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IN DEFENSE OF DANIEL PIPES

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By thisistwitchy  •  February 11, 2004 11:14 AM

On April 9, 2003, Amy Goodman of radical-left Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now” interviewed Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes about his areas of expertise–Middle East and Islamic issues. Out of the blue, Goodman suddenly switched gears and asked Pipes: “Did you support, do you now, looking back on the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II?”

Pipes, taken completely by surprise, replied quite candidly, “It’s not a subject I know enough about to talk about.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) promtply jumped all over Pipes, trying to use his statement to rally opposition to his nomination to the Board of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

“It is outrageous that someone with undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Harvard University, both in history, would fail to condemn the unjust internment of Japanese Americans by disingenuously claiming he is ill-informed,” CAIR executive director Nihad Awad said.

Last week, Pipes recounted the controversy for the first time since reading my book, In Defense of Internment:

This attempt at sandbagging me on the radio not only failed to derail my nomination, but it also failed in a larger sense, for it provoked my curiosity about the Japanese internment and prompted me to read Malkin’s book. Now, should anyone ask the same question Goodman did, I can knowledgeably reply: Yes, I do support the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II because, as Malkin shows, “given what was known and not known at the time,” the U.S. government made the correct and sensible decisions.

In addition, Pipes wrote a column published in Jewish World Review, the Jerusalem Post, New York Sun and elsewhere that discusses my book in the context of the Cornell University opinion survey that found heavy support among the U.S. public for religious profiling (i.e., heightened scrutiny of Muslims). The survey specifically asked respondents about their support for registration and monitoring of Muslims, infiltratation of Muslim civic and volunteer organizations, and religious/racial profiling.

The response from liberals has been apoplectic, as might be expected. “A very scary wingnut,” says one blogger. Other reactions to Pipes’ column: “Nothing more than a crackpot.” “Israeli racist.” “Asshole of the right.” “Professional hysteric.”

Not content to limit themselves to infantile name-calling, a number of Pipes’ critics have seriously distorted his views. Consider this reply from Juan Cole, the Associate Chair of the University of Michigan’s History Department:

Pipes Favors Concentration Camps

That the Revisionist-Zionist extremist Daniel Pipes has fond visions of rounding up Muslim Americans and putting them in concentration camps isn’t a big surprise. That a mainstream American newspaper would publish this David-Dukeian evil is. Of course, this is also a man that President Bush appointed to a temporary vacancy at the United States Institute of Peace, after the Senate understandably balked at a regular appointment for him.

Pipes’s little project requires him to attempt to justify the internment of American citizens (of Japanese ancestry) during World War II, a violation on several grounds of the Bill of Rights. I hope Asian-Americans realize that a key wing of the Republican Party, i.e. the Neoconservatives, wishes them ill.

If the American yahoos ever start putting people in concentration camps, I think we may be assured that they won’t stop with the Muslims or the Asians, and Mr. Pipes will come to have reason to regret his imprudence and, frankly, his demonic implication.

posted by Juan @ 12/31/2004 06:25:13 AM

The false allegation that Pipes “has fond visions of rounding up Muslim Americans and putting them in concentration camps” is one that has been leveled at me as well. It is repeated here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. It is a blatant lie, a malicious smear. While I expect this sort of thing from the far-left reaches of the blogosphere, it is simply astounding when such lies are spewed by a professor of history at one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Read Pipes’ column and blog entry. It is perfectly clear where Pipes stands. He wants heightened scrutiny of Muslims to be incorporated into U.S. homeland security policies and is enccouraged by the results of the Cornell survey, which showed that 44 percent of Americans seem to agree with him. (In a follow-up post on his blog, Pipes clarified that he is not in favor of one of proposals mentioned in the Cornell survey–requiring Muslims to register their whereabouts with the feds.)

Nowhere in his column or blog entry does Pipes advocate rounding up Muslims and placing them in camps. Nowhere in the Cornell survey that Pipes cites approvingly do respondents state that they are in favor of rounding up Muslims and placing them in camps. Nowhere in my book do I support such actions with regard to Muslims.

Truth doesn’t matter to Cole and his fellow smear merchants.

Nor does it matter to University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos, who attacked Pipes and me in yesterday’s Rocky Mountain News here. Campos calls my book “odious” and “absurd.” I called Campos to ask him if he had actually read my book–I strongly suspect he did not–but he did not return my call.

In the same spirit as Cole, Campos falsely implies that Pipes and I support the establishment of internment camps for Muslims:

Now Daniel Pipes, who has claimed that American Muslims are uniquely dangerous because of their potential for disloyalty (a typical quote: “The Muslim population in this country is not like any other group, for it includes within it a substantial body of people . . . who share with the suicide hijackers a hatred of the United States.”) is taking advantage of this climate to suggest that “bothersome or offensive measures” such as internment camps may be the price “we” have to pay for security.

This is a dangerous argument. After all, none of the 9/11 hijackers were American – unlike, for example, Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols. It would be far more efficient to engage in what Malkin calls “threat profiling” by setting up internment camps for members of far-right political groups than for American Muslims. We can only hope that Malkin and Pipes would at least object to the former proposal.

Unfortunately, this smear was reprinted in other papers, such as the Modesto Bee and a paper that is distributed at metro stations in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Meanwhile, over at the weirdo web site antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo espies “[w]idespread support on the Right for internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, touting Michelle Malkin’s shoddy-to-nonexistent scholarship.” A question for Mr. Raimaondo: If support for my book is so widespread, why hasn’t a single major pundit or blogger come to Pipes’ defense?

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