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American Betrayal

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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

If the Soviet penetration of Washington, D.C., was so wide and so deep that it functioned like an occupation …
 
If, as a result of that occupation, American statecraft became an extension of Soviet strategy …
 
If the people who caught on – investigators, politicians, defectors – and tried to warn the American public were demonized, ridiculed and destroyed for the good of that occupation and to further that strategy …
 
And if the truth was suppressed by an increasingly complicit Uncle Sam …

Would you feel betrayed?

Now available from St. Martin's Press, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character

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Jan 29

Written by: Diana West
Friday, January 29, 2010 3:04 AM 

This week's column presents an interview with Ayad Jamal Aldin, a Shiite cleric and member of Iraqi parliament, someone I first noticed in April 2003, before the new Iraqi constitution that enshrines sharia above all was even written. The occasion, in fact, was the first post-liberation meeting of Iraqis to discuss a new constitution. The column I wrote at the time begins like this: 

April 21, 2003:

After roughly 100 Iraqi exiles, sheiks and clerics gathered in a fortified and air-conditioned tent in Iraq this week to begin piecing together their country's future, U.S. Central Command headquarters released a 13-point summary of the meeting that included the outcome of the historic first vote in Saddam-free Iraq. The Iraqi proto-body voted to meet again in 10 days, and also voted on a string of high-minded resolutions.

Point one said "Iraq must be a democracy"; point three said "the rule of law must be paramount"; and point four stated that the country "must be built on respect for diversity including the role of women." No word as yet on how "respect" for "diversity including the role of women" translates into legal or political rights; maybe that comes at the next meeting.

Meanwhile, there's something positive to be said about the plainspoken certitude with which some of these democratic building blocks are being laid out, at least on paper. But such energy is lacking in another key point on the list. Point six is downright phlegmatic which it comes to noting, merely, that, "the meeting discussed the role of religion in state and society."

It did, did it? Well, what did "the meeting" say? Nothing that could be distilled into a declarative point of consensus. Which shouldn't be surprising. The most intractable problem facing democratic reform in Iraq (or anywhere else in the Muslim world) is how to reconcile that founding principle of democracy -- the separation of church and state -- with Islamic law, which is predicated on the inseparable union of religious and political power.

"Those who would like to separate religion from the state are simply dreaming," a conference participant told The New York Times, echoing a line that resounds with much of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority. At least one Iraqi Shiite cleric at the big-tent planning session, Sheik Ayad Jamal al-Din, however, disagreed. "Dictators may not speak in the name of religion," he said, calling for a "system of government that separates belief from politics." (Let's hope such a "system" is an improvement on a dictatorship that is secular.) Sheik al-Din's is a rare voice of dissent.

More typical is the comment of another Shiite imam to Agence France Presse: "Our objective is to set up an Islamic state, because this is the supreme ambition of all Arab and Muslim countries. All Muslim countries would like to see their governments applying sharia (Islamic law)."

This doesn't bode well for democracy, fledgling or otherwise. As Islamic scholar Ibn Warraq explains in his book Why I am Not a Muslim (Prometheus, 1995), Islamic law "tries to legislate every aspect of an individual's life. The individual is not at liberty to think or decide for himself; he has but to accept God's rulings as infallibly interpreted by the doctors of law," or clerics. Another problem is that Islamic law limits, or even "denies the rights of women and non-Muslim religious minorities." Which, of course, is no way to run a democracy.

We have already begun to see elements of sharia re-introduced into post-Taliban Afghanistan, where, as Freedom House's Nina Shea has warned, a "theological iron curtain" is dropping across the country even as the United States pours in hundreds of millions of political and economic reconstruction dollars. Will that happen in Iraq? It's too soon to tell, of course; but not too soon to make ourselves acutely aware of the possibility.

Nor is it too soon to develop a really good nose for similar developments elsewhere. Citing an article in the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon, Cybercast News Service reports that the new Palestinian constitution -- the creation of which is considered a prerequisite for reforming the Palestinian Authority -- defines not a democratic republic, but an Islamic state. Not a good sign. ...

----

None of these were good signs, but all of them were enabled if not also encouraged and underwritten by Uncle Sucker, I mean, Uncle Sam. And now? Aldin says the US is ignoring another disaster: what he sees as the creation of the Iranian "province" of Iraq.

This week's column:

"The real danger in Iraq is Iran. It controls Iraq with a firm fist." So said Iraqi parliamentarian Ayad Jamal Aldin to Bloomberg.com last month in London. "It was through (Grand Ayatollah Ali) al-Sistani that Iran was able to invade Iraq."

"Could you please elaborate on that?" I asked Aldin this week in Washington, D.C., where the leader of the new anti-corruption Ahrar Party was making the rounds. This point -- that post-Saddam, post-surge Iraq (initial thanks to top cleric and Iranian citizen al-Sistani) is effectively a satellite of Iran -- goes against the victory-narrative of the policymakers and pundits who have urged the Obama administration to repeat mistakes the United States made in Iraq again in Afghanistan.

The answer (through an interpreter) was a chilling geopolitical lesson taught from the perspective of an Iraqi Shiite cleric from Najaf, who, from the beginning, as I reported in 2003, has called for the separation of religion and state in Iraq. An amalgam of apparent contradictions difficult to unravel in one interview -- Aldin is considered pro-Western but would support the anti-Western objectives of the Arab League (including the boycott of pro-Western Israel); says "people need nightclubs" even as he believes alcohol consumption "undoubtedly leads one to Hell;" wears the black turban of those who claim descent from Muhammad and penny loafers -- Aldin is nonetheless an insightful, implacable opponent of Iranian influence in Iraq, which, as he describes it, is in full and malevolent ascendance.

First things first: Aldin is grateful to the United States for removing Saddam Hussein. This was a boon, he says, not just for Iraq but for humanity. But due to the U.S. backing "the Iranian men," the net American effect has been to create "a new Iran -- Iraq -- with its capital in Baghdad."

For example, think back to the big Iraqi oil auction last year -- a bust for U.S. oil companies. Aldin explains their being empty-handed with a question: "Is there any U.S. oil business in Iran? No." He continues: "Iraq is the second Iran. The difference between the two is that the new Iran is supported and defended by the U.S. The old Iran is boycotted and sanctioned by the U.S." But there's "no meaning" to such measures because more than the notorious Iranian terror-bank Bank Melli operates in Iraq. A multitude of Iranian banking concerns, he says, operate freely in Iraq under Iraqi names.

Do they laugh at us over things like this? I asked. "No," he replied. "People think the U.S. must be in some big conspiracy." In other words, we just couldn't be as dumb as we really are.

What about China and Russia, the big winners in the oil auction?

"We don't need China and Russia," he replied. "Iran does. Iran needs China's and Russia's support at the United Nations. Iran doesn't have much to give, so Iran gives them Iraqi oil contracts to get their support at the U.N."
Makes sense.

"Iran's objective is to drive the U.S. out of the Middle East," Aldin says. And, he says, Iran works with al-Qaida and the Taliban to do so. Testing him on another Washington myth, I asked: But Shiite Iran wouldn't work with Sunni al-Qaida and Sunni Taliban, would they?

"They all have one enemy," he said. "The U.S. -- Shia and Sunni differences don't matter to them when it comes to the common enemy."

He continued. "There is a saying in Iran: The guard of any caravan is partner with the thieves." That, he says, describes Iran's simultaneous support for the government of [correction] Iraq and its support for al-Qaida, or anyone else operating against U.S. interests -- Baathists, Taliban, anyone.

Al-Qaida and Iran, he says, can control the whole Middle East, between al-Qaida's "southern crescent" (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia) and Iran's "northern crescent" (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza). What about Saudi Arabia, I asked.

He doesn't laugh but somehow conveys the impression that he did. Not any kind of a power, in his view. Just rich.

When you tell U.S. policymakers your assessment of Iran in Iraq, what is their reaction?,

Deep inside they may realize what has happened, he thinks. But for now, "they're not interested. State of denial."

You can say that again.

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