Tuesday, July 29, 2014

American Betrayal

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"This explosive book is a long-needed answer to court histories that continue to obscure key facts about our backstage war with Moscow. Must-reading for serious students of security issues and Cold War deceptions, both foreign and domestic."

-- M. Stanton Evans, author of Stalin's Secret Agents and Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies

"[West] only claims `to connect the dots,' which is a very modest description of the huge and brilliant work she has obviously done. ... It is not simply a good book about history. It is one of those books which makes history."

-- Vladimir Bukovsky, author of To Build a Castle and co-founder of the Soviet dissident movement, and Pavel Stroilov, author of Behind the Desert Storm.

"Every once in a while, something happens that turns a whole structure of preconceived ideas upside down, shattering tales and narratives long taken for granted, destroying prejudice, clearing space for new understanding to grow. Diana West's latest book, American Betrayal, is such an event."
 
-- Henrik Raeder Clausen, Europe News

"No book has ever frightened me as much as American Betrayal. ... It all adds up to a story so disturbing that it has changed my attitude to almost everything I think about how the world actually is."

-- Steven Kates, Quadrant

Her task is ambitious; her sweep of crucial but too-little-known facts of history is impressive; and her arguments are eloquent and witty. ... American Betrayal is one of those books that will change the way many of us see the world.

-- Susan Freis Falknor, Blue Ridge Forum

“What Diana West has done is to dynamite her way through several miles of bedrock. On the other side of the tunnel there is a vista of a new past. Of course folks are baffled. Few people have the capacity to take this in. Her book is among the most well documented I have ever read. It is written in an unusual style viewed from the perspective of the historian—but it probably couldn’t have been done any other way.”

-- Lars Hedegaard, historian, editor, Dispatch International

"Diana West's new book rewrites WWII and Cold War history not by disclosing secrets, but by illuminating facts that have been hidden in plain sight for decades. Furthermore, she integrates intelligence and political history in ways never done before."

-- Jeffrey Norwitz, former professor of counterterrorism, Naval War College

Diana West’s American Betrayal — a remarkable, novel-like work of sorely needed historical re-analysis — is punctuated by the Cassandra-like quality of “multi-temporal” awareness. ... But West, although passionate and direct, is able to convey her profoundly disturbing, multi-temporal narrative with cool brilliance, conjoining meticulous research, innovative assessment, evocative prose, and wit.

-- Andrew G. Bostom, PJ Media

Do not be dissuaded by the controversy that has erupted around this book which, if you insist on complete accuracy, would be characterized as a disinformation campaign.

-- Jed Babbin, The American Spectator

The most important anti-Communist book of our time.

-- J.R. Nyquist, contributor, And Reality Be Damned ... What Media Didn't Tell You about the End of the Cold War and the Fall of Communism in Europe

The polemics against your Betrayal have a familiar smell: The masters of the guild get angry when someone less worthy than they are ventures into the orchard in which only they are privileged to harvest. The harvest the outsider brought in, they ritually burn.

-- Hans Jansen, former professor of Islamic Thought, University of Utrecht 

West's lesson to Americans: Reality can't be redacted, buried, fabrictaed, falsified, or omitted. Her book is eloquent proof of it.

-- Edward Cline, Family Security Matters

In American Betrayal, Ms. West's well-established reputation for lacking "sacred cows" remains intact. The resulting beneficiaries are the readers, especially those who can deal with the truth.

-- Wes Vernon, Renew America

After reading American Betrayal and much of the vituperation generated by neconservative "consensus" historians, I conclude that we cannot ignore what West has demonstrated through evidence and cogent argument.

-- John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D., Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Enlightening. I give American Betrayal five stars only because it is not possible to give it six.

-- John Dietrich, formerly of the Defense Intelligence Agency and author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy.

If you're looking for something to read, this is the most dazzling, mind-warping book I have read in a long time. It has been criticized by the folks at Front Page, but they don't quite get what Ms. West has set out to do and accomplished. I have a whole library of books on communism, but -- "Witness" excepted -- this may be the best.

-- Jack Cashill, author of Deconstructing Obama: The Lives, Loves and Letters of America's First Postmodern President and First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America

Diana West masterfully reminds us of what history is for: to suggest action for the present. She paints for us the broad picture of our own long record of failing to recognize bullies and villains. She shows how American denial today reflects a pattern that held strongly in the period of the Soviet Union. She is the Michelangelo of Denial.

-- Amity Shlaes, author of Coolidge and The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

American Betrayal is a monumental achievement. Brilliant and important.

-- Monica Crowley, Fox News analyst, radio host and author of What the Bleep Just Happened: The Happy Warriors Guide to the Great American Comeback

"If you haven't read Diana West's "American Betrayal" yet, you're missing out on a terrific, real-life thriller."

-- Brad Thor, author of the New York Times bestsellers Hidden Order, Black List and The Last Patriot.


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Sep 28

Written by: Diana West
Monday, September 28, 2009 1:02 PM 

Over at Commentary magazine's blog, Max Boot writes:

Various pundits on the Right—Byron York, Ralph Peters, and Diana West—are having conniptions over the Rules of Engagement that Gen. McChrystal has promulgated in Afghanistan, which stress the need for restraint in calling in fire support.

"Conniptions"? Not a word I'd choose to describe the gravely serious debate now, finally, beginning over Gen. McChrystal's Afghanistan policy, something I've have been tracking for a while now, and which is expanded upon by the general himself in his Afghanistan assessment.

Of course, my disagreement isn't at all limited to "the Rules of Engagement," as egregious as they are. Indeed, as I have written before, these rules should not be seen in a vaccuum. They are in fact the symptoms of the "hearts and minds" disease that is debilitating our military and civilian establishment. They are also the tactics of choice in what Gen. McChrystal styles as "the struggle to gain the support of the [Afghan] people" (fireable offense No. 4 in last week's syndicated column). It isn't our rules alone that are killing our men; it is the bankrupt premise behind them: winning hearts and minds as military strategy.

Bottom line: We should fight wars to destroy enemies. We shouldn't fight wars to win friends -- a goal of "COIN," or counterinsurgency, warfare. Max continues:

They are incensed by a recent report that American casualties have increased while Afghan civilian casualties have decreased. They blame McChrystal and his counterinsurgency strategy for this trend.

Speaking for myself, I smelled a rat in the McChrystal policy long before the casualties spiked. (And so did John Bernard, a Marine veteran, whose dismay over Gen. McChrystal's doctrine was such that he began trying to alert his representatives over the summer. A few weeks later, his son, Joshua, a Marine lance corporal was killed, his death directly linked to these same rules.) Max goes on:

This is a bit of a leap, since most of our casualties are being caused by improvised explosive devices. No one has explained how firing more weapons will prevent those mines from being planted.

No one is calling for firing more weapons at IEDS. I am questioning the competence and morality of a commander who openly values the Afghan population,  the same population the same commander acknowledges, frequently aids enemy fighters, more than his American troops.

In fact, dropping more bombs and firing more missiles and artillery shells is likely to alienate civilians and make them less likely to alert American troops to the emplacement of IEDs.

Gee, I wonder why? Funny how some civilians, having suffered the killings of scores of schoolchildren and their teachers due to an errant bombing, don't get "alienated." Moral of this story: They're already with you, or they're already against you. Max goes on:

It is also the case that there are more American troops fighting the Taliban and that the Taliban has responded to our surge with a surge of their own, so more casualties would be expected regardless of the rules of engagement. That hasn’t stopped the critics from castigating our military leaders in harsh terms.

Again, Max is focusing on casulaties to the exclusion of the  strategy behind them.

Ralph writes: “In Afghanistan, our leaders are complicit in the death of each soldier, Marine or Navy corpsman who falls because politically correct rules of engagement shield our enemies.” Diana calls for Gen. McChrystal to be fired.

And let me count the reasons why.

This no doubt goes down well in certain right-wing precincts --

I woudn't know where they would be. Until I found Byron and Ralph out there, it was kinda lonely --

but those who advocate a blood-and-guts approach to the war in Afghanistan—kill them all and let God sort them out—should pause a minute to ask whether that’s a strategy likely to succeed.

Straw man. I advocate "lily pads," among other things, which, contrary to an earlier argument of Max's, had not been tried prior to 9/11.

The Russians tried a scorched-earth approach in Afghanistan; they were far more heedless of civilian casualties than the American armed forces could ever be. Remember how well that worked out? The U.S. has also tried firepower-intensive conventional strategies to fight insurgents in Iraq and Vietnam. How well did that work out? The situation in Iraq only turned around in 2007, when General Petraeus applied a population-centric counterinsurgency approach that focused on getting troops among the population and protecting them from the insurgents rather than simply trying to kill bad guys—precisely the plan that McChrystal is now implementing, with some modifications, in Afghanistan.

That's the problem, Max. Iraq, from which we never got a lousy free tank of gas and from where we are prohibited from launching even an anti-jihad attack on Iran (or on any other country as Gen. Kimmitt is weirdly pleased to report) doesn't count as an American success story.

The Carthaginian strategy—destroy the enemy and salt the earth afterward—can work but only if you are prepared to commit genocide or close to it. It worked, for example, for the Nazis in putting down the Warsaw Uprising, although even the Nazis failed to put down the Yugoslav partisans. Does anyone think that American public opinion would support the use of Nazi-like tactics in Afghanistan?

This is beside my point but I just can't help wondering: Has Max Boot ever heard of Dresden or Hiroshima? Nagasaki?

Luckily we don’t have to use utter brutality to prevail. In fact, history suggests that a “hearts and minds” approach is more likely to be successful. Two political scientists have just      released a study [5] of 66 insurgencies in the 20th century where foreign powers committed considerable resources to put down the rebels. Their conclusion? That a hearts-and-minds strategy has worked 75 percent of the time. That’s a higher rate of success than that of more brutal approaches, such as the Russians in Afghanistan or the French in Algeria.

Two political scientists? Well, I'm hanging up my keyboard right now.

Those who advocate population-centric counterinsurgency—most prominently, General McChrystal and General Petraeus—are not soft-headed, politically correct humanitarians.

"Hearts and minds" strategy is by definition soft-headed, politically correct but decidedly not humanitarian -- at least not toward US troops.

They are smart generals who have learned the lessons of history and have chosen the strategy that has the best chance of success.Conservatives would be well-advised to unite in support of their efforts rather than joining the liberal sniper squad working to make victory impossible.

Conservatives would be well to open their eyes to the need for a whole new strategy, one that has nothing whatsoever to do with counterinsurgency.

 

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