calling loudly for censure, if not trials, of Democrats opposed to Bush’s conduct of the “war”—not the “war” itself, mind you, but merely the conduct; all most nearly to the man and woman, congressional Democrats enthusiastically supported and voted for Dubya’s invasion, including John Kerry).
Since I have not read Malkin’s book, only reviews, I cannot say one way or the other if she would support such an internment—let’s call it what it would undoubtedly be: the corralling of political prisoners in concentration camps, something that would please the likes of an execrable Nazi such as Henrich Himmler—but in the current political environment (complete with Manichean declarations of black and white, good and evil, entire populations condemned to rogue status, an environment where tepid Democrats, essentially supporters, at least in principle, of the “war on terrorism” are angrily denounced for traitorous disloyalty, where Republicans absurdly declare a vote for Kerry is a vote for Osama bin Laden) can such a possibility be definitively ruled out, especially after what happened in the oil and asbestos polluted pens of New York where demonstrators were herded and abused for the crime of disagreeing with Bush and exercising their lawful right under the First Amendment to the Constitution, a document Bush is sworn to uphold?
Finally, as Ashcroft and the Justice Department’s much touted yet dismal prosecutions of Islamic “terrorists” demonstrate, there is little if any threat in America from Muslims—the vast majority are law-abiding citizens or visitors (minor immigration violations, common for all visitors, regardless of race or national origin, aside). In effect, Malkin is simply fanning the flames of hatred and suspicion, more than likely much to approval of the Straussian Bushcons and their fellow travelers who have a vested interest, as Israel-Firsters and Likud operatives, in demonizing innocent Muslims and Arabs.
But then, I suppose, in America today, this is the sort of stuff best-selling non-fiction books are made of.
Kurt Nimmo is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is the author of Another Day in the Empire: Life in Neoconservative America, a collection of essays published by Dandelion Books. Visit his weblog at KurtNimmo.com.Share