Mugged by Neoconservatives

The controversy over Diana West’s book American Betrayal continues into the new year.

The New Criterion is hosting a seminar on Ms. West and her book in the just-released January 2014 issue. Contributions include a lead editorial plus five letters on the topic from Ron Radosh, Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, Conrad Black, M. Stanton Evans, and Andrew C. McCarthy.

That’s an awful lot of firepower to roll out, and a lot of ink to expend, just to ensure the “take-down” of American Betrayal. It’s further evidence of the intense gravitational influence exerted by Planet X on American conservatives, and especially on the hagiographers of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Everyone should visit The New Criterion and read this new symposium. Below is the contribution sent in by the noted historian of Communism M. Stanton Evans. I’m reproducing it here because it largely agrees with what has been said on the topic in this space over the past five months (see the archives for a full list of posts):

American Betrayal, an exchange: M. Stanton Evans

From a series of letters regarding Andrew C. McCarthy’s review of American Betrayal (The New Criterion, December 2013)

To the Editors:

Somebody once asked me for a definition of “paleoconservative,” a term occasionally used in right-wing political circles. I said I didn’t know what it meant exactly, but I offered a definition based on what I had witnessed: “A paleoconservative is a conservative who’s been mugged by a neoconservative.”

That exchange has come to mind as I’ve watched the concerted and apparently endless attack on Diana West and her Cold War book, American Betrayal. Ms. West isn’t a self-identified “paleoconservative” in any sense that I’m aware of, and doesn’t qualify for the title anyway, because it mostly pertains to an older generation. She is, however, certainly a conservative, and has certainly been mugged, intellectually speaking, by people who are “neoconservatives,” according to their own description.

As evidence of such mugging, I note the invective used against Ms. West in a score of hostile essays: “Unhinged,” “right-wing loopy,” “incompetent,” not “house-trained,” “conspiracy theorist,” “paranoid,” leader of a “kook army,” and so on in many variations. This is a type of discourse that, until now, I haven’t seen much of in conservative intramural quarrels (though there have been a few examples) but have seen all too often elsewhere. It’s the well-known rhetorical style of the radical left, on a mission to isolate, demonize, and destroy an opponent.

Which brings me to Andrew C. McCarthy’s wrap-up of the dispute about American Betrayal appearing in these pages. With some differences as to points of fact, I found his assessment of the book to be judicious and fair, and in substance supportive of Ms. West. (And I thank him for his kind comments about my own researches.) But I was taken aback by his handling of the verbal conflict part, treated on a “moral equivalence “ basis: two sides equally guilty of excesses, both needing to cool it for the good of the republic.

That’s not by a long shot the way I’ve seen it. What I’ve seen instead is, on the one side, a group of influential men ganging up on a lone author, trying to bludgeon her into irrelevance, and, on the other side, her effort to defend herself, her book, and her reputation against their onslaught. In no way can the attackers and their target be considered equal — either in firepower or in responsibility for the combat.

As to how all this came about, it’s obvious that Ms. West, in her approach to revisionist history, has committed lèse-majesté — an offense against the sovereign power. She has dared to challenge the long-established and much-cherished left-liberal “court history” of World War II — glorifying Roosevelt, Hopkins, Marshall, et al. — and to raise the dread specter of Communist internal influence on American policy in that conflict and the Cold War struggle that would follow.

Such painting outside the lines of the “consensus” is not to be permitted, and where it occurs will be severely punished. (A consensus that, by the way, looks increasingly bankrupt with every new disclosure from the archives.) Why Ms. West in particular has been selected for this treatment I’m not sure, but the larger lesson is there for all to see: If you stray beyond the limits we’ve established, this could happen to you as well. It’s a method, as the saying goes, of “encouraging the others” — to walk quietly in the way of the consensus.

Where I come from, that’s not what we call “moral equivalence.” We would instead call it a mugging, and we would try to do something about it. I think reasonable people in other places would view it in like fashion.

M. Stanton Evans
Washington, D.C.

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

30 thoughts on “Mugged by Neoconservatives

  1. Why do we discuss American Betrayal. American betrayal is happening right, and has been happening for the last 50 years. 60 thousand Muslim children are born in America every year and get citizenship automatically. There are tens of other methods for Muslims of getting green card and sharia and mosques are getting ground by hour, while native white American are shrinking inside from fear of Muslims who Allah, through the help of government, has given them mastery over “dirty infidels dogs”. I did not create that. It is written in Muslim book of daily life.

    • This excellent question:

      Why do we discuss American Betrayal.

      seems to have an appropriate answer right here:

      American betrayal is happening right, and has been happening for the last 50 years.

      Diana West originally set out to find the origins of the Political Correctness that prevent us from dealing with the problems we’re facing right now. She was quite surprised what she found (as was I and other readers of her book).

      Understanding infiltration and betrayal in the past is an excellent way to learn identifying infiltration and betrayal in the present, and then acting on it. One learns a lot from studying history.

  2. Dear M. Stanton Evans,

    Extremely well formulated!

    At an early stage of this process, I rapidly unveiled Mr. Radosh et al because of their choices of methods and language.

    After having read American Betrayal, my “essay” was published here at GoV the 16th of November. If you haven’t read it, I suggest that you do. My conclusion is tough but hurricane proof.


  3. Quote:
    She has dared to challenge the long-established and much-cherished left-liberal “court history” of World War II — glorifying Roosevelt, Hopkins, Marshall, et al.

    To view these men uncritically is an ahistorical approach.
    I got into history to read and write history, not hagiography.
    As I’ve written before, historical arguments are not black letter law.
    That doesn’t mean that today’s treasure is tomorrow’s refuse, it just means that to refuse to address challenges directly is to interpret history as black letter law.
    Thank God I don’t chisel my thoughts in SELF-RIGHTEOUS STONE!

    • Aye, who do these people think they are anyway? All history is interpretation, because not only were these people not there at the time, they weren’t one of the main players who they’re writing about. So it is simply not possible for them to know that their opinions are true. There is always – always – an element of interpretation and guesswork involved. I mean this is pretty basic stuff. Any so-called historian who pretends to have it in him to say the final word on any historical matter has let his ego overcome him, and needs to have his membership of the “historians” club revoked, because he’s no longer that which he claims to be – an historian. He is a propagandist.

  4. Facts, as they say, are stubborn things, and certain facts about Roosevelt demand a thorough examination and explanation, not a blanket dismissal, as his hagiographers have done. First, there’s the Roosevelt recognition of the Soviet Union despite Gareth Jones’ credible reports, of which Roosevelt must have been aware, of deliberate starvation of the Ukrainian people. Second is Roosevelt’s casual dismissal of highly credible allegations of Soviet espionage against and communist infiltration of the U.S. government made by Whittaker Chambers as relayed personally to Roosevelt by Adolf Berle, Assistant Secretary of State even though as a condition of the aforementioned recognition by the U.S., the Soviet government gave assurances that it would not engage in such activities against the U.S. Third, there’s Roosevelt’s inclination to trust our “ally”, the Soviet Union, as the war wound down and the Big Three drew up plans for the post-war period even though the Soviet Union had stabbed the West in the back with the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and had invaded Poland from the east just days after the Nazis attacked from the west.

    All of these facts were known by Roosevelt at the time critical decisions were made, yet in each case his decision favored the Stalin and the Soviet Union and apparently prejudiced our interests. Inquiring minds want to know why.

    • But you’re not allowed to even wonder about that because it threatens David Horowitz’ livelihood – so there!

    • FDR HAD to support the Soviets to ensure that the
      German Army was tied up and neutralised while the US prepared its forces to take on the Germans from Western Europe. It was a pact with the Devil, but it was the ONLY way to guarantee the eventual take-down of Hitler who had committed the unforgivable crime of exiting the World Financial System. These bullies attacking West are complete [reprobabtes] of course, but they see her research and exposures through the Twisted Marxist prism popular in that era.

  5. Perhaps the notion that the left were not just a bunch of misguided people who had a different political understanding of the world, but an evil gang who penetrated the United States and poisoned everything they touched, is rather too much for Horowitz and his comrades to take. Because it speaks to who they really were and what they really were doing all those years. And taints their supposed conversion in a way that devalues their current work (i.e. books & lectures) – maybe that’s what got them in such a lather. They don’t want people to know what they really were up to all those years, because it’ll undermine what they’re doing now. And people won’t listen to them with the same adoration & worship, and it might even hit their book sales, so they won’t make the same money either. Oh dearie me, we can’t have that, so let’s sacrifice this West woman on the altar of Horowitz’ ego …

    • “Because it speaks to who they really were and what they really were doing all those years.”

      Were – or are?!

  6. I find that the New Criterion’s “Premature historical closure” is fair, though a bit too fence-sitting/ diplomatic concerning Black. Probably quite simple: moneyed goidfather and benefactors on the real right whether populist or intellectual are so rare that a purse weighing as much as Black’s is quite a lot more important than scrupulous fairness to West’s and her beam on American history.

    What I don’t understand is this NC statement, offered uncritically: ‘Lord Black worries that the divisions this controversy has revealed may “split the American right” and “render it ineffective.”’

    This is pure snow-blow, false and stupid on the face of it. Is the American right un-split now? Was I on the same side as Mr. Black or Mr. Bush or Mr. McCain before “American Betrayal”? And is the American right effective now? And is Diana West the 1000-ton Godzila who might render it ineffective?

    That Mr. Black in his desperation to save his vision of (and investment in) FDR spins blobs of colored cotton candy — that I can understand. But why the mighty brain of Roger Kimball should shut down when this kind of fluff comes his way, that can only be explained by the gravitational pull of one or more “Dark Planets.”

    • more like premature hysterical closure. Freud would have a ball -or ball and stick – with those fellows. I can’t wait to see how they turn out when they grow up.

      Lord Black indeed. What.a.farce.

  7. Google Lame Cherry. 🙂

    Giving away Eleanor:

    “I wonder if Theodore Roosevelt, had known what destruction he had unleashed upon the world in that marriage, of the Roosevelt cousins in Eleanor and Franklin Delano, if he would have done the right thing and shot them both.”

    “Yes let us not just have a wedding, but let us make a show of it for low self esteem democrats, needing validation in FDR and the bride.”

    “What a disaster, but then the non fading away Theodore and his Bull Moose ticket, split the GOP and allowed in that socialist traitor Woodrow Wilson, who started the global order with America as soldier sacraficer at the League of Nations, which then paved the way for the economic stage upheaval of the 1929 Stock Crash which of course installed the 16 hell years of global depression and world war of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

    “I doubt Theodore Roosevelt would have done the right thing if he had known, but I always would hope in delusions he would have pulled out his Medicine Rifle and shot these two comrades about the time the Preacher asked, ‘If anyone has cause why these two should not be married……………..'”

    The 21st Century Tycoon:

    “The Tycoon of 20th century Japan was following European and American taught rules for the white race. When Japan employed those rules, the Franklin Roosevelt group sought to neutralize the Japanese as much as the Christian Germans from the competition. The Tycoon prosecuted the war with full vigor and brutality, as that FDR oil embargo was the Pearl Harbor on Japan from FDR. That is the historical reality.”

    “Tojo Hideki, the Tycoon was propagandized for evil and Franklin Roosevelt was propagandized for good, but Tojo Hideki, never installed the workings of the Obama Marxist State, never stacked the Supreme Court to overthrow America and never had to be carried out of the White House dead violating George Washington’s two term limits, the way Franklin Roosevelt did in violating American Constitutional Law.”

    “America had her moral compass cracked by Woodrow Wilson and destroyed by Franklin Roosevelt. World War II was a deliberately staged cartel order event, meant to remove the competitors in Japan and Germany, and to bankrupt the British, Dutch and French empires, so ignorant Americans could be left to think they were in control.”

  8. Thanks to M. Stanton Evans and the Gates of Vienna for this piece and its availability to us; thanks to Diana West for writing and defending “American Betrayal”; and thanks to God for still granting us the freedom to stand against the bullies without the risk of prison or worse. May 2014 bring more freedom and more truth, and more love to make it worthwhile. Please work in and through us, O Holy Spirit of our Creator. We need you.

  9. Kind of liked the paleoconservative label always imagined it as being applied to a political archaeologist excavating the progressive cesspool to reaffirm the foundations of Western civilization.

    Neoconservatives in my humble opinion are progressive hybrids practising corporate welfare/warfare – Stalinists in drag.

  10. Still, the inquiry surrounding the normalization of relations between the US and SU in the 1930s, thankfully, is open again.
    Open for historians.
    No longer doctrine, no longer non-controversial, no longer dead.
    And this should be celebrated.
    These times just got a little less interesting, and a little more good.

  11. I am a conservative : I believe in the culture, morals, values, (and faith) which western civilization was built upon, and I believe that the further we depart from that culture, the worse our civilization becomes. I would like to see a return to those values.
    I don’t need a prefix or a suffix, either self imposed or stuck on me as a label. Anyone who chooses to qualify their description as such is NOT what the original word describes – you modify the word, you modify its meaning.
    Neocons are NOT conservatives.
    I use faith in brackets because although being a Christian is not an out and out requirement to be a conservative, without the prevalence of Christianity, western civilization as it has existed for a thousand or so years cannot exist. It is the bedrock on which that civilization was founded and sustained. No Christianity – No Anglo European civilization. ‘They’ know that, THAT’S why they are working so hard to destroy it.
    Ms Wests book ? I haven’t read it, but in my experience the nearer you get to the truth, the louder they scream. My guess is that she’s right on the money. As I say Neocons are NOT conservatives

    • I’m an atheist who has no wish to destroy Judeo-Christian culture, and to the left on many issues other than the Counterjihad, and I’m surely not alone, even if there are too few of us.

      On the broader issue of Evans’ article, does anyone know why he brackets Gen. Marshall with FDR & Hopkins? I had the impression Marshall was a decent man, who turned down the opportunity to lead Overlord as Eisenhower had the experience (to the relief of FDR, as Marshall was doing such a good job organising logistics). He also refused generous offers to publish his memoirs, as his belief that Rooseveldt’s decisions had unnecessarily cost American lives might have distressed the late President’s family.

      • If this sounds lke a suggestion for Diana Wests’s next project, it is:

        From reliable analyses I read decades ago (and can’t quote without further research), it appears that what FDR was versus Stalin, Marshall was versus Mao. After the war, the U.S. position on and interests in China had been pretty much delegated to this general. But Marshall was totally duped by the green-toothed [literally, for he never brushed his teeth] Mao monster, and failed to recommend that the U.S, support the Nationalists in their struggles with the Communists. The Nationalists had the upper hand, inititally, and could have easily won this struggle had the U.S. showed an interest in their winning. It was unequivocally Marshall’s doing that the U.S. showed no such interest, let alone any support.

        Marshall is therefore an example of the same fatal American naiveté and failure to understand the mentality and dynamics of other peoples cultures as FDR is, with dire consequences for the country that elevated him to the highest level of power. Dubya Bush is another such example — with respect to dar al-Islam. Something in the WASP mind and outlook, independent of any Commie sedition.

        There is an eyewitness book “The Marshall Mission to China, 1945-1947: The Letters and Diary of Colonel John Hart Caughey,” but it came out in 2011; the analyses I read come from 20 years earlier.

      • You may have no desire to destroy traditional Judeo-Christian culture, but it’s very difficult to argue that the Left is similarly disposed. As I believe you have called yourself a leftist, and hold leftist views on a range of issues, your assertion that you have no wish to destroy Judeo-Christian traditions reminds me of muslims who practice and support islam, yet claim to oppose jihad, the concept of dar-al-harb and dar-al-islam, dhimmitude, and all the other beneficences of islam.

        • In the 1946 film “A Matter of Life and Death”, aka “Stairway to Heaven”, RAF Squadron Leader Peter Carter describes his politics as “Conservative by background, Labour by experience”. Indeed many returning service people contributed to Churchill’s 1945 electoral defeat, not out of ingratitude but because they wanted change.

          My late father, who was also in the RAF, was a Conservative supporter until after his retirement in the 1980s, when he was a volunteer hospital driver ferrying patients. Seeing how some of the other half lived pushed him to the left at an age when many people are moving the other way.

          Why is it so hard to accept that your political opponents may be decent and sincere in their wish to improve people’s lives? And that they see little chance of achieving this through parties of the political Right? I find, say, some of Takuan Seiyo’s views repugnant and likely to divide people of goodwill, but assume that his intentions are good.

          • The problem with mainstream Left is not the intentions but the unintended consequences. Ditto, contemporary mainstream Christianity. Old chestnut (wording approx.), attributed to many but probably (French PM) Clemenceau: “If you are 18 and not a socialist, you have no heart. If you are 30 and still a socialist, you have no brain.”

            That contemporary Corporate-Finacial-Global Capitalism is seriously diseased, and its clique of top feeders worthy of very long prison at hard labor, that’s another matter, but in no way does it translate to “Go Labour.”

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