Cordon Sanitaire: FAIL

On Sunday and yesterday we reported on the uproar in conservative circles about Diana West’s book American Betrayal, which examines the penetration of the United States government, in particular the Roosevelt administration, by Soviet agents of influence. One might assume from the discussion in those posts that Ms. West’s book was universally panned and condemned by American conservatives.

Such is not the case. Several readers have emailed us to point out those conservatives who have decided to breach the cordon sanitaire around American Betrayal. The cordon is pretty leaky, actually.

American Betrayal has received endorsements from:

It was also featured at the Heritage Foundation and the Daily Caller.

And Breitbart ran a five-part series based on book:

1.   Why FDR Fail to Relieve MacArthur and 151,000 Troops Fighting the Japanese in the Philippines?
2.   Did the Roosevelt Administration Send Uranium and Other Atomic Materials to Stalin?
3.   Did Communist Influence Prolong WWII by Blocking German Resistance Efforts?
4.   Did Communist Influence Lead to D-Day Invasion over Italy Strategy?
5.   Did Uncle Sam Leave 15,000 to 20,000 GIs in Stalin’s Hands?

So, to mix my metaphors a bit, the choir is not singing in unison: there are reviewers who gladly recommend American Betrayal. One presumes that — unlike many other reviewers — they have actually read it.

23 thoughts on “Cordon Sanitaire: FAIL

  1. These are cranky questions.

    WW2 was largely a fight between Slav and German, with the western allies supporting the Slavs because the Germans were seen as a more dangerous rival. That’s about all you need to know. If everything that we are told the Germans did actually happened and that they were going to do things like transport millions of Brits to work camps, then all we really needed to do was fund the USSR for the duration of the war. If this sort of thing was alarmist panic then maybe the entire war was a waste of effort, because England isn’t English anymore. Enoch Powell was right.

    • This last sentence is glib. If the Nazis had invaded Britain, my Jewish friends wouldn’t be here, and I would be unable to post on this website (or would be in the hands of the Gestapo). I’m not saying things are hunky-dory (or I wouldn’t be following Gates of Vienna), but exaggeration isn’t helpful.
      Also Enoch Powell was wrong about the effects of most immigration. A few years ago I visited the beautiful new Sikh temple in Southall, west of London, and was made most welcome (some curious looks, but not hostile).
      Powell was right about Islamists, but don’t tar all of the (mostly hard-working and law-abiding) incomers with the same brush.

      • It’s not Glib.

        The war was a continent size disaster. It was fought to a point that required Unconditional Surrender. This basically led to the demographic collapse of Europe.

        Sikh’s were not high on Powell’s list. Blacks and Muslims (Pakistanis) were though. There is no particularly compelling reason for the UK to host a significant number of Asian or African immigrants. It will lead to the English as a dispossessed group in their native land. Powell was correct. He also stated that he regretted not dying in ww2, to see England come to this state.

      • London going black/Muslim/Brown is a disaster. It’s something that happened as a direct result of ww2. The impact on the Empire, the impact on the capacity for the English to assert themselves over other ethnicities and religions within their own territory. London is the city that practically speaking controls Western Europe. It reached the tipping point during the 2011 Riots. Now it is a city gone to the dogs.

      • I’m always amazed when people confidently claim Enoch Powell has been proven wrong as if we have reached the end of history. following the trends – relentless changing demographics, growing disharmony etc., increasing terrorist attacks on home soil… I don’t see how mass immigration to UK and other European countries can end well. I still haven’t met a person who supports it able to really explain how indigenous Brits benefit from it. History will show it was one of the greatest mistakes a nation could have committed, and future generations will rightly feel contemptuous of our current generation for allowing it to happen, regardless of the lovely Sikh temple you visited

  2. There are problems with the overall ideas about ww2. Objectively speaking 60 years later, with Eurabia in mind, the Crusade again the Axis seems like a waste. It also looks like an Anglo-American-Russ genocide of the Germans. Once all the heat from personal recollections is totaled up the twentieth century will simply look like the END of Europe.

    • This is a very astute comment, “looks like an Anglo-American-Russ genocide of the Germans. Once all the heat from personal recollections is totaled up the twentieth century will simply look like the END of Europe”.

  3. I can only see two probable causes for the reaction of the Horowitz foundation, that is, if its not personal.

    1. They are patriots unwilling to listen to anything which might devalue the accomplishments of American intervention into wartorn Europe. In an age of manufactured anti-american cynicism, articles and poorly researched books denouncing patriotic notions of American heroism are abundent. The last thing DH might wish is dissent. Many conservatives who believe in ideas such as virtually unlimited freedom of speech, and the marketplace of ideas. I believe in these concepts as well, but even more so do i believe in strategy. A cohesive, disciplined movement is much more able to fine tune its message, and have the infrastructure to inculcate the general public with this message. I cannot see how a cacophony of conflicting ideas can ever make us a threat to the cohesive messaging of the left.Keeping the soldiers marching in lockstep, may be necessary.

    2.Another ideological incentive for this behavior might be that Americans may start to question whether the Nazi regime was truly unique its its diabolical ways. This would also start to question the Holocaust as a truly, unique event, as even greater atrocities have been committed by communist regimes. Perhaps the Horowitz foundation believes this is a threat to the
    great progress in eliminating anti-semitism?

    • It also makes make one wonder if they trust Radosh’s scholarship so much that they unquestionably accept his views.

      And one wonders what has happened to Radosh? The nastiness of his attacks (when directed at a conservative) is almost bizarre. It makes one wonder if the hints of age-related cognitive decline may be accurate.

    • Were the Nazis and the Holocaust uniquely evil? The Holocaust isn’t the only genocidal event in history, but its industrial efficiency makes it chilling in a way that’s distinct from, say, the recent barbarous mayhem in Rwanda.

      There’s also the question of whether trying to eliminate an ethnic group is more evil than trying to eliminate a “class enemy” or slaughtering millions of your own ethnic group who are found to disagree with your political agenda. Was Pol Pot’s reign of terror less evil than Hitler’s? Was Hitler worse than Stalin because he focused his lethal hatred on particular groups whereas Stalin was more of an equal-opportunity murdering despot? (Similarly, is “hate crime” motivated by racial antipathy worse than violent crime motivated by a more sweeping misanthropy?)

      In some circles, even posing these questions might be interpreted as minimizing the evil of the Holocaust (or of racism). That is unfortunate. Not allowing the questions to be discussed might actually serve to sanitize the deep evil of Soviet communism. For decades now, communist totalitarianism has been shielded from its proper opprobrium by the routine citing of Hitler as the singular archetype of an evil human being. A fair accounting of history would acknowledge that he certainly has peers in the ranks of evil.

  4. It’s not clear that reading the book will settle the question on whether or not Harry Hopkins was a card-carrying member or just an independent admirer of communism and Stalin. It seems we, on the right, all agree that there was widespread denial on the evil of communism during the Red Decade of the 1930s. The argument seems to be over details that do not change our overall assessment.

    I can barely follow the details. For example, I thought that Reeves was praising West’s book in his review published on American Thinker. He says he had previously held the view that “Hopkins was a naive devotee.” He now believes West is right: “Hopkins comes over in history as crafty, secretive and no one’s fool, hardly the personality traits of a naïve fellow traveler.” West isn’t satisfied with Reeves’ review and his characterization of West’s “right to connect dots and come to conclusions, even if she is unable to present historical detail on a scholarly level.” Radosh trashed Reeves’ review also.

    What are we to do? Are we going to become experts in espionage? Does it matter to us? It is actually worse if FDR wasn’t fooled by a spy but that he was supporting Stalin by conviction. In the late 1920s, John Dewey, the most respected progressive intellectual, came back from the USSR and wrote a book that praised the “noble experiment.” I reviewed a book by a solid leftist academic who read every issue of the Nation and The New Republic published in the 1930s to understand why they were blind to Stalin’s horror ( The facts are clear: virtually everyone back then was blind to communism’s evil. The excuses don’t change the facts.

    This has relevance to our struggle today. The media seems distracted by the question of whether an individual jihadi is following orders from al Qaeda or whether they are “self-radicalized.” There seems to be some relief if it is the latter. Of course, I concur with Pamela Geller that “self-radicalized” basically means “by the Koran alone.” As far as I’m concerned, it is worse if a jihadi is “self-radicalized.” That tells us something about the religion and not just a groups of “criminals” we can capture and eliminate.

    The same thing happens when the media finds a jihadi that was undergoing a personal crisis: having problems at home, finding it hard economically, or any other situation of stress. Again the media seems relieved. I argue it is worse. Hindus, Christians, and Jews have times of crisis, too. But when they turn to their religion they hear a distinctly different message. Far from excusing Islam, those in crisis reveal Islam. What is a religion for if not to guide one through a crisis?

    In summary, motivation by belief is far more revealing than taking orders from one’s leader. Today most people are in denial about Islam. That’s the problem, as we all know.

  5. I devoured each and every word of “American Betrayal” during which I was compelled to put the book down so that I could catch my breath again and again! It is magnificent! For those who have read Chambers’ “Witness”, Posner’s “Why America Slept”, Pacepa’s Disinformation”, Grimes and Vertefeuille’s “Circle of Treason”, or Evans and Romerstein’s “Stalin’s Secret Agents”, Ms. West’s book allows you to play connect the dots with world events in a way that clearly rips away the lies of the statist-progressives both in our past and for today. My years of intense historical studies since 9/11 were confirmed by her imaculate scholarship and well reasoned conclusions.

  6. I mentioned previously that the attack on West’s book (Yes–I read it, and will again) is in what it says and implies about our leaders of the recent past.
    Considering the POWs “retained” by communist regimes–and this is just one issue of MANY–it’s not just the reputation of FDR that suffers. Truman and Eisenhower all the way to Bush(s), Cheny and all diplomats past and present are complicit in crimes that boggle the imagination. The best of our best have been betrayed, and our leadership is complicit with our worst enemies. Is treason too harsh a word to use here? If it is, then what?
    I fear that in the judgement of West’s critics–it is better simply to let these “sleeping dogs” lie rather than deal with this problem that they have kept swept under the rug. This is the reason for the attacks on West’s book. If there are enough attacks, it will bury her arguement under their smokescreen. There are too many complicit in these past treasons, too much history to re-examine–the mess is too great. Better to forget.
    Not for the student of history.
    Not for those still Americans.

  7. Mark H I grew up near Southall and know it well, it used to be a nice white suburb, then it became a dangerous place for whites! no douby with all the realistic press they are doing a good PR job these days, maybe someone should check the books because the one in Wmbley was built by illegal immigrants with materials that had not been legaly imported, and no all islam is out deathly enemy!

    • Southall a “dangerous place for whites”? When I visited the SIKH temple, I felt perfectly safe; I lost my way from the station and saw a young man in a Sikh turban, and asked for directions; he went out of his way to take me there and handed me over to the doorman. I was also offered free food while there.
      The temple you refer to in Wembley is HINDU, not Sikh or Muslim; I don’t know about its construction history, but the website says all are welcome and it’s on my list. Although an atheist, I enjoy visiting places of worship; I’ve been to many churches in England and elsewhere, and a synagogue. I seems to be only Muslims who dislike “Infidels” turning up- you really should try to inform yourself better.

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  9. I think I better understand now the possible causes of the reaction of those who have chosen to attack Diane West’s remarkable work in uncovering the depth of corruption in the U.S. Federal government.

    There is a phrase in the Declaration of Independence (

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    The fact is that no person who understands the full implications of a complete overthrow of the foundations of existing governments in America and Europe can ever view the probable results with much equanimity. Probably most conservatives in the West still take it as axiomatic that their existing national governments must not fall, but must be reformed and restored. The most benign possible view of what would result from an outright collapse of national order should shock the conscience, and any possible alternative must be seriously balanced against the scenes of carnage, destruction, and desolation which a discerning view of history shows would follow upon overthrow of the authority of current governments.

    What Diane West reveals is that it is simply impossible to reform and restore the U.S. national government. It was already gone beyond redemption long before most of us were born. But the evidence presented is of particular moral import, it is not the less theologically damning statistics which prove that economic collapse is an imminent inevitability. We may extend the hand of fellowship and goodwill easily enough to a friend that has foolishly fallen into bankruptcy through a lack of financial discipline. But to do the same for one who we find has also be engaged in the most terrible of perfidious dealings, unknown to us…would be more difficult.

    It may be that some see these revelations as, not just a call for defense of the essential values of America, but as a rallying point for those who condemn the concept of government entirely. There are those who advocate the abolition of all government, and they are growing stronger and more numerous as a result of the evident failings of existing governments. Of course most sane people are cured of theoretical anarchism by a very little taste of real anarchy, and I personally suffer no fear that the people will fail to establish new governments as quickly as feasible. Indeed, the characteristic error in history is to form a new government in haste, and assign it too many powers and duties.

    But to those who have little practical experience of how real anarchy affects theoretical anarchists, the theoretical anarchists may seem a significant threat to the future of nations. And let us not forget that the theoretical arguments of several totalitarian systems that have arisen were initially mainly negative attacks on the failings of existing systems of government. Theoretical anarchists will not retain their principles when confronted with real anarchy, but they might easily commit to something much worse. The factuality of Diane West’s revelations might be seen by some to matter less than the degree to which they will bolster the arguments of anarchism. And I must say that the degree will not be small, particularly as the factuality appears difficult to refute.

    But for all of that, I will place their prudence in context.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    The longer we permit the tyranny of a government which has utterly failed in the fundamental purposes for which our ancestors allowed its institution, the more ammunition we give to those who would decry any government at all. If we continue to defend what is indefensible because we believe anarchy is the only alternative, we break faith with our entire heritage. The call for the officers of government to serve rather than dominate is not unique to the American Revolution, even if I find its most compelling expression there. It is the heart of Western Civilization.

    Let us not fear to embrace it.

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