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"It is not simply a good book about history. It is one of those books which makes history. ... "
-- Vladimir Bukovsky, co-founder of the Soviet dissident movement and author of Judgment in Moscow, and Pavel Stroilov, author of Behind the Desert Storm.
"Diana West is distinguished from almost all political commentators because she seeks less to defend ideas and proposals than to investigate and understand what happens and what has happened. This gives her modest and unpretentious books and articles the status of true scientific inquiry, shifting the debate from the field of liking and disliking to being and non-being."
-- Olavo de Carvalho
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
"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
West's lesson to Americans: Reality can't be redacted, buried, fabricated, falsified, or omitted. Her book is eloquent proof of it.
-- Edward Cline, Family Security Matters
"I have read it, and agree wholeheartedly."
-- Angelo Codevilla, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston Unversity, and fellow of the Claremont Institute.
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.
After reading American Betrayal and much of the vituperation generated by neoconservative "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
"A brilliantly researched and argued book."
-- Edward Jay Epstein, author of Deception: The Invisible War between the KGB and the CIA, The Annals 0f Unsolved Crime
"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
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
"American Betrayal is absolutely required reading. Essential. You're sleepwalking without it."
-- Chris Farrell, director of investigations research, Judicial Watch
"Diana West wrote a brilliant book called American Betrayal, which I recommend to everybody ... It is a seminal work that will grow in importance."
-- Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker
"This is a must read for any serious student of history and anyone working to understand the Marxist counter-state in America."
-- John Guandolo, president, Understanding the Threat, former FBI special agent
“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, journalist, founder, Danish Free Press Society
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
No book has ever frightened me as much as American Betrayal. ... [West] patiently builds a story outlining a network of subversion so bizarrely immense that to write it down will seem too fantastic to anyone without the book’s detailed breadth and depth. 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. ... By the time you put the book down, you have a very different view of America’s war aims and strategies. The core question is, did the USA follow a strategy that served its own best interests, or Stalin’s? And it’s not that it was Stalin’s that is so compelling, since you knew that had to be the answer, but the evidence in detail that West provides that makes this a book you cannot ignore.
-- Steven Kates, RMIT (Australia) Associate Professor of Economics, Quadrant
"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
[American Betrayal is] the most important anti-Communist book of our time ... a book that can open people's eyes to the historical roots of our present malaise ... full of insights, factual corroboration, and psychological nuance.
-- J.R. Nyquist, author, Origins of the Fourth World War
Although I know [Christopher] Andrew well, and have met [Oleg] Gordievsky twice, I now doubt their characterization of Hopkins -- also embraced by Radosh and the scholarly community. I now support West's conclusions after rereading KGB: The Inside Story account 23 years later [relevant passages cited in American Betrayal]. It does not ring true that Hopkins was an innocent dupe dedicated solely to defeating the Nazis. Hopkins comes over in history as crafty, secretive and no one's fool, hardly the personality traits of a naïve fellow traveler. And his fingerprints are on the large majority of pro-Soviet policies implemented by the Roosevelt administration. West deserves respect for cutting through the dross that obscures the evidence about Hopkins, and for screaming from the rooftops that the U.S. was the victim of a successful Soviet intelligence operation.
-- Bernie Reeves, founder of The Raleigh Spy Conference, American Thinker
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
In American Betrayal, Ms. West's well-established reputation for attacking "sacred cows" remains intact. The resulting beneficiaries are the readers, especially those who can deal with the truth.
-- Wes Vernon, Renew America
Friday, April 15, 2011 1:01 AM
This week's syndicated column:
Reading about another catastrophically maimed casualty of the counterinsurgency strategy (COIN) in Afghanistan, I was struck by a biographical note. This young American, now a triple amputee after stepping on an IED while on foot patrol, an integral feature of COIN's hearts-and-minds efforts, was only 11 years old when the war in Afghanistan began.
Come October, this war will have lasted a decade. Last month, the Iraq War passed the eight-year mark. During the Vietnam War, the question was whether there was any "light at the end of the tunnel." In these wars, we have to wonder whether there is any tunnel. If so, no one seems to be in any hurry to get out.
Why? Why is it that we have come to accept war without end -- not to mention, I would (and do) argue, war without benefit? And why does it actually seem as though our leaders want it this way?
There are reasons and they are shocking.
Watching Defense Secretary Gates in Iraq recently where he practically begged to leave U.S. forces in place after the scheduled pullout in December 2011, Jed Babbin, I think, nailed it. Writing in the American Spectator, Babbin guessed that President Obama just doesn't want Iraq to fall apart, at least not on the eve of the 2012 election. Ditto Afghanistan. And falling apart -- I would call it reverting to type -- is the inevitable result of U.S. withdrawal. "Who lost Iraq and Afghanistan?" is not a question Obama wants to get into during the election. Thus, Obama will slog on with COIN, maintaining his weirdly logical wartime alliance with the neoconservative, democracy-project Right. On Obama's part, this is a political calculation, pure and simple. On the Right, something else is going on.
The fact is, so long as we are still in Iraq, still in Afghanistan, the policy born of neoconservatism's lights, embraced by nation-building Bushies, promulgated and entrenched by Gen. David Petraeus, still has a theoretical chance of working. A constant refrain from these camps is that prematurely withdrawing from either country would jeopardize what Petraeus has dubbed for more than four years "fragile and reversible" security gains. To them, staying forever is leaving too soon. It isn't so much that in withdrawal lies defeat; it's that in withdrawal lies confirmation of the defeat of their prized COIN strategy. In the strategy's defeat lies the abyss.
And so they must keep reality at bay. And they do that by keeping Iraq and Afghanistan a work in progress. As such, it is up to our troops to try harder to win "hearts and minds," walk more IED-strewn patrols, distribute more cash to make "them" like us, adopt more Shariah practices in dealing with Islam (as literally suggested by ISAF). In this way, the COINdinistas are hamster-footing it to keep the ride from stopping at any cost.
That's their prerogative, but only until someone finds the courage to fire them. That won't happen until people connect the human toll of these wars -- ROE-related combat deaths, IED casualties, frequent unfriendly fire murders -- with dead-end COIN strategy. It's no secret. In a recent report on new military medical statistics that reveal a horrific spike in multiple amputations and genital injuries due to IEDs in Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times noted: "Troops are increasingly vulnerable to injuries from such makeshift bombs as they mount foot patrols in an effort to win support from Afghan villagers, a key strategy in the counterinsurgency campaign."
Either our representatives are as deeply vested in "success" as the military brass is, or they're too timid to demand answers. Just look what happened when Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC, expressed his frustration about war unending to Gen. Petraeus last month. "You know, 15, 16, 17 years, for God sakes, how much more can we take, how much more can we give treasure and blood?" asked Jones. Petraeus won the day by announcing, to great but irrelevant effect, that his own son had completed his first Afghanistan tour in November.
"I don't think you win this war," Petraeus is quoted as saying in Bob Woodward's last book Obama's Wars. "I think you keep fighting. ... This is the kind of fight we're in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives."
This "kind of fight" -- COIN -- needs to stop, if only for the 11-year-olds.