“It depends on what the meaning of IS is.”

Regular readers know JLH as our German translator, but he occasionally ventures into original commentary. The essay below connects the dots between Diana West’s American Betrayal and the current Islamization of the Western world.

”It depends on what the meaning of IS is.”
by JLH

This is about American Betrayal being not only a critical remembrance of things past, but a harbinger of things to come — what I would call a “gateway” event. Following is the event that, for some reason, brought this thought to my mind:

Johann Peter Zenger was a German immigrant to New York and the editor and publisher of the New-York Weekly Journal, in a city whose other newspaper was essentially a house organ for the governor of that time — William Cosby. Cosby lived up to his reputation as a tyrant and resented the Journal’s anonymous, critical editorials. At that time, someone who criticized the government — no matter how truthfully — could be charged with libel and sedition. This is what happened to Zenger, who was arrested in 1734 and tried in 1735 for seditious libel. Since Cosby had preemptively disbarred all the New York lawyers who might have defended him, Zenger was defended by Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia — the most illustrious lawyer of the Colonies. Hamilton by-passed the hostile judge and appealed directly to the jury. The jury in turn, found Zenger and his newspaper not guilty.

Of course, the trial was public knowledge, and the result certainly appeared in print, at least in Zenger’s paper. It was not as sensational and/or violent as other events along the way to the Revolution, but it was a paving stone on the road to the formation of a new country. The attempt to suppress unwelcome opinion, and Hamilton’s advocacy of the right to print it, had combined to establish the principle that the truth is a defense against the charge of libel — a principle not widely evident in the Western world then, and under assault today. It was also a precursor of the freedom of the press clause in the First Amendment.

In the fifty-six years following 1735, there were many events propelling the Colonies and England toward a fateful conflict, and resulting in a new country. For example, the hated Stamp Act was passed by Parliament in 1765, and the Sons of Liberty were formed in the same year. Five years later the Boston Massacre was resolved by trial, not to everyone’s satisfaction. The pace of events quickened. In 1773, the Boston Tea Party and Parliamentary reprisal. In 1774, the convening of the Continental Congress, and in 1775, Lexington and Concord and the beginning of hostilities. Finally, in 1791, the first Ten Amendments, including the First with its protection of free speech and press, and called The Bill of Rights, were added to the Constitution. This is what I mean by a “gateway” event.

It may seem a leap to connect this prophetic, pre-revolutionary event to the publication and reception of American Betrayal, but the subcutaneous similarities are suggestive. Diana West’s previous book — The Death of the Grown-Up — had offered some unpleasant truths about the shedding of responsibility in recent generations of American “adults.” But it was not attacked the way American Betrayal was.

In American Betrayal, Diana West — like Peter Zenger — went one step too far, criticizing the “settled science” which has fashioned interpretations of FDR’s regime. Others had been there before her, dissecting the campaign to destroy McCarthy, excavating Soviet sources for evidence. These same historical investigators were among the first to defend Diana West when she came under attack. They differed from her in two ways. First, their credentials were difficult to assail: M. Stanton Evans, with long-established academic credentials; Vladimir Bukovsky, a respected Soviet dissident and researcher. Second, they were not only proof against really scurrilous attack, but the effect of their results could be deflected somewhat by looking the other way and pretending there was nothing there that was still relevant. Those who contested their arguments were not existentially threatened by them.

The “conservatives” who attacked Betrayal were threatened, however, because their interpretations of that era masked an adulation for FDR, including his benign relationship with Stalin and the Soviet juggernaut. Diana West’s book is not just a dissent from this opinion; it is a hard-nosed assertion of treachery — even treason, on the part of crucial members of FDR’s team. And perhaps her worst transgression is the way she did it. In an age of “journalism” and acceptance of “received opinion,” she acted rather more as an investigative reporter — meticulously and, seemingly endlessly, annotating every claim. The notes alone take forever to read and reflect upon. There was almost no room for factual rebuttal.

While the 18th-century colonial governor resorted to the power of the state to silence the pesky editor, a few doyens of “conservative” anti-communist opinion resorted to a flurry of attacks aimed at discrediting and ultimately silencing a voice that threatened their chummy clique. And, in doing so, they also emulated the actions of that 18th-century governor who attracted the attention of an even wider audience by initiating a public trial and unwittingly evoking the legal genius of Andrew Hamilton. Our modern arbiters of opinion proclaimed their anger on the marquee of the internet, and enlisted their acolytes to overwhelm and silence this impertinent voice. Other names — some greater than their own — rose to challenge their attack. Making matters worse, the victim fought back with a rebuttal as logical and factual as it was deadly. People who had had no opinion at all were now interested in hidden aspects of our history, and, indirectly, in the character and motivations of some of those who believed they were the exclusive keepers of that history.

The trail leading to and beyond the attempted quashing of American Betrayal is — like the timeline from Zenger to the First Amendment — a long one. Taking Pearl Harbor as an arbitrary starting point: from then until now is circa 73 years. In that time, we fought and defeated the Axis Powers and set the world map for the next four decades (or so we thought). And played a gigantic game of Risk on it. There were allegations of Soviet influence equal to anything we might have feared from the Nazis. Some of its early investigators were destroyed and relegated to the ash heap of history. The longer the argument wore on, the more ridicule and slander became the favored weapons, and the “red scare” became a foolish aberration. “War is not the answer” became the shibboleth of the day. 1989 brought the magical transformation of the world when the Berlin Wall and then the entire Iron Curtain fell. The “Prague Spring” was real, The “New World Order” proclaimed by George H. W. Bush was not. (And is it even possible to find a more Orwellian phrase to express optimism about the future course of world affairs?) Then there was the first attempt to bring down the World Trade Center, a string of attacks in Africa and elsewhere and, finally, 9/11 — not a climax, but a beginning.

Who first called the revolutions in the Arab world “Arab Spring”? The almost unbelievably civilized disentanglement from totalitarianism managed by the Czechs was certainly not the model for this “Spring.” Among other things, this revolution built on the work begun in the Carter era with the displacement of the authoritarian Shah by a self-perpetuating Shi’ite regime. During “Springtime for the Brotherhood,” governments fell across the region, with Tunis leading the way to democracy, and yet today still struggling to maintain it. Autocrats in Egypt and Libya were succeeded by Islamists and/or the military. Bashar al-Assad of Syria still holds out, but a super-terrorist state has become his neighbor, and has not stopped expanding. A side effect may (likely will) be the eradication in much of the Middle East of Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Alawites and the annoying Kurdish minority which has shown unfortunate inclinations toward autonomy in Iraq and (!) Turkey.

It is possible — even advisable — to ask: What is our own government’s policy and who, really, are our friends? The motives behind the attempted quashing of American Betrayal are instructive here. As are the author’s reasons for writing it.

She had wondered at the pervasive influence of Islamic (Islamist?) persons and groups in and around the US government, and noticed how it resembled what she already knew about the apparent Communist influence in the US government. And so, she investigated this historical precedent. Betrayal is a prelude and a guide to examining the most pressing question of today; how to recognize and deal with infiltrators in a — theoretically still — open society. How is it possible — or is it indeed possible — to pry open the complacently closed eyes of the Know-It-Alls and Do-Gooders and the multitudes of people they have convinced that self-defense and advocacy for our own rights are just an egregious social faux pas?

Paramount in the cases of both Zenger and West is the principle of social control of the many by the few. The concept is vividly represented on a placard seen in a recent demonstration: “Hate speech is not free speech.” Cosby’s case against Zenger assumed that the state is the ultimate judge of what is libelous. In our modern Western world, the assumption is that certain people are competent to decide what is and what is not “hate.” Whoever determines the definition of “hate,” will ipso facto decide what we are free to say. “Nixon was evil” is acceptable, even de rigueur, but “FDR was a socialist” will not pass. Similarly, “Judaism is genocidal” and “Christianity is racist” are just harmless opinions, but “Islam believes it should dominate the world” is xenophobic, racist and impolite.

There always have been and always will be those who are willing to confront authority when they perceive that it is wrong. But it will be very difficult today to reach, let alone convince, the good people whose brains have been marinating in the syrup of governmental benevolence, open-hearted diversity and self-sacrifice for the sake of the world and its weather. Solzhenitsyn said: “The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.” Yet, how is it possible to reveal the lie of Islam(ism)? Why have 9/11 and what preceded and followed it not caused the same kind of awakening as, for instance, the attack on Pearl Harbor or the V-2 attacks on London? The comparison to Pearl Harbor was certainly made when the twin towers went down, and yet our PC world dithers on in the perpetual expectation that it is all a terrible misunderstanding.

The example of American Betrayal tells us that a similar investigation of Islamic influence would meet with a storm of protest, obfuscation and demands that it be banned and/or scrutinized for “racist” content. Indeed, as much — and more — has happened to the efforts of Bar Ye’or, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others. Would such a work be read at first only by those already convinced of the problem? How long would it take to percolate through the layers of disinformation?

And yet, unexpectedly, an opportunity has presented itself. We have been trying to make the point that these are not just a few misguided madmen, like survivalists gone astray. This is not a rogue band that can be stamped out. This is not a scattering of criminals striking out at society. This is a powerful and malevolent force which draws inspiration from its sacred books, and is following their directives. The people of ISIS leave us in no doubt. Seeing is believing, and they are eager to make us see.

The gory, arrogant and triumphant spectacle of the Islamic State is the best and possibly the last chance for the great mass of the public across the Western world to open its eyes and see beyond the dreams of utopian diversity. Let those who recoiled in horror from Abu Ghraib contemplate true xenophobia: the gleeful destruction of ancient historical monuments, the exhilaration of mass rape and murder, the sadistic pleasure taken from crucifixions and beheadings. Then let them consider that this is the true nature of who is coming for us.

If all that has led up to this moment and the evil that is now being played out every day fails to strike the semi-conscious public with the same visceral fear that Russian cities felt before the Tatars and the coastal cites of France and the British Isles felt at the coming of the Vikings, then our “gateway” opportunity may be lost, and what awaits us we may all discover by asking the Serbs, the Albanians, the Greeks, the Persians, and countless others. So let us give thanks for the “inspired” ad men of the Islamic State and do everything we can to help them to all the publicity they want. In the name of free speech and the right of free people to know what is happening, let us protest whenever we notice a “blackout” by YouTube or some other supine member of the electronic or print media. Use the bully’s own methods against him, while he is still dim enough to believe that terrifying us is a good idea.

Do not send to know for whom the bell tolls. It’s gone and there is a minaret in its place.

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

Note: The link to The Death of the Grown-Up is for the recently-released Kindle edition.

19 thoughts on ““It depends on what the meaning of IS is.”

  1. The truest and most useful statement of this well thought out essay is that the opinions of the many are controlled by the few.

    No one has yet given us permission to be viscerally upset at predatory Islam. I am chronically amazed at how little truth has to do with the progression of events at any level of society, sometimes even including science and medicine. We became anti-Nazi and anti-Japanese only when Roosevelt told us that we could be so. However, no one, including our dear charismatic president, has the interest in permitting us to be upset with anything Islamic. I have every confidence that it will happen at some point in the future, but will there be the ability to translate the “upset” into coordinated actions? Not unless the government changes and coordinates those efforts! Unfortunately, we do not have a government that reflects the concerns or fears of the those they rule. Trying to get a coherent defense policy out of these folks is like pounding sand! Indeed, obfuscation seems to be the most well-developed and cogent policy these folks have fashioned.

  2. I fear it will take a total bloodbath from Islam unlike anything we have yet seen to date.
    Couple this with all else that is going on and when this will happen down the road is anyone’s guess but this will happen.

    Sic transit gloria mundi.

    As it always seems to go and how and when will the clock be reset?

  3. A great essay. The concern is that we’ve had a number of “gateway events” but our response has been to entrench stupidity by increasing the number of muslims in free nations. Via mass immigration of muslims, we have obliterated our own gateways, inviting trouble to settle deep inside the actual, physical gates.

    This is a new war and it will be a very bloody war with everyone involved because our society is an open society; a gigantic soft target. Until now we have been relatively safe from each other through personal acts of self-restraint and an honour system. We get freedom through that. It is that motor of freedom, that personal self-restraint, that muslims will undo and already have. Witness air travel security procedures where we are all humiliated for the acts of muslims. muslims are commanded to indulge in violence … when they have the capability and are ready to overcome the blowback. It is not incredible to say the muslim community has been preparing; look at Britain and them admitting they have thousands (!) of citizen muslims to watch.

    It is not a mistake that second and third generations of muslim immigrants are the active ones. The first generation played taqiyya.

    We mistakeningly rounded up the Japanese during WWII and that poor judgement has enfeebled us to recognize that that wasn’t the wrong thing to do, though since the Japanese Canadians posed no real threat and had no ancient plans to rule the world that were still in play, it was the wrong people to do it to.

    • A Canadian author wrote of the Canadian removal of Japanese-Canadians from the west coast. He made the observation that it was a poor show, OWTTE, but that it was preferable to the bayonet in the stomach that some British people received from Japanese troops after the fall of Singapore.

      The device that is more applicable now than internment is population transfer, as Muslims are simply incapable of living in non-Muslim countries. There is no such thing as non-Islamist Islam and only total separation will suffice if the West is to survive this new onslaught, so ably and energetically assisted by our own elites, sad to say.

  4. You say “we do not have a government that reflects the concerns or fears of those they rule”. My only answer is “and so say all of us”. UK

  5. This is so well-written and logical that I will have to read it again and then send it to family members, although it may upset them.

  6. “Do not send to know for whom the bell tolls”.
    (just look around and notice the dwindled number of churches and what they now often preach, new age social, diversity etc.)
    “It’s gone and there is a minaret in its place.”
    (just google where you can go to a mosque. How far away is it and/or how close , the increase in past 20 years)

    May we also start to ring a bell, even if only a hand bell, to start with so that it is ok “to be viscerally upset at predatory Islam” and that great pealing sound of many bells lays the foundation to harmonize and so “translate the “visceral fear” into coordinated actions?”.

    As JLH says the information window has opened and already people are feeling things viscerally and want to do things, actively, but with no real understanding of the background. As Churchill already had read Mein Kampf, so he knew what he was leading and fighting against.
    So we must keep the important channels of free speech open to discuss Mohammad by the koran, sira and hadiths, and place all that information too, via dinner/coffee tables and water coolers etc, and so on thru the media, leaders.

    Even a hand bell of truth, cuts through so many other sounds, with a clarity. So as per JLH “Solzhenitsyn said: “The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.” ” Even a short ring, conveys a message.
    After the first few peals, a bell constantly ringing takes on an urgency of it’s own and not so easily dismissed, and so requires action/thought.
    Even if stopped, one is left with wonderment, who was that?, is there a message?, what is that about?.

    And thank you, JLH for summarizing the opportunity that we have, so at least some steps may be made in showing other people the true background of this problem, even if at this stage their is division in whether a country should put “boots on the ground” or “planes in the air”

    Gert Wilders is also on similar track with pointing out the Moroccan dutch going to Syria being a greater problem, than him raising the question of immigration numbers. Then the issue of their return.

    Thanks to Baron, Dympha and all those helpers with essays, translators and commentators for this cathedral of a blog with the bells ringing out, loud, strong, long, true and constant, and I pray long may they continue into the future, and others to start to peal out in raucous harmony as only bells can.

    apologies for taking or any mix up in “quotes” or mismatches

  7. I am filled with dread. Kobani has fallen or is in the process of falling to IS. A massacre will follow. IS is at the edge of Baghdad. When Baghdad falls, not if but when, there is no doubt in my mind that that will be the signal to embedded Islamists in the United States to enact the next 9/11, which will be worse than the first 9/11. Our traitorous president will of course no more defend the country he hates at that moment than he is fighting IS at this moment. I am praying for a revolt, a general uprising against the tyrant when the next 9/11 happens here. But I don’t know, I don’t know…

  8. A political turmoil is happening in many countries, UK Denmark, Sweden, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA over this issue.

    At a risk of having converts, the koran should be read. Even muslims in their so called refuge countries should do so.

    Just prior to that, find out chronological order of how it is written, and then read it in that manner.

    That way “abrogation” as ordered by Mohammad, will make sense.

    That will give you a better context, so it sort of makes more sense, even through there is a lot of repetition.

    Only an afternoons reading.

    Great for further discussion over a cup of coffee, water cooler, etc. as people are hungry for facts. Ring out the truth, it does not need embellishment, just small soundbytes to discuss, just like a small hand bell.


  9. Historians must have come across this before, viz. persistent wrong ideas or false ideas in man ..a la Islam, witches, magic, fire breathing dragons, god-leaders. What has been the typical evolution of these ideas? How long does it take for these memes to be corrected? Do they ever succunb to logic? Does it always take the demise of the proponent?

    I am amazed that we have tolerated for fourteen hundred years ideas that you can take a woman, bury her in sand up to her neck, and throw rocks at her until she dies…all for the most minimal of infractions. We should have gotten rid of these a long time ago. There must be some mild survival value in doctrines espousing these horrible cruelties. What a horrible thought. Why has man tolerated this nonsense so long? We must have some lethal error in our DNA.

    • What you describe doesn’t seem to bother Western feminists one bit. Stoning women to death — not to mention their sexual mutilation — don’t compare at all to the hideous Western practice of preventing employer-financed birth control and opposing same-sex “marriage.” This is well into atrocity territory.

  10. Sad, you can’t use someone else’s post as a place to publish your own long essay.

    If you want to send it to me by email, I’ll consider publication. But no promises.

    I allow the long news reports about Kobani on the news feed and certain other posts, but this is a different matter entirely.

  11. Governor William Cosby made a serious mistake by arresting Johann Peter Zenger. He would have suffered less damage if he had ignored him. Zenger would have remained an obscure publisher without Cosby’s efforts to silence him. Instead, nearly 300 hundred years later Zenger’s name is remembered for its influence on American jurisprudence.
    Horowitz, Radosh et al have made a similar mistake. The proper method of dealing with controversial issues is to ignore them. The controversy they initiated only increased the attention brought to Diana West’s work. I would have loved it if they would have attacked my own book.
    In order to discredit a work you must have the facts on your side. West’s work is thoroughly documented and therefore the attempt to discredit her had to rely on ad hominem attacks. Judging from the comments on the internet it appears that this was a total failure.

    • I recently learned of the “Streisand effect.” Her efforts to prevent or limit publication of a photo of her mansion (and its location, I think) led to widespread interest in her mansion and its location. It seems it should more properly be referred to the Cosby effect.

    • Ignoring Zenger might have left him in anonymity. Or maybe not. My guess is that Horowitz and Radosh are recalling the demolition of the most admired American of the 20th century, Charles Lindbergh, in 1941, in response to a perfectly true statement in his speech of Sept 11, 1941 (Sept 11 again!), that 2% of the US population was pushing America into a war that was not in its’ interest to enter. Jews in the US had begun trying to organize economic boycotts against Germany the day after Hitler gained power. That they were agitating for war was not and never has been arguable. The problem was that Jewish interests were not the same as Americans’ interests. The Soviets and their CPUSA fifth column had been infiltrating every aspect of American life since 1922. Ostensibly this was in aid of overthrowing the US Government, but actually the US Left’s aim was simply the destruction of American society. The German Bund had some potential — Germans being the largest white ethnic group in the US — but it never came close to rivaling Leftist power, which by 1941 already controlled Hollywood, the MSM, academia, and New York City. So, an American, objectively comparing the threat of Left versus Right (or the USSR vs the Nazis), could only conclude that the Soviet Union was America’s most dangerous enemy. Of course, this was not the case for Jews in the US. The Nazis were their nemesis and Americans would just have to be enlisted to fight for them. Even for as super-intelligent a people as the Jews, the ability to leave Lindbergh flattened like a raccoon on the highway of history was an impressive feat, especially when he was entirely correct in his statements. Ms. West has traced the societal breakdowns in America which appeared in the 1960s to early signs and portents in the 1950s in “The Death of the Grown-up”. Still, the amazing Lindbergh take-down in 1941 seems to me to be the real pivot-point of American history. An American icon brought down by 2% of the US population (many, many not even native-born) seems to be yet another iteration of the David vs Goliath story. The author of this article mentions truth as a defense to a charge of libel. But truth is no defense to a charge of anti-Semitism. Or of saying things that might be considered anti-Semitic. Or which might be taken up by anti-Semites. Or which someone some day might possibly put together with other things to seem anti-Semitic. As an ethnic American Christian from the Midwest, nothing on earth has amazed me so much as the fact that in the many, many books I’ve read about Communist espionage and Russian Bolshevism, not one author has ever mentioned the incredible over-representation of Jews in both. People I know who have lived behind the Iron Curtain have never failed to mention this fact. Actually, many of them consider it of great importance (Poles and Latvians in particular in my experience). But most of them know better than to make comments to that effect in the US, in public. They learned better back home. Not that Ms. West even hints at such a thing — perish the thought — but the names in the Index are still the names in the Index. What her particular offense was, I have no idea. Her book covers a lot of ground and is very dense. Maybe it was published at some crucial moment we don’t see today. Perhaps in hindsight it will be obvious; maybe after millions of third-world aliens are safely legalized, or Presidente Clinton takes the oath of office.

  12. Jihada is deadly epidemic that is spread by direct contact airborne by sound,light and other electromagnetic waves (that’s radio,internet,tapes, for you non-science students).
    It is best fought by direct short points-bullet points for one, bumper stickers and t-shirts for another. For example: Infidel and proud of it; Mohamadman had sex with pigs.; Cover your koran with pig skin; When you have a rope around the neck of a caliphate pusher and pull the lever,his heart and mind will follow-down to hell.

    The essay has it’s place. Usually on a table with vintage wine and Brei where the existential angst of impotence, or cowardism, fill the room with the flavor of used gym sox. Damn the grammer-full speed ahead.

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