Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Review: Diana West, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character, 2013

In the dark, musty corners of leftist dementia, there are still those who believe Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs were innocent of treason and espionage. However, most informed Americans are aware of the Soviet infiltration into the US government in the 1930s and 1940s. What most Americans are not aware of is the massive scale of the Communist fifth-column in government and private organizations. The nature, purpose and consequences of the Soviet intelligence operations are largely unknown. What is too often ignored by historians and scholars is the long lasting damage done to the country by the Soviet agents, their moles, fellow travelers and opportunistic enablers. 

Diana West's American Betrayal is the best work available exploring the massive treason that occurred during the Roosevelt administration. She begins at the end of the story by demonstrating how the American people are still betrayed on a daily basis by their leaders. Both the American people and their political leaders have been conditioned to tell and believe an endless series of Big Lies. Such Big Lies as "Climate Change," "diversity is our strength" and Jeffrey Epstein's "suicide" are still daily currency. Although, the liars are fooling less and less people with each passing day. 

West's opening chapter addresses one of the biggest lies of our time: the whitewashing of the Mohammedan Death Cult. After 9/11, George W. Bush famously commented repeatedly on some non-existent "religion of peace." Meanwhile, in classic Bush Crime Family tradition, he dedicated American policy to the best interests of the Saudi Entity. Obama was even worse. He purged both the FBI and military of any truth tellers about Islam who remained in government service. He covered up the motives of the Fort Hood jihadist. 
As enemies of the West, godless Communism and godcentric Islam are strangely, eerily similar, in their collectivist, totalitarian natures, in their dysfunctional ideological reliance on the Eternal For for forward thrust, and, above all, in our blindness to all related and resulting implications of our struggle against them. (Pg. 21, emphasis in original)
Of course, Zero (Obama) is the personification of both these anti-life ideologies.
Such [Western] ennui, if that's the right term, is no match for the persistent animus toward capitalism, individualism, and "bourgeois" culture that, again, seemingly paradoxically, has long outlasted the rotted Soviet superstructure. Indeed, in the person of President Barack Hussein Obama, two decades after the disintegration of the USSR, such animus pulses through his administration. (Pg. 24)
In order to explain where our blindness originated, West then moves on to the first Bush administration. She documents Bush's incessant appeasement of and abject surrender to Mikhail Gorbachev. Bush's calumny climaxed with his notorious Chicken Kiev speech in which he attacked the legitimate national yearnings of the Ukrainian people. It appeared that keeping the Soviet Union in business and its empire intact was as important to Bush as it was for Gorby. 

The elder Bush's obsequious position viz a viz Gorbachev is important to West because the issue leads to an important question: who actually won the Cold War? Sure, the Soviet Union is gone. But, their fifth-column flourishes* to this day. In other words, we won over there but last the much more important philosophical war at home. 
Here, since even before the earliest days of the twentieth century, the riddling, boring penetration of Marxian beliefs - through the influx of true believers from Europe and Russia, through the conversion to true belief of new Marxists at home, and through campaigns of Soviet disinformation and other "active measures" - advanced mainly unchecked. The ideological war abroad ... was lost on all fronts in the battlespace at home: in the academy, in the media, in the popular culture, in the arts, and in the zeitgeist up and down Main Street and even, or perhaps especially, along capitalism's main thoroughfare, Wall Street. It was as if we opposed an enemy Over There without noticing the great chunks of his ideology had taken root, flourished, and borne collectivist and thus anti-American fruit Over Here. (Pg. 35)
The above quote is the core of West's thesis. 

One of West's key pieces of evidence was the rapid moral degeneration of the West after 1932. That year is important because it marks the first, and one of the most egregious, Big Lies propagated to the American people by journalists and politicians who had sold their souls for a pat on the head from Joseph Stalin. I'm referring to their cover up of the Holodomor. Walter Duranty is the most famous of the Big Liars. His reports in the New York Times denying the Ukrainian Terror Famine are well-known. 

He had a lot of help in this exercise in Genocide denial. One important source West uses is Eugene Lyons' "Assignment in Utopia."  Lyons was a UP correspondent in Moscow who achieved a remarkable "scoop" by scoring a rare interview with Stalin. In his book he describes how the entire Moscow press corps covered up the Ukrainian Terror Famine. West's book is chock full of such obscure sources by reformed fellow travelers and anti-Communists. It's no accident that most of these sources are long out of print. The effectiveness of the cultural Marxist campaign of Big Lies can be demonstrated by just mentioning Senator Joe McCarthy at most any gathering:
In the late 1940's, another newly coined term was shot into our cultural arteries: "McCartyism." Again, it was a derogatory term, suggesting some insidious evil, and without any clear definition. Its alleged meaning was: "Unjust accustaions, persecutions, and character assassinations of innocent victims." Its real meaning was: "Anti-Communism."
Senator McCarthy was never proved guilty of those allegations, but the effect of that term was to intimidate and silence public discussions. Any uncompromising denunciation of communism or communists was - and still is - smeared as "McCarthyism." As a consequence, opposition to and exposes of communist penetration have all but vanished from our intellectual scene. (Ayn Rand, "'Extremism,' or the Art of Smearing," The Objectivist Newsletter, September 1964)  
For the United States the moral decay began in November 1933 with Roosevelt's recognition of the Soviet Union. The moral decline, treason and complicity in naked evil accelerated at that point. In his magnum opus, Herbert Hoover noted that the Wilson, Harding, Coolidge and his own administrations refused to take such a step. As he observed, 
The recognition of Russia by the United States gave the Soviet government a stamp of respectability before all the world. Other nations followed our lead, thus opening their gates to conspiracies which plague them to this day. (Herbert Hoover, Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath, 2011, pg. 29) 
And, as West observed, the Lies continued to multiply, grow and take over. Like weeds on a vacant lot, the Lies drove out the truth and made any American First policy impossible. At first it was necessary to evade the nature of the Soviet Union and "blank out" the existent of its agents operating within the Roosevelt administration. 

Next it became necessary to cover up Soviet crimes. For example, the murder of defector Walter Krivitsky. He had joined the Cheka in 1917. By 1937, he was an NKVD general in charge of all "illegal" operations in Western Europe. Thinking that his number was up at the height of Stalin's purges and show trials, he defected in 1937.  The Roosevelt administration was uninterested in what he had to say. He was refused a green card and protection. A few weeks before he was scheduled to testify before Congress, Krivitsky committed "suicide" on 10 February 1941 in Washington D.C. The FBI was not called in and the story was buried. Eminent historians Anthony Cave Brown and Charles B. MacDonald tell the whole sordid story in their top shelf book On a Field of Red: The Communist International and the Coming of World War II

West doesn't spend much time on the Krivitsky case. She does provide much detail and documentation on yet another Big Lie prepatrated by the US government: The Katya Forest Massacre in 1941. The story is well known. The evidence that the Soviets had committed this mass murder of Polish Army officers was overwhelming long before the war was over. But, you guessed it, the "see no Communist evil" policy remained firmly in place. 
It did, however, make it more intensively redolent of spoiled fish and, worse, made the Allies complicit for the first time in doing our concerted part to preserve and elaborate on a new Big Lie - this one, to some transformational extent, of our own official making ... Such patterns of censorship and, worse, self-censorship do things to people; do things to our vision and grasp of the truth, our respect for facts, our reliance on judgment. (Pp. 208, 217)
Today, much too late, even the CIA admits to the government cover up (or as they delicately put it "controversy) of the Katyn mass murder for the benefit of our Soviet "ally." 

The US government's degradation, and treason to common decency, gets even worse. West recounts in painful detail Operation Keelhaul that occurred at the war's conclusion. Keelhaul was the forced repatriation of Russian and Eastern European nationals to the tender mercies of Uncle Joe Stalin. Part of the deal was that Stalin would then release the thousands of Americans and other Western POWs that the Red Army had "liberated" and still held hostage. Needless to say, Stalin didn't keep his word and Washington quickly forgot about the Americans they had abandoned. West continues about the moral sewer that the USA was/is now occupying.
Here was a harrowing new development in our self-destructive relationship with Communist Russia. Having swallowed any number of Big Lies about Soviet atrocities (Terror Famine and on) to maintain sunny relations with the USSR, having perpetrated a Big Lie ourselves about a Soviet atrocity (Katyn) to continue to fight on as supposedly like-minded allies, the Western Allies went further still: We became accessories to a Soviet atrocity - a war crime and crime against humanity. (Pg. 232, emphasis in original)
America's moral degeneration was facilitated by the large numbers of Communist agents and fellow travelers in the Roosevelt administration. As noted above, their poison would quickly seep in all areas of American life. West provides amply proof that the Roosevelt and Truman (and subsequent) administrations were penetrated for top to bottom. She provides much evidence that the now sanctified Truman was a two-bit partisan hack in way over his head. When Truman was given overwhelming proof by the FBI that Communists operated freely in the executive branch, his reponse was to launch a cover up that included smearing whistle blowers like Whitaker Chambers. Truman's main concern was the upcoming election in 1948 and not American national security.

The truth of a Soviet occupied Washington is not new. Nor was Diana West the first to recognize it. 
The principal recruiter was Harold Ware, who held a first meeting of the Triple A [Agricultural Adjustment Administration] group at a violin studio owned by his sister on Connecticut Avenue. At the start, the cell consisted only of Ware, and three others, all attorneys: John Abt, Nathan Witt, and Lee Pressman; but from that microcosm there developed a shadow Soviet Government of America under the direction of J. Peters, the full range of which the Federal Bureau of Investigation would never be able to determine. (Anthony Cave Brown and Charles B. MacDonald, On a Field of Red, 1981, pg. 340)

There has been much noise about West's contention that Washington was occupied by the Soviet enemy during the Roosevelt, and later, administrations. But, there it is from nearly forty years ago: Soviet Government of America.

There is much controversy surrounding American Betrayal. Most of it stems from mendacious reviews that focused on details and ignored West's main thesis. One such detail is the nature of Harry Hopkin's treason. Was he a Soviet agent with a NKVD handler or did his treason just come naturally? We will probably never know. If there were any "smoking guns" in the National Archives, the documents have long since been shredded. 

Another issue is West's views on World War II strategy. I disagree with her on the "second front" and whether MacArthur's forces in The Philippines could have have been relieved regardless of Lend-Lease policy. These are just a few of countless, perennial World War II "what ifs" that honest and patriotic Americans can disagree on. West's critics aren't honest in this regard and, therefore, can't just agree to disagree. 

Ignore the critics and read the book for yourself. It's an eyeopening bombshell that all Americans should closely study.

* In her must read The Red Thread, West documents the hard left and neo-Marxist roots of the cabal currently attempting to overthrow a duly elected president. 

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