Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The train of bad logic runs on time

Sure. Michelle Malkin's just defending internment then -- she's not defending it now.

There are many reasons that historians and other critics of Malkin are dubious about Malkin's eye-rolling protestations that, honestly, she isn't green-lighting the internment of Arab Americans when she argues that the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II was legitimate.

For one, there's the logic of it: Why argue for relatively minor and measured responses such as simple racial profiling -- a reasoned debate over which is certainly possible -- by justifying a massive and outrageously oversized response such as rounding up and incarcerating 80,000 American citizens?

I mean, what's next? Can we expect another right-winger to write a defense of fascism as a way of praising the virtues of trains running on time?

But as Eric Muller has pointed out, Malkin has given herself the luxury of playing coy on this count. She doesn't have to argue for the internment of Arab Americans; she can let others do that for her.

Others, like John Leo in U.S. News and World Report, who reiterates uncritically all of Malkin's revisionist history and then concludes:
It's also reasonable and important to open an honest discussion of internment, past and present.

After all, it's just a short step of illogic from Malkin's thesis to Leo's, and thence to Michael Savage's (which is that we ought to be interning Arab Americans).

It'll be interesting to see if Malkin even bothers to discuss, let alone denounce, this use of her "scholarship."

[Speaking of which ... Malkin still hasn't responded to my e-mails after promising in person to submit to an interview with me. I'll be contacting her further and keeping you all updated.]

UPDATE: Malkin has graciously e-mailed me back. We're working out arrangements for an interview now.

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