The Rebuttal: Part Three

The third part of Diana West’s long-anticipated rebuttal to Ronald Radosh’s hit piece on her book “American Betrayal” has been posted at Breitbart’s Big Government. Some excerpts are below.

Previously: Part 1, Part 2.

The Rebuttal: Part Three
by Diana West

Chapter 3

The Aggressively Attacked Detail #2: Uranium

The next aggressive attack on detail is plucked from the colossal Lend-Lease program the US created to supply allies during World War II. Supplying the Soviet Union was a bitter pill for the American people to swallow. FDR whoppers — such as declaring religious freedom existed in the USSR — didn’t help. But supply “Uncle Joe” we did — and to a needlessly dangerous extreme, I conclude from the sources contained in my book.

From American Betrayal, p. 43:

War supplies didn’t just “flow” to the Soviet Union, they flooded it, with over half a million trucks and jeeps, nearly $1 billion worth (1940s dollars) of ordnance and ammunition, thousands of fighter aircraft, bombers, and tanks, 13 million pairs of winter boots, 1.7 million tons of petroleum products, a merchant fleet, 1,000 steam locomotives, 581 naval vessels including minesweepers, landing craft, submarine chasers, frigates, torpedo boats, floating dry docks, pontoon barges, river tugs, and a light cruiser. There were also icebreakers, which were essential to keep the northernmost ports of the Gulag Archipelago supplied with fresh slaves, another “lost” fact. American Lend-Lease didn’t just keep the Soviet police state humming along internally, either. As Nikita Khrushchev would say to Life magazine in 1970 of those half a million trucks and jeeps, “Just imagine how we would have advanced from Stalingrad to Berlin without them!”

Radosh, of course, doesn’t mention any of that. He writes:

West also insists that Lend-Lease aid was a crucial “rogue operation” orchestrated by Hopkins and the NKVD for the purpose of getting not only war supplies to the Russians, but “the materials that go into making an atomic bomb…up to and including uranium. (Her emphasis.)

This, of course, is supposed to sound appropriately “unhinged” if not “crackpot” — just so many more “yellow journalism conspiracy theories.”

My italics underscore the historical fact that a US government program run by a suspected Soviet agent of influence procured three-quarters of a ton of uranium (including Manhattan-Project-embargoed uranium) and other atomic materials for Stalin. Additionally, as George Racey Jordan writes in From Major Jordan’s Diaries, his memoir of Lend-Lease, “It seems fair to take into account not merely what the Russians got, but what they tried to get.”

This was a huge news story in 1950 and then it virtually vanished from our “narrative,” a matter I explore in depth in American Betrayal.

I do not, however, “insist,” as Radosh claims, that “Hopkins and the NKVD” “orchestrated” Lend-Lease. Once again, he is exaggerating a fact to deride his own exaggeration…

In this case, however, the reality is too not much different.

What is in my book is that it was Harry Hopkins, Armand Hammer, and Harry Dexter White who got Lend-Lease going in the first place — a trio of veritable Soviet assets. Rather than convey these alarming facts as laid out in American Betrayal, Radosh invokes the “NKVD,” as if to inspire snickers. You can almost hear jackboots stomping through the White House.

Then again, the NKVD did have a line of sorts into Lend Lease for real. Over security objections of both the State and War Departments and Army chief of staff Gen. George C. Marshall, Hopkins insisted on elevating Army officer Philip Faymonville, a.k.a. the “Red Colonel,” to run Lend-Lease in Moscow. There, Soviet records show, Faymonville was recruited by the NKVD in 1942.

NKVD recruit Faymonville would help run — “orchestrate?” — Lend-Lease for the duration.

As for my discussion of Lend-Lease as “rogue operation,” I frame it with a question and end it with a question.

I pose the question:

“From Hammer to Hopkins to White and back again to Hopkins: The question now becomes, How could Lend-Lease not have been a rogue operation?”

Take my arguments or leave them. But don’t distort them.

On the Aggressively Attacked Detail of Uranium

As “19” was attacked (above) to obscure American Betrayal’s widely sourced and -detailed discourse on Harry Hopkins, the new detail under attack is “a” (as in “one”) shipment of uranium.

That would seem bad enough, of course. Why was Harry Hopkins’s Lend-Lease scouring all over creation for uranium for Stalin?

For a reality check, I’ll note that when Gen. Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, testified on this subject of uranium shipments to the USSR before Congress in 1949, he could not answer how many shipments of uranium Lend-Lease had in fact transferred to Stalin, because, he said, “we don’t know how many leaked through.”

Radosh, however, discusses only one shipment that Groves did indeed permit to go through, against his will, rather than alert the Soviets to the value we were placing on uranium during this period of frantic, top secret atomic research. Radosh repeatedly insists this was the only shipment to go through — and cites another book to supposedly prove this, completely ignoring the additional evidence contained in American Betrayal that trumps Radosh’s source.

What evidence? A Congressional investigation, quoted on p. 124 of American Betrayal:

I quote the March 3, 1950, testimony of 56

The note is: “Hearings into the Transfer of Atomic Material to the Soviet Union During World War II,” 1149.

A third documented uranium shipment to Stalin went overland in July 1944.

Just as with my “second front” debate, the FDR-Stalin cables, my discussion of ex-POWs in Stalin’s clutches, my non-”19” Hopkins dossier, Radosh has completely and missed or purposefully ignored my documented evidence – and then aggressively attacked me for it.

Read the rest of Part 3 at Big Government.

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
        8   An Army of Kooks

8 thoughts on “The Rebuttal: Part Three

  1. I can verify one of Ms West’s assertions. The “light cruiser” she mentions being donated was the USS Milwaukee, which was my father’s ship until we turned it over to the Russians in Northern Ireland, in early 1944. I still have a souvenir roller-bearing from one of its guns. I never thought of this as anything sinister, but a transfer of uranium would certainly be several degrees of magnitude more important.

  2. What a maginifcent battle! And to think it all started with something unrelated (except edgewise): “Why are we calling it the “Religion of Peace?”…

    Turns out it’s quite similar to why Stalin was “Uncle Joe.”…

    Go West!

  3. Somewhere on one of the higher, more rarified slopes of the sheer mountain of evidence and argumentation Diana West exhaustively — and exhausting to read — labors to amass and articulate, she writes:

    “Once again, the question forms: Did Radosh read my book? Did he understand what he read? Or did he purposefully distort it?”

    She’s being too kind by framing any choices at all, and rhetorically so. I can understand it would be judicious and politic for her to do so. We, the readers, however, are not so limited. In fact, we have an obligation to be outraged and angry at this massive attempt at distortion and disinformation launched by both Radosh and Horowitz, aided and abetted (wittingly, or unwittingly) by many others, either actively by piling on with their Useful Idiocy, or passively by refraining from publicly defending West in this matter of utmost importance.

    Further, my anger extends beyond those actors and passives to those farther back in the comfort of the sidelines who think they can affect a posture of reasonable neutrality, budging a bit here and there to throw a bone or crumb in the general direction of West and her appropriately fervent supporters, as though that makes up for what they pat themselves on the back to be Objectivity. All the objectivity they need is already there in the numbingly meticulous and scrupulous Rebuttal West has constructed. It is reckless disregard and an insult to her labor (and to her readers’ intelligence) to bring along in tow a framework of Objectivity to set up like a giant pavilion around her construction.

  4. I have been going through Diana’s book in detail today having been in the trenches of this free-for-all at FPM since the beginning when I found myself gravitating to Diana’s side because of my instinctive sense of revulsion by the snarky, sneering tone of condescension in Ron Radosh’s review that IMO undermined all standards of fair play and free and open discourse that FPM and David Horowitz once stood for and also undermined Radosh’s pretensions to having the better argument. I have now come to the conclusion that what really lies at the heart of this whole thing is not something that separates “neo-cons” from “paleo-cons” etc. as some people try to make it out to be. I think what this really comes down to is Ron Radosh and his preening ego trying to find a way to get even with M. Stanton Evans by going after one of his biggest allies in the historical discussion on Soviet espionage and its legacy in the FDR era. We already saw how Radosh wrote a thoroughly dishonest review of Evans’ “Blacklisted By History” that not content to merely disagree with him, falsely accused Evans of plagiarism at one point. Evans fought back against this smear (aided by a harsh Ann Coulter column as well). Diana’s book in many respects complements the work and analysis of Evans and I think because of this, and because Radosh has a hang-up with wanting to be the “authoritive” voice on how conservatives should evaluate this era (in which no revisionism about McCarthy is to be permitted; and in which certain other sacred cows that are still part of the liberal orthodoxy on this era), he then decided that West needed to be taken down (using his own words) in a way where he would not present things as mere disagreement over details in a healthy discussion. Instead, through invective like “McCarthy On Steroids” and questioning the mental competence of those who have supported her work as a case of foolish sheep led astray, Radosh I think wanted to leave Diana’s work thoroughly discredited which would also have the ripple effect of discrediting Evans’ work, and thus, allow him to indulge in his form of payback by bullying West instead.

    David Horowitz I think, is a man who under normal circumstances would have acted honorably but for the fact that he has a total blind spot when it comes to Ron Radosh and in the end let himself be sold a bill of goods by Radosh to the point where he was all too happy to appease Radosh’s ego big time. Thus, it was not enough to merely give Radosh space to present a competing review, he instead had to engage in a censorship campaign by erasing the favorable review from existence and then joining in the smear campaign against West with some false assertions about what the book says. Once he did that, he trapped himself in and clearly David doesn’t have the appetite to address the specifics of this issue with any level of seriousness. His response to the rebuttal, which he put up before the full rebuttal had been posted, was a laughable piece of canned soundbite foolishness that he was going to run unaltered regardless of what Diana wrote. And its interesting how at FPM, the overwhelming response has been against David and he has been flailing away with the same silly soundbites and has found to his chagrin that his biggest ally is the aforementioned “Ziggy” who likes to indulge in toilet and pornographic metaphors as his idea of serious discussion (yet that hasn’t stopped David from publicly thanking Ziggy and branding those who have defended West as being part of the “kook” army).

    The tragedy is that this shouldn’t have happened. This should have been a discussion on a serious issue that Diana raises some good questions about. I think I find myself agreeing with a lot but not all of what she says, because ultimately I think the blind spot that exists on the part of mainstream liberalism to confront the evil of communism stems less from a fondness for communism and a fear of exposing their own levels of “collaboration” so much as a passionate hatred for conservatives and the belief that to validate those to their right as having ever *been* right would for them undermine their greatest article of faith about how evil and simple-minded and buffoonish those of conservative predilections are. This is what they are most fearful of, even more so than anything they might instinctively dislike of communism and to me it’s the ultimate comment on what has been wrong with modern liberalism for too long.

    • Well, I am certainly in total agreement with you on this, and you said it better than I could have. Thank you.

    • ejp,

      If what you write in the last paragraph is true, then the exact same thing might well apply — I think it does — with respect to multiculturalism and islam. I don’t think it likely that the left will ever abandon its fundamental faith in multiculturalism, which it might well view as the only alternative to nazism/white supremacy, and therefore that islam is at least equivalent, if not superior, to non-Western and non-Christian civilization and beliefs.

      • Just as “McCarthyism” must ever be worse than anything the communists ever did, so must “Islamophobia” always be worse than anything done by Muslims, and “racism” or “zenophobia” must be worse than any harm done to this country by illegal aliens.

  5. ejp: Nice call, well put.

    Having grown up with two sets of grandparents who abhorred just about every politician since WWI (except, maybe, “Do Nothing” Coolidge for exactly that reason — he believed in laissez-faire), I inherited a bookcase of tomes on history and political figures, then added my own when I studied international relations and economics. Then I married into a family with an equally interesting bookcase, every side of the fence from Emma Goldman to Barry Goldwater. Such a lush inheritance!

    For some odd reason, I foresaw this brouhaha coming from Radosh. There is no one as pious nor as arrogant as a reformed-communist, noted prior to, but well-proven by his review of M. Stanton Evans. So, I have gone through Diana’s book sitting alongside the books and the computer, fact-checking her endless references. To date, her facts are flawlessly documented, even if I don’t agree with or know enough to agree with the few times she draws an opinion, which she duly notes. Besides, I don’t think she was writing the book to rewrite WWII, but to delineate the many ways continuing totalitarianism, most notably Islam and socialism/communism, could impact policy in our government today. Do we really want to give up the Constitutional Republic our founders fought hard to deliver in order to protect our individual rights?

    Frankly, Radosh’s nit-picking only diminishes my respect for anything he will produce in the future; the same goes for Mr. Horowitz unless he acknowledges that all authors deserve to publish without reviews that assassinated one’s character. Both Radosh and Horowitz have eviscerated Ms. West personally and some of their comments lead me to believe they didn’t read the book very carefully.

    My wish is their imbroglio leads to huge book sales for “American Betrayal” and some renewed interest in the political and social systems that allow our ever-growing and more complicated government to be influenced by cultures and political systems that only wish the worst for our Constitutional Republic, if it can still be described as such.

    • “Besides, I don’t think she was writing the book to rewrite WWII, but to delineate the many ways continuing totalitarianism, most notably Islam and socialism/communism, could impact policy in our government today.”

      I think you might be right. Diana West may not understand the true implication of what she has uncovered. It is not just that external enemies could influence our policy, but that the structure of the U.S. government has been modified from its essential Constitutional limitations to the extent where it is a commonplace certainty that totalitarian enemies of freedom will always have more influence over government policy than do the people of the United States.

      The question is not whether “we really want to give up the Constitutional Republic our founders fought hard to deliver in order to protect our individual rights?” The question is not even whether we have already given up the Constitutional Republic. The question now is whether we can overthrow the tyrannical system that has taken its place.

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