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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
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:47 PM
L. Paul Bremer visits the Women's Center in Karbala, February 2004
Another entry in the Iraq "journal" -- a column from February 2004, reposted below.
The set-up: It's nearly one year after the US invasion, and nearly eight years before US troops finally withdraw from Iraq. We are at a turning point only we don't know it. In fact, the charade is becoming untenable even before the props are all in place. Looking back, naive US hopes for "equal rights" in Islamic Iraq promoted around a "women's center" in Karbala (described below) are emblematic of the policy failures to come. Almost symbolically, the following month in March 2004, the center's leading proponent, Fern Holland, a 34-year-old CPA employee, would be shot and killed by men in Iraqi police uniforms.
More directly pertinent to US policy, the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council (remember them?) had just voted in December 2003 to remove family law from secular jurisdiction and place it under sharia (Islamic law), relegating American projects such as "women's centers" to the land of delusion. It is tragically interesting to note the efforts of L. Paul Bremer (remember him?) to grapple with the emergence of sharia into deliberations on the Iraqi consitution. Once it became clear that the constitution would enshrine sharia because the culture enshrined sharia, the American project was doomed. This fundamental flaw of "nation-building" is something that our leaders should have figured out at some point, due to some exertion along a learning curve. But no. Instead, they simply ignored the whole Islamic context of life in the umma, and still do.
This ignorance and blindness and denial mar US policy in the Islamic world to this day. Looking back, it is clear that such blindness -- let's call it naivete at this relatively early point in the war -- is what permitted Charles Krauthammer, as noted below, to lay out a design for American victory through "seizing territory and leaving something behind" -- democracy. Full disclosure: At this point in the past, I still buy the policy based on a rejection of sharia (when pigs fly...).
Krauthammer's words are worth noting because they describe the main goal the US set for itself in Iraq: "Establishing civilized, decent, non-belligerent, pro-Western polities in Afghanistan and Iraq ... would, like the flipping of Germany and Japan, change the strategic balance in the fight against Arab-Islamic radicalism."
We failed to achieve this goal and won't admit it -- or, more important, why. In fact, the totally absurd American (infidel) project to remake (Islamic) Iraq and Afghanistan as allies in the war on "terror" (jihad) has been conveniently forgotten altogether.
"Staring down sharia law"
Another big story has come out of Iraq with little media fanfare -- and this is one with colossal implications.
Recently, L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S. official in Iraq, toured a new women's center in Karbala. (The center occupies a former Ba'athist Party headquarters -- nice touch.) There, citing a 2003 United Nations report that pegged the poverty and non-productivity of the Arab-Muslim world to the repression of half its workforce -- women -- under Islamic sharia law, Bremer touted the equal rights and full participation of women in the new Iraq.
This topic was apt, particularly since the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council voted in late December to withdraw Iraqi family law matters from their secular jurisdiction and place them under an undefined Islamic sharia law. Such a legal maneuver could subject women to underage marriages, polygamous marriages, on-the-spot divorces ("I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you," is all a husband has to say in certain sharia proceedings), unfair inheritance laws and other terrible inequities.
Bremer has not approved the Islamization of Iraqi family law. (Nor, as Paul Marshall reported at National Review Online, has Bremer intervened in the Islamization of Iraq's universities, nor the peremptory removal of a female deputy minister for whom hardliners refused to work.) Against such a political backdrop, Bremer discussed the current draft of the interim Iraqi constitution, which is due Feb. 28. The draft designates Islam the state religion of Iraq, Bremer said, and "a source of inspiration for the law" -- not the only source of inspiration for that law.
What would happen, Bremer was asked, if Iraqi leaders write an interim constitution inspired exclusively by Islamic law? "Our position is clear," Bremer replied in an unforgivably underreported answer picked up by the Associated Press. "It can't be law until I sign it." This statement strongly suggests Bremer would veto an Islamic charter -- which, of course, he should for the sake of liberty and justice for all Iraqis. Equal rights before the law do not exist under Islamic law. One citizen, one vote does not exist under Islamic law. Freedom of worship does not exist under Islamic law. Minorities -- that is, non-Muslims -- enjoy rights and protections at the pleasure of the Muslim community that are ever-subject to the capriciousness of a rights-canceling fatwa. Indeed, Islamic law is not the basis of a religion, as the Judeo-Christian world understands religion, but is rather the basis of a controlling ideology that is nothing short of totalitarian.
Sharia's adherents, of course, would disagree. In a January article about the Governing Council's family law decision, every judge and lawyer the Los Angeles Times interviewed in Baghdad insisted on the superiority of sharia law to civil law.
"Sharia is from God, the law is man-made, and sharia is better because what comes from Allah is fixed," said Kadhim Jubori, 55, who has practiced family law for 33 years in Baghdad. ("I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you" is fixed?) Fixed or not, U.S. efforts to tend democracy's roots in Iraq would wither under any sharia-based constitution.
This would bode ill, but not just for Iraq. The fact is, as columnist Charles Krauthammer said recently in a magisterial address to the American Enterprise Institute, "You win by taking territory -- and leaving something behind." We won Iraq by taking territory -- and now must leave the basis for democracy behind. Not sharia.
Such a policy -- Krauthammer calls it "democratic globalism" -- combines realism with an idealistic commitment to human freedom, tempered, he cautioned, by "strategic necessity." That means that the United States commits blood and treasure only in "places central to the larger war against the existential enemy, the enemy that poses a global mortal threat to freedom."
Fifty years ago, that described Germany and Japan, vortexes of fascism. Both nations, Krauthammer noted, "were turned, by nation-building, into bulwarks against the next great threat to freedom, Soviet communism." Today, he continued, the new global threat to freedom is "the new existential enemy, the Arab-Islamic totalitarianism that has threatened us in both its secular and religious forms for the quarter-century since the Khomeini revolution of 1979." He continued: "Establishing civilized, decent, non-belligerent, pro-Western polities in Afghanistan and Iraq ... would, like the flipping of Germany and Japan, change the strategic balance in the fight against Arab-Islamic radicalism."
Krauthammer admits we may fail even as he insists we must try. Certainly, the first thing to do is for Bremer -- and the American people -- to be prepared to veto a sharia-based constitution in Iraq.