An Addled Barroom Brawler

A long-expected review by Andrew McCarthy of Diana West’s book American Betrayal was published this month in The New Criterion under the title “Red Herrings”. Outside the cohort of specialists in the history of Soviet espionage in the United States, Mr. McCarthy’s piece is the first even tentatively positive review published by a major writer. The reviewer is to be commended for his willingness to resist the overwhelming pressure that has been exerted on other writers not to display any public approval of Diana West’s book.

As mentioned in previous posts, I have not read American Betrayal, and am therefore not qualified to critique its arguments. Since all the uproar began back in August, my focus has been the process of the controversy, rather than the content. The egregiously uncivil ad-hominem attacks aimed at the author were the issue, rather than her conclusions — which may stand or fall on their merits, as with any other book. As a result this essay will focus on how Andrew McCarthy portrays Diana West and her critics, and analyze some of his arguments.

Mr. McCarthy has a number of good things to say about the book, although his review tends to praise it with faint damns. For example, coming from a former Team B-II co-author with Diana West who considers her a friend, his opening paragraph is somewhat perplexing:

Stumbling into a barroom brawl was the last thing I’d intended. Lined up on one side: sculptors of a hagiography that is now conventional wisdom crow about a noble conquest over totalitarian dictators. The other side bellows: “Nonsense! In defeating one monster, your heroes merely helped create another, sullying us with their atrocities and burdening us for decades with a global security nightmare.” The first side spews that its critics are deranged, defamatory conspiracy-mongers. The critics fire back that these “court historians” are in denial; their heroes did not really “win” the war, they just helped a different set of anti-American savages win—in the process striking a deal with the devil that blurred the lines between good and evil, rendering the world more dangerous and our nation more vulnerable.

Whether he realizes it or not, Mr. McCarthy is engaging in a traditional form of journalistic moral equivalence in this passage, something more commonly found on the Left than on the Right. A writer may choose to utilize the technique when, for whatever reason — expedience, fear, a reluctance to anger a powerful antagonist — he wants to create the appearance of engaging an important topic without actually taking a moral stance.

Lined up on one side… The other side bellows… The first side spews… The critics fire back…

Notice that the “other side”, the one he mostly agrees with, “bellows” its responses. Hmm… not what you would expect in a portrayal of his journalistic colleagues and friends.

This is the same rhetorical technique used by MSM journalists when describing Israel vs. Hamas, or the Nigerian government vs. Boko Haram. For example: “Attempts to get both sides to the negotiating table have been fruitless.” This device transforms each “side” into a mirror image of the other, and Side A (the victim) becomes just as responsible for the bloodshed as Side B (the aggressor). It spares the writer from having to say, “Side B is morally wrong. I stand with Side A.”

Note that the controversy over American Betrayal is labeled a “barroom brawl”. By implication Diana West is a barroom brawler — someone who decided to smash an empty whiskey bottle on the bar rail and lay into her fellow drinkers.

I object to this characterization.

A more apt metaphor would be: Diana West was hit from behind with a sucker punch by someone playing the “knockout game”. When she came to, a movie set of a Wild West saloon had been lowered around her — bar, mustachioed bartender, stools, glass mirror, bottles, etc. — and numerous unshaven thugs were hitting her with fists and chairs in preparation for throwing her through a sugar glass window out into the muddy street.

That’s the only way that Ms. West could ever be described as taking part in a metaphorical “barroom brawl”.

A further characterization of Ms. West may be found on page 2 of the article (page 80 of the magazine):

The matter especially addles West because of today’s paralyzing ambivalence about Muslim supremacism.

“Addles”? Really?

So Diana West is not only a barroom brawler, she is an addled barroom brawler?

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If Mr. McCarthy had ignored the “barroom brawl” entirely and simply reviewed the contents of American Betrayal, there would have been no issue. He has given the book a positive appraisal, after all, and few people would join such a food fight voluntarily.

But he did not ignore it. In addition to the first paragraph of his review, there is this mention (p. 5/83):

It is here that we arrive, at last, at the crux of the imprecations hurled at West, most comprehensively by the neoconservative Cold War historian Ronald Radosh in a harshly critical Frontpage Magazine review, tellingly entitled “McCarthy on Steroids.” Dr. Radosh, an apostate from Marxism, portrays West as a “conspiracy theorist” practicing the species of “yellow journalism” that gives anti-Communism a bad name. The charge lacks merit. [emphasis added]

Also on the same page:

With all due respect, Radosh and Conrad Black, another eminent conservative FDR devotee, engage in the same sort of exaggerations about West’s claims as I heard twenty years ago from the CIA regarding critics of its Afghan enterprise. [emphasis added]

And later on (p. 6/84):

Radosh unfairly derides West for an argument she does not make…

There is a silent shadow lurking in Mr. McCarthy’s description of the “brawl”. Every bar has its bouncer, and in this one it was David Horowitz, editor-in-chief of FrontPage Magazine (FPM). Not only was he responsible for the editorial decision to pull the original positive review, he also commissioned its replacement — that “take-down” by Ronald Radosh. And then he launched his own ad-hominem attack against Ms. West, while deriding those who supported her as “kooks”. Yet despite Mr. Horowitz’ leading role in the ongoing character assassination of Diana West, the editor of FPM escapes Mr. McCarthy’s notice entirely.

At this point it would be useful to examine some of these “imprecations” directed at the author of American Betrayal during the “brawl”.

The historian Ronald Radosh broke the first bottle on the bar at FPM on August 7. He deplored “West’s fictions”, her “unhinged theories” and “dangerous one dimensional thinking”. And he found evidence, he said, for her “truculent recklessness”. Immediately after this review was published at FPM, Mr. Radosh followed up at Pajamas Media with more brawling, this time an explanatory essay entitled “Why I Wrote a Take-Down of Diana West’s Awful Book”.

David Horowitz, who had commissioned Radosh for the opening round at PFM, began his own second wave of bottle-breaking attacks the next day. In his first essay, Mr. Horowitz characterized West’s book as a “paranoid fantasy”. He called her a “very angry, very self-centered and very reckless partisan” (August 8). The following week he said, “she should not have written this book, which betrays a conspiratorial mindset” (August 15). Then in September accused her of “conspiracy mongering” (September 9). By the time he had descended into the comments section the glasses were flying: she had written “a preposterous book” and “organized a kook army” to attack him and his associates. Mind you, this last assertion was made by a man who condemned the author of American Betrayal for her “paranoid fantasy”!

The most intense invective directed at Diana West came from Conrad Black, who let loose several missiles from another corner of the barroom. He called her “a right-wing loopy” who had not yet been “house-trained” and described her book as a “farrago of lies”. In reference to Ms. West and those who agree with her, Mr. Black decried the “unutterable myth-making and jejune dementedness, as they hurl the vitriol of the silly and the deranged” (August 16).

As soon as these had been hurled, Ronald Radosh sent Ms. West a triumphant email bearing the subject line “Conrad Black tears you apart”. He enclosed the text of Mr. Black’s essay, introducing it by saying, “Sorry to upset you once again, Diana, but I’m afraid you’ve lost, big time”.

More along the same lines has been said since then, but the above snippets from the “debate” demonstrate the tone employed by those who expressed their opposition to American Betrayal. Except for the three reviewers mentioned above, no major writer wrote a negative review, substantive or otherwise. Those lesser lights who panned the book merely cited and echoed Ronald Radosh, some going so far as to admit they hadn’t even read it — saying, in effect, “I don’t need to read it. If Ron Radosh says it’s awful, that’s good enough for me.”

The sordid details listed here are elided as “imprecations” and “exaggerations” by Mr. McCarthy, who gives “all due respect” to Ronald Radosh. Of the latter’s straw men, erroneous citations, mischaracterizations of conclusions, and fabrications (intentional or otherwise), the reviewer can only say “[t]he charge lacks merit” and “Radosh unfairly derides West for an argument she does not make”.

The intensely personal, ad-hominem nature of the attacks against Diana West slides by unmentioned, as does the gleeful triumphalism of Ronald Radosh after his “take-down” of her and Conrad Black’s fury at the “dementedness” of a “right-wing loopy”.

And what about the puzzling behavior of David Horowitz, who instigated this “barroom brawl” in the first place and threw a few chairs himself? He worked hard to make his opinions known, yet he makes no appearance in the reviewer’s account of the “harshly critical” treatment of Diana West.

Furthermore, there is no reference to The Rebuttal: Defending ‘American Betrayal’ from the Book-Burners, a lengthy work written by Diana West to refute in detail, with further citations, all the erroneous references to and characterizations of her work.

Several weeks ago I deduced the existence of “Planet X”, an unknown person or organization whose financial clout exerts an inexorable gravitational pull upon nearly all conservative American writers, drawing them away from any support for Diana West and into the debris-strewn orbit of Ronald Radosh, David Horowitz, and Conrad Black — or else inducing in them a telling silence.

Andrew McCarthy is no gravitational slouch himself, and has the necessary mass to resist the pull of Planet X. He has written a review for The New Criterion that examines American Betrayal on the merits of its arguments and finds it worthy. For that he deserves our heartfelt gratitude.

Yet in the final analysis Mr. McCarthy has not entirely escaped the mysterious influence of that baleful planetary body. His orbit wobbled enough to generate a questionable moral equivalence, one that places Diana West’s behavior in the “barroom brawl” on a par with that of its instigators and perpetuators. Yet the unseemly conduct of two of her major accusers escapes any significant scrutiny in this review.

Will his reticence permit Mr. McCarthy to escape the fate of other writers who managed to resist the tug of Planet X? Will he be cast into the Outer Darkness as well? Whoever was willing to spend that much money and call in that many favors to achieve the goal of destroying American Betrayal does not seem likely to be assuaged by anything less than a full repudiation of the ground on which Diana West stands.

But we shall see.

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One final note: consider this strange argument made by Mr. McCarthy on page 7 (85) of the review:

Yes, it is surely an overstatement for West to intimate that the Soviets alone won the war — a war in which, as Conrad Black notes, they took an astonishing 95 percent of the casualties, sparing what would otherwise have been massive American and British losses — a war that left half of Europe free and vanquished imperial Japan.

Leaving aside any examination of the historical accuracy of the assertion by Mr. Black — who cites no sources — consider the underlying premise behind the reviewer’s words. He has adopted the same post-modern calculus of victory that is used today by both the media and the Pentagon: The success of a war is determined by the number of casualties our side takes.

Once upon a time we expended blood and treasure to achieve tangible military objectives. Nowadays we go to war to build nations and win hearts and minds. The new, improved calculus of victory includes how many roads, schools, and water treatment plants we build, and above all how many casualties we take. Too many casualties — the precise number to be determined by the op-eds and talking heads of major media outlets — and the post-modern war has been lost.

This was not the calculus Stalin used. Uncle Joe would have been perfectly content to take twenty, thirty, or fifty million casualties — provided that in doing so he achieved his war aims.

In this sense Stalin was sane, and we, the ostensible victors in the Cold War, are insane.

A war is won when the entity waging war achieves its objectives. If that entity decides that taking fifty million casualties is too high a price, and calls an end to the conflict, then yes, the war was not won. But the winning or losing had nothing to do with how many casualties were incurred, but only with the fact that the war aims were never accomplished.

There is a deep, deep insanity abroad in our land, and it afflicts many otherwise fine minds. The idea that the success of a war depends on the number of casualties taken is one such insane notion.

Perhaps the concept was planted by Soviet infiltrators in the Roosevelt administration in, say, 1938, and eventually seeped into the mental processes of all the politicians, administrators, and intellectuals who govern and guide our country. And then, three-quarters of a century later, it popped up in arguments made by a savvy and accomplished veteran federal prosecutor.

Who really should know better.

For links to previous articles about the controversy over American Betrayal, see the Diana West Archives.

42 thoughts on “An Addled Barroom Brawler

  1. Oh no makeno mistake Baron caualties matter. Lose too mnay people and your nation is a shadow of itself. Stalins stupidity in fighting the war cost the Soviets about fifteen million people on top of the inevtable five million that any war with Hitler would bring.

    This meant he could not take over Europe. Had he wanted to continue the war or restart it even Stalin would have been slain and he knew it.

    Sorry typos nook keyboard. Soviets were Status qou post war because they had so few men.

    • Whiskey —

      I didn’t say that casualties don’t matter, I said that the number of casualties does not determine who won or lost a war.

      This is a crucial distinction, one that is increasingly forgotten in our post-modern media-driven age.

      A war is won when the power that prevails achieves its war aims. Period.

      A power may choose to abandon the fight when casualties become too high, and thus not win the war. But the casualties by themselves do not determine the loss of that war.

      We (the Western powers, that is) have such amorphous feel-good war aims these days that we are now unable to win any wars. Eight years in Iraq, twelve (and counting) in Afghanistan, but did we “win”?

  2. Do you remember the ‘bodycounts’ of the Vietnam era, and the barroom brawl centred around them?

    The US won the war and lost its moral integrity in doing so, mainly because it lost the brawl over bodycounts. As it turned out, the bodycounts were highly inacurate anyway, vietcong and NVA casualties were in reality some 50% higher than the bodycounts.

    FPM birthed a neo-con “throwback” when it chose to start mud flinging. Facts have an unfortunate habit of persisting and trying to pervert them is only a temporal solution. The ‘big lie’ theories of the thirties tyrants have difficulty surviving the scrutiny of a free internet, and ‘intellectual trades unionism’ is rapidly going out of fashion for the same reason.

    Poor as I am, I bought “Betrayal” (and read it). It is very convincing and draws a picture which fits the facts, not the delusions of ivy-league grandure. I would thouroughly recommend this book.

    I bought the book because FPM made such a fuss. I have now stopped reading FPM as it is obviously tainted and untrustworthy, and in the thrall of some nefarious propaganda empire, if the editorial team are prepared to tell us what really happened, and make the appropriate apologies I might reconsider my stance.

    • There are only two measures of a war won or lost: First; who controls the disputed territory, and second; has the aggressor changed his mind. By this measure the US was thoroughly defeated in Vietnam, thank God. “The US lost it’s moral integrity”; that’s a quaint notion, what [brings you to reach conclusions that I find so suspect]. The US got involved in Vietnam to force the [Oriental chaps] to do what was conceived to be in the interests of the US, popular opinion and elections in Vietnam be damned.
      You Israelis have not won any wars yet, you have come out on top militarily in a series of encounters with your neighbors, but they are as determined as ever to destroy you, to win the “war” you have to change that.
      Although Germany was defeated militarily in WW1 they were not defeated psychologically, thus WW2. The Allies understood this which is why they insisted on “unconditional surrender”. The result was a won war; German militarism is thankfully a thing of the past now.
      I have not read West’s book yet, but will. From what I have seen her thesis is a possible but unlikely explanation. Capitalism wasn’t too popular in the thirties, blamed as it was for the poverty and dysfunction of Western nations. Socialism seemed to offer a rational alternative which is why the USSR was looked at with rose colored glasses.
      Anyway MCin Sderot, best wishes to you and yours, including your whole community.

      • The result of the ‘Tet’ offensive was almost total anahilation of the Vietcong and a severe hit for the NVA. At this point the North Vietnamese sued for ‘peace’ and the result was the Paris accords which were a ‘victory’ for the USA.

        That Hanoi broke the Paris accords a few years later, and by which time the political will in the USA had changed, makes for intersting history.

        DW looks into the idea of unconditional surrender, and feels that this was ‘soviet’ policy and not in the interests of the USA.

        Israel ‘won’ a lot of territory, but could not hold it in the face of US aggression, the US has been an unreliable ‘Friend’ to Israel, saying one thing and doing another, Israel having defeated and deposed Arafat, the US forced Israel to allow him back in order to set up a terrorist state on our doorstep, Gaza had to be ceded at US behest, we now get the missiles over regularly. These are not the action of a friendly state.

        This website gives a comprehensive list of US hostile actions against Israel, judge for yourself:

        • I suspect that the Israelis are subdued by American influence. But without an American Umbrella Israel as a state would be dismembered. Israel needs a big allied power to provide a last line of Defence (short of the Samson Option) from the Arabs.

          • The American Umbrella as you put it has been in the past a guard against the Samson Option, since American protection keeps Israel from having to use its atomic weapons. Obama is hoping to force Israel to use or threaten to use it nuclear arsenal so it can be branded a renegade state and forced to retreat or fight American troops. This president is fully aware that withdrawal of American support at a critical moment will cause Israel to take on Iran itself. Iran will not sit idly by, but will counter attack. Under pressure, Israel will require American intervention that will not be forthcoming. Forced to use its atomic weapons by Obama, it will be blamed for its need to ensure its own survival. Obama gets a defanged Iran and a demoralized, fully dependent Israel – and not an American soldier lost.

      • And thank-you for your best wishes, but sometimes I think that you guys need them more than we do….

    • One feature of the Vietnam conflict that doesn’t get mentioned is the “fragging”. Apparently 900 confirmed fraggings occurred. That means at least 1/50 of US fatalities in the war were caused by belligerent squaddies shooting superiors. There are probably more of these incidents than we are led to believe. One curious aspect of the fragging phenomenon is that they we’d perpetrated by minority troops on white officers. The incidents spiked when MLK was assassinated and continued thereafter. Fraggings were not, according to the internal studies, committed on frontline officers leading real infantry. Instead these fraggings were often carried out by soldiers who were logistics specialists (REMF) on officers who made the squaddies work too hard. Again, this was an internal war conducted by a hostile minority on junior officers. There are plenty of studies about this blot on the army. Nidal Hassan looks like a piker in comparison to some of the Vietnam era killings. The history itself has been successfully buried by the PC brigade and I suspect that the current Islamic takeover will bury the real story of Islamic infiltration too.


  4. Baron,
    What evidence do you have that, “overwhelming pressure has been exerted on other writers not to display public approval of Diana West’s book?” If this is the case, it is important that it be publicized. Horowitz et al. made a major blunder in attacking Diana. The successful method of dealing with uncomfortable information is to ignore it. (I would gladly pay Mr. Horowitz to attack my own book.) They compounded their error by resorting to ad hominem attacks. Horowitz even called his own reviewer, Mark Tapson, an incompetent. Ad hominem attacks add nothing to the debate and reflect badly on their authors. The correct strategy for the Horowitz forces is to retire and not bring the subject up again. The DWKA must do what it can to keep this issue on the front page. Diana West reveals some uncomfortable truths. They cannot be suppressed indefinitely.
    The Soviets are said to have lost around 20 million people during the war. This is less than they lost through purges and government orchestrated famines. They still had enough troops to invade Manchuria. Does the 20 million figure include the nearly 1 million troops that fought for a Nazi regime that told them they were subhumans? The Soviet use of penal battalions, the use of their own people to clear mine fields and NKVD troops in the rear to shoot retreating forces added to the numbers killed. The Russian people were the largest victims of their Soviet masters.

    • There were two types of evidence that led me to make that generalization.

      First, I received private correspondence that described such pressure. Obviously I can’t discuss such messages in detail.

      Secondly, the same phenomena that point to the existence of Planet X tell us that influence has been brought to bear. The positive reviews of the book by prominent conservatives all but ceased after Ronald Radosh’s “take-down” was published. Further notables who were colleagues or friends of Diana West would have been expected to answer the clarion call and come to her defense, but with very few exceptions, none did. Add to that the strange behavior of people who said they hadn’t read American Betrayal, but agreed that it was a bad book — which I would find an embarrassing and humiliating position to be put in — is indicative that favors were being called in, or an irresistible financial pressure exerted.

      Someday, probably not in my lifetime, historians may learn exactly what money changed hands between which parties, and whose interests were so threatened that they felt the urgent need to spend their resources in such a manner. But right now the actual configuration of such interests is not at all clear.

      • They had an other choice that would’ve been the right one indeed. They should have done their counter-research and come up with facts other than those in the book. There were about 900 footnotes and many titles of primary resources that she used. Would have been scholarly to refute those, not attack the “messenger”. I said it before and I say it again: those guys and gals may have moved away from the “left” but the leftism is still circulating in their blood stream.

      • The ginger treatment McCarthy gives West’s attackers is in itself a signal. He, an important, accomplished prosecutor, would know how to nail his case, had he wanted to. But McCarthy now makes his living as a writer, and it’s evident he felt that if he strayed too far into forbidden territory his livelihood would be blown up. One feels the same reticence in Mark Steyn: there is always enough there to infer Steyn knows the score, but he skirts many important truths and it’s obvious why.


    This is an article that slipped between the cracks so to speak. I bring it up any time I get a chance because I personally see it as the epitome of un-ethical journalism. The author defends DW’s attackers (Radosh and DH) after admitting that she did not read the book. Look through the comments for DW and Andrew Bostom both reacted to the article. The AmericanThinker did not publish until this day any positive opinions on the book and refused to publish DW’s early defense before she put together the “Rebuttal”.

  6. Baron,
    Thank you for editing and improving my response to MCin Sderot. I must learn restraint, I must learn restraint, I must………..

    • It’s a &^%#$ to learn, isn’t it?

      But I like this form of re-training oneself you’ve chosen, i.e., making it positive rather than negative. One of the nuns who was fond of behavior modification via repetitions on the blackboard told us that she always chose positive wording in order to avoid entrenching our naughty behavior. Thus, instead of writing a hundred times, “I will not punch Roger upside the head”, we had to write, oh, maybe “I will treat Roger kindly”.

      One of the reasons I liked her idea is that as a result her sentences were usually shorter.

      Via Sister Ignatius’ lessons, you might try “I will learn restraint”. The part about “I must” is certain to bring out your Inner Rebel – you know, that little four year-old who dwells in all of us right down to our very last breath, the one who maintains our dignity and sense of self.

      Just sayin’

      • My Latin teacher in college told us that the Jesuits teaching remedial Latin would conjugate the verb “to know” (scire, pronounced “SHI ray”) thusly:

        scio (I know)

        scis (you know)

        cognovit (he knows).

  7. I’m sure I am not alone in finding the seemingly endless ‘back and forth’ about Diana West’s book utterly tedious beyond belief.

    Please stop it.

    • Well, all the others who join you in finding our defense of Diana West “utterly tedious beyond belief” aren’t complaining. They’re busy reading elsewhere.

      We plan to continue our defense of the truth in this matter as the need arises. If you were aware of how much we’ve ignored you’d know we choose carefully what gets our public attention. Personally, I admire our restraint.

      We note that you’ve asked ever so nicely that we “stop it”, complete with a courteous ‘please’ . However, that civility is somewhat attenuated by your assessment of the worth of our endeavor to protect the truth from predators as “utterly tedious”. Thus, ever so regretfully, the answer to your plea is no. We will stop when the serious predation stops while continuing to ignore the ankle-biters.

      However, since you came by with your request, here’s a suggestion for dealing with our Diana West essays: you realize, of course, that it is always your choice to ignore anything we publish, right? Like the rest of the world, you are free to find your way to material that will hold your interest. Thus, any time you see the name Diana West, you can pick up your skirts and toddle on…or run screaming from the room…or tiptoe out before your eyes glaze over again. Whatever your coping mechanism for handling tedium happens to be…

    • I’ve noticed that most of the posts on this topic get dozens of comments, and funnily enough they are not all complaining that the topic is getting too much attention here. So it’s probably not.

  8. Don’t worry, I stopped reading any articles concerning the fight over the book around five years ago – rest assured.

  9. I’ve read the review carefully. Several times – you mention a few examples – Mr. McCarthy has deliberately violated Ms. West. In my opinion, this is the hidden purpose of the review.

    Distracting from who is aggressor and who is victim is not only used in rethorics, but is also very common in the violence of the daily life. It is a deliberate act of violence against a victim.

  10. Baron’s analysis is excellently argued and referenced. However, there is one important flaw, which he only adverts to obliquely and parenthetically, where it should be front and center:

    Thus this one paragraph:

    Of the latter’s straw men, erroneous citations, mischaracterizations of conclusions, and fabrications (intentional or otherwise), the reviewer can only say “[t]he charge lacks merit” and “Radosh unfairly derides West for an argument she does not make”.

    It was these straw men, erroneous citations, mischaracterizations of conclusions, and fabrications which are the main point, while the ad hominems are just peripheral insult added to injury (or were the vehicles deployed to deliver the payload of the disinformation fomented and fostered through the straw men, erroneous citations, mischaracterizations of conclusions, and fabrications (as well as, pace McCarthy’s title, enough “red herrings” to feed an entire Norwegian coastal village for years).

    So, while the “intensely personal, ad-hominem nature of the attacks against Diana West..” and the “gleeful triumphalism of Ronald Radosh after his “take-down” of her and Conrad Black’s fury at the “dementedness” of a “right-wing loopy” ” are important aspects of the controversy, the real substantive center, I maintain, are the various ways Radosh, Black, and Horowitz indulged in purveying disinformation about Diana West’s book (and about the facts she was with copious references dealing with in that book) and about her post-book argumentation.

    It is this variegated disinformation — as revealed by Diana West’s own meticulous defenses of herself through her Rebuttal (and in other articles she wrote) — both its content, already egregious enough, and its qualitative extent, which takes on the form of a phenomenon that defies explanation when explanations are focusing unduly on the “ad hominem” smears and the seemingly childish behaviors of Radosh/Black/Horowitz.

    Consisently throughout this protracted episode, I have noticed no one seems to see what I see: that (to repeat myself for the umpteenth time) their campaign of variegated disinformation cannot be explained (except superficially and tangentially) by greed, by peer pressure, by ego, by professional jealousy, by paradigm-defensiveness, etc. No: the quantity and quality of the disinformation can only be explained by a concern to defend a still active stealth Communism, ingeniously (and obfuscatingly — hence the “stealth”) disguised as defending anti-Communism.

    • I agree with you, however reluctantly. Following your line of thought leads to a dark place with so many unthought knowns they make it hard to get up in the morning.

      At least Bill Ayers (Ayres?) has the virtue of honesty.

    • Hesperado, regarding your last paragraph, I would suggest an additional motivation. There are few motivators of human behavior more powerful than guilt.

      Let me try and explain. Start with that old observation that those who don’t remember history are condemned to repeat it. Then note Diana West’s disturbing observation that our nation is going through with Islam the exact same process that we went through almost a century ago with the Soviet Union. Then ask yourself, who in our society has the moral responsibility to remember for us, so that we as a nation don’t have to repeat our mistakes? The answer is scholars and historians like Ron Radosh.

      Diana West’s book is a judgment upon Mr. Radosh for one of two things. Either he didn’t see what she had uncovered, which would mark him incompetent as a scholar and historian. Or he has been aware all along about the information that she had uncovered but chose not to speak out, which would brand him a moral coward. Like a sore loser in a game of chess who has just found himself in checkmate, rather than admit defeat, he tries to kick the table knocking the pieces off the board.

      • good analogy.

        In a comment section on Right Scoop last night I found out that Horowitz came down on the MSM side in the George Zimmerman case. I was shocked. Anyone who has read the primary source material that the Conservative Tree House dug up and tracked for over a year knows the real story. When Bill Whittle did his video commentary on them, he called TCH “citizen journalists” and indeed they are. It was due to their work that there wasn’t a lynching by the Black Grievance Industry.

        All their archive are here:

  11. I hope it’s not PlanetX that’s keeping you from reading the book, Baron. She’s got a nice breezy writing style and the almost amused tone that she uses is anything but paranoid. The documentation is solid and she does a great job moving the reader along the thread of logic. I would rank this up there with Bloodlands in uncovering major truths hiding in plain sight. Hard to believe that Horowitz is a commie but his reaction was shocking.

    • nope, it’s his eyesight. Several of the European team got together and bought him a PaperWhite Kindle in order to read a particular book they know he needs to have for his work. But it’s tough going, even with the font size, spacing, etc. that he finds most comfortable. He keeps it on the kitchen table at his place near the window but the most he can do is about 10 minutes at a time before his eyes become very fatigued.

      He’s very fortunate that he can get the computer monitor to a resolution that works for him. I forget why, but the flat screens don’t suit at all. The one that died of old age a while back we were able to replace with its twin, found on e-bay, still in its box from the ’90s or whenever… I’m glad there are still a few of those around. I was tempted to buy two…

    • I found it astonishing that Horowitz, a few years ago, purported to see unhinged paranoia in the expressed fears of an Obama presidency, and likened it to the “Bush = Hitler” syndrome — even though the fears regarding Obama always rested on known facts of his formative influences and his ideology.

      Then, when Horowitz eventually began describing Obamacare as part of a “communist” agenda, we were invited to applaud his deep insight — after he had ridiculed those who saw Obama clearly in 2008! So, can nothing be true until Horowitz pronounces it to be true?

  12. I still think that the motivation for Horowitz is largely financial. He has quite an operation going and he will not jeopardize it. Regarding the motivations of the donor(s)–who knows. Perhaps there is a Roosevelt-loving neocon behind the scenes who was outraged. Perhaps donors with a knee-jerk reaction of aversion to “McCarthysim” and an unwillingness to support an organization (Horowitz’s) that might have been allied with McCarthy or such organizations as the John Birch Society. Remember William F. Buckley distanced himself from such organizations. In such instances, the truth is easily lost, not recognized or denied.

    As for Radosh, I agree with the above commentary.

    Horowitz’s Discover the Networks is a useful reference for progressive/socialists/communist individuals and organizations.

    His good work in exposing Islam on American college campuses speaks for itself.

    Horowitz’s behavior was egregious and the methods he used to attack DW are right out of the leftist playbook and impossible to excuse. And he no doubt has what we call a “big ego.” But to think that he is some kind of stealth communist, in my opinion, strains credulity.

    • Typo: I meant Discover the Network is a useful reference OF left-wing individuals and organizations.

  13. I haven’t yet read West’s book. A few months ago I read Radosh’s negative review at PJM and saw some pushback in the comments. But I wasn’t familiar with West or the book and didn’t think much more of it.

    On Sunday I stumbled across this thread and followed the links. I especially liked the Baron’s “Planet X” post. I went over to Amazon and read some excerpts. I noted that she had 120 five-star reviews and 20 one-star reviews, with almost nothing in between. That’s a dead giveaway that some people are deliberately trashing the book just to bring down her ratings, especially considering that most of the one-star reviews don’t say much more than “this book sucks”.

    From reading the excerpts I am absolutely convinced that this book is a must-read. I ordered a copy from Amazon today. I thought about buying it at a nearby Barnes & Noble just so I could start reading it sooner. I checked online and found that none of the four locations closest to me had it in stock. I don’t know whether that means it’s flying off the shelves or if they’re just not stocking it.

    As I said, I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I suspect that it goes a long way towards connecting the dots regarding how so many Americans espouse and support Communist ideas without even realizing it, and why much of the Republican Party is utterly incapable of defending free markets and limited Constitutional government. The Baron’s “Planet X” theory may also explain the tepid response of the Republicans to Obama’s increasingly outrageous power grabs and numerous impeachable offenses, as well as their hostility to the Tea Party.

    I’ve believed for years that McCarthy and the Birchers were more correct than not. A funny story: Back in the 1980s I briefly worked in a Venetian blind factory. I was very much a leftist at the time. The woman who worked next to me was a John Birch Society member, the only one I’ve ever met. I was in my 20s and she was married and in her 40s, so there was no romantic attraction involved. We talked about lots of things including politics, and as you would expect, we didn’t agree on much. But she was a very nice lady and we got along fine. I remained a left/liberal for years afterwards, but she permanently affected my pre-conceived notions about the Birchers. It was the first inkling I had that maybe they weren’t bug-eyed monsters after all.

  14. I don’t mean to sound pert, because I haven’t yet read Diana West’s book either; but it’s rather amusing that that phrase — “I haven’t yet read Diana West’s book” — is fast becoming almost as hackneyed as “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam”.

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