The Rebuttal: Part Two

The second 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.

The Rebuttal: Part Two
by Diana West

Chapter 1: “Groundless and Worse,” He Says.

But Not in My Book

Radosh presents my entire book and its arguments as a “conspiracy thesis resting on five claims.” He writes: “In this review, I will focus on each of these claims in turn and show that they are groundless, and worse.”

I strongly reject this compression of my book and hope readers of the Radosh review, not my book, will one day discover for themselves that the nature, substance, thematic structure, and tone of American Betrayal are wholly unrecognizable next to the Radosh presentation.

For purposes of this rebuttal, however, I will address the five Radosh claims, one by one. I will be as brief — but also as comprehensive — as possible. I will focus on disproving unsupportable claims and rectifying the distortions inherent in these “five claims.” I will show that Radosh’s treatment of the subject matter bears little — and often literally no — resemblance to what is actually on the printed page. In other words, that it’s Radosh’s claims about my book that are “groundless and worse.”

In so doing, I will also point out a number of mistakes and inaccuracies — and outright fabrications — that pock and riddle the Radosh “take-down.”

One final note: In rebutting these five charges, I will sometimes need to lead a reader more deeply into the weeds of fact and context than others. With that in mind, I will start with the most easily grasped set of Radosh misstatements.

The fifth and final section of the Radosh review is called “The Issue of the Second Front.” It runs more than 1,800 words, which makes it a little over 20 percent of the whole review.

Bear that in mind that it critiques a debate over the “second front” in World War II that is not in my book.

Radosh sets up Claim No. 5 as the debate over when to invade northern France: either in 1943 or 1944.

He writes:

Let us assume for a moment that a cross-Channel invasion had been mounted in 1943 (before the Axis armies had been decimated in North Africa, Sicily and Italy) instead of at Normandy in 1944. In that case, as [historian Laurence] Rees argues, the Allies might indeed have reached Eastern Europe earlier in the fighting and Soviet influence would have been lessened. West, as we have seen, attributes the failure to Soviet agents who prevented Roosevelt and Churchill from following this course, allowing Stalin to take control. But Rees also writes (in a passage West also ignores) that “the cost in human terms for the Western Allies would have been enormous.

Just to be clear, Radosh is saying that my discussion of the “second front” debate concerns the timing of the invasion of northern France. The US and Britain failed to invade northern France in 1943, Radosh claims I argue, due to “Soviet agents.”

There is a surreal quality to what I now must write: This section, 20 percent of the Radosh review, in no way, shape or form tracks the debate over the “second front” that is examined in American Betrayal. It’s simply not the debate I work through in my book. I repeat: It’s not in my book.

Further, Radosh calls my “interpretation of this event” (the one that is not in my book) “shallow and erroneous.”

What American Betrayal does examine in Chapter 9 is whether the abundantly confirmed presence of agents of Kremlin influence inside the US policy-making chain turned, shaded or shaped “second front” planning to Stalin’s advantage in the epic debate among the so-called Big Three. This great debate was over whether to amass US and British forces in northern France or in the Italy/Balkan region.

In simplest terms, I wrote about France vs. Italy/Balkan — not, as Radosh erroneously asserts, France ‘43 vs. France ‘44.

The word “Italy” does not appear in this section of the Radosh review in relation to the “second front” debate. Nor does the word “Balkan.”

This is so incredible I must repeat it: Radosh missed my entire debate, from the crux of it to the fine details.

The chapter in American Betrayal in question is 13,500 words long with 84 endnotes.

This omission automatically renders a series of related Radosh charges against me non-applicable and therefore false.

For example:

West “ignores” the human cost of the early French invasion …”

non-applicable and therefore FALSE

Another example: I “ignore” the unreadiness of Allied troops in 1943

non-applicable and therefore FALSE

Radosh continues:

West doesn’t even consider the question of whether Churchill and Roosevelt would have been willing to sacrifice so much as one million dead British and American soldiers to keep Eastern Europe out of Soviet hands.

Where did that come from? This marks the intrusion of a “straw man argument.”

Something else: It should already be evident that Radosh is unlikely to know what I consider or don’t. Frankly, it doesn’t seem to matter to him anyway. His intentness on attack is such that he sees what he wants to and ignores what he doesn’t. (Evidence to come will further bear this out.)

Indeed, it seems fair to ask: Did Radosh read my book? Did he read it and not understand it? Or, did he read and purposefully distort it?

Such questions will recur in the discussion to come. I can only speculate on the answers, but the effect is clear each time: my work, and the reader’s trust of my work, has been harmed without cause, without evidence.

Another Radosh Charge: False

One of Radosh’s many introductory charges against my credibility is this:

“She disregards the findings of the sources she does rely on when they contradict her ….”

I have flagged four instances in brief (see “Radosh’s Introduction,” #10) where I make the reader aware of differences of opinion among the experts. But since we’re in the “second front” section, I now offer one of them in full.

On p. 267 of American Betrayal, amid talk of the Italian/Balkan strategy — which was supported in 1943 not only by Churchill but also by US Generals Mark Clark, Dwight Eisenhower, Ira Eaker and Carl Spaatz — I note:

“…There was a military argument to be made to refocus on France. In Wedemeyer Reports! Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, one of the early planners of the invasion of France, makes a compelling military counterargument against Churchill’s and [Gen. Mark] Clark’s ‘soft underbelly’ strategy. Essentially, when he looked at the map, Wedemeyer didn’t see the requisite harbors through which a massive Italian-Balkan could be supplied as it made its way through almost practically impassable terrain. To be sure, this military debate remains open-ended…”

I not only did not disregard Wedemyer’s military argument favoring France over the Italy-Balkan, I laid it out.

Read the rest of Part 2 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

11 thoughts on “The Rebuttal: Part Two

  1. Diana West reasonably asks about Radosh:

    “Indeed, it seems fair to ask: Did Radosh read my book? Did he read it and not understand it? Or, did he read and purposefully distort it?”

    Door Number Three, Don Pardo. After reading West’s first two parts, the most reasonable explanation for why Radosh is committing these multiple elementary errors of logic and egregious sloppiness is not that he is “angry” or “envious” or that he is that colossally stupid.

    The most reasonable explanation is that he has constructed a Straw Monster (cobbled together from a small army of straw men glued together with the paste from crushed red herrings and using ad hominems for nuts and bolts and projection and tu quoque for screws and flanges) — as a deliberate act of obfuscation and DISINFORMATION.

    Why would he do this? The most plausible motive is that, as a soldier deploying the Jihad of the Pen for the ongoing Communist Revolution (which has had to hunker down into Stealth Mode for the last couple of decades) he had to risk breaking his cover in order to protect the crucial revisionist history that he and numerous other moles like him have labored patiently over the last half century to weave and insinuate, with the help of PC MC, as the dominant meme about what Communism means and what its supposedly unrelated offshoots (Liberalism, Leftism, Socialism, Neo-Conservate “Anti-Communism”) mean. If this hypothesis is correct, it is a measure of just how dangerous West’s thesis and the questions she poses are to that meme

  2. Today, I’ve bought the book at No problems at all with its shipping to my domicile in Martinique or to elsewhere in the world.

    The shipping will take some time, but I’m in no hurry. I look forward to reading the book. Apart from regarding the content, I will amuse myself with registring her use of what I call the “Language of Violence”. My guess is that the frequency is low.

    I hope it makes Ms West a little glad that I am one example of a customer who wouldn’t have bought the book without the marketing of Mr Radosh and Mr Horowitz.

  3. I don’t know why Diana West is so upset? These hysterical accusations are actually selling her book for her. I have experienced the same thing. No publicity is bad “publicity”. I bought her book due to these witless “critics”, most of whom are ex “Marxist” whose brains were fried in the schools they attended. Even when they “turn” thorugh maturity to “conservatives” the Marxist lies juast below the surface. My own father, a decorated RAF pilot and with contacts in verey high places in the British Establishment confimed everything Diana West has said. British Intelligence and Churchill were very concerned by Soviet infiltration of Washington but especially the appalling influence of Eleanor Roosevelt, a well know Stalinist sympathiser and deeply anti British. These “Sovilet elements” poisoned the Democrat Party and it linger today and this is why we are facing WW3 tpday over Syria.

  4. Corrections

    I don’t know why Diana West is so upset? These hysterical accusations are actually selling her book for her. I have experienced the same thing. No publicity is bad “publicity”. I bought her book due to these witless “critics”, most of whom are ex “Marxist” whose brains were fried in the schools they attended. Even when they “turn” through maturity to “conservatives” the Marxist lies just below the surface. My own father, a decorated RAF pilot and with contacts in very high places in the British Establishmen, confirmed everything Diana West has said. British Intelligence and Churchill were very concerned by Soviet infiltration of Washington but especially the appalling influence of Eleanor Roosevelt, a well know Stalinist sympathiser and deeply anti British. These “Soviet elements” poisoned the Democrat Party and it lingers today and this is why we are facing WW3 today over Syria

  5. Wasn’t it the reds who wanted an early second front in France? Despite the human cost, the unreadiness of the Allied troops, etc etc.

    Molotov flew on from London to Washington, where the White House butler reported to Roosevelt that Russia’s foreign minister had arrived with a pistol in his suitcase. The president observed that they must simply hope it was not intended for use on him. Following a meeting at the White House on 30 May, Molotov displayed in his report to Moscow a frustration at Roosevelt’s evasive bonhomie that would have struck a chord with the British. Dinner, the Russian complained, ‘was followed by a lengthy but meaningless conversation… I said that it would be desirable to engage at least 40 German divisions at the Western front in the summer and autumn of this year. Roosevelt and Marshall responded that they very much wanted to achieve this, but faced immediate shipping difficulties in moving forces to France.’ The Russian pleaded that if there was no Second Front in 1942, Germany would be much stronger in 1943. ‘ They offered no definite information.’ However, the president said that ‘ preparations for the second front are under way… he, Roosevelt is trying to persuade the American generals to take the risk and land 6 to 10 divisions in France. It is possible that it will mean another Dunkirk and the loss of 100,000-120,000 men, but the sacrifices have to be made to provide help in 1942 and shatter German morale.’

    Hastings, Max (2009-09-03). Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940–45 (Kindle Locations 4998-5007). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

  6. Back in London on 9 June, Molotov met Churchill once more, before the signing of a treaty of alliance. If the Russian’s purpose was to promote discord between London and Washington, he was by no means unsuccessful. The prime minister was much disturbed when Molotov told him of Roosevelt’s aspirations for the post-war world, including international trusteeship for the Dutch and French empires in Asia, and enforced disarmament of all save the Great Powers. Then the foreign minister outlined his exchanges at the White House about the Second Front: I mentioned among other things that Roosevelt agreed with the point of view that I had set forth, i.e., that it could prove harder to establish a second front in 1943 than in 1942 due to possible grave problems on our front. Finally, I mentioned that the president attached such great importance to the creation of a second front in 1942 that he was prepared to gamble, to endure another Dunkirk and lose 100,000 or 120,000 men… I stressed however that I thought the number of divisions which Roosevelt proposed to commit insufficient, i.e., six to ten. Here Churchill interrupted me in great agitation, declaring that he would never agree to another Dunkirk and a fruitless sacrifice of 100,000 men, no matter who recommended such a notion. When I replied that I was only conveying Roosevelt’s view, Churchill responded: ‘I shall tell him my view on this issue myself.’ Oliver Harvey recorded the same conversation : ‘ Roosevelt had calmly told Molotov he would be prepared to contemplate a sacrifice of 120,000 men if necessary— our men. PM said he would not hear of it.’

    Hastings, Max (2009-09-03). Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940–45 (Kindle Locations 5020-5034). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

  7. Also rather interesting:

    On 3 April 1942, Roosevelt dispatched to London Harry Hopkins and the chief of the army, bearing a personal letter from himself to the prime minister. ‘Dear Winston,’ this began, ‘What Harry and Geo Marshall will tell you all about has my heart and mind in it. Your people & mine demand the establishment of a front to draw off pressure on the Russians, & these peoples are wise enough to see that the Russians are to-day killing more Germans & destroying more equipment than you & I put together. Even if full success is not attained, the big objective will be. Go to it!’ The mission of Hopkins and Marshall was to persuade the British to undertake an early landing in France.

    Hastings, Max (2009-09-03). Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940–45 (Kindle Locations 4871-4876). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

  8. In truth , and as surprisingly few historians show recognition of, Stalin was already aware of all that Churchill feared to tell him. Whitehall and Washington were alike deeply penetrated by communist sympathisers. Among the most prominent, John Cairncross served as Lord Hankey’s private secretary, with access to war cabinet papers until Hankey’s sacking in 1942, when he was transferred to Bletchley Park. Anthony Blunt served in MI5, while Guy Burgess and Kim Philby worked for SIS. Donald Maclean had access to key Foreign Office material, especially concerning research on the atomic bomb. In the US government— which was anyway lax about securing its secrets from the Russians— Harry Dexter White worked for Henry Morgenthau, Nathan Silvermaster for the Board of Economic Warfare, Alger Hiss for the State Department. Harry Hopkins talked with surprising freedom, though surely not ill intent, to a key NKVD agent in the United States. Throughout the war, a mass of British and US government reports, minutes and decrypted Axis messages was passed to Moscow by such people, through their controllers in London and Washington.

    Hastings, Max (2009-09-03). Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940–45 (Kindle Locations 5511-5519). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

  9. Cadogan recorded the distress of the British delegation that Roosevelt seemed willing to endorse almost everything Stalin proposed. When the future boundaries of Poland were discussed, Averell Harriman was dismayed by his president’s visible indifference. Roosevelt wanted only enough to satisfy Polish-American voters, which was not much. Soviet eavesdroppers reported to Stalin Churchill’s private warnings to Roosevelt about Moscow’s preparations to install a communist government in Poland. According to Sergo Beria, Roosevelt replied that since Churchill was attempting to do the same thing by installing an anti-communist regime, he had no cause for complaint. The American leader was much more interested in promoting Soviet support for the future United Nations organisation, an easy ball for the Russians to play. They indulged Roosevelt by ready acquiescence, though even Stalin expressed scepticism about the president’s vision of China joining Russia, Britain and the US to police the post-war world. Harriman perceived the danger of flaunting before the Russians Roosevelt’s carelessness about East European borders. The relentless advance of Stalin’s armies would have rendered it difficult for the West to stem Soviet imperialism . Churchill was by now reconciled to shifting Poland’s frontiers westwards, compensating the Poles with German territory for their eastern lands to be ceded to Russia. That proposal represented ruthlessness enough. But the US president’s behaviour went further, making plain that Stalin could expect little opposition to his designs in Poland or elsewhere.

    Hastings, Max (2009-09-03). Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940–45 (Kindle Locations 7354-7365). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

  10. Here I can safely avoid using language and gesticulations that I got from Brooklyn-raised Neapolitan father and word this nicely.

    For crying out loud, by the time this woman is done defending her work from these people she will have written another book’s worth of evidence and clarifications!

    I am strongly leaning towards the suspicion that this is no effort to bolster the credibility of Ms. West’s detractor(s). I am starting to think that Horowitz may be little more than a filter for the Left – he allows enough information to keep the good guys reasonably satisfied, but keep the damning stuff under wraps.

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