A Bizarro World Diana West

It’s been almost two years since the publication of Diana West’s book American Betrayal, but incredibly, reviewers at ostensibly “conservative” publications and websites continue to mount scurrilous attacks against it. Right-thinking people have evidently determined that Ms. West is insufficiently “housebroken”, and aim to complete their self-appointed task.

The latest hit-piece against American Betrayal was written by Ron Capshaw and published at (where else?) National Review.

Among numerous other gems, Mr. Capshaw’s false assertions include these two: “Diana West’s American Betrayal dusts off this view of FDR as a traitor” and “West avoids such grown-up views, and is in effect the mirror image of Oliver Stone.”


“Mirror image” doesn’t do justice to NRO’s compendium of imaginary statements attributed to Diana West. Mr. Capshaw’s confection seems more an artifact from Bizarro World.

For readers too young to remember the golden age of Superman comics, Bizarro World popped up in those pages as an occasional whimsical feature replacing the everyday world of Metropolis. It was a planet inhabited by analogues of all the Superman characters, but with everything reversed, upside down, topsy-turvy, 180° off of normal. Newspapers were printed upside down. People wept when they were happy and hit each other to express affection. They threw away peeled oranges and ate the rind. They left a building through the entrance and went in through the exit.

Ron Capshaw has constructed his own Bizarro World and placed his own Bizarro Diana West in it with her book, Bizarro American Betrayal.

Back in the fall of 2013 I described the evidence for a malign but hidden influence whose gravitational field pulled in so many otherwise sensible conservatives and induced them to vigorously condemn Ms. West’s book, usually when they hadn’t even read it. I now realize that I made an error of nomenclature when I dubbed that celestial body “Planet X”. A more appropriate term would have been “Bizarro World”, where up is down and books are full of words that were never written by anybody in this world.

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Yesterday Diana West had a few choice words to say about this latest hit piece in NRO:

What follows are brief extracts from the latest entry by Ron Capshaw — apparently, his fifth (5th) such sally. I have stripped his essay down to inferences and charges only.

This latest on American Betrayal is headlined:

“FDR, Truman, and Ike: Not Communists, Just Naïfs”

The inference, natch, is that American Betrayal argues that these presidents were “Communists.”

NOT IN MY BOOK. (Readers of The Rebuttal: Defending ‘American Betrayal’ from the Book-Burners, where this phrase repeats and repeats in highlighting some of the lies and fabrications that litter the original Rado-toxic mess, are invited to sing along.)

Now for the excerpts from Capshaw #5:

To get at the type of thinking that declared [FDR, Truman and Eisenhower] to be consciously pro-Soviet, you have to go forward a few years from the early 1950s to the days of the John Birch Society in the late ‘50s.


It was this group — or, to be more specific, their leader, Robert Welch — that charged FDR with deliberately partnering with Joe Stalin against Hitler to advance the Soviet empire,


who believed Truman and his secretary of state Dean Acheson had deliberately led U.S. soldiers into a deathtrap in Korea thus again aiding the Soviet Union by depleting U.S. manpower;


and who accused Eisenhower, based on his attempts to negotiate with Khrushchev and his refusal to put ground troops into Vietnam, of being a Soviet agent


While dealing with McCarthy only peripherally, Diana West’s American Betrayal dusts off this view of FDR as a traitor


Diana West moves beyond merely defending McCarthy or portraying Roosevelt as naive to asserting a conscious treachery on the president’s part.


Had [FDR] been the Communist portrayed by West …


The bizarro statements listed above comprise fewer than half of those pointed out (and debunked) by Ms. West. The entire piece at NRO is essentially a fabrication.

It is a sally against an imaginary enemy of Mr. Capshaw’s own devising — and certainly not against Diana West or the book she wrote.

When does the “barroom brawl” stop?

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

12 thoughts on “A Bizarro World Diana West

  1. I thought the book was deliciously victorious. It arranges a set of facts and lets the readers draw their own conclusions. No arguments. No screeching. No howling. Its style could not have been more persuasive. It was like a math reader. Accordingly, it is driving everyone who had formed settled opinions about the 30’s and 40’s era absolutely nuts.

    Folks who like intellectual battle with tremendous irony will delight in this entire episode. Hooray for Diana. It is fun AND educational.

    • Ah, but after almost two years, the puir gel must be tired of the litany by now? I sure would be…how many times can one say “READ THE BOOK” ??

  2. I’m mystified by a lot of things these days, but Planet X seems to be causing a lot of wobbling within the Roosevelt planetary system. I don’t have the time or inclination to re-read the book, but it seemed to me that the source of most of the damage was caused by Harry Hopkins. If that is true, then Roosevelt’s worst short-coming (as described by West)was that he let his friendship with Hopkins cause a breach of security which WOULD HAVE resulted in an arms race… which would have happened anyway. B
    ut not as soon. Maybe I missed something big. I have age-related eye problems that sometimes causes me to skim over text that causes me to misread and misconstrue.

  3. I had the good fortune, or prescience, to obtain and read American Betrayal before all this hoopla. I cam away staggered by the meticulous scholarship, exhaustive documentation, and, of course, the inescapable conclusions. But we live in a world where evidence (e.g., of HRC’s mendacity) is limned away as insignificant and inconsequential, so one cannot be surprised if fact patterns require the intellectual effort of reconsidering prior beliefs. It doesn’t seem to work for climate change, either, so who’s surprised? Disappointed, saddened, yes. But surprised, no. Sorry.

  4. I have yet to read the book, and I would like to. I did read Lindberg v. Roosevelt. I had always wondered why Lindberg’s fame was cut so short. Now I know. The Fourth Estate, especially under Menken, was something to be feared, and/or toadied to. Roosevelt realized that very early and turned it to his advantage. The result was a 1940s model of O’bama. In fact, it could be said that the only real difference between FDR and Hitler was that one had a toothbrush moustache and the other smoked cigarettes from a jauntily held holder.

  5. Diana West’s latest evisceration of this latest “review” by Ron Capshaw resembles a Wimbledon/US Open champion taking ten minutes to give a round, sound thrashing to an amateur who has played tennis only a few times in their life.

    Except that to round out the metaphor/analogy, we’d have to say that the amateur prematurely spins his racket in the air like a baton and does a grandstanding victory dance on the court, mid-game, and even at the end of the match, still thinks he won. And the vast majority of his friends, and the tennis association agree that he won.

    West’s refutation is so effortlessly, scintillatingly thorough — and the flaws in Capshaw’s “review” which her refutation reveals are so pathetically, abysmally bankrupt — that one cannot reasonably conclude that the behavior of Capshaw et al. is not some kind of willful disinformation tactic. The only way to save Capshaw from a nefarious motive we would reasonably impute to him would be to produce evidence that he has brain damage or has suffered severe psychological impairment. Again, I say this with conviction because of the stunning flaws in Capshaw’s review. The flaws are not the ordinary, unremarkable flaws of someone merely defending a reigning paradigm of an established clique; nor do they reasonably seem to be explainable as due to some personal pique or petty motives. The flaws are so disastrously inept, no other explanation suffices than either brain damage, or conspiracy. I’m sorry; but nobody else seems to have the courage to say this outright.

  6. No matter how many times Ms West is assaulted by the toadies and useful idiots of Planet X, it is helpful for us sympathizers to understand that Ms West is not the real target here. Her scholarship is out there, and the lack of honest contradiction is more than sufficient confirmation that her detractors dare not take her on based on the information she has presented.

    No, we must conclude that no matter how hurtful to Ms West and time consuming are the rebuttals (which may keep her too busy to move on to many new investigations) it is neither herself nor her work that is under real honest attack.

    What is under attack is the will of similar investigators to dig deeper into any leads her thesis may suggest to them. What we see is raw power being used simply because can. The message is: “Look how easy it has been to hire mercenaries to who mount character assassinations even out of whole cloth, and the liable laws and our deep pockets guaranteed you will be used up defending yourself. So, that’s what you can expect should you choose the sort of path that Ms West has chosen.”

    It is wonderful that Ms West is getting the sort of support she gets from GoV and its readers. But that won’t make it easy for others to dare do what she did. In fact we can be sure the chill has already begun just as happened nearly 70 years ago to another contrarian, the efforts of the Planet X types seem to succeed. After a Planet X personal attack campaign, whenever a neophyte discovers the forbidden texts, the quickly knuckle-under to double think for just about every public discussion. For instance, should the powers involved choose at some later date to admit one of Ms West’s disclosures, she will never be mentioned in connection with them. It will be treated as if it was a new discovery.

    Very few people who want to make it in the halls of power will dare go against that until there is a totally new power base.

    So even as Ms West completely destroys detractors such as the current worm, the damage to pursuit of truth still remains in place.

    [NB]: My emphasis to this comment – D]

    • I think you’ve hit on part of the explanation. But there are more pieces. This strange Planet X, surely involving someone’s anus, has any number of orbiting satellites.

  7. I’m glad you like it Dymphna. So then let me clean up the typos in the highlighted version even though the message is clear enough anyway.

    What is under attack is the will of similar investigators to dig deeper into any leads her thesis may suggest to them. What we see is raw power being used simply because it can. The message is: “Look how easy it has been to hire mercenaries to who mount character assassinations even out of whole cloth, and the liability laws and our deep pockets guaranteed you will be used up defending yourself. So, that’s what you can expect should you choose the sort of path that Ms West has chosen.”

    I won’t bother you about other typos in the rest of my comment. Even on my own blog it is a never-ending effort to fix edits I discover after two and three readings. It’s one of the reasons I so rarely publish. I don’t know how the Baron can do it given his eye troubles which are much worse than mine.

    • I find that catching typos is easiest AFTER you post. Unfortunately. Sometimes the B will edit a piece – especially one he’s working on for someone else – multiple times, and then send me in with his blue pencil.

      I am interfering enough that I sometimes correct for spelling in the comments, particularly for those who use English as a second (or third, or fourth) language. Sometimes it aids in keeping the snark level down in subsequent messages from others. We’re lucky though: our commenters are a courteous bunch for the most part.

      If I’d noticed yours when I highlighted, I’d have changed them. But I was focused on content at that point.

  8. Pascal,
    In some respects you are correct about the smear campaign. No public figure could survive the scrutiny and lies Senator Joseph McCarthy was subjected to. But I am reminded of a quote by Margaret Thatcher: “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” As you have written: “lack of honest contradiction is more than sufficient confirmation that her detractors dare not take her on based on the information she has presented.” Diana West gets overwhelming support from GoV and any other forum that allows comments. Her opponents’ arguments are so obviously false that few people accept them. They are like the school mistress who told the FBI that she would not believe Alger Hiss was a Communist even if Hiss told her so.
    People wishing to make it in “the halls of power” will never research areas that lead to conclusions that contradict the progressive paradigm; a paradigm that includes crimes against humanity that were concealed from the American public and are still concealed to this day. Diana West will not be invited to the elite’s cocktail parties. I am sure this will break her heart (excuse the sarcasm). And there is a great deal more to be revealed. The GRU archives were never opened and there was more in the KGB files that was not accessed. Diana will survive and her opponents have foolishly brought attention to her work. I only wish my work was attacked by Horowitz, et al.

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