Ruth King, monthly columnist for Outpost and daily blogger-aggregator extraordinaire at Ruthfullly Yours, has a review of American Betrayal at Family Security Matters today followed by my first written Q & A. Even though we are a friends (as Ruth notes, full-disclosure style), I think I managed to shock her!
"A Review and Interview about American Betrayal"
by Ruth King
Were the Reagan years just a temporary feel good blip since what the late Jeane Kirkpatrick called "the blame America first crowd" still dominates our academies, the media and the corridors of power? They have closed the chapter on the revelations of Communist crimes and have moved on to airbrushing the dangers and depredations of radical Islam. Is the "cold war" really over or have the protagonists just changed their locus and their focus?
Diana West's new book "American Betrayal- The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character" makes the startling assertions that we did not win the Cold War or World War II. How can one consider a war won, if a preventable genocide occurred which wiped out one third of the world's Jewry; when the craven surrender in Yalta left millions upon millions of Eastern Europeans to the "mercies" of Stalin and the KGB; when we abandoned the Philippines and benefited genocidal Communism in China; when spies and provocateurs and propagandists for the Soviet Union continued their penetration of all our institutions including the State Department, making our policies subservient to the demands of tyrants; when the victorious allies in 1945 callously repatriated millions of Russian refugees- from generals and intellectuals to ordinary anti Marxists- men, women and children -to Russia? Even the New York Times noted their frenzied terror and how many chose suicide rather than a return to Russia in this shameful episode.
One may well ask how this could have happened and how could we not have known about it. Diana West's revelations left me breathless.. In this illuminating and painstakingly researched and documented book, Diana West connects the dots to the early 1930s when the Russians and their subversive American minions moved career communists and spies into main government departments including the State Department. Their lackeys in the media and among legislators enabled them by belittling and discrediting all critics .
These entrenched and influential agents helped craft policy and military strategy in world War 11 which benefited the Russians. In West's words history, as taught today....' completely camouflages the hammer and sickle that was growing like a catastrophic cancer in the shadow of the swastika. This was the dark vision we were denied by our Communist-occupied government."
In fact, as West demonstrates, spying for Russia and disseminating disinformation continued apace well after the Nazi surrender in 1945 and the Japanese surrender in September of the same year.
Well entrenched Communist sympathizers sabotaged the case for General Chiang Kai -Sheck, to burnish Mao's credentials. Owen Lattimore" a conscious, articulate instrument of the Soviet conspiracy" was installed as an adviser to spy on General General Chiang while promoting the "agrarian" reforms of Mao Tse Tung which killed millions-estimates vary between 20,000,000 and 40,000,000.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
All of this was hidden from us. Due to the machinations and influence of this perfectly placed occupying army of agents (and their fellow travelers and useful fools), the US government increasingly became complicit in hiding and then participating in the Kremlin's Big Lies/crimes. Hence, our "betrayal."
As West trenchantly observes more Americans "know" the false story that J.Edgar Hoover wore a red dress...than know anything about traitors Lauchlin Curry, Dexter White, and the epic treason against this country. I would add that more Americans today vilify Senator Joseph McCarthy (whose vilification, West argues, became central to the false narrative we take as historical gospel) and others who sought to expose the Soviet Union but give a pass to Alger Hiss and those who willfully endangered and betrayed America.
As this book demonstrates, our relationship with Russia was always predicated on the "big lie" that obfuscated Soviet ideology, intent and mass murder. Now, West writes, the "big lie" is wrapped around Islam...its dogma, its Koranic imperative, its agenda and its methods are swept under the rug of political correctness -- another manifestation of Marxist penetration -- while its agents infiltrate our government, our media, our academies and our financial institutions.
Read this book to see how history repeats and how America is again being betrayed.
Diana West has graciously consented to answer some questions. In the spirit of "transparency" I admit that Diana West is my friend. I must add, however, that I initiated the friendship drawn to it by her first book, by her outstanding columns and by gratitude for her being the first journalist to expose the COIN doctrine whose rules of engagement put sensitivity to the mores of barbarians above the safety of our own brave troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
RK: You write very persuasively of the influence that Soviet agents in America had over the formulation of policy and strategy in World War 11In Andrew Roberts' history of World War 11, The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, the author details the enormous sacrifices of the Soviet Union which helped the Allies defeat Germany. Could this also have precipitated a sense of gratitude to Russia which influenced our policies?
DW: Thank you, Ruth, for your warm friendship and staunch support over these many years, and also for the opportunity today to discuss my extremely unconventional and sure-to-prove controversial findings of my book American Betrayal.
As to your first question, I found myself trying out various approaches to answer it when I realized that I was, as they say, trying to square the circle. If I have written, as you say, "very persuasively" (thank you) of the influence that Soviet agents in America had over the formulation of policy and strategy in WWII, I now have a conundrum. Andrew Roberts' book, like practically every single other book on WWII, is written without taking into account Soviet influence operations over US policy -- not at all. It must be emphasized that this tightly blinkered approach to events, even two decades after the release, for example, of the Venona archives (2900 decrypted and partly decrypted Soviet cables from the US to Moscow intercepted by Western Union), is universal. It is also mind-boggling. It renders these general histories, no matter how excellently researched in other ways, flawed at their essence, even obsolete. Having ignored the implications of the secret influence war the Soviet Union waged against us even as it appeared to fight with us (and GB, ostensibly China, too) these books themselves remain subject to, and inadvertently perpetuate Soviet deception, beginning with the fundamental deception that we all of the Allies were on the same side and had the same war goals.
We were not and we did not. In Europe, the US and GB, subject to massive Soviet intel operations, thought we were fighting to remove Hitler. The USSR, however, was fighting to supplant Hitler, to fight its way into Eastern and Central Europe to raise a Communist empire. "The irony of it all is that the Soviet empire is largely one of our own creation," Gen. Albert Wedemyer pointed out in his 1948 memoir in a concluding, two-part chapter he called "The War Nobody Won" (p. 277, American Betrayal). The fact is -- the archives show -- we were always fighting at cross purposes with the USSR.
This should be central to our understanding of the war, as well as to our understanding of the domestic war over Communist penetration to follow.
One of the early and most tragic results of the deception, of the de facto Soviet occupation of Washington, as I discovered to my still-raw horror, was that the democracies, the US and GB, failed to take advantage of numerous opportunities to try to end the war in Europe long before 1945. Wedemeyer, in fact, one of the war's senior strategists, and George H. Earle, former Pennsylvania governor and a special emissary of FDR's in wartime Europe, believed Hitler could have been defeated as early as 1943 had the US chosen to support highly placed anti-Nazi German resistance offering Hitler to the US and GB in exchange for assistance in keeping the Red Army out of central and eastern Europe -- keeping the Red Army inside Russia, which is where it was at that time.
The reason this repeatedly broached gambit was always rebuffed came down to the influence of Soviet agents in high places in Washington and London. For secret Communists at OSS, the White House and elsewhere, these Germans had one problem. They were anti-Nazi and anti-Communist, and in Soviet-occupied Washington, anti-Communists need not apply. This tragic "lost" history, shocking and destabilizing as it is, is laid out in Chapter 10. What this and other research tells me is that there came a time, early in the war, when the Soviet-influenced, Soviet-subverted US policy priority was appeasing and placating Stalin first, then defeating Hitler in such a way as to leave open Europe to the Red Army. Stalin's agents knew the war mustn't end "too soon" for this to occur, and so it didn't.
Other signal policies and strategies of WWII, I argue, came under similar influence from Soviet agents in Washington. We can start with Lend Lease -- the colossal supply line particularly to the USSR that sent embargoed uranium (!), heavy water and other ingredients for an atomic pile to Moscow even as the Manhattan Project was underway (see Ch. 5)-- US relations with Japan preceding (precipitating) Pearl Harbor (Ch. 9), Stalin's so-called "Second" Front in N. France (actually about the ninth front, as one shrewd wartime letter-writer to the NYT pointed out!) (Ch. 9), "unconditional surrender" (Ch. 10), the Morgenthau Plan (Ch. 10), and others. And we must also return to the past to face up to "forgotten" war crimes such as Operation Keelhaul, in which US and GB dutifully and often violently delivered some two million Soviet-claimed nationals in Western Europe to Stalin to face death or the Gulag (Ch. 8), and the equally unthinkable thousands of US and British POWs/MIAs the FDR/Truman and Churchill left to rot in Soviet hands after the war (Ch. 11). Alas, there's much horror for us to reckon with.
Now, let's reconsider those, yes, colossal Soviet losses you mention above. Stalin's cannon-fodder in life, they became Stalin's propaganda-fodder in death, and were indeed used to maintain support of the Free World/Gulag alliance. More than a few shrewd observers, both American and Russian, made note of the propaganda value of such casualties at the time (Ch. 7). But to what end? Were these millions of Soviet casualties in fact necessary to destroy Hitler and re-establish democracy in Europe? I don't believe this is the case -- nor, obviously, was this Stalin's end.
RK: James Jesus Angleton the long-time head of counter-intelligence for the CIA who was forced out for his mole-hunting activities. Do you think he was right? Can you comment?
DW: Of course, Angleton was right to suspect moles were inside the CIA. Moles were inside the CIA -- and they were in place long before it even opened shop.
The wartime precursor to the CIA, the OSS, was riddled with Soviet agents, a fact now confirmed by Venona and other archives. KGB source and Frankfurt School co-founder Franz Neumann was on the German desk (same goes for the Frankfurt School's Herbert Marcuse, although his KGB relationship remains an open question, unconfirmed). KGB agent Duncan Lee was OSS founder's Wild Bill Donovan's top assistant; Lee's friend and fellow Rhodes Scholar Donald Wheeler became one of the KGB's most productive sources ... the list goes on and on as amply documented by intelligence historians, even if this vector penetration isn't integrated into general history, either. Again, this same weaving together of the intelligence history with the general history is what American Betrayal seeks to do.
Without commenting directly on the ins and outs of Angleton's mole wars -- I would first have to go back to the books -- even inside the intelligence establishment (maybe more so) he was up against the same disinformation that the rest of the great witnesses and Red-hunters were up against: the elites' conventional (rammed-down-our-throats) "wisdom" that Communist penetration was a figment of Joe McCarthy's imagination; that Angleton, McCarthy, Chambers, etc., were paranoid alarmists and worse who saw Communists everywhere including, weirdly famously, "under the bed." Well, they were everywhere, and probably under the bed, too, as once-secret documents confirm. We need to adjust our understanding of this -- and even, if not especially, of Senator Joe McCarthy and "McCarthyism," both of which the book also addresses. Our grip on reality as well as morality, I believe, depends on it,
RK: Do you think there are Muslim agents in the corridors of power who influence our policies and strategy with respect to the Middle East?
DW: Yes, without doubt. Agents of Islamic influence abound in Washington, whether we are talking about Muslim Brotherhood front groups whose representatives are not only engaged in "outreach" programs with defense and security agencies but are also in the policy-making chain. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, you name it, have made frequently traveled inroads into political and/or financial institutions, and academia.
More pertinent to the book's examination of Soviet/Marx influence on the logic processes of the American mind, however, it is also the case that we are undergoing the same conditioning or "brain-washing" that our forebears did during the main Communist penetration period. It was due to this wide, diffuse influence game that the fulcrum of policy-making was able to turn. I was quite struck by the reminiscences of a British captain who piloted an early Operation Keelhaul shipload of repatriates from Western Europe to Stalin's Gulag in 1944. After three or four years of pro-Uncle Joe propaganda that told him Communism had changed its stripes, that Stalin wanted no more than secure borders, and other Big Lies strictly enforced during wartime censorship, this captain had no context with which to comprehend the fears his passengers were trying to convey to him.
After the Big Lie that cranked up after 9/11, namely, that Islam is a "religion of peace," which became official US policy, Western society is no different. Having denuded the public square, public discourse of the facts about Islam, just as we once scrubbed the facts about Communism (don't miss Random House publisher Bennett Cerf's suggestion that anti-Communist books be removed from bookstores during the war), we are equally unprepared to defend ourselves from this second, latest totalitarian threat to our liberty and civilization.
RK: If so, do you think they influenced our disastrous COIN doctrine?
DW: Of course. When we look at the influence of "cultural advisers," Islamic apologists and the like, we see ample "positive reinforcement" for COIN. But COIN is at its root a manifestation of the Marxian idea that people, peoples are all the same, empty vessels to be socially engineered by a select elite of leftists. Instead of realizing that irreconcilable cultural antipathies exist between the West and Islam, this ideological elite increasingly appeases Islam in its efforts to "win hearts and minds," and even increasingly adopts its dictates to do so. The Islamization of the US military is one of the unreckoned travesties of this post-9/11 period, resulting in war dead and maimed.
Such appeasement of Islam is not unlike FDR's strategy with Stalin. He, too, appeased Stalin to win, in effect, his heart and mind, even though this required making the US complicit in a series of Big Lies -- more like Them. As time went by, I argue, we became accessories, in certain cases even participants. In the end, when the USSR dissolved, the West had much to hide as de facto co-conspirators -- a realization, I argue, that helps explain the ambivalence at best of Western elites (including President Bush 41) when the USSR dissolved.
RK: Thank you, Diana, for all your columns and your excellent books.