An Army of Kooks

The controversy over Diana West’s book American Betrayal has gotten ugly, and it’s bound to get uglier still.

When someone stakes out such an irrational and malicious position, and then doubles down when called on it, there’s no way out without an immense loss of face. A Chernobyl-type meltdown is now underway, and radioactivity from the disaster will dust a lot of people before all this is over.

If you’re sick this story — and I’m pretty sick of it myself — you can skip this post and go read about President Obama or Miley Cyrus or something. But a recent exchange at FrontPage Magazine drew my attention, and it deserves at least a mention here.

Yesterday Mr. Horowitz published a response to Diana West’s rebuttal of Ronald Radosh. It appeared first at Breitbart, and was mirrored soon afterwards at FPM, where the comments have become… ahem… rather heated.

In the comment thread, one “ziggy zoggy” said, inter alia: “Andrew Bostom, you Westrolls are worse than Paulbots… You need to take of [sic] your tinfoil hat. It’s baked your brain like a potato.” That gives you an idea of the level to which public discourse has descended at FPM.

In response to Mr. Zoggy, David Horowitz, the editor of the whole shebang, said (words and phrases of interest have been marked in red for further attention):

Thank you Ziggy Zoggy. I haven’t the foggiest idea who this Lopez woman is, I haven’t communicated with Nina Rosenwald in six months, I am not familiar with Gatestone, and I am not the aggressor in all this. The victim lady is. She attacked me as a totalitarian for removing a review that made at seem as though Frontpage was endorsing a preposterous book. Then she organized a kook army of which Bostom is a prime member to attack me as a closet communist. She is incapable of rebutting any of the criticisms made of her book first of all because the criticisms are sound, secondly because they are over her head, and thirdly because she has invested all her energy in concocting a conspiracy theory to explain her critics instead of attempting to answer them.

Before I analyze the text, did anyone else besides me notice how much this screed sounds like Charles Johnson? Adapted for the appropriate context, it could have been written by the Grand Lizardoid himself back in 2007 or 2008 in the comments at Little Green Footballs.

The stylistic resemblance is unmistakable. It’s uncanny… and creepy.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Now let’s take a look at some of those interesting terms. I’ve rearranged the order of the items for the purposes of this discussion:

  • Victim lady. Well, this is a winner: condescension, with a whiff of sexism. Any of you girls want to weigh in on this one?
  • Over her head. Yup. That’s what you’d expect from a girl with no credentials as a historian. “Well, sir, little lady, don’t you worry your pretty li’l head none about them Commies. That’s men’s work; we’ll take care of it.”
  • Preposterous book. If Ms. West had written that Stalin and FDR were space aliens, I could agree with the adjective “preposterous”. But a well-sourced, sober analysis of the evidence hardly deserves such an epithet, no matter how much one disagrees with her conclusions.
  • Incapable of rebutting any of the criticisms. Actually, I’ve read sixteen thousand words of very effective rebuttal over the past two days. Does none of that count? “I’m the editor of FrontPage Magazine. We don’t need no steenkin’ evidence.”
  • Instead of attempting to answer them. Ditto the above. I’ve read plenty of detailed answers. Perhaps the answers are not to Mr. Horowitz’ liking…?
  • Concocting a conspiracy theory. Can you say “projection”? Because, in the very same paragraph, he asserts that Ms. West, with her extraordinary influence and charisma, has
  • Organized a kook army. Yup. All those kooks out there, paid to do battle with the beleaguered courageous truth-tellers at FPM. Uh-huh. Right.

Actually, I kind of like the idea of being in the Kook Army. I’m tired of being a Kook of One.

But I must emphasize that I am neither a mercenary nor a draftee in this army. I volunteered for service. I joined up enthusiastically, ready with my scorching keyboard to do battle in whatever mosquito-infested backwater they send me to.

We’ve been an Army of Midgets in the past. There’s no reason why we can’t be an army of all epithets.

Welcome to the Army of Kooks!

Previous posts about the controversy over American Betrayal by Diana West:

2013   Aug   11   Diana West: On the Question of “Scholarship”
        13   Yet Another Circular Conservative Firing Squad
        14   Cordon Sanitaire: FAIL
        15   On Reading the Book
        16   Banishing the Cathars
        18   Form and Substance
        22   “It’s All in Plain Sight”
        30   When Should a Book Not Be Written?
    Sep   3   Recognizing the Wrong People
        6   The Totalitarian Impulse
        6   The Rebuttal: Part One
        7   Rebuttal: The Summary
        8   The Rebuttal: Part Two

49 thoughts on “An Army of Kooks

  1. I have not yet read the book yet so I cannot pass comment, but I can look out of the window and see that someone doth protest too much.

    The history of the period concerned is steeped in misdirections anyway, and between 1938 and 1941 there is a distinct reversal of the flow of money, away from Adolf towards Stalin. So ‘following the money’ shows the likelihood of America being betrayed in some way. The real question is why does this matter so much after 70 odd years? Is America still being betrayed by the same people or is this just the immature squealing of an intellectual trades union?

  2. Horowitz wrote of Diana West:

    “…she has invested all her energy in concocting a conspiracy theory to explain her critics instead of attempting to answer them.”

    It is highly unlikely that Horowitz actually believes these two claims. Unless he is actually, and not figuratively, brain-damaged — which is also highly unlikely — the only reasonable assumption to explain that quoted statement is that he is deliberately fomenting obfuscation and disinformation, in the Alinskyite expectation that enough of that churned out will help to fog the light that threatens his cause.

    If this is his expectation, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work; only that he wants it to work. From what I can tell, it has been working to some extent; though I see incipient signs, albeit still on the beleaguered defensive, of the truth beginning to gain the momentum of the upper hand.

  3. “The real question is why does this matter so much after 70 odd years?”

    Sounds like Hillary Clinton in some Senate hearing. 🙂

    The questions matter because the truth matters.

    The truth makes people VERY uncomfortable – especially where that truth causes people to wholesale re-examine their world view as it relates to their daily actions.

  4. The comments section at Front Page has been edited. Remarks by Ziggy have been removed and one interesting item by Texas Patriot, I copy below.
    Incidentally, TP’s history of remarks is worth reading.

    Texas Patriot • a day ago
    Give it up, David. It’s time to face reality. You didn’t like the idea of comparing Communist infiltration in our government in the 1930s and 1940s with Islamic infiltration in our government today, so you tried to discredit Diana West and bully her into silence. What you didn’t realize is that she has the truth on her side, and that truth will never go away.
    Unfortunately, in your panic to suppress her ideas, you recruited your old Communist buddy Ron Radosh and reverted to the same tactics of lies, personal attacks, and character assassination favored by the Bolsheviks and Stalinists that you say you have left behind.
    Well, it didn’t work. Instead, it backfired horribly and exposed you and Radosh for the frauds and charlatans you really are.

    • I’ve just checked the thread at Frontpage Magazine, and the posts of ziggy zoggo are there as well as the quoted post of Texas Patriot (Somewhere in the middle of 297 comments so far.). Maybe, Hubert, you can verify that the zz-posts were taken down when you sent your post to GoV? If this turn up to be correct, maybe FPM has listened to Dymphna in the meantime and changed their mind.

      Quote September 5: “Removing material from your website is a mortal sin in cyberspace. You can change your mind, or find facts that contradict what you posted, but in those cases you simply update the posting to reflect those changes. An ethical website NEVER EVER disappears material once it’s up.”

      I only skimmed the posts at FPM because I knew what I was looking for. But I highly recommend a visit to the thread. Among other things, people defending Ms West are accused of being “hired”.

      To be correct, Hubert’s quoting lack a final sentence: “And if you do not know that, you should.”

      If you check the thread, you can see that the reaction of Mr Horowitz to Texas Patriot comment was: “You, sir, are an ass.” (In this case, the word xxx shouldn’t be redacted according to my meaning.)

      Mr Horowitz controls the FPM – absolutly ok. The thread shows the linguistic standard he has chosen.

      I’ll end up with a deliberate foul: I can’t help associating Mr Radosh and Mr Horowitz with the Swedish Spitting Professor.

  5. Your sourcing of the original illustration from “Good Soldier Schwejk” — and how good it feels for a European-American to rub elbows so to speak with a multigeneration American so conversant in the nooks and crannies of European culture– brings to mind another simile from Austrian military history.

    Emperor Joseph II — Mozart’s patron and Marie Antoinette’s brother — took the Austrian army to Romania in 1788, to fight the Turks. The Battle of Karansebes, ended up as the most tragicomic battle of all times. The Austrians were supposed to engage the Turks, but good schnapps was to be found at the location. The action started by an advance unit of Austrian infantry and a scout unit firing on each other over possession of the booze. In the middle of this battle someone shouted “Turks,” as if the Turks were attacking, and so the two units started fleeing.

    Austrian officers seeing this started shouting “Halt,” Halt,” but this was a truly multicultural army, and some of the units of Hungarians, Slavs and Italian didn’t know German very well. So the soldiers thought they were hearing “Allah!” “Allah!” and ran harder back toward the main camp. But the corps commander seeing armed soldiers running like mad toward the camp and screaming “Allah!” thought they were Turks and ordered his artillery to fire on them. When the rest of the army saw such hot action right at their camp’s perimeter, it started retreating while firing volleys at the imaginary Turks. So what was supposed to be a battle of the Austrians against the Turks, ended up with the Austrian Army fighting itself and retreating from a foe that wasn’t there.

    Now look what Horowitz- Black- Heritage at al. are doing. They are, were, in the same camp with Diana West concerning a major foe: Islamization of the West. But instead of seeing how West’s book was furthering the objectives of that fight, and supporting her, they turned away from common foe and are fighting an imaginary foe who isn’t. They are firing on an elite unit in their own army. How stupid.

    • Takuan —

      I credit my awareness of Schweik (the Penguin edition uses German spellings) to my European history teacher for O-levels and A-levels when I was at school in Yorkshire.

      It sounds trite, but he made history come alive. He thought it was amusing and entertaining, and made it the seem the same way for us (at least those of us who were truly interested in history) by regaling us with anecdotes and apocryphal material. One of his tales (which I’ve never bothered to confirm; I just enjoy it as a good story) concerned the mobile brothels the Italian army devised during the Great War. These vehicles followed the troops to the front and retreated and advanced with them. He also told us that the birth rate increased dramatically during the war in the border provinces near the front.

      It was from him that I learned that National Socialism was a Leftist ideology, and differed from Communism only in its devotion to an individual nation and its culture. I learned that the Katyn incident was a massacre by the Soviets. I learned that Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin conspired (Churchill under duress) to turn Central Europe over to Stalin. I learned that the Soviet army held back so the Germans could destroy the Poles. I learned that the Nazis and the Soviets, serially and simultaneously, deliberately and with malice aforethought, conspired to wipe out the Polish intelligentsia, the middle class, and the beating heart of Poland’s rich traditional culture. I learned that not only was Polish infrastructure deliberately wrecked by the Soviets and the Germans, but also its human capital.

      In a word, I learned most of the occluded history (except for that which was revealed decades later, after the Soviet archives were opened), the same things Diana West is being shunned now for discussing. The knowledge was available back then; it just wasn’t talked about much.

      In addition to history textbooks (we didn’t use many of those), we were encouraged to read a lot of books in preparation for A-levels, and Schweik was one of them (I read it). Other literary works included Solzhenitsyn, Chekhov, Kafka, Nabokov, Brecht, “The Angry Young Men”, Orwell, and many others.

      History texts (including a number written by communists or recovering communists) included Deutscher, A.J.P. Taylor, Shirer, biographies of Bismarck, Mussolini, Lenin, and Stalin, “To the Finland Station” (I forget the author), an entire book dedicated to a detailed chronicle of the Battle of Verdun in 1916, and many more I can’t remember.

      And this was only for the European/International history course. There was also British domestic history from 1871 to 1945.

      I’ve forgotten more of this stuff than I remember, but that leaves a lot of background about Europe still stuck in my head. I developed a love of history back then that I never lost, and I still read history books for pleasure (or did until my eyes gave out).

      This is why I mourn what England has become. I remember England-That-Was. My education was nothing special for the time — I attended a grammar school in a small provincial town; most of my classmates were working- and lower-middle-class kids who, if they were intelligent enough, could take advantage of the best system of free state education in the world.

      When I came back to the USA and went to William and Mary — the finest university south of the Mason-Dixon Line — I was credited with four semesters of history, four of English, and two of Mathematics, due to my grades on A-levels and special papers. I was able to finish at university in only three years, thanks to an English grammar school education.

      I didn’t go back to England, or pay much attention to it, until after the turn of the millennium. Then I discovered that what I had benefitted so much from had been deliberately destroyed over the past three decades, and that the English working class no longer had the opportunity to move up through a superior education.

      This is a great crime against the English people, one of the greatest in history, and if there is justice in the world, the surviving traitors responsible for it will be [suggested judicial punishments redacted].

      To quote Riddley Walker again: “O, what we ben! And what we come to!”

      • As for me, all this history is of course more personal. My paternal grandfather died in WW1 as a soldier in the Austrian Army. My mother’s cousin was murdered in Katyn and another one, who’d been deported to Kazakhstan by the Soviets, died there. As to education, I learned things in 4th grade of elementary school that hardly any American college graduate knows. For instance, in a recent conversation with a Harvard MBA Roman Catholic I used the expression “He had to go to Canossa.” And he had no idea what the simile meant nor had been taught about the slice of European/Catholic history this referred to. A high school teacher friend tells me that history is not being taught at all except 20th century, particularly WW2, plus the Howard Zinn version of abbreviated American history, plus a small sampling of 19th century world history. That’s it.

        The difference between your basic education and mine and what’s on offer now is that ours took education seriously and saw social engineering as being outside of its purview. Even my four school years under the Commies, while including lying about everything connected to the Soviets, were superior education with no dumbing down for slow-brains’ sake, demanding real intellectual achievement and so on. And the teachers were not commies like America’s are now. Yes, within a narrow range they had to mouth commie platitudes simply to hang on to their jobs, but this is not what they believed, and it was obvious to us, little tykes, that they did not believe it.

        America has perpetrated the same crime on its population as the UK has. Twelve years of K-12 ought to be enough to equip one with a full kit of one’s culture and language, plus enough math, science and technology to excel at 80% of all available jobs. But just as the rulers are devaluing our money, they have devalued education so much that now high schools graduate functional illiterates, universal college is being touted as a new right and a necessity, but the real reason is that after four years of college they hope you will know what a high school graduate was suppoosed to know in 1965.

        • “He had to go to Canossa.” — I know that one! But it certainly wasn’t in elementary school that I learned it. Or secondary school.

          • Regional references are unknown outside their areas. Growing up, my mother used the expression “send her to Coventry”. I knew what it meant, but my Florida cracker friends didn’t. I quit using things out of their ken, like “coals to Newcastle”.

            A regionalism in (northern) Florida for being crazy was “they’ll send you to Chatahoochie”. That was where the state mental hospital was. I always thought it had cachet because of the name itself, a Seminole Indian place name that the hospital adopted since that the place chosen for its location.

            But knowing Coventry and New Castle were just regionalisms, not education…imHo 😉

          • I’ve heard “coals to Newcastle” a fair number of times in educated speech, but not “send to Coventry.” For that matter, I hadn’t heard “go to Canossa” as a figure of speech, but “Canossa” pulled up a recollection of a historical event. It isn’t something I’d expect all reasonably educated people to remember even if they encountered it in Western Civ way back, and for that reason I’m (unreasonably) proud that I do remember it.

        • Hat tip to Takuan for the heads up on The Company, a TNT 3 Part mini series, on counter-espionage and The Cold War, or rather Cold Warriors….an excellent production.

          • Well, Canossa is in Italy and I was in Commie Poland, so not much common regionality there. But the place name stands for a pivotal event in European and Church history when the power of the Pope rose above that of secular monarchs in the early 11th century — a relationship that would remain in force essentially until well into the second Renaissance. “Walk to Canossa” was a now-forgotten standard metaphor for forced humiliation in every European language I am even vaguely familiar with, including English. Same goes for all Biblical references that so enriched our tongues until a mere six decaded ago, and Shakespearean expressions that hardly seven out of any ten random college seniors will recognize now. Dead white men, see?

  6. If he’s actually sucking up to that ziggy character and thanking him for what he’s doing on his website, well, that’s all I need to know about David Horowitz.

    • But really, to have someone on his side there must be a relief. A similar thing happened to Radosh when he posted an essay at Pajamas Media making a case for us invading Syria.

      Wow! The pushback was startling. That’s when I knew the opinion “Against” Syria was firming up and intensifying.

  7. I’m grateful for GoV bringing the book to my attention. I bought a copy and have just started it. So far what she says about Islam is common knowledge (around here anyway) and her comments re the Commies seem measured and well sourced.

    Currently the only thing hat makes me think this could ripple the waters is her mention of Ikhwan affiliate Suhail Khan and his relationship with Grover Norquist. I wondered if criticism of these two was the reason for the immoderate criticisms (I’d better measure my own words here, but Horowitz’s response is extremely disappointing).

    I have had a few tilts at the chaps over at Hot Air for what I judge to be their unwillingness to deal with Khan & Norquist – I imagine they’ve not pusrsued them in order to “retain a seat at the Conservative table”. FP has Khan’s number though, so that doesn’t seem to be it. Will keep looking…

    Thank you again for letting me know about a book I would not otherwise have heard about.

  8. The comments mentioned above (ziggy zoggy) show that the grown-up has truly died once and for all.

    At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves: Is Ms. West, who admits that she is a journalist rather than a historian, permitted to write a book, any book, that has anything to do with history, or must she refrain from writing history books in the future? If so, what IS she permitted to write about, according to Mr. Horowitz and his friends? Who is going to decide this and preside over the decision-making panel?

    Helloooo! Do you realize that we are losing our freedoms? Wake up, for God’s sake.

    • That’s a question I asked at the beginning of this blow-up. Even the professional historians are not expert in every corner of every subject that’s mentioned in their books; for many pronouncements they rely on the judgment of others who have studied whatever primary sources they had access to and considered pertinent. Maybe the former drew selectively, using what they thought they needed and missing something important. Maybe the latter had themselves missed some narrative-altering bits of information, or maybe they drew dubious conclusions from their sources, perhaps being predisposed to a certain way of seeing things. Experts often disagree, and not because they’re all “incompetent” or all dishonest (or conspiratorial kooks).

      There are people who consider themselves to have a commanding expertise on FDR who assert, authoritatively, that his economic policies cured the Great Depression. Should we excoriate, ridicule, marginalize them because other people (with more expertise in economics) have concluded that’s quite wrong, not just in degree (as in whether Hopkins was taking Soviet direction or merely much too enthusiastic about the Soviet experiment) but diametrically opposed to the truth and, moreover, a harmful conclusion because of its policy implications today?

  9. This type of argument is exactly what the leftists love. And it’s exactly what drives young people to the Democrat Party.

    • How exactly does it drive young people to the Democrats? If it’s the argument itself they dislike, why do they have no problem with the open vitriol that Democrats regularly throw at conservatives? Do you think young people prefer a party that’s more successful in imposing ideological conformity within its ranks, so nobody even thinks of ruffling the waters?

      • Yes. Or at least, I believe this is true of the young, they have passion but little intellectual depth, and in a setting where dissent is tolerated they always risk being on the “wrong” side of some controversy or other. They tend to enjoy being praised for “their” opinions rather than criticized or exposed to the clearest arguments for other points of view.

        This is natural and normal, and actually an important dynamic in maintaining a healthy culture.

  10. Getting beyond just how tacky fpmag and it’s writers look in all this, how about he central premise that started it all. That Mrs West was looking into how our gov’t is infiltrated by muslim sympathisers. And just how similar it is to what was surely the case back in the 1930’s, when i’ll be there were writers just like horowitz doing the same thing to writers who took a line similar to West back then.

    Reading from fpmag about how they did a grand “takedown” and how West “hasn’t and couldn’t respond” to their masterful takedown, should make any right thinking conservative want to puke.

  11. “The problem isnt that we are paranoid, but that we arent paranoid enough.”

    Exactly. And it is instructive to remember that Diana West’s book developed from what was an inquiry into the palpable influence of Islam on our government. Together with Death of the Grownup, among others, it begins to explain the ubiquitous leftist influence in Washington and in the academy and in our public education. All of which constitutes a proven path today’s jihadists can, and do, follow.

  12. One ominously potential problem here is that Horowitz and Robert Spencer are joined at some bone, if not the hip. So far, Spencer is doing his usual Pretend Nothing Is Happening And Don’t Mention It And Hope It Will Pass routine. He better have a contingency plan for extricating himself from the Horowitz machine. I have faith in his ability to do this; after all, he’s a master at burning bridges without even getting sulphur under his fingernails.

    • Nope. This it Off Topic and edges on the slanderous. The only reason I let it through is to demonstrate where NOT to wander. If any more personal attacks show up, they will be deleted and will take this one with it.

      Robert Spencer has done nothing to deserve snarky notice. And “noticing nothing” is a diplomatic move – he works for the Freedom Center, period. I fail to see what anyone in his position could do differently.

      Horowitz does not have a “machine”, he is the founder and director of a high-profile organization which has attracted wealthy funders and an amazing group of talent who are paid well for their work.

      The fact that Horowitz appears to be in meltdown re Diana West’s book is not the fault of anyone else associated with the Center.

  13. Glad to share your trench, Baron. I also came along on my own; nobody “recruited” me. I am perhaps an interesting case in point because I have not read West’s book, or her previous book, and have never really followed her articles, though I’ve read a few I happened across. I’ve been very much a non-West follower. At best, I would recognize her name when I see it. “Oh yeah. She’s some Conservative journalist and writer, who sometimes gets interviewed on this or that issue. Good person, but I don’t have the hours to read her stuff.”

    Her three-part summary of the book at attracted my attention, though, because of the explosive content and the thorough analysis and documentation she provides.

    Then I saw the Radosh takedown, and the clear signs of unhinged behavior at FPM. I knew something was horribly out of place, and began following everything written on both sides of the issue. West clearly has the high ground, and I have become very disillusioned with some of my previous Conservative heros for their behavior, even before considering the relative vacuity of their writing about West’s work.

    Apparently not all are as they seem.

    I am very interest in seeing this resolved, not swept under the carpet. Horowitz and crew have really jumped in with both feet and they cannot simply ignore this. It’s not going away. They will need a far more scrupulous approach than they have shown thus far, and as things are going now, they are going to take some damage. In the end I believe the Conservative movement will be stronger for it, but there are clearly some lessons in need of being learned.

    They seem to think that they’ve taken up Buckley’s mantle in the fight against the “Birchers”. But Bill Buckley never behaved like this. And West is no Bircher, she soberly reports the evidence for her assertions and meticulously documents said evidence. In the final analysis, much of her analysis might be mistaken, a few of her facts or sources might be impugned, and her conclusions might be discreditable. But what the FPM folks are doing is no way to go about establishing any of this. So far it has done great harm — mostly to themselves.

    And West’s book is now on my Christmas shopping list for a bunch of people.

    • Your ‘journey’ is similar to that of many others.

      By that I mean people knew ‘vaguely’ who Diana West was but had other pressing things to do. Once the bullying began, they decided to investigate the matter for themselves. And as the bullying increased, so did the perplexity.

      IOW, Mr. Horowitz has given Diana West’s book the kind of publicity one can’t buy. Perhaps he thought by demonizing her he would bury the book so far down a hole that she would be cast into the outer darkness. And among the infotainment pundits this has proved to be the case. His cordon sanitaire has worked with few exceptions.

      Certainly his attacks have created – or exposed – the Silence of the Sheep. Voters on the Right have been deeply disappointed by the invertebrate behavior of the Political Class. The latter are loyal to other pols, not to those they were elected to serve. As a result, people are abandoning the GOP establishment in droves.

      But they thought the conservative writers and pundits would stand behind a conservative journalist when she was being demonized and savaged by a Big. They were wrong and the experience has been deeply disappointing.

      There is a striking parallel between what happened when Charles Johnson went on his rampage among smaller blogs (at the time, Pamela Geller and Robt Spencer weren’t as prominent as they are now) and David Horowitz’ current demonization of Diana West.

      1. Neither LGF nor Horowitz’ accusations were/are based in reality.
      2. The demonization goes way past “critical argument” and descends into vituperation and odious name-calling.
      3. The Bigs are again content to stay on the sidelines and let the wrecking ball swing where it may. The bullying doesn’t concern THEM.

      There are differences too. For example, there is a body of work – i.e., Diana West’s book –> the Radosh/Horowitz irruptions –> West’s rebuttals –>Horowitz’ pulling the victim card.

      Had Horowitz simply left up the original favorable review and presented an opposite review equally moderate in tone, that would’ve been the end of it. Instead – perhaps at Radosh’s urging? – he mounted a campaign against the book.

      DH is an old-school leftist. Perhaps he thought enlisting a cadre of dispositive reviews from random places and people, many of them saying outright they hadn’t read the book but were ready to condemn it, would prove fatal to “American Betrayal”.

      Now that I think about it…while we’ve been surprised and disappointed at the silence of many who ought to have come out on her side once they saw Diana West being bullied- ie, have come out on the side of free speech, perhaps that “silence” is itself indicative of their refusal to be recruited against her?? No way to tell. But we saw what happened to Clare Lopez for praising the work

      Anyhow, what you’re describing has also been said by a number of bloggers, beginning with Stacy McCain. I’ll have to get his link…

      This will be considered in more detail later.

  14. Horowitz says he’s not familiar with Gatestone. If you log onto Gatestone’s web site and click on “Authors,” you’ll find his name on the list. Click on it and you’ll see an article he wrote for Gatestone in 2011. Pity he has such a poor memory.

    • I’ve only run into DH on Twitter. Last I remember – and it may have been sent to us in an email – was his saying that he hadn’t talked to Nina Rosenwald in six months or so. Which sounds reasonable.

      When he claimed not to know was “who this Lopez woman” was, I found his statement less than credible. But now that you tell me he wrote for Gatestone in 2011…?

      I don’t know when Clare Lopez was appointed a Senior Fellow at Gatestone, but such appointments are always noted by those who are interested in who is where in the neocon universe . Thus his ignorance is disingenuous at best. Ms. Lopez’ credentials make her an outstanding confrere for anyone operating within that universe.

      However by now he’s beginning to sound like Lear on the heath. One hopes he has the sense to come in out of the rain and get shed of the whole subject.

      • I believe that Radosh is as foolish as this episode has made him appear. But I’m not inclined to believe that Horowitz is stupid or insane. I believe that he is acting for motives that he does not dare to explain to the public. Obviously I have no way of knowing for certain what those motives are, but my own theory is that Horowitz is intelligent enough to realize the peculiarly historical implications of Diane West’s revelations about the degree to which the Soviets not only penetrated but influenced the U.S. government, and the subsequent politically motivated cover-up of the degree of penetration and influence constituted actual treason on the part of all those knowingly involved.

        I do not know that West herself realizes the implications of this, but I suspect Horowitz does and is doing the only thing he can to prevent those implications, which is to try and discredit West’s book and erase it from serious consideration.

        • Thoughtful, as usual.

          RE: Radosh – I read part of an essay of his at Pajamas Media on Syria…maybe last week? A fortnight ago? I was surprised he was making a case for attacking Syria, but even more surprised at the intensity of those who disagreed. One asked if he was drinking – that kind of thing. Since I didn’t know of him prior to his mean-spirited and somewhat bizarre “review” of Diana West’s book, I felt I’d walked in on an old fight of some sort. Curious.
          As for David Horowitz’ motive in taking down a favorable and intellectually decent review from his site and then putting up Radosh’s strange attack…well, motives are complicated things, aren’t they? Radosh is, I’m told, an old friend – ‘the friend of his youth and companion of his riper ages’ – and so it could have been as simple as the bonds of friendship.
          You say:

          my own theory is that Horowitz is intelligent enough to realize the peculiarly historical implications of Diane West’s revelations about the degree to which the Soviets not only penetrated but influenced the U.S. government, and the subsequent politically motivated cover-up of the degree of penetration and influence constituted actual treason on the part of all those knowingly involved.

          Could be you’re right. Russia has certainly pushed its past away and aspires to a Western façade. But disdains western culture.

          DW’s book is not a major publishing event except to her (who kept finding more and more ugly truths the deeper she dug) AND to those who cared deeply about the hidden treasons she describes. These people see the implications for our review of the past which portrays America as fundamentally weakened from the 30s on. Then what it means for our present and future as Islam opportunistically burrowed into the hollow shell Communism left to further its own imperialistic grab. Comprehending that reality may render us impotent.

          This is not paranoid thinking. It is The Purloined Letter. Once the USSR fell and the KGB archives were available for a while, that information was there – but only if you cared to do the heavy lifting required to sift and put it in order. No one cared much since the Communist movement was dead. Or so the story went. And the USSR was no more, if you wanted to believe the press. End of history.

          I haven’t asked her about her sense of the “implications” but I will. To me, it seems her book will open up the doors wider and others will do their own digging. Even with 900 end notes, she couldn’t have covered *everything*. So maybe you’re right about Horowitz – he was comfortably ensconced in his converted life for many years and now she’s gone and stirred up the nest…

          …as the song goes, “damn those meddlin’ kids.”

          • It’s all part of a hostile takeover of America.
            It probably
            Used Communism as a front. See the Senate Committee vote on Syria. Follow that money. There is money to be made in war.

  15. Radosh wrote an essay about Islam. The title itself gives one pause: “Is Islam Really Our Enemy?” (Good subtitles would be, “Is the Pope Catholic?”, “Is Obama a Leftist?”, “Was Harry Hopkins an Enemy of America?” and “Was Joe McCarthy a Rational Patriot?”).

    Here are some choice nuggets:

    “I am frankly distressed about the growing volatile and rancorous choruses on the Right that seem to insist that there is only one position to take on the nature of Islam.”

    “An important issue is now emerging in the conservative constituency. It boils down to the following: Is Islam itself our enemy, and should Americans work to oppose Islam throughout the world; or, is it only radical Islam, what Christopher Hitchens calls Islamofascism and others call Islamism, the enemy we must oppose?”

    “W’s big mistake was to not go onto to say that we were not simply fighting a war against terror, but a war against radical Islam… thereby making it appear that those who named the enemy were opposing Islam itself as a religion that many in the world believe in.”

    [After quoting Horowitz and Andy McCarthy as strongly supporting the view that the builders of the Ground Zero Mosque are to be opposed, Radosh goes on to describe and quote Roger Kimball on his tough anti-Islam stance:]

    “Roger Kimball, a brilliant and insightful writer, makes his own strong case that Islam- not just so-called radical Islam- is the real enemy. He writes: “My own view, which I’ve stated in this space before [7], is that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with “foundational Western values like free speech, the separation of church and state, and equality under the law. Such things are not simply missing from Islam: they are positively repudiated by Islam.” While Roger says that Muslims have a right to build a mosque anywhere else in America, he does think- it’s the bottom line- that “Islam is a proselytizing, intolerant religion. Its aim is to institute Sharia as the ‘sole reference point for . . . ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community . . . and state.’ That is the end. The means are multifarious. Steering commercial aircraft into American skyscrapers is only one tactic. Using and abusing liberal democratic freedoms in order to promulgate an ideology that is neither liberal nor democratic is less ostentatious but may in the end be more effective precisely because it is less dramatic. This is the lasting significance of the case of the Ground Zero mosque. It represents another step on the march to Islamize the West.”

    [Radosh continues:]

    “David Horowitz, Andrew McCarthy and Roger Kimball are all smart, shrewd and articulate observers of our culture and our world. But are they correct when they shift the argument from opposing those who seek a radical Islamist agenda- imposition of Sharia law in the West- to most American Muslims who practice their faith and belief and consider themselves law-abiding patriotic Americans, and who have a strong commitment to this country?

    If they are, I fear it means supporting an unwinnable proposition, that in effect, says that the interpretation of the Quran by Bin Laden and others is correct- that they truly represent the only real Islam, and those claiming to be moderates are heretics who also must be destroyed. It means writing off potential allies in the Muslim community who could become the spearhead of an Islamist reformation to the ranks of the Islamist radicals. It would give them no choice but then to support radical Islamists since our leaders have already condemned them as believing in a faith that is incompatible with the rules of American citizenship.”

    [Note: I redacted one word in the penultimate paragraph, which must have been a typo: he had the word “from” repeated, where he must have meant “to” logically for the second “from” — “…when they shift the argument from opposing those who seek a radical Islamist agenda- imposition of Sharia law in the West- from most American Muslims…”]

    One can see from the above, and there is much more, that Radosh believes in the viability of the Moderate Muslim meme (built, furthermore, upon the foundation that assumes Islam is basically harmless and it’s only “Islamism” we have to worry about) as a way to solve the problem of Islam, by courting and integrating innumerable Muslims assumed to be harmless partners in dialogue. This could be simply a naive PC MC impulse on his part, or something more sinister. Given his behavior in the West affair, which cannot be explained any other way without assuming outlandish contortions of plausibility, I’m leaning more toward Door Number 2.

    • Radosh savaged West for writing about a topic in which he claimed she is “incompetent,” lacking the specialized knowledge base that entitles one to publish one’s views and findings. What, pray tell, qualifies Radosh to make public pronouncements on the true nature of Islam? Does he know more about it than Andy McCarthy? Or the people who have been studying Islamic history and doctrine intensively while Radosh has turned his attention elsewhere, and who disagree with him?

      Maybe Radosh “should not have written” his opinions on the real character of Islam, given that he is far from expert on the topic.

      • This is an excellent point. Radosh makes this extraordinary claim: we can accommodate Muslims in huge numbers in Western Europe and the US and it won’t qualitatively change these nations.

        It’s chutzpah to then dismiss an exhaustive account of infiltration by leftists and others into the American establishment in the 1920s 30s and 40s. We can quite clearly see that the American establishment changed dramatically in this period from a WASP dominated culture into something quite different. The question is how? West provides a piece of the puzzle.

      • The usual mistake of those who seek to divide Islam into acceptable and unacceptable categories is that they draw the line in the wrong place. It isn’t between those who are currently basing their lives on the exhortation to violent Jihad found in the Koran and those who don’t. The line must be drawn between those who regard the Koran as a valid source of instruction on Islam and those who understand that the Koran is a total fraud and insult to the teachings of Mohammad by its very nature.

        Anyone that accepts the Koran as a source of religious truth must be regarded as potentially radical. Only those that explicitly acknowledge that the Koran is not in any way valid as a source of Islam can be viewed as unlikely to radicalize towards violent Jihad, as the Koran mandates. This may seem like a very small nuance, as very few Muslims currently are willing to admit that they view the Koran as immoral and indefensible. But this is largely because the live in communities with those who will kill anyone that says such things.

        While the values of Western Civilization naturally prohibit the outright banning of a particular religion, even more fundamental values of civilization allow and even demand that we prohibit the intentional dissemination of provable falsehoods. And the idea that the Koran is a perfect transmission of Mohammad’s teachings rather than a perversion directly contrary to them is just such a provable falsehood. We face great obstacles in banning Islam without compromising our essential principles, but no difficulty at all in insisting that all teaching of the Koran begin with the historically proven fact that it was compiled directly contrary to the teachings of Mohammad and the contents were perverted to match the agenda of those who wished to transform rather than obey Mohammad’s teachings. That this imposes a rather difficult situation on Muslims, who are thus left without much reliable information on what Mohammad taught (other than “don’t write this stuff down, just recite it”), is not really our problem. And, from what I know of Muslims who reject the Koran as unIslamic, it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for them either.

        • “Anyone that accepts the Koran as a source of religious truth must be regarded as potentially radical. Only those that explicitly acknowledge that the Koran is not in any way valid as a source of Islam can be viewed as unlikely to radicalize towards violent Jihad, as the Koran mandates. ”

          Your sweeping assumption about millions of Muslims cannot be verified, and would seem to rest upon an ignorance of that Mountain of evidence subsumed under the concept of “taqiyya”. Those of us in the West who ignore the implications of this Mountain — including those in the Counter-Jihad who think they are being judicious by doing so — do so at their — and our — peril. For you may ignore that Mountain all you want, meanwhile innumerable Muslims pullulating out of the Muslim world, Muslims whom we have no way of distinguishing from those who may really mean us no harm (which includes not aiding and abetting, actively or passively, their brothers and sisters who do mean us harm), are working as assiduously as a plague of army ants to bring that Mountain of Mohammed to you.

          And me. And all of us.

          • There might not actually be “millions of Muslims” who accept or even know about the historical evidence regarding the origin of the Koran and its true relationship to early Islam. I’m only aware of a few hundred, of which perhaps a dozen are at all prominent.

            However, within that sample, the evidence is very good that accepting the historical evidence about the Koran’s lack of authority is a powerful disincentive to ever accept radicalization. In some cases, becoming aware of the historical context of the Koran was the path away from radicalization.

            The difficulty of exercising “taqiyya” in asserting the historical evidence about the Koran is that, unlike a false profession of Christianity or Atheism or Secularism, one is dealing with evidenced facts and not beliefs. You can lie about believing something that has no real evidence to back it, and still keep yourself from believing it in your heart. It is much more difficult to claim to believe something that is strongly evidenced for long without coming to really accept it as true.

            “Taqiyya” really means that you cannot tell a Muslim who denies the historical facts about the Koran from a professed non-Muslim who denies the historical facts about the Koran. But the available historical evidence means that you can easily tell someone who accepts that evidence from someone who rejects it.

    • Radosh is quite happy to flood the West with Muslims and this erase western identity and displace nations like France, Germany, Canada, UK, Spain… Radosh has a 4th dimensional hatred for the Euroweenies.

  16. This whole thing has been sad for me, beacuse I once admired Horowitz greatly and appreciated many of Radosh’s books. No more, because one thing I can’t abide is when so-called “conservatives” start resorting to tactics indistinguishable from the likes of Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann and the modern-day elite Left, and using them on people in the conservative ranks so they can try and look better to the “establishment”. Because what this ultimately comes down to, I think, is that Radosh has a burning hatred of those who support what M. Stanton Evans has written the last few years, and given how Radosh was exposed for writing a dishonorable hack job review of Evans’ “Blacklisted By History” and given how West’s work in many respects merely complements what Evans has written (and which has earned Evans’ praise), I really think Radosh is trying to do an end-run game in which by attacking West in a full-throated Olbermann style demonization campaign, he can by extension discredit the work of Evans as well. And since he knows he can’t win a fight with Evans, picking one with West is what he thinks will be “winnable” this time out.

    • Sad and disappointing, but unlike some, Im not throwing Radosh or Horrowitz under the bus. The large army of small voices has found its power do to this kerfluffle. One of the most interesting things about it, I think. Nobody is all knowing or perfect. We all have our foibles, occassional wrongheadedness, and whatnot. We need to build the conservative coalition on the right, not by throwing people under the bus and moving left towards the middle, but by embracing our brothers in arms.

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