Thursday, August 25, 2005

Jack Herzig dies

Jack Herzig has died. Naturally his obituary contains some reparations myths that once again need to be revealed as untruths.

After reading the AP piece below, come back and read this.

Check out Jack and Aiko Herzig's involvement with this...

And this...

Ken Masugi makes some interesting observations about the reparations folks and their use of obituaries here.

Another stellar piece of work, courtesy of the AP:

Obituary: Jack Herzig

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jack Herzig, a lawyer who with his wife played an instrumental role in gaining redress from the United States government for the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, has died. He was 83.
Herzig, a World War II veteran, died Sunday at his Gardena, Calif., home from colon cancer, said his son-in-law, Warren Furutani.

Between 1942 and 1945, the federal government interned more than 120,000 ethnic Japanese -- most of whom were born in the U.S. -- amid widespread anti-Japanese sentiment.

The U.S. Supreme Court in the 1944 case of Fred Y. Korematsu vs. the U.S. upheld the constitutionality of the decision to imprison Japanese-Americans during the war.

Korematsu, who in 1942 was a 23-year-old welder living in Oakland, Calif., refused to report to an internment camp. He was arrested, convicted of violating the internment order and sent to a camp in Utah.

Herzig and his wife, Aiko Yoshinaga-Herzig, in the 1980s uncovered documents in the National Archives and other repositories that showed government prosecutors suppressed, altered and destroyed evidence during its prosecution of Korematsu.

The documents enabled a team of largely Asian-American attorneys to file a petition for a writ of coram nobis, a rarely used legal strategy to overturn a conviction after new evidence has been discovered.

In November 2003, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel from the bench exonerated Korematsu and blasted the government for basing its decisions on "unsubstantiated facts, distortions and the (opinions) of one military commander whose views were seriously tainted by racism."

Herzig is survived by his wife, daughters Gerrie Lani Miyazaki and Lisa Abe-Furutani, and sons David Abe and Tommy Herzig.

The Japan Times: Aug. 25, 2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005

UNC Professor Eric Muller is a BIJAC Thug

The latest round of hate mail to Friends of Historical Accuracy came from UNC Law Professor Eric Muller. Muller, like his buddy Dave Niewert, ia a shameless self-promoting race baiter for which the reparations movement has become big business. In fact Muller's lowered himself to begging for donations on his site. Look's sleazy, Eric. Why not sell advertising instead.

Last week I got a call at my office from Frank Kitamoto of BIJAC. (I have no qualms using Frank's name on my site as he had no qualms using my name on his. Muller, too. As a policy I refrain from naming names of people who are not in the public sphere.) As the call came at 7:55AM I was not there to pick up, nor did Frank leave a message. Caller ID indicated it was Frank's number. About the next day I start getting these really hateful emails at the website with gossip that could only been provided by someone local.

As my previous comments pointed out my brother and a nisei old family friend had a chat at the local store, the inaccurate substance of which has made it into the BIJAC bible. Connecting the dots, I suspect Muller had a little chat of his own with Kitamoto, the myth was passed and Muller chose to use his newly learned gossip for a round of hate mail.

Admittedly I have been a thorn in Muller's side for some time. When I questioned the integrity of accepting money from the biased California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund (scroll down to Julius Streicher and Joseph Goebbels would be proud) for his work, Muller lied through his teeth and threw me off his site. Face is Eric, Streicher and Goebbels would be proud because your book is also nauseating propaganda. When Muller banned me I spoofed my IP address and continued to post until I had him frothing at the mouth.

Then I learned the vengeful, sweaty little man was the source of the hateful messages: = =>> (Horde) with HTTP for>>,

...posted anonymously as "Dick_Kotoshirodo" (a hero of Muller's).

The content of the messages included, "Hey, at least I don't publicly trashtalk the pallbearers at my own father's funeral. You're the lowest of the low and you haven't got the balls even to identify yourself publicly. You're too chickenshit to even put this exchange up on your Big Fancy Blog, because then people--including your wife and family--would know that it's (you) who is spewing all this racist crap."

To which I would reply, "Dick, if you'd like to have a debate, try the comments portion of the blog. Thus far you've not addressed anything of historical value. Yours truly,"

(As an aside, my wife, family, old time islanders and even BIJAC knows my position on this history. BIJAC had the opportunity to publicly debate the history at IslandWood in September and turned down the offer.)

What Muller received from BIJAC is idle gossip. I suppose he deserves a little victory, so let him have it.

Regarding the pallbearer "trashtalking" to which Eric as "Dick Kotoshirodo" refers, this is the same nisei old family friend who confronted my brother at the market thus providing the fodder for BIJAC. Dave Neiwert exploited the man on his blog after an article had appeared in a local paper. I posted that the old family friend, "spent a year playing golf everyday at Manzanar before moving to Chicago". This is the "trash talking" to which they refer. (Neiwert subsequently kicked me off his site, too. So much for free speech!)

However, I'm not the original source of the golfing comment. Can you guess who is? THE NISEI OLD FAMILY FRIEND! It's knowledge we've grown up with! Naturally Muller and Niewert don't know, because they're not islanders! They're not even from around here! Muller's in North Carlina and Niewart's a newcomer from back east currently living in Ballard. They're race-baiting shameless self-promoters who are making money off the reparations movment.

The nisei old family friend and my father were golfing buddies and he was a pallbearer at my father's funeral back in 1971. When I was a kid I caught a beautiful young octopus off Blakely Rock and he was the first person I thought to call. He taught me how to prepare and eat tako and I was happy to give the rest to him. If I remember correctly he also attended my wedding along with many other members of the island's Japanese-American community for which relations will never be the same thanks to BIJAC!

If my father is watching the way his old friend has been sucked into this movement by the likes of Kitamoto, Moriwaki, Muller, Neiwert and all the rest - if he's listening to the comments attributed to his old friend in the local press, ie. "I was evacuated because of my face!" - then he's surely spinning in his grave. My father was a kind, honest and giving man of the Atticus Finch variety but he never put up with bullshitters...

The likes of these people have done more to damage decades old friendships and acquaintances on Bainbridge Island than Pearl Harbor ever did. I don't believe my father would have supported the way they're memorializing our history - not as a publicity campaign with the public getting half the story.

P.S. BIJAC's terrible comments questioning the integrity of Katy Warner that appeared in the "Minutes" section of their site is disgraceful - especially since they were made after she was no longer around to defend herself. You BIJAC folks need to head up to Kane Cemetery and apologize.

UPDATE: Muller denies Kitamoto is the source of the gossip. Could be Moriwaki. Could be any BIJAC member. Doesn't really matter.

UPDATE 2: The following post appeared on Muller's blog:

"Fair enough. Truth is a complete defense to libel (if I correctly recall what that law professor taught me all those years ago). From your description of him, he certainly sounds like a head case. I hope his neighbors throw trash on his lawn (or whatever it is you want them to do).
What a glorious victory, Eric! You've unmasked the nut! Bravo! Keep up the good work."

Posted by: lostingotham at August 18, 2005 09:20 PM

Yea, bravo eric. Truth or gossip aside, if anything happens to me and mine courtesy of you, you can ensure we'll be coming after you. How does "Court disbars law professor" sound?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The anniversary elegy

Friends of Historical Accuracy regarding the ethnic Japanese Evacuation of 1942

Yu Bin at Asia Times online writes a good piece regarding the 60th anniversary of the end of the war.

You'll find it here.

As you may have read here, we get hate mail at Friends of Historical Accuracy. (We get supportive mail, too. Generally speaking, the local supportive mail comes from old time islanders and the local hate mail from newcomers. The latest hate mail is being sent anonymously as "Dick Kotoshirodo", but I backtraced the IP address to an island newcomer / BIJAC supporter.)

So the latest round of hate mail involves an old time island nisei who confronted my brother at the grocery store regarding a letter I wrote a couple years ago to the local paper. To make a long story short, the old timer was a close friend of my dad's and my brother was upset that I had upset him so my brother made some inaccurate comments regarding me and my motivations that he is not in a position to make.

Apparently this conversation got back to BIJAC and is now being used as fodder for a variety of hateful messages along with the usual "you're a low life, you're a racist....yada, yada, yada..."

Of course I knew it would get back to BIJAC. When I sent a mass email to the state legislature a couple of years ago, it was forwarded straight to BIJAC who forwarded to its members, a couple of whom forwarded it back to me!

That the grocery store exchange made it back to the likes of the guy sending me the hate mail does not say much for BIJAC. Perhaps he's an actual member of BIJAC or a BIJAC thug on the fringes. If he's the type BIJAC is recruiting then BIJAC has a credibility problem.

If you want to know what motivates me, read this.

UPDATE: Backtracing IPs is an inexact science. Upon further research it has been discovered the sender of the latest round of hateful email is not an island newcomer but rather is fringe BIJAC thug and arch-nemisis UNC law professor Eric Muller of is Not even I could imagine Muller is capable of such hateful language. A blog with all the details is forthcoming.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Potsdam Declaration

Friends of Historical Accuracy regarding the ethnic Japanese Evacuation of 1942

This being the 60th anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing, it's a good opportunity to re-read a portion of the Potsdam Declaration. Had Japan accepted the terms unconditionally rather than follow a policy of bleeding the allies in a war of attrition on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not have happened...

Potsdam Declaration

Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender
Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945

1 We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.

2 The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.

3 The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.

4 The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.

5 Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.

6 There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.

7 Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan's war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.

8 The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.

9 The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.

10 We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.

11 Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.

12 The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.

13 We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Friends of Historical Accuracy regarding the ethnic Japanese Evacuation of 1942

A good piece in the Weekly Standard details the historical revisionism of WW2.

Read it here.

Here is a book review on the same subject. The reparations movement consists of the same people as the Hiroshima Cult.

Truman and the Hiroshima Cult by Robert P. Newman. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, Michigan 48823-5202, 1995, 272 pages, $30.00.

World War II was brought to a close in August 1945 by the atomic bombing of Japan. Few events have generated as many books and articles or as much controversy as the circumstances surrounding the bombing. The 50th anniversary of the bombing saw a watershed of new, reissued, and revised works on the subject. By and large, one can characterize these works as traditionalist or revisionist, providing two distinctly differing views of the bombing.

The traditionalist view maintains that the bombs were necessary to end or hasten the end of the war—that their use saved many American and Japanese lives by avoiding an invasion. The revisionist view grew out of the 1960s, declaring that the bombs were not necessary to end the war because the Japanese were ready to surrender, or that even if an invasion were necessary, it would not have cost many lives. Revisionists typically view the use of the atomic bombs as racially or politically—not militarily—motivated. This explanation is a simplification of both positions, but it is representative of each.

The "Hiroshima cult" Dr. Newman refers to in his title embraces the revisionist views almost dogmatically. In his words, this cult is an "ahistorical group who grew up during the Vietnam era of distrust of the government and the military. The cult has its own holy day, 6 August; its own shrine, Hiroshima; and as stated above, its own written beliefs." Dr. Newman wrote Truman and the Hiroshima Cult as an answer to what he believes are the historical distortions of the cult. Therefore, the book is not about the development of the atomic bombs or the men who dropped them. It is about the decision to use them and the "what ifs" that historians, traditional and revisionist alike, have batted about for the past 50 years.

The book contains eight chapters, two hundred pages of text, and 70 pages of notes. In that 270 pages, Dr. Newman takes the reader through a thorough discussion of the factors involved in dropping the bomb, the military situation in the Pacific, and, ultimately, the evolution of the Hiroshima cult in the 1960s and beyond. The chapter titles show the direction taken by the author: "Why Did Truman Drop the Bomb?" "Was Japan Ready to Surrender?" "Was the Policy of Unconditional Surrender Justified?" "Why No Warning or Demonstration?" "Was a Second Bomb Necessary to End the War?" "Was Dropping These Bombs Morally Justified?" "Why Has the ‘Japan-as-Victim' Myth Been So Attractive?" and "What If the Bomb Had Not Been Used?"

Newman has a very readable style made authoritative by his extensive documentation and research. He is so careful with sourcing that one has no questions about the origins of facts or opinions. Further, he tends to drop a bombshell or two in each of the chapters.

In chapter two, for example, he clearly shows that the conclusions contained in the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) summary report about early Japanese surrender were wrong. Newman found them to be based on the beliefs of Paul Nitze, the on-scene team chief, rather than on any facts or material gleaned from interrogations of high-ranking Japanese military and political leaders. Nitze was a strategic bombing advocate; it was his opinion that the atomic weapons were nothing more than "bigger bombs." He used his position to ensure that the summary report emphasized the role of conventional strategic bombing in ending the war in the Pacific. The USSBS interrogations clearly show that, barring some other change to the status quo, Japan would have fought on for months and bitterly opposed any attempt at invasion. The conventional bombing, while devastating, would not have brought about surrender. The insertion of Nitze's beliefs as fact in the USSBS summary is no small manipulation of history. The USSBS summary has been taken as gospel for the last 50 years by many revisionists and some traditionalists to support different interpretations of the atomic bombing. Dr. Newman is one of only a handful of researchers to point out this distortion.

Revisionists routinely claim that using the bombs killed more people than allowing the Japanese to surrender on their own or even executing the invasion in November 1945. What if the United States hadn't used the bombs? Newman's research indicates that the consequences of not dropping the bombs in August 1945 would have been grim indeed. Assuming the invasion occurred as scheduled in November and not counting the actual casualties of the invasion itself, Newman conservatively estimates that three hundred thousand people would have died each month the war continued past mid-August 1945, based on death-rate figures from the United Nations and other sources. About 80 percent of those deaths would have occurred in Japanese-occupied territory, where the casualty rate would have certainly escalated as Japan's position grew more desperate. The rest would have died as a result of combat and the continued bombing of Japanese cities. All things considered, had the fighting gone into 1946, the additional death toll as a result of the Pacific war would have easily exceeded two million people. Again, this does not include the direct cost in American and Japanese lives due to invasion. The three hundred thousand casualties from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while regrettable, pale in comparison, especially when one remembers that in Asia over 17 million people died at Japanese hands from 1932 to 1945.

Truman and the Hiroshima Cult proved a difficult work to review adequately without spoiling it for future readers. I purposely avoided a detailed discussion of "the cult" for this reason. I found it to be so powerful that I read eight other recent works on the subject, both traditionalist and revisionist, to check facts and "sample the competition" before writing this review. Although several works go into more detail about some of the specific points brought out by Newman, none were as compelling or as complete. Truman and the Hiroshima Cult will be the standard to which all other works on the subject will be compared. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the debate on the atomic bombing of Japan. True members of "the cult" will not be swayed, but readers who value reasoning, logic, and fact will.

Lt Col David Howard, USAF
Maxwell AFB, Alabama

UPDATE: I had said the reparations folks make up the same ilk as the Hiroshima Cult.

Greg Robinson is a timely example. Read his piece here.