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Oct 4

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, October 04, 2014 11:40 AM 


The story that American Betrayal brings to light continues to catch on. Sometimes it catches fire immediately; sometimes it lights a fuse. Sometimes the book interupts the coursing brain waves of the fixed consensus, entering the conventional pageantry, the non-conforming intruder. Suddenly, the old lore isn't sufficient, isn't making sense, isn't even comforting anymore. Then along comes something such as 14 hours of "The Roosevelts" on PBS by Ken Burns, and the "court history,"  playing America's heartstrings with every Pavolovian prompt, is re-engraved on our mass cultural core -- even the camera passes right over the faces of Alger Hiss and Harry Hopkins sitting behind the Yalta conference table! 

But there are cracks in the veneer. In the wake of "The Roosevelts,"I was happy to see The Blaze books editor Ben Weingarten compile a list of Eight Books on the Great Depression that challenge Ken Burns' The Roosevelts documentary

I was also happy when Ben Weingarten took my suggestion for a list of Five Books on WWII and Soviet Subversion (including American Betrayal) that challenge Ken Burns' The Roosevelts documentary. This aspect of the Roosevelt legacy is treated as not just settled but locked-down history, but it urgently requires massive reworking and revision. The matter is not just academic, but will help us contend with crises in our own time. 

There is so much to discuss when history has been hidden for so long. This week, Frank Gaffney devoted a full one-hour radio show at Secure Freedom Radio to revisit American Betrayal as distilled in last week's column, "Blinding History." I was able to expand on these same ideas in addressing the National Security Action Summit II, also this week. Tundra TabloidsGates of Vienna and Vlad Tepes, and Breitbart News picked up the address, as did The Blaze. (See presentations by other speakers here.)

Across the pond, a new book, The Devil's Alliance, focuses on the two years when Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR cooperated in making war in Europe as co-signers of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. The book prompted conservative politician Daniel Hannan to muse recently in The Telegraph on the "lop-sidedness in our folk memory" regarding Nazism (seen as "monstrous") and Communism ( seen as "well-intentioned").

This double standard, of course, is the rabbit hole down which American Betrayal  leads the reader.  

In his column, Hannan writes with kindred perplexity about some results of this double standard:

Almost everyone in Britain knows that the Second World War started when Hitler sent his panzers into Poland. Stalin’s mirror invasion 16 days later, while not exactly forgotten, is not nearly so central in our narrative.

Which is, if you think about it, very odd. The Nazi-Soviet Pact lasted for 22 months – a third of the duration of the entire conflict. We remember, with pride, that we stood alone against Hitler. But in reality, our fathers’ isolation – and commensurate heroism – was even greater than this suggests. I can think of no braver moment in the war than when, having already declared war on Hitler, we prepared to open a new front against Stalin, too. British commandos were on the verge of being deployed to defend Finland, while the Cabinet toyed with various schemes to seize the USSR’s oil supplies in the Caucasus.

In the event, such plans were overtaken by developments.

Hannan goes on to make the eminently logical point that while we continue to differentiate between the two totalitarian systems, national socialism and communism, they are much the same.

I doubt that Hannan has heard of, let alone seen American Betrayal, but several readers, noting similar themes, sent his column to me. Kathy Shaidle at FIve Feet of Fury excerpted his piece under the headline: "Diana West, please pick up the white courtesy phone," 

She focused on Hannan's use of the word "developments." 

Unfortunately, Hannan ascribes the Allies’ decision not to turn on the Soviets ... as “developments.”

Diana West fleshed out her theories about those “developments” in her recent book, of course.

I haven't examined the exact British "developments" Hannan refers to but Chapter 10 of American Betrayal does scrutinize the US policy prohibiting aid to Germany's anti-Nazi and anti-Communist underground for evidence of Soviet influence and finds it. Managing relevant flows of information into the adminstration regarding the German resistance were Soviet agents Lauchlin Currie, Franz Neumann and possible Soviet agent Harry Hopkins. 

Kathy Shaidle, however, is exactly correct to wonder what might have been behind the "developments" Hannan blames for reversing Britain's instinctive anti-Communist response to Soviet aggression. I look forward to seeing whether The Devil's Alliance contains clues to Soviet influence agents at work to dissuade the British government from the logical and moral decision to treat the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany both as twin totalitarian enemies.

Such logic and moral clarity was widespread in the West at this time. It really had to be beaten out of us in blitzes of pro-Soviet propaganda driven in Great Britain, for example, by Soviet agents Guy Burgess and Peter Smollett, as I have recently learned from William J. West's 1989 book Spymaster.  

Selection #5 inThe Blaze list -- Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath -- is a wealth of information on this and many related topics. I'm currently reading it and can't recommend it highly enough. It's quite amazing (and gratifying) how many sources and themes are common to be Freedom Betrayed and American Betrayal. 

Linking the FDR legacy to "freedom betrayed" (or "American betrayal") is, of course, still unthinkable in establishment circles, in academia, in pop-history. After all, FDR is the man who saved America from the Depression and the World from Hitler -- or so "court history" goes. It is forbidden to look more closely  -- and especially at Roosevelt as Great War Leader, a role called into serious question by the research in American Betrayal. 

Remember how M. Stanton Evans explained the past year's disinformation campaign against American Betrayal: 

Having delved into these matters a bit, I think I recognize the process that's in motion:  the circling of rhetorical wagons around a long accepted narrative about the Second World War and the Cold War conflict that followed. 

This narrative sets the limits of permissable comment about American Cold War policy, bounded on the one side by Roosevelt and Hopkins, representing generally speaking the forces of good (appeasing Moscow, e.g., only in order to win the war with Hitler), and on the other side by Sen. Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, the supposed epitome of evil. Between these boundaries, variations are allowed, but woe betide the writer who goes beyond them. Ms. West has transgressed in both directions, sharply criticizing Roosevelt/Hopkins and speaking kindly of Joe McCarthy.  

There was a time when to be conservative in America was to embody a philosophy precisely defined by opposition to FDR: opposition to the welfare state (New Deal), opposition to Soviet appeasement (Yalta), opposition to the interventionism of the new world order (United Nations). This visceral opposition among conservatives to such statism amd globalism is no more, not really, certainly not as a defining thing. It is also true that self-identified conservatives reflexively revile "McCarthyism," 99 percent of the time without knowing a single fact (as opposed to "court history") about Joseph McCarthy.

I suspect that it is this acceptance across the spectrum of the liberal interpretation of history that accounts for why Ken Burns' "The Roosevelts" raised so few red flags on the Right (pun intended). I saw a couple of pieces making the economic case against the docu-hagiography -- but not much else, and, interestingly enough, nothing at all at the sites that led the slander campaign against American Betrayal. I saw no comment anywhere about the series' omission of any mention of the documented entry of many hundreds of Soviet agents into the federal government under FDR -- surely the biggest national security disaster in US history -- or how their presence affected global cataclysms precipitated by the empowered regimes of Communist USSR and Communist China following WWII. That remains beyond the scope of "court history," whose role is not to shed light but rather to burnish the FDR legacy, from Left to Right.

For now.

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