McCarthy On Steroids

betrayal

Editors’ note: Frontpage offered Diana West equal space to reply to Professor Radosh’s points below. She refused.

Diana West, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 403 pages; $26.99.

Many Americans at both ends of the political spectrum view history in conspiratorial terms. The late Senator Joseph McCarthy set the bar very high when he claimed to have uncovered “a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.” In that famous speech to the Senate on June 14, 1951, McCarthy condemned former Chief of Staff of the Army and Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense as a traitor who made “common cause with Stalin on the strategy of the war in Europe,” who “took the strategic direction of the war out of Roosevelt’s hands and – who fought the British desire, shared by [General] Mark Clark, to advance from Italy into the eastern plains of Europe ahead of the Russians.”

Diana West, who expands the scope of this conspiracy in American Betrayal, is McCarthy’s heiress.  She argues that during the New Deal the United States was an occupied power, its government controlled by Kremlin agents who had infiltrated the Roosevelt administration and subverted it. Like McCarthy, whom West believes got everything correct, she believes a conspiracy was at work that effectively enabled the Soviets to be the sole victors in World War II and shape American policies in the postwar world.

Writing sixty years later, she claims that the evidence that has come to light in the interim not only vindicates McCarthy’s claims but goes well beyond anything he imagined. Throughout American Betrayal, West uses the terms “occupied” and “controlled” to describe the influence the Soviet Union exerted over U.S. policy through its agents and spies. She believes she has exposed “the Communist-agent-occupation of the U.S. government” during the Roosevelt and Truman eras, and that her discoveries add up to a Soviet-controlled American government that conspired to strengthen Russia throughout World War II at the expense of American interests, marginalize anti-Communist Germans, and deliver the crucial material for the Atomic Bomb to Stalin and his henchmen. It also conspired to cover up the betrayal. In West’s summation: “The Roosevelt administration [was] penetrated, fooled, subverted, in effect hijacked by Soviet agents… and engaged in a “‘sell-out’ to Stalin” that “conspirators of silence on the Left…would bury for as long as possible, desperately throwing mud over it and anyone who wanted the sun to shine in.” According to West, it was only because Washington was “Communist-occupied” that the United States aligned itself with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany.

But Ms. West writes without an understanding of historical context and lacks awareness of much of the scholarly literature on the subjects she writes about. Moreover, she disregards the findings of the sources she does rely on when they contradict her yellow journalism conspiracy theories. Consequently she arrives at judgment after judgment that is not only bizarre on its face, but also unwarranted by the evidence and refuted by the very authorities she draws on. As a historian I normally would not have agreed to review a book such as this one.  But I changed my mind after seeing the reckless endorsements of its unhinged theories by a number of conservative individuals and organizations. These included the Heritage Foundation which has hosted her for book promotions at a lunchtime speech and a dinner; Breitbart.com which is serializing America Betrayed; PJ Media which has already run three favorable features on West; Amity Shlaes, who writes unnervingly that West’s book, “masterfully reminds us what history is for: to suggest action for the present”; and by conservative political scientist and media commentator Monica Crowley, who called West’s book “A monumental achievement.”

West has evidently seduced conservatives who are justifiably appalled by the left’s rewriting of history, its denials that Communists ever posed a threat, and its claim that Communist infiltration was a destructive myth created by witch-hunters intent on suppressing dissent. For these readers, West’s credibility derives from her aggressive counter vision. For those who have not read the important works of Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, Christopher Andrew, Alexander Vassiliev, Allen Weinstein and others, what she has written may seem a revelation, as she herself claims. But for anyone familiar with the historical literature, the core of what she has written is well known and what is new is either overheated, or simply false and distorted—the sort of truculent recklessness that gives anti-communism a bad name.

One of the most unsettling aspects of West’s use of previous authorities who provide the only reliable information in her book is the way she attacks the very writers who pioneered in exposing Soviet espionage and infiltration, while also disregarding their conclusions when they don’t agree with hers. In a typical instance, she writes: “[Christopher] Andrew and [former archivist for the USSR’s foreign intelligence branch Vasili] Mitrokhin seem fairly hip to the problem, but then soft-soap its cause.”  Even more preposterously she writes of those of us who drew attention to the guilt of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg that we view it as a matter of personal conscience and not “an issue of national security.” This is absurd and anyone who has read The Rosenberg File or the many articles I have written since about the case would know it. She attacks Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, among the greatest scholars of Soviet espionage, for their failure to connect “treachery with its impact,” by which she means that they failed to come to her wild-eyed conclusion that Soviet espionage was not only a clear and present danger but succeeded in making America a puppet of its Kremlin masters. As a result, she writes, “The recent confirmations of guilt often show up as mere technicalities…The reckoning eludes us.”

Finally, throughout her book she attacks the rigorous scholarship of John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, whose groundbreaking books on the Venona decrypts are unrivalled in exposing the true scale of Soviet espionage in the United States, and Soviet control of the American Communist Party. Haynes and Klehr have also co-authored a classic study about the efforts of liberal and left historians to cover up the infiltration and its extent in a book titled In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage. Ignoring this record, West claims that Hayes and Klehr minimize the evidence they were the first to expose. What is really bothering her is that they do not buy her preposterous conclusion that “American statecraft was an instrument of Soviet strategy.”

Ignoring or denigrating these brave and accomplished scholars, West proceeds to construct a conspiracy thesis resting on five claims she believes establish a vast plot by Soviet agents and their American pawns to shape the outcome of the Second World War and in the process benefit the Communists at the expense of the West. In this review, I will focus on each of these claims in turn and show that they are groundless, and worse.

Agent 19

A key assertion for West is that FDR’s closest advisor, Harry Hopkins, was actually the Soviet agent known in the Venona decrypts as “Agent 19,” sometimes “Source 19″. The decrypts were Kremlin messages to their American agents that were deciphered after the war. The identification of Hopkins as Agent 19 is the linchpin of West’s conspiracy case. She places Hopkins at the center of major military and foreign policy decisions, and interprets his objective in each instance as advancing Stalin’s goals for Communist world domination.

That Hopkins was the most pro-Soviet of Roosevelt’s close advisers and believed that Stalin could be a working partner in wartime as well as during the peace that would follow has been discussed so often as to be conventional wisdom. But it is one thing to point this out and analyze its implications, and quite another to claim that Hopkins was an actual Soviet agent, a claim that is also not original with West, although it is, in fact, not true.  (When I sent her a collegial email questioning this assertion, and requesting that we get together to talk about it, she became huffy. “Dialoguing is one thing,” she emailed back; “issuing directives is another.”)

In her book, West cites a 1998 article by the late Eduard Mark, an Air Force historian, who claimed that Hopkins was the agent in question. His conclusion was based on a Venona decrypt by “Source 19” that described a top secret conversation between Churchill and FDR in late May of 1943 about plans for the invasion of Normandy, then more than a year away. According to Mark this proved that the code name belonged to Hopkins.  As West notes, “By process of painstaking elimination, Mark determines that it is ‘probable virtually to the point of certainty’ that ‘Source 19’ is Harry Hopkins.” She says this was also the view of the late Eric Breindel and the late Herbert Romerstein, as well as Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin.

She even chastises John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, co-authors with the KGB defector Alexander Vassiliev of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, for being “agnostic” about the claim, “which has the unfortunate effect of eliminating the story, even the suggestion of the story, from their influential works.”  In fact, Haynes and Klehr are not only not “agnostic,” they flat out deny that Agent 19 was Hopkins because Agent 19 was actually a State Department official and well-known Soviet agent Laurence Duggan. Duggan worked on the State Department’s Latin America desk, and while he did pass on secret information to the Soviets, his role within the administration was minor compared to Hopkins’ who worked in the White House. Klehr and Haynes base their identification of Duggan on the numerous entries in the Vassiliev papers, which have been readily available online since May 2009. These papers show numerous entries in the KGB papers Vassiliev copied and brought with him to London, that identify Source 19 or Agent 19 as Duggan.

West acknowledges that Vassiliev found “little about Hopkins in the finite number of KGB files he was allowed to view and copy,” but concludes – without evidence — that it is in those Vassiliev did not have access to that Hopkins was identified. She then scolds Haynes and Klehr for not giving the controversy over Agent 19 the “merit [of] a footnote.” Perhaps they didn’t because there no longer is any controversy. At a conference on Soviet espionage held a week before his untimely death, West’s source, Eduard Mark, publicly stated that he now acknowledged that Harry Hopkins was not Agent 19, and that the conclusion he had reached in his 1998 article was false.

Lend-Lease Aid to the Soviet Union

West also insists that Lend-Lease aid was a crucial “rogue operation” orchestrated by Hopkins and the NKVD for the purpose of getting not only war supplies to the Russians, but “the materials that go into making an atomic bomb…up to and including uranium.” (Her emphasis.)  A significant part of her book is devoted to “proving” that Lend-Lease helped make the USSR “the true victor of World War II.” She refers to Lend-lease as “the plunder of atomic secrets … spirited out of the country on a U.S.-government sponsored flight.” The reference is to a shipment of uranium to Russia in 1943, allegedly orchestrated by Harry Hopkins as Agent 19. To her, this proves that the Lend-Lease Act “was a slam-dunk victorious Soviet influence operation.” Or, as she refers to Lend-Lease at the end of her book: “All that American booty pirated by Harry Hopkins for Mother Russia.”

These claims, which lie at the heart of her conspiracy theory, are demonstrably wrong, and show that she even fails to understand the nature of the unrefined uranium the Soviets actually received under Lend-Lease, which was not strategic in terms of making an atomic weapon. General Leslie Groves, who was in charge of The Manhattan Project, signed off on the shipment, as has been well known for more than 60 years, because he feared that if he rejected the requests it would tip-off Moscow that uranium was a highly sensitive commodity, something he was certain they did not yet know.

Even if they had known, the Soviets would have faced an insurmountable problem in using the shipped ore for bomb making. The problem they would have faced was in separating bomb-grade U-235 (which makes up only 0.7 percent of natural uranium) from U-238 (99.3%), a difficult technical engineering challenge. Until the Soviets could figure out how to separate the isotopes, which they eventually did through the post war espionage at Los Alamos we are all familiar with, the uranium ore they received would be useless for making a weapon. While separating uranium ore was a daunting technological issue, mining uranium ore and refining it into metal was easy, and the Soviets, like other nations, did so for industrial purposes vital to the prosecution of the war, such as producing steel alloys for arms. Even after the Soviets learned how to separate the isotopes, the amounts of unseparated uranium needed were huge, because so little of natural uranium is U-235. The shipment sent under Lend-Lease was a tiny fraction of what was needed to extract enough U-235 to build a bomb, even if the Soviets had the know-how, which at the time the shipments were made they did not. In fact, as we now know, the first Soviet A-Bomb, detonated in 1949, and copied from our “Fat Man” weapon, was a plutonium based bomb.

All of this information and more can be found in David Holloway’s definitive study, Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956, which West seems not to be aware of. “In April (1943),” Holloway writes, “General Groves gave the Soviet Purchasing Commission an export license for 10 kilograms of uranium metal….  A later request by the Soviet commission for eight long tons each of uranium chloride and uranium nitrate was turned down.”

As Holloway notes, the Soviet files offer no evidence that Igor Kurchatov, who led the effort to build the first Soviet A-bomb from information provided by the espionage at Los Alamos, ever used any of the material that came in the Lend-Lease flight. He cites evidence from Soviet archives that show that as late as 1945, their labs desperately needed uranium. Holloway writes: “Certainly Kurchatov’s need for uranium remained urgent. V.V. Goncharov, a chemical engineer who joined Laboratory No. 2 in 1943, has written that in 1943 the laboratory had only 90 kilograms of uranium oxide and 208 kilograms of metallic powder, and that these had been brought from Germany.”

In a letter of Sept. 29, 1944 Kurchatov complained to NKVD chief Lavrenti Beria about “the uranium problem.” The “state of affairs,” he wrote, “remains completely unsatisfactory.” Moreover, the “question of separation [of the isotopes] is particularly bad.” He believed, as Holloway writes, that “the Soviet leadership was not treating the uranium problem as a matter of high priority.” Had the Hopkins flight provided the material that Diana West says gave them the material for the bomb, all this concern would have been unnecessary.

Technical questions aside, in concocting her conspiracy theory of Lend-Lease as a Soviet plot to help Russia win the war and build an atomic bomb, West refuses to consider a range of political realities that had nothing to do with Kremlin agents.  Lend-Lease aid to Russia was premised on the assumption that it was better to have Russia as an ally in the war against Nazi Germany than fight the war alone. The entire point of Lend-Lease was to give military support to the Russian and British war efforts. The purpose of Lend-Lease (profoundly self-interested for the U.S.) was to prevent a Russian defeat so the Soviets would continue to assume the brunt of the war against the Nazis, wearing them down and saving American lives in the process.  Moreover, Lend-Lease aid was far more important in helping the British war effort than the Russian one.

In advancing her theory of Lend-Lease (while ignoring this Everest), West relies heavily on Richard Rhodes’ Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. But revealingly she makes no reference to this passage from his text: “Until the Anglo-American invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the Soviet Union fought Germany essentially alone on the European continent … Had the USSR lost that fight, hundreds of German divisions bulwarked with Soviet resources would have been freed to turn west and challenge Britain and the United States [emphasis added].”

Rhodes then goes on to quote Averill Harriman, a stalwart anti-Communist who negotiated the Lend-Lease deal with the Russians. It is a passage that West also ignores: “To put it bluntly,” Harriman said in a speech to the American people, “whatever it costs to keep this war away from our shores, that will be a small price to pay …. The United States agreed to furnish Lend-Lease and the Soviets did not doubt that they had earned it — at Leningrad, at Stalingrad, at the monstrous enclosures in the western USSR where the Germans…confined Soviet prisoners of war completely exposed without water or food. At least 4.5 million Soviet civilians and combatants had been killed by 1943; at least 25 million…died before the eventual Allied victory. From the Soviet point of view, Lend-Lease was the least America could do when the Russian people were dying; anything the Soviets could grab…must still have seemed less than a fair exchange.”

Did Truman Know About the Venona Decrypts?

This third West claim pertains to the opening years of the Cold War. But if Harry Truman, who became president in 1945, knew about the Venona decrypts (first de-classified in 1995), yet failed to pay attention to the evidence they provided of Soviet infiltration, it would bolster West’s claim that Truman was so anxious to avoid offending Stalin that even when confronted with hard evidence of Soviet treachery, he chose to do nothing about it.

To make her case, West relies on the book by Jerrold and Leona Schecter, Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed America. The Schecters first claim that on June 4, 1945, Truman had a fifteen-minute meeting with Gen. Carter W. Clarke and Col. Ernest Gibson of Army Intelligence, who informed the President that army code-breakers had been attempting to read Soviet cables from Moscow to Washington since 1943. Truman was worried, according to West, that making the decrypted cables public or dealing with what they revealed would “damage FDR’s place in history.” West further comments that Truman saw the revelations only as “a partisan political problem” that Republican hawks would use to bash Democrats, adding, “the sensational body of information which belonged to a betrayed nation, remained on political ice at all costs.”

The problem with this fanciful indictment is that in June 1945, the code-breakers had not fully decrypted any of the intercepted messages. Consequently, General Clarke and Colonel Gibson would not have had much to report about the contents of the cables the code-breakers were working on.  Truman could not have had such an alarmed reaction to information they were unable to give him at the time.

West then shifts the time frame five years forward, relying on an interview with Oliver Kirby, an American cryptanalyst who worked on the Venona project. Kirby gave the interview to the Schecters in the late 1990s. Kirby told them that both Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White were “positively identified” in decrypts in 1950, and that he brought this information to General Omar Bradley. According to Kirby, Bradley reported that Truman “was most upset and agitated by this,” saying that if the operation became known “it could take us down.” West then writes: “In other words, President Truman took in and grasped revelations that according to Soviet secret cables, the most senior-level, trusted, and powerful government officials had been working on behalf of the Soviet Union, and then he, as president, did nothing about it.” He pretended the whole thing was a “fairy story.” No evidence, she writes, has “emerged to contradict Kirby” whose “assessment of Truman’s visceral aversion to Venona’s revelations comes from notes he made at the time…” She concludes that Truman made “consistent efforts to quash any and all information pertaining to the Communist infiltration of the U.S. government….”

Once again, West shows that she does not know how to evaluate the reliability of a source or assess the evidence produced. The Schecter interviews with Kirby occurred nearly a half century after the events alleged to have taken place. Even worse, Kirby’s account is third-hand. He claimed that General Clarke told him this at some unspecified time, and acknowledges that he himself was not present at any meeting between Truman and Bradley.  Nor is there any documentation to show that such a meeting ever took place.

Reading about this supposed meeting in the Schecter’s book, Harvey Klehr checked the White House logs. They showed that in June of 1945 Clarke did meet with Truman, but they say nothing at all about what was discussed. I also contacted Jerrold Schecter, the authority West depends on.  He emailed me:  “The Kirby notes you refer to were simply that Truman knew of the project to decode Venona but the details of the code breaking came much later. She has taken this out of context it appears to me.”

Most importantly, Kirby’s version contradicts the NSA’s own account of the Venona project chronology. The Schecters say, and West accepts their claim, that Truman was told in June 1945 that the U.S. was “reading secret Soviet messages.” The NSA official history says that at that time, they had made progress in decoding the cables, but did not have any significant readable text. Cryptanalysts had deciphered a few messages, but the underlying Soviet code had not yet been broken. Consequently, the cryptanalysts had at that time only a few cover names and isolated words, no clue as to what the subject of any of the cables were. That came only after 1946, when Meredith Gardner began his work on Venona, and made the necessary progress in breaking the codes. A year before this breakthrough Clarke had nothing of substance to tell Truman, which means that Kirby’s claim about Truman’s alleged reaction is without foundation. Indeed, the Schecters themselves write that “Clarke did not show any messages to the president; he could only report that the efforts were under way and initial results were promising after two years of work.” As in her use of source material elsewhere, West ignores these crucial facts.

There is, in addition, a 1949 FBI memo indicating that Omar Bradley had decided not to inform Truman about the Venona program, which was at the time top-secret. The FBI had by then told Truman about information contained in the messages, but not that it was information that came from decoded Soviet cables. Truman’s well known distrust of FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, as Klehr and Haynes have written, “denied the president any assurance that the information was reliable and may have misled him about the seriousness of the problem [of Soviet espionage].”

Kirby told the Schecters that Clarke had long conversations with Bradley and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal about Venona. But contrary to West’s claim, Kirby acknowledged to the Schecters that he had no notes of this meeting. There is nothing in either Bradley’s or Forrestal’s own papers that would corroborate Kirby’s story.

In short, a third key element in West’s vast conspiracy theory is so much hot air.

Should the United States have joined Germany to Fight the Soviet Union?

Bizarre as it might sound, this is the fourth pillar of West’s argument. In her effort to paint the Roosevelt administration as a puppet of Soviet intelligence, she argues that towards the end of the war, the American government turned down the opportunity to arm German soldiers willing to form a new army to go to war against the USSR. American leaders were so pro-Soviet, in other words, that they missed one final opportunity to halt the Red Army’s advance into Eastern Europe, thereby delivering these countries to Stalin’s tender mercies and precipitating the Cold War. As she writes, “There existed many German anti-Nazis, even many high-ranking ones…who wanted to end World War II early; that’s the basic concept…we ignored them…Our best interests, once again, were subverted for Soviet ends.”

Her case rests on a story told by FDR’s old friend and former Governor of Pennsylvania, George H. Earle. She spends pages relating how Earle contacted German intelligence chief Admiral Wilhelm Canaris in 1943, and tried to persuade him to accept U.S. “peace feelers.” Although this is another well-known episode, West organizes the material to make the reader believe that it was ignored when first made public years ago, and that her own book is finally revealing its momentous significance.

In presenting her case, she has facile answers to the obvious difficulties that confront her scenario. She writes, for example, that the US could have supported the opposition to Hitler and backed a coup against him, thus producing “the defection of the German army and negotiate its surrender to the Allies.” She suggests Canaris and others had the ability to overthrow Hitler, close the death camps, and thwart Soviet conquests in Europe and Asia.

It is apparent that West is unfamiliar with much of the research that has been done on World War II, or the fact that her counterfactual speculations are not regarded as realistic possibilities by any reputable historian of the era. She does not seem to know the context of the decisions that FDR, Churchill and the generals in the field made, or appreciate the factors they had to take into account. Or more likely she prefers to ignore them because her theories could not survive the encounter.

In one paragraph she writes that the “German underground movement was resolutely and operationally anti-Communist just as much as it was anti-Nazi. In Communist occupied Washington — and London, too — this particular wing of the Anti-Hitler resistance was viewed as the enemy just as much as Hitler was.” She adds: “common cause with the Communist regime superseded all, even German surrender.” In explaining Washington’s failure to take advantage of the conditions for anti-Soviet collaboration with Germany, she writes later in her book, “a point of secret penetration and subversion had been passed beyond which appeasement was a fundamental principle.”

West has read historian Laurence Rees’ World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis, and the West, British Book Award Book of the Year for History in 2009 and also the basis for a BBC television documentary which was aired on all American PBS stations. West cites Rees in her text, and clearly much of her account comes from his own findings and work. But she has ignored all the evidence Rees assembles in his book, and all the arguments he makes that refute her conclusions.

When I myself read about George H. Earle’s advice to FDR in West’s book, it sounded very familiar, until I realized I had read the same account, with the same quotes and detail in Rees’ book.  Rees gives a nuanced account of how Western leaders dealt with Stalin and the Nazis that shows that they went out of their way to placate the Soviet tyrant, if necessary by hiding the facts of the massacres conducted near Katyn Forest, a suppression that has been known for decades.  But Rees does not share West’s conspiratorial mindset, or her claim that the suppression, which Churchill demanded, was the result of machinations by Soviet agents. In fact Rees reaches conclusions quite the opposite of West’s, something readers of West’s book would be unaware of.

Rees asks an important question that West might have paid attention to: Could Western leaders have “prevented the Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe by acting differently during their partnership with Stalin?” One possible way would have been the Earle-West proposal.  But this is Rees’ judgment of such a course:

It would have been a disastrous course of action. Perhaps the Red Army would have been forced back, but at a terrible cost in Allied lives. Even more importantly, the Europe that would have then existed after the war would have been a good deal less stable than the one we were actually left with. That is because, even after Stalingrad, the German army was still a fearsome fighting machine. If the Western allies had fought alongside the Germans and then reached some kind of uneasy peace with the Soviets — who would, of course, have felt betrayed by the West, probably fueling a future conflict — who would then have disarmed the German army? Germany would have been unoccupied by the Western Allies and still immensely powerful. So, thankfully, Roosevelt filed Earle’s plan in the bin.

This is the consensus of every historian of the war. The decision not to consider an entente with Hitler’s army against Stalin was a clear-headed affirmation of U.S. interests, not a betrayal, as West virtually screams.

Consider the political difficulties of reversing the course of wartime history at this late juncture. For four years, the Soviet Union had been portrayed as an ally to western publics, praised for its sacrifices and efforts in behalf of “freedom,” while the Germans had secured a place in the public mind as evil incarnate. Could Western leaders turn this equation inside-out while the war was still hot? These are the kinds of questions that never occur to West because she is entirely focused on explaining the decisions of the Allies in terms of the Soviet “occupation” of Western governments: “World War II could have been ended years earlier had Communists working for Moscow not dominated Washington, quashing every anti-Nazi, anti-Communist attempt beginning in late 1942, throughout 1943 and 1944, to make common cause with Anglo-American representatives. Their main condition, Allied support on keeping Russian troops out of central and eastern Europe, was an instant deal breaker—the anti-Red line- neither the Communist-occupied British government nor the Communist-occupied American government would dare to cross.”

To West, Roosevelt and Churchill were seeking to liberate Europe for the Soviets, because of the Communist occupation of their governments. This construct is a conspiracy theory that has run off the rails and is utterly oblivious to the realities on the ground.

The Issue of the Second Front

The final piece of West’s conspiracy puzzle is the decision to open a Second Front on the continent of Europe, which Stalin had been demanding from the moment Hitler broke his pact with the Kremlin and invaded the Soviet motherland. Let us assume for a moment that a cross-Channel invasion had been mounted in 1943 (before the Axis armies had been decimated in North Africa, Sicily and Italy) instead of at Normandy in 1944. In that case, as Rees argues, the Allies might indeed have reached Eastern Europe earlier in the fighting and Soviet influence would have been lessened. West, as we have seen, attributes the failure to Soviet agents who prevented Roosevelt and Churchill from following this course, allowing Stalin to take control. But Rees also writes (in a passage West also ignores) that “the cost in human terms for the Western Allies would have been enormous.”

The U.S. lost roughly 420,000 soldiers during the war and Britain lost 450,000, while the Soviet Union’s military death toll was an estimated 8 million. Forget the fact that the Allied armies, learning by doing, were not ready for an invasion of Europe a year before D Day. West doesn’t even consider the question of whether Churchill and Roosevelt would have been willing to sacrifice so much as one million more dead British and American soldiers to keep Eastern Europe out of Soviet hands at the war’s end, let alone whether the American and British publics would have stood for such a sacrifice and policy.

Another point that West fails to consider is the continuing fear shared by both FDR and Churchill that at any point in the fighting, the situation she envisions might be reversed and Stalin might seek a separate peace with Nazi Germany, and move towards a rapprochement as he did during the Nazi-Soviet Pact. In March 1942, when the Allies were facing major military setbacks, Churchill wired FDR that the “gravity of the war” forced him to conclude that Britain and the U.S. could not deny Stalin the frontiers he wanted in Eastern Europe, even though it might contradict the goals of the Atlantic Charter. It was not Soviet agents who led Churchill to this judgment, but the military reality on the ground.

Instead of weighing these fears, West turns to another anecdote telling how George Elsey found confidential files in the Map Room that showed FDR naively thinking he could trust Stalin, and instructed Hopkins to tell Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov that FDR was in favor of a Second Front in 1942. She believes that this was a smoking gun proving that FDR was “making common cause with the NKVD.” But here’s what Hopkins actually told Molotov: “I can tell you that President Roosevelt is a very strong supporter of a Second Front in 1942, but the American generals don’t see the real necessity of the Second Front. Because of this I recommend you paint a harrowing picture of the situation in the Soviet Union so that American Generals realize the seriousness of the situation.”

An obvious explanation of this (one by the way that Rees provides) is that FDR wanted to give Molotov the impression that he supported the Soviet request for a Second Front, but was frustrated by his recalcitrant generals. Thus while giving the Soviets the impression that he was their friend, and cementing the alliance that saved so many American lives, he kept his options open. Molotov came out of the meeting expecting a Second Front that same year, which as FDR already knew he would not get. The reality, which West closes her eyes to, is that FDR denied Stalin’s wishes without giving him cause to seek another accommodation with Hitler.

Contrary to West’s shallow and erroneous interpretation of this event, when the Second Front did not materialize on Stalin’s timetable (as Laurence Rees notes), Stalin came “to believe that Roosevelt had added outright duplicity to the mix,” and that “he had been betrayed.”

In his book The Cold War: A New History, John Lewis Gaddis, the pre-eminent historian of this conflict, agrees that Stalin’s goal was to dominate the continent of Europe in the same way Hitler had before the war. But in 1947, Stalin said, “had Churchill delayed opening the second front in northern France by a year, the Red Army would have come to France…We toyed with the idea of reaching Paris.” If FDR and Churchill were really Stalin’s errand boys, as West suggests, why would they not have delayed the Normandy invasion and allowed the Soviets to reach Western Europe?

Gaddis also agrees with Rees and other major WW II scholars that “the greatest Anglo-American fear had been that the Soviet Union might again cut a deal with Nazi Germany…which would leave large portions of Europe” under totalitarian rule, “hence the importance Roosevelt and Churchill attached to keeping the Soviet Union in the war.”

This meant providing all possible assistance in food, clothing, and armaments, even if flying them in by desperate means and at a great cost: running convoys to Murmansk and Archangel while avoiding German submarines was no easy thing to do. It also meant not contesting Stalin’s demands for the restoration of lost territories, despite the awkward fact that some of these…had fallen under Soviet control only as a result of his pact with Hitler.  Finally, forestalling a separate peace on the European continent as soon as was military feasible, although in London and Washington that was understood to require postponement until success seemed likely at an acceptable cost.

I quote Gaddis at length to indicate that the decisions reached by FDR and Churchill were not the results of being run by NKVD conspirators who had infiltrated Western governments, but because they needed to win the war against Hitler, which they realized would be impossible to accomplish without Soviet military strength.

Even the most minimally informed reader will recognize the most obvious chink in West’s conspiracy theories: the failure to explain how the anti-Bolshevik Churchill, whose hatred for the Soviet regime went back to 1917 when he sought to crush it in its cradle, became a Soviet dupe.

At Yalta Churchill did agree to the division of Europe with a Soviet sphere of influence in the East in exchange for a promise by Stalin to accept British hegemony in Greece.

True, the way the agreement was sold to western publics was outrageous. Stalin was presented as a leader who wanted democratic regimes in his own sphere. But the Yalta agreements were concluded in order to win the war while minimizing casualties, and, in any case, merely registered what had already occurred on the ground. It was most certainly not the conspiracy that West conjures. Western leaders hoped, foolishly perhaps, that Stalin might keep his word to allow free elections in the Baltic States and Poland. But as Stalin told Molotov when signing the Yalta accords, “Do not worry. We can implement it in our own way later. The heart of the matter is the correlation of forces.” That correlation of forces is something West simply wishes away.

In agreeing to these arrangements Churchill was hardly a patsy let alone an unwitting tool of Kremlin agents. As the historian of Yalta, S. M. Plokhy, writes in Yalta: The Price of Peace, at the same time Churchill was defending the agreement to the British parliament, and facing his critics, “he was haunted by memories of Munich as he considered and reconsidered what had happened.” Churchill realized, however, that there were limits to what he could do to rein in the Soviet dictator. “Great Britain and the British Commonwealth,” Churchill said, “are very much weaker militarily than Soviet Russia, and have no means, short of another general war, of enforcing their point of view.” The reality, as Stalin said, was that “whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system.”

One of the first rude awakenings about Yalta was Stalin’s treatment of American POW’s in Soviet territory. West writes about “how they were being preyed upon by Russian thugs and prevented from coming home — but it wasn’t ‘appropriate’ for their commander-in-chief to send another crummy cable about this unconscionable outrage to the Soviet dictator, whose army…[was] still being fully fitted out by the magnanimous American taxpayer via Lend-Lease.”

Actually, as Plokhy shows, the Soviets treated American POW’s fairly well. Nevertheless, contrary to West, FDR “lost his temper with Stalin and sided completely with his representatives in Moscow, who by now were sick and tired of Soviet ways of doing things.” He sent stern messages to Stalin inspired by Averell Harriman, no pro-Soviet stooge, who was angered by the dictator’s behavior. FDR said to Anna Rosenberg Hoffman, his unofficial advisor on labor matters, “Averell is right: we can’t do business with Stalin. He has broken every one of his promises he made at Yalta.”  He said this on March 24; a few weeks before his death.  I looked in vain for that statement in West’s book.  What is in West’s book is a condemnation of FDR for not doing more, for not scheduling retaliatory measures, and for not taking the advice of those who advocated turning against the Soviets although the war was not yet over. FDR was, to the very end, she writes, “America’s Dupe Number One.” No wonder the statement to Anna Hoffman does not appear in her book.

West also does not show any awareness that Harry Truman instituted a stern opposition to Stalin’s Eastern European policies culminating in the Truman Doctrine which drew a line in the sand opposing further Soviet expansion, and led to a Cold War that ended with the collapse of the Communist system. West doesn’t confront this little development because it would be inexplicable if America was a Soviet occupied state run by Stalin’s agents.

Conspiratorial theories of history are easy to create once you are prepared to ignore the realities on the ground, or regard those who do take them into account as part of the conspiracy too. This is the path that Diana West has taken in her misconceived and misleading book. Why did the U.S. and Britain not prevent the totalitarian USSR from taking over Eastern Europe after it had defeated the totalitarian Nazis?  It had nothing to do with the Rubik’s Cube of diplomatic and military considerations, a calculus that had to take into account the willingness of the American and British publics to continue to sacrifice and their soldiers to die.  No, it was a conspiracy so immense, as West’s hero Joe McCarthy might have said, that it allowed Western policy to be dictated by a shadow army of Soviet agents. It is unfortunate that a number of conservatives who should know better have fallen for West’s fictions.  It is even more depressing that her book perpetuates the dangerous one dimensional thinking of the Wisconsin Senator and his allies in the John Birch Society which have allowed anti anti-communism to have a field day in our intellectual culture.

Ronald Radosh is an Adjunct Fellow at The Hudson Institute and a columnist for PJ Media. He is author or co-author of over 15 books, and writes frequently for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and Commentary.

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  • Hank Rearden

    As Radosh points out, it is a totally true statement to say that in 1942, American leaders were supporting Stalin. Stalin was absorbing the preponderance of German aggression! Our objective was to keep him in the war.

    Incidentally, Joe McCarthy was right. The speech quoted here was regrettable, but it was McCarthy’s only serious misstep, and he had been driven hard by getting little to no support for his totally accurate perception that much of American foreign policy, was in the hands of Communists or fellow travelers. Since that WAS true, the only way the Dems could defend their record of administration over the previous 20 years was to pretend that McCarthy was either crazy or dishonest. He was not abusive to witnesses as he has been portrayed. When you look at the team we had on the China account – Solomon Adler (Marshall’s primary advisor during his mission to China and who ended his career in Beijing working for Chinese intelligence), George Silvermaster, Harry Dexter White, John Stewart Service, Owen Lattimore, others – McCarthy was right!

    • wildjew

      Radosh wrote: “In her effort to paint the Roosevelt administration as a puppet of Soviet intelligence, she argues that towards the end of the war, the American government turned down the opportunity to arm German soldiers willing to form a new army to go to war against the USSR. American leaders were so pro-Soviet, in other words, that they missed one final opportunity to halt the Red Army’s advance into Eastern Europe, thereby delivering these countries to Stalin’s tender mercies and precipitating the Cold War….”

      Good idea?

      • Hank Rearden

        Oh, no. A crazy idea. I just wanted to defend old Joe. For the rest of it, I am with Radosh. My point on our supporting Stalin was that because it was true, it could be twisted into something nefarious. We had to finish off the Nazis. Eastern Europe was crushed between those two forces – Russia and Germany – and there was not a lot we could do about it. It’s a tangled skein because Roosevelt was advised by Alger Hiss at Yalta. But we did not have The Bomb at that time, so WHATEVER Alger Hiss told Roosevelt, the Russians were in Eastern Europe and there was not a lot we could do about it.

        • wildjew

          Seems to me it was unfortunate the United States found itself in a position where it needed Russia to help defeat Germany because it was too powerful by the time America began re-arming. Were you aware the GOP (my party) was dominated by isolationists during the nineteen thirties, so much so they tried to destroy 1940 Republican nominiee Wendell Willkie who was an “interventionist.” My party was the party of Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford and other pro-German isolationists! Congressman Ron Paul (maybe Rand Paul) would have loved the Republican party were he active in party politics then.

          Do you think it possible Republicans felt they needed to compensate for that folly and perhaps over compensated a bit? I haven’t read a biography on Senator McCarthy yet. Guess I will get around to it. Did you know Dwight D. Eisenhower privately loathed McCarthy and his tactics? What do you think of Eisenhower? Maybe he was too soft on Communism, an evil ideology. I think I read not only did McCarthy use the Communist-spy label against his political enemies, he also looked into his political opponents’ sex lives. Seems to me that is going to far, don’t you think?

          • FOARP

            “Were you aware the GOP (my party) was dominated by isolationists during the nineteen thirties, so much so they tried to destroy 1940 Republican nominiee Wendell Willkie who was an “interventionist.” ”

            Yet, strangely, the above has not led to books being written about how the USA was under Nazi “occupation” during the 1930’s.

        • tagalog

          Alger Hiss was a minor State Department functionary at Yalta. I am skeptical of the claim that he advised FDR. It’s true that he’s among the figures in the background in a couple of those “Big 3″ photographs, but I don’t think he was a prominent figure at Yalta.

          • David Ashton

            Curiously I’ve missed his face in the pictures I’ve seen. Judicious cropping?

            A pity the author refused to reply to Radosh.

      • tagalog

        By 1945, the British Empire’s forces were bled white. The French were preoccupied with rebuilding France. Americans were tired of war and wanted our troops home. Arming the Wehrmacht and turning them loose on the Soviets in 1945 would have been suicidal for the Germans and create even more chaos in an already chaotic Europe which had been prostrated by the war’s destruction and death.

        • Chez

          Agreed. West makes the assumption that public opinion in America was instantly malleable…..that Truman could just snap his fingers and a complete re-orientation of America’s war policy was possible. It just wasn’t that simple.

          Just examine the destructiveness of Bush’s Iraq policy on America’s political evolution. It was this singular issue that facilitated Obama’s nomination (excepting Kucinich, none of his Democratic rivals shared his inexorable opposition to the war). Had Truman reversed course on a dime, joined our enemy to fight our “friend”, the shock to public opinion may just have facilitated a similar result in the election of 1948, to the great detriment of our willingness to fight the Cold War. There are always unforeseen repercussions.

          • Hank Rearden

            Absolutely right. Also we have to remember that the US of A had no complaint with the Russian people. Yes, the regime spoke for the people and we had to live with that. But the German/Nazi attack on Russia was a world historical move. The Nazis hated the Slavs and it was Hitler’s program to kill a lot of the Russian people and enslave the rest of them as helots to a German rural aristocracy – basically Sparta in the modern world. There had been dreadful atrocities committed by the German Army and the SS against the Russians.

            All of that was completely alien to the U.S. Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution, we had historically had friendly relations with Russia going all the way back to the Revolution. German intent in Russia was not ours.

        • Fritz

          The British had to maintain rationing for two likely reasons, the first being that they were largely bankrupt by the end of the war, the second and likely more pressing reason was that they decided to nationalize much of their economy. So they and their Empire underwent a slow and steady decline right up until the Winter of Discontent in 1979. Remember that the Germans, the aggressors in WW2, had no rationing, abolished wage and price controls, embraced free markets, recovered far more quickly, and have been the economic engine of Europe ever since.

          • tagalog

            The point is that the claim that the Allies should not have given away Eastern Europe to Stalin at Yalta, and instead armed the Germans to invade the USSR, is a spurious one because the Allies and the Germans, politics aside, were in no position to do that, and therefore the West claim that acquiescence in the Soviet territorial grab is evidence of U.S. pro-Soviet conspiracy is groundless.

        • Jerry Rosen

          There was also the little matter of the war in the Pacific. One of the major concerns at Yalta and Potsdam was Soviet entry in to the war in the Far East. Those who did not know of the Manhattan project (which was not proven until July 16, 1945 at Alamogordo NM — really, until Hiroshima) estimated that invasion of the Japanese home islands would cost a million casualties (and take until 1947) and that even with Soviet help, most of these would be American. In addition, there was a Japanese Army of more than a million on the Asiatic mainland and even if the home islands surrendered, that army had a history of ignoring its own higher commanders; so no one could tell that the feared land was in Asia might go on interminably. So assistance from the Soviets was essential, and required concessions.
          The war in Europe ended in May 1945, and the Soviet action in Manchuria began on August 1, as promised. It was a remarkable effort to move a substantial force across Siberia on a single railway in order to attack at all.

          Of course, anyone who thinks McCarthy was anything but a drunken, loose cannon, will not care to appreciate such little details. As to “Communist” influence during the war, isn’t it possible that the policy-makers, aware of the tremendous bleeding the USSR was having, might have had a little human sympathy for allies, and that may have swayed their judgment from time to time? Isn’t that more plausible than positing a conspiracy so vast that etc. etc.?

      • EarlyBird

        You mean, would it have been a good idea to immediately re-arm a country with whom the West had just fought a cataclysmic war, and which still included many Nazis?

        No.

        • wildjew

          Exactly. That was Woodrow Wilson’s folly. He did not re-arm the German army but he did not destroy the German army or defeat Germany. Germany did not know she was defeated; thus the “stab in the back.” FDR and Churchill did not repeat Wilson’s mistake. Apparently Diane West does advocate repeating Wilson’s folly.

          • EarlyBird

            You’re exactly right. To my knowledge WWI was the only major war where the “loser” never had his own land invaded. It didn’t “feel” like a defeat until afterwards, and fast forward you end up with Hitler nursing that wound.

          • Drakken

            Had Imperial Germany not had their noses rubbed in their defeat, you would not have had a Hitler, but the Kaiser could have continued to rule.

          • EarlyBird

            You are correct, sir.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            That has been the popular consensus for years, and certainly has a great deal of truth to it. I have grown skeptical, however, when I read about the German’s own war aims formulated before WWI. They are FAR more draconian than the Allies terms at Versailles. The truth is, the Germans would have done far worse had the Allies lost.

            There is also the issue of the counterfactual “you would not have had a Hitler.” That also has a lot of truth to it. But it is also true that were it not for a whole series of disasters and horrendous missteps, there would not have been a Hitler. Had Chamberlain stood up to him on Czechoslovakia, for example, the Abwehr would likely have removed Hitler from power (they had already formulated plans for doing so) and WWII would never have happened. The possible scenarios are almost literally infinite.

          • EarlyBird

            Interesting, Benjamin. On a side note, pick up Ron Rosenbaum’s “Explaining Hitler,” one of the most engaging books I’ve ever read. It explores a lot of Hitler’s psyche, the German psyche of the time, asks the old question of whether Hitler was a product of Germany, or Germany a product of Hitler, was a leader like him bound to come about? That kind of stuff.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            As my own aside, if you want to see just how absolutely bonkers mad Hitler actually was, read the political testament he dictated on his last day in the bunker. He actually claims he lost the war because of the machinations of the Jewish conspiracy, and this is after having wiped out a third of the world’s Jews with basically no opposition whatsoever. I’m not sure Stalin was mentally ill – evil, definitely, but not necessarily crazy – but Hitler definitely was completely round the bend.

          • EarlyBird

            Yes, and definitely by the end of the war. I think he had syphillis or some other truly biological basis for madness. I’m familiar with his final rant that the Jews lost the war for him. Totally whacked. (I agree too that Stalin was evil, not necessarily nuts.)

            Regarding your other post below that can’t be responded to (a glitch), yes, I can see your point. You feel dirty spending too much time in that mad man’s mind. I just read “In The Garden of Beasts,” about the family of the US ambassador to Germany in the years before the war and it’s a chilling read of a nation gone mad.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            I actually think a proper psychohistorical analysis of Hitler (based on the information we have, obviously) could be extremely interesting. It might actually be possible to come to an approximate diagnosis. Malignant narcissism obviously seems likely; although paranoid schizophrenia could be a possibility as well. I know that he was often given to long hours pacing rooms having conversations with himself, which suggests the possibility of auditory hallucinations. Does Rosenbaum’s book engage with this question?

          • EarlyBird

            It does go deep into post-facto psychoanalysis and does a great job of it. I recall reading too he was given to fits of hysteria and deep depressions, really high highs and low lows. He was also of course famous for crying during certain speeches.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            That suggests a severe bi-polar condition, which can also cause auditory hallucinations – as well as severe delusions of grandeur. Perhaps I’ll risk Mr. Rosenbaum’s book after all…

          • Drakken

            If the allies hadn’t demanded reparations and crippling embargos that ruined Austria and Germany and kept both the Kaiser and the Emperor in power, Europe would have some semblance of order, versus the chaos the reigned during the 20’s and 30’s and kept the communists out. Hitler was result of the times and nature abhors a vacuum so you would have gotten someone exactly like Hitler regardless.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            I don’t deny that you are right to an extent, though I disagree that the terms of Versailles ruined the Austrian and German economy, which actually did moderately well – all things considered – until the ’29 crash wiped them out.

            Also, the Kaiser and the Emperor weren’t removed by the Allies. They were thrown out by the revolutions that swept the Central powers at the end of the war. They weren’t coming back no matter what.

            I actually think the main damage was cultural – forcing Germany to accept full responsibility for the war and putting it in a completely subordinate position to the Allies definitely alienated the entire German population and put the militarist Right on the path to fascism.

            Where I disagree is on the moral issue. That Germany would have done far worse had they won somewhat vitiates their right to complain, in my opinion.

            In addition, one has to consider the enormous trauma of the war. Given the enormous casualties they suffered, one can understand England and especially France being a bit pissed off when it was all over.

            I also disagree that we would have gotten someone “exactly like Hitler” no matter what. Hitler was a very distinct personality and I strongly doubt that someone exactly like him was to be found anywhere. I agree that the Weimar democracy was doomed in any case, but the most likely replacement would have been a military government – which very nearly happened. Indeed, the only reason Hitler was allowed into government in the first place was that the military thought he was controllable and they could rule through him from behind the scenes.

            Richard Evans’ “The Coming of the Third Reich” gives an excellent overview of all these subjects, and definitely changed my thinking on the subject.

          • Drakken

            The mistake your making is including morality in your thesis, it has no room where war and peace are concerned, that is the problem we are having today, fighting wars with our hands tied behind our backs and fretting over every decision. It makes for a bloodier conflict on the horizon as WW 2 proved.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            Well, I don’t necessarily disagree in terms of policy. But from a historical perspective I think it has some relevance. I also think that the willingness of Allied forces (especially Britain) to fight and keep fighting during WWII was party the belief that they were morally right and the Nazis were evil and had to be stopped.

          • Drakken

            Morality had nothing to do with it, Britain in their thought process thought that Germany was going to invade them, and if it wasn’t for Hitler and his incompetence, they might have been successful. The Brits were in fear for their very survival so it had nothing to do with morality. You cannot fight and win wars by taking a so called high moral ground, you win by doing very nasty and unpleasant things which are the very opposite of morality.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            I think we’re arguing past each other. I don’t necessarily disagree entirely with what you say. But Britain COULD have capitulated to Hitler and, in fact, seriously considered it.

          • cjkcjk

            No they wouldn’t have because they learned better the hard way. They finally knew who they were dealing with and would only have capitulated as a last resort which they were no where’s near at any time during WWII

          • cjkcjk

            Finally someone who understands the enemy we face both foreign and domestic. We being a moral people have a hard time understanding just how EVIL the left among us really are. Unfortunately the moral people of any given nation come to that realization usually when it’s too late.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “American leaders were so pro-Soviet, in other words, that they missed one final opportunity to halt the Red Army’s advance into Eastern Europe, thereby delivering these countries to Stalin’s tender mercies and precipitating the Cold War….””

        Probably not. I’d say no unless more information comes to light. But we could have slowed down our support of the Soviets.

        Actually in my mind I am confident that if we had just ensured undivided loyalty among the FDR administration that we could have reacted more wisely towards the end of the war and managed the cold war to our much greater advantage. It would have been a much smaller, shorter and colder war.

        I don’t buy in to all of her projections, but there is a lot we can learn from the data she compiled.

      • Fritz

        I happen to believe that many of the poor decisions by the Roosevelt administration with regard to the Soviets late in the war likely had more to do with the deteriorating health of the president then an active conspiracy. There were reds inside the Roosevelt administration to be sure, and they likely did have an influence on public policy, but I think it would be a stretch to say that the White House was an extension of the Kremlin. The Roosevelt administration was also slow to acknowledge the looming threat of Japanese imperialism back in the 1930s but nobody would claim that the White House was being controlled by the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

        FDR had a gentleman’s agreement with the press not to be photographed from the waist down from early on, and he kept his overall health a secret right up until the day he died. So by the time the Yalta conference came about you had a president that was already long in the tooth literally both physically and possibly mentally, but because the condition of his health was never disclosed nobody but he, his doctor, and his wife knew exactly how poor it was.

        It’s no wonder how he could have been persuaded to give such concessions to the Soviets at Yalta. Stalin and Molotov were master manipulators up against a weak opponent who did not really understand what they stood for.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      This is rebuttal to West’s book is meaningless when we have a President who is a complete FRAUD and no one seems to give a crap. Obama has been flaunting three fraudulent documents that we know of, there may be more. His April 27th, 2011 computer generated document is a forgery and has been proven to be a forgery and I see no Front Page articles talking about that. His Selective Service registration was fraudulent and no Front Page article about that. His SS# has been flagged several times by E-verify and Front Page has no articles about that. You must ask why. There is plenty of evidence to warrant articles. Prove me wrong.

      • EarlyBird

        Oh shut up, you crank!

        • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

          Your the “crank”. You should refrain from commenting on the criminal investigation you know NOTHING about.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            We know what you have claimed about it, which is manifestly deranged.

        • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

          Did you notice that Horowitz refuses to comment about the fraud and crimes. Scared to death!!

      • Fritz

        I think that there are far higher crimes and misdemeanors that this president and much of his administration could be charged and convicted of then whether his paperwork was fraudulent or not. How about the fact that a number of mid East advisers working in the sate department are connected with CAIR or the Moslem Brotherhood? How about operation Fast and Furious. How about the IRS being unleashed on political opponents? How about the NSA conducting surveillance and data mining on innocent U.S civilians? How about ignoring the constitutional separation of powers? Abuse of power?Then we have probably cases of money laundering, racketeering, electoral fraud, extortion, but you can get past the damned birth certificate for some reason.
        But this isn’t what this article was about anyhow, it was about the foreign policy of past administrations under FDR and Truman.

        • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

          Nothing hire than TREASON.

          • Joda

            Constant spelling errors be damned.

            Would you say Joseph McCarthy is a great American HERO?

      • Sophie Meyer

        Loosen up your tin foil topper skippy. All they hooey you spew has been debunked by credible media sources. Because you choose to blindly believe the bunk from nonsense conspiracy sites does not make it true.

    • EarlyBird

      In my mind, the only thing that McCarthy got wrong – and it was a very big thing considering we live in, you know, a democracy – is that he ruined many people who merely had communist sympathies, in addition to those who were actively working for the Soviets.

      • Hank Rearden

        That is generally believed, but it is a misconception. McCarthy’s point was that since we were in a struggle with the Soviet Union and Communism in general, it was not a good thing to have people in policy-making positions who were either themselves Communists or were fellow travelers. It WAS his objective to get such people out of government, but he didn’t, nor did he want to, pursue them beyond that. He recognized their civil right to free association and free expression.

        McCarthy struggled to have the people he was concerned about discussed only by number. It was the Dems in the Senate, presumably to embarrass McCarthy, who required him to name some of them in public (the Dems were in the majority in the Senate 1950 – 1952).. McCarthy’s view was that no one should be named until they had been investigated. As I say, it was the Dems who required him to name people and he didn’t name them all.

        Lastly, you have to be a little careful about history which is usually written by Liberals. Thus, a lot of copy on McCarthy was written either by McCarthy targets or friends of targets. What you get, therefore, is Al Capone’s view of Elliot Ness. Yes, it IS true that Ness was breaking up Capone’s organization and from Capone’ view Ness was a bad guy. But that would not be OUR view.

        Similarly with McCarthy.

      • GuyGreen

        You know, young man, in another post you said McCarthy destroyed himself. Wouldn’t Communist sympathizers be worthy of a similar analysis? And, for the record, we live in a federal republic. Democracy is two foxes and a chicken deciding what’s for dinner.

        • EarlyBird

          Your post is a complete non-sequitor.

          • GuyGreen

            Congratulations. Realizing you have a problem is a giant step forward.

          • Guest

            Another non-sequitor.

    • semus

      No kidding Hank Rearden, as in Hank Rearden from Atlas Shrugged?
      Anyway McCarthy definitely was right, I don’t understand why David Horowitz is ignoring this every time he uses the term McCarthyism it bother me. I don’t know enough about Rodash to trust him on way or another. Anyway if it’s the speech I think it was, McCarthy didn’t want to name names. He wanted to expose was was going on. It was a successful Coup d’etat. Truth be told I’m becoming suspicious of this Radosh’s aggression. I mean god forbid if the truth ever got out about McCarthy.

      • Hank Rearden

        Yep. Things are a little slow in Galt’s Gulch because it’s all perfect. So I got a little stir crazy and figured I’d post a bit on the Web. Haven’t used it much since John invented it, but I thought I’d give it a spin.

    • _Orwell

      No; he wasn’t.

  • poptoy1949

    Dear Mr. Radoah, Sorry ole boy, although your conclusions are sound, I truly believe Ms. West has indeed clarified many misgivings from past historical writings.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      West got it right when she said that Obama has pulled off the “biggest fraud in the history of the United States” and there is plenty of evidence to support her conclusion. That is so much more important than this damn article.

      • dansama

        Not just in the history of the U.S.A., but the greatest fraud in many hundreds of years that will lead not only our fall as a country, but the fall of civilization itself.

      • tagalog

        There hasn’t been anything fraudulent about what Obama has done. He said he was going to transform the U.S. in his first campaign, and he’s made significant steps – overtly – to accomplish that openly-stated goal.

        What is truly terrifying is that a huge number of Americans are just fine with his doing what he’s trying to do.

        • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

          How about a forged certificate and a fraudulent Selective Service reg. good enough for you?

      • Matt Lewis

        where is the evidence? Seriously where is it? Don’t just say it is out there for us to see, post it. Prove it.

    • http://thusbloggedanderson.wordpress.com/ ThusBloggedAnderson

      What on earth does that mean, “clarified”? Her book is bunk, but it’s good anyway?

      • Autist

        It’s fake but accurate!

  • AlexanderGofen

    In a short readable comment it is an impossible task to address every twisted statement of this review by Mr. Ronald Radosh. His title “McCarthy On Steroids” and the subtitle “How Diana West’s new book … spins a vast conspiracy theory…” – are already telling enough. Obviously Mr. Radosh is a bit confused about the time and the audience he writes for. Contemporary audience already knows that the demise of America (and the West) took place (among other things) because America could produce only one McCarthy, while we needed thousands “McCarthys on steroids”.

    The demeaning Alinsky-style usage of “conspiracy theory” is telling too. However the real “achievement” of the reviewer in a role of a provocateur is the subtitle “Should the United States have joined Germany to Fight the Soviet Union?” That was not an issue discussed in the book. The issue was why not to help the anti-Hitler forces in Germany as they wished to rid of Hitler and to stop fighting at the early stages of the war, while Sovetskich were still far back in the East. (That would save tens of millions of lives).

    The veracity of the concept of the book is demonstrated merely by the list of true historic facts.

    1) In the 1920s America failed to realize the terrible threat of the 1917 Bolshevik coup in Russia and failed to suffocate it while it was so easy.

    2) Worse, in 1933 America recognized and established diplomatic relations with a cannibal, USSR. In doing so America suppressed information about the recently staged by Stalin Ukrainian famine (akin to Holocaust). America kept suppression of all the information about other massive (on the scale of millions) repressions, GULAG, tortures, and kangaroo trials in the USSR. That was the clear moment when America lost its soul (noted Diana West).

    3) In 1939 America suppressed the leaked information about the real content of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: Hitler and Stalin reached an agreement about occupation of the Eastern Europe starting the WWII.

    4) In the same time America failed to recognize a near obvious yet diabolical strategic plan of Stalin to pit Hitler against Europe and then to hit Hitler in the back and to come as a “liberator” of Europe – see the Icebreaker of V. Suvorov. Stalin was responsible for WWII no less than Hitler, and Stalin kept helping Hitler up to 6/22/1941. America’s siding with Stalin was pointless and immoral from the very beginning. However America turned actually into a bootlicker of Stalin taking a role much exceeding that of a temporary military ally.

    5) America had suppressed the information about the Khatyn atrocities committed by Stalin. America and Britain betrayed and literally handed out millions of legal Russian refugees in Europe to Stalin – a despicable crime in itself! America and Britain betrayed the Vlasov resistance Army and handed them out to Stalin too.

    6) To please Stalin, America rejected the most obvious course of defeating Germany from the bulwark in Italy, and chose the most disadvantageous landing to France on the D-Day instead.

    7) America had betrayed thousands of our soldiers to Stalin leaving them to disappear in GULAG turning into the camp dust: Denied, never heard about, forgotten forever – a despicable crime in itself! On a lesser scale the similar crime was repeated in regard to our Vietnam soldiers. Those were a bit luckier. After 7-8 years in Hanoi Hilton they were finally retrieved.

    These list alone suffice to prove the concept of the book. Such a book is a long overdue. When I first read the Russian edition of the Icebreaker by Suvorov in 1992, then living in Moscow, I realized that its plot begs for re-writing of the entire modern history. And now Ms. Diana West brilliantly did it.

    Do not believe a word of this reviewer. Judge for yourself, or go to Amazon and read over 60 5-star reviews. (One of them is mine: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3J8XJD1HG31OO)

    • Warren Raymond

      Spot on!

      • clinnochio

        Poor Mr. Radosh, he became quite gun shy after his former lib buddies blasted his book about the Rosenbergs. Whenever he comes to an anti Communist conclusion, there are a dozen qualifiers around it in the hopes some Liberal will like him (hat tip Ann Coulter). Now he is smearing Diane West. Incidentally, Harry Hopkins was a Soviet agent. It is no wonder that commies could float around the Roosevelt administration without much opposition; e.g., Hiss, Harry Dexter White; etc.

        • Jason Roberts

          Clinnochio–You do not know what you are talking about. The last word that I would ever use to describe Ron Radosh is gun shy. The Rosenberg File was written in 1983. You apparently have not read his many articles criticizing Oliver Stone’s left wing documentary on Showtime or his recent piece at Pajamas Media criticizing the Nation for turning blind eye to compelling evidence that Harry Dexter White was a Soviet spy. I suggest that you read Radosh’s writings before making overgeneralizations about him.

      • Sue Sponte

        We failed to crush the Soviet in 1917, but we sure tried, sending expeditionary forces to the Soviet Far East to aid the counter-revolutionary White armies. Oh, but by the way, weren’t we in a world war in Western Europe then that was absorbing our efforts and resources? We “recognized” the soviet regime in 1933. So what? we diplomatically “recognize” all kinds of regimes, we continued to “recognize” Germany after Hitler took power that same year. All that goes to is setting up, or maintaining, diplomatic relations with a country so that we can communicate and deal with it. A regime constituting 1/6 of the earth’s land mass is simply one that cannot be ignored and fifteen years after the Bolshevik Revolution, it was clear that this was a major world power that could not be ignored.

        • AlexanderGofen

          No, a civilized nation does not establish relationship with whichever big in the world.

          The USSR was a hell prior to Hitler, and long after the defeat of Germany. Recognition and diplomatic relations with a cannibal such as the USSR was immoral and humiliating at the very least. The opposition in America (if it were real) ought to stand on its airs not allowing this disgrace ever happen or to last long. However the real significance of diplomatic relations with a cannibal was that since then even more suppression of the information about the nature of the cannibal took place – until America turned into a de-facto vassal of that cannibal.

    • wildjew

      Diana West wrote: “The conspirators’ general idea was to surrender German forces to Anglo-American armies on the single condition that German forces then be permitted, with undetermined Allied support, to redeploy to fend off a Soviet invasion of Europe and Germany in the east.” (page 279)

      Laurence Rees wrote: “If the Western allies had fought alongside the Germans and then reached some kind of uneasy peace with the Soviets — who would, of course, have felt betrayed by the West, probably fueling a future conflict — who would then have disarmed the German army?”

    • TienBing

      Thank you very much. This “review” sorely needed a knowledgable critique.

    • agorabum

      So…the Brits and US should have fought through the alps instead of on the plains of France? And even though the Russians killed 9 out of every 10 German soldier in the war, the US shouldn’t have provided any supplies to help?

      Or the US should have started a war with Russia, to guarantee Polish freedom, in 1945?
      I don’t understand how the US could have magically caused the overthrow of Hitler without actually marching into Germany…

      • AlexanderGofen

        Yes, the allies should fight from the bulwark of Italy and through the nations neighboring Italy: Alps are not entirely impenetrable.

        As the USSR triggered the WWII on the Hitler’s side (with the plan Icebreaker in mind), America did not owe anything to these two cannibals. (And Stalin lost 7 times more soldiers than Hitler because soldiers were merely a cheap canon fodder for Stalin and Zhukov).

        No. Brits and Americans absolutely ought not to conspire with cannibal Stalin to cover his crimes and to cooperate with more of his crimes such as betrayal of the Russian refugees, betrayal of the Vlasov resistance army – and (a huge AND) – betrayal of our own POWs to GULAG! No, exposure of these crimes and staying away from the new crimes DID NOT REQUIRE an all-out war on Sovetskich. Allies had very strong economic handles on Stalin, they ought to merely keep him at bay, showing what a dirty dog he was, rather than lick his boot non-stop.

        Yet all the above was an inevitable consequence of establishing the diplomatic relations with a cannibal in 1933.

        • agorabum

          The UK was tired, spent, and bled out. The US could have put more divisions in Europe I suppose…but why should 500,000 more Americans die to keep Stalin out of Croatia or Hungary?

          Vlasov fought for the Nazis. Why would America help him?

          Stalin and Hitler were both monsters. But Hitler started the war, and Hitler’s Germany declared war on the US. You go to war with the allies you have, not the allies you wish you had…

          • AlexanderGofen

            Have I ever said “more” American troops (or more American money)?! No. We are discussing how the RIGHT strategy for winning the war with the existing forces was bent into a wrong direction in favor of the Stalin’s Icebreaker plan.

            No, it is both Hitler and Stalin who started the WWII on 9/1/1939. (Later Hitler hit Stalin first not waiting while Stalin would hit Hitler). Vlasov fought for liberation of Russia from Stalin’s hell. Whichever the case, it was the sacred duty of the Allies to not betray him to Stalin; And to not betray a few millions of legal Russian refugees to Stalin; And definitely to not betray our own POWs to Stalin. It is not about choosing a monstrous ally. It is about turning into a vassal of that monstrous ally. Yet that all started already in 1933 by establishing the diplomatic relations with this monster. This is the main thesis of the book and it is absolutely correct.

        • Guest

          “Allies had very strong economic handles on Stalin…”

          Presumably the “Allies” included the U.S. and the “strong economic handles on Stalin” would suggest that they held the cards when dealing with him.
          Yet, in an earlier post, you claimed that “…America turned into a de-facto vassal of that cannibal.”

          So, which is it?

          • AlexanderGofen

            The entire paradox and tragedy of the West/Soviet relations was exactly in that the West had always had all cards on its hands, and all the economic handles over Stalin and Sovetskih – yet the West’s rulers preferred to willingly act as though de-facto vassals of the Soviet cannibals. After every next act of their voluntary surrender to Sovetskih, the West still could revolt and shake away the yoke, yet just sled down into even greater subjugation instead. Exactly the same controversy takes place now in the relations of the West/Islam, the West acting as though a dhimmy.

            It is a very complicated big picture how the Bolshevism succeeded to inroad so much into the Western elites. “The American Betrayal” tries to explain it, and my comparative analysis does it too: http://www.resonoelusono.com/2008vs1917.htm .

            Islam has succeeded to inroad so much first of all due to the oil trade: http://www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm .

  • aquataine

    LOL, a fellow historian, I too was taken aback by West’s claims. Most liberals claim Fat Man and Little Boy were a clear threatening message to Uncle Joe. I tend to agree with most of your claims. We need our two least favorite leaders pounding their brains out while we gained strength and trained.

  • Chez

    Interesting how untouched McCarthyism was in Radosh’s repudiation of West’s book….particularly as regards the opening paragraph of this article.

    Personally, I’m still ambivalent about McCarthyism. Lord knows, there WAS indeed Communist penetration of American political, cultural and academic institutions at the time, but there were also many innocent lives/reputations destroyed by his accusations and tactics.

    In my conversations with liberals, I choose to leave the perceived evils of McCarthyism undisturbed, primarily as an instructional tool to expose the NEW McCarthyism, which is the hue and cry of “racism” and “Islamophobia” to destroy the reputations of people who espouse conservative political convictions.

    • Larry Larkin

      Would you care to elucidate some of those “many innocent lives/reputations”?
      Soviet archives have proven that McCarthy was remarkably accurate in naming who he did. And he was forced to name names in open Committee when he wanted to do it in camera to protect anybody who he did get wrong.

      • tagalog

        HUAC hurt more people than McCarthy did.

      • Chez

        Between ten and twelve thousand lost their jobs by association. I don’t suspect that even a tenth of them were card-carrying Communists (just my opinion). But Tagalog makes a valid point. Even just appearing before HUAC was a career killer, unless one enthusiastically named names.

        Still, it was McCarthy who created the atmospherics. Exposing communist penetration of US institutions was a moral necessity and he should be credited for such, but I would hope that anyone with a sense of proportion would admit that the process got out of hand.

  • joe

    Radosh writes of Ms West with a healthy dose of what appears to be poorly veiled envy. I think this article is professionally reprehensible. Shame on Radosh – and Frontpage for printing it.

    • EarlyBird

      What? How about actually debating the content of his review. What a foolish post yours is.

      • joe

        Ms. West simply doesn’t merit the excoriation inflicted on her by Radosh. There are too may real quacks out there who are dismantling our culture and re-writing history to suit their ill conceived ends. You would do better to debate those clods instead of laying accusations of “foolishness” against me. There is nothing peculiar or offensive about my post. I stand by my assessment. Radosh is out of line on this one – as are you.

        • EarlyBird

          Either West’s history is worthwhile or it isn’t. Either Radosh’s critique is worhwhile or it isn’t. It’s ridiculous to assume bad blood on behalf of Radosh, who is a committed historian of the horrors of communism.

          And really, “we” can’t disagree with others on “our team?” This site could use a bit of controversy and internal debate. It’s stuffy in here.

          • joe

            As individuals, both are “worthwhile”. Radosh’s critique is pedantic – snobbish. It smacks of the attitude prevailing in our failed halls of academe. In this particular critique, I’m reminded of Swift’s commentary in Gulliver about the debate between the “big endians” and the “little endians”. What West manages to do is kindle a practical love for our Republic. She reveals her research in practical terms. She is not alone in her assessment of the extent to which our government has been and continues to be infested with folks having a Marxist bent. Radosh need not assault the good that West brings to the table. He would have been more professional had he engaged West in private debate rather than grandstand with this public excoriation. And if it’s too stuffy for you, pitch a tent in the quad at Harvard and blow smoke with the commies.

          • EarlyBird

            It is extremely important that conservatives criticize conservatives when they are wrong or wrong-headed, as Radosh is doing, and do so in public. Movements have to self correct or they die. I am the guy screaming at my fellow citizens on the right on this site, because I see it as a place where the most extreme, paranoid and irresponsible rhetoric is brewed and consumed. It is bad for conservatism. There are some smart people here and some real cranks.

            Radosh points to what Buckley said, that negative end results are not necessarily proof of subversive intentions. History happens. The world is extremely complicated. Our leaders do the best they can for the US as they see it, with the information and tools they have at the moment. That America failed somewhere or some unfavorable result occurred is not proof of something un-American or anti-American having seeped into the government. It’s called “life.”

            It’s an infantile view, really the flipside of the liberal view which blames American for every wrong in the world. It’s as if we’re omnipotent and could always accomplish the right thing if we only had the decency to use that omnipotence.

    • http://thusbloggedanderson.wordpress.com/ ThusBloggedAnderson

      “Envy” for a raving lunatic? Whatever.

  • Warren Raymond

    Blah blah blah… reds under the beds and conspiracy this and that, but in the final analysis it just so happens that in 2013 a Marxist Muslim is in the white house; a Jo Biden holidays with Marxist loon Alec Baldwin, according to Alan West there are at least 80 Marxists in the house (and I don’t doubt it for a second and it wouldn’t even surprise me if it was twice as many) and when I watch the videos of Yuri Bezmenov and read the strategy papers of the communists its all happening. Steady, steady, by stealth and every day a little more.

    The elimination of American Exceptionalism, trampling the constitution, fundamental change of national identity, structural deconstruction of foundational principles: its all happening. No need to bicker about whether Diana West got this or that right or something wrong; what does it matter?

    Fact is, the “what does it matter” filth is already getting ready to run for president when the Obamsters time is up, to carry the torch. Ah, right: its no longer commies, we have to call them ‘progressive’, that makes all the difference, right Mr Radosh?

    Are you a progressive also?

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      Thank you thank you. You would thing Front Page would take up an investigation of their own looking into the 22 month criminal investigation that has been going on with this FRAUD in Chief. There is substantial evidence that Obama’s April 27th, 2011 computer generated pdf 9 layered document is a complete FORGERY and not a damn word from any contributors at Front Page, WHY? Obama fraudulently registered with the Selective Service in 2008 not in 1980. Obama’s SS# was flagged by E-Verify several times for being fraudulent. This IS THE SCANDAL and Front Page ignores it, WHY?

      • EarlyBird

        Yes, crank, you’ve posted this exact same hysterical garbage elsewhere throughout this thread. Stop spamming and get to an electro-shock treatment center immediately!

        • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

          Early Bird go back to bed!

      • AlexanderGofen

        Because already since 2008 the Front Page is on leash of the party which perpetrated all that. Thank you that you too brought these issues. I am doing it since 2008. Please see my replies to Dennis Milligan and http://www.resonoelusono.com/HarshLetterToMembers.htm

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    A lot of sneering at Senator Joe McCarthy here – but no refutation of “Blacklisted by History” by M. Stanton Evans. Twisting what Senator McCarthy said and ignoring historical events (such as the order, from the American government [under the influence of the pro Communist “old China hands” – mostly academics], to Chang to stop the Manchurian offensive in 1946 – an order that directly led to the victory of the Communists in the Civil War and the murder of some 60 million human beings by the regime of Mao) is not good. And it should be pointed out that the betrayal of China occurred under the Truman Administration (although Harry Truman himself appears to have been “out of the loop”) and without the excuse that the betrayal of Eastern Europe had (i.e. Franklin Roosevelt’s agreement to, de facto, hand over Eastern Europe to Stalin at the Yalta Conference – an agreement that Truman, even with his atomic monopoly, was not in a POLITICAL position to break).
    By the way – Franklin Roosevelt had no more interest in saving the Jewish people from the National Socialists than he had in saving Eastern Europeans from the Marxists (see Paul Johnson’s “A History of the Jews” for Franklin Roosevelt vile response to Winston Churchill request that the transport links to the Extermination Camps be bombed – Roosevelt even quotes, as true, Nazi propaganda figures that pretended to show that Jewish people dominated the professions in Germany before the National Socialist take over in 1933).
    Nor is it good to ignore that one of the first actions of the New Dealers (right back in the 1933) was to officially recognise the Soviet regime (the regime of Stalin) and to try and destroy the records of the old “Russian Section” of the State Department (they did this so they could pretend that they “did not know” that the Marxist regime was murdering many millions of people). This is NOT to say that all the New Dealers were Marxists (on the contrary – some of the New Dealers were more inclined to the break away movement from Marxism, Mussolini’s “Fascism” upon which the National Industrial Recovery Act and so on were based, and many other New Dealers appear to have had no clear political philosophy at all). However, there was a Communist faction among the New Dealers – and it was an important faction.
    The attitude of Mr Radosh appears to disregard anything that is not (to use his word) “scholarly” – i.e. produced by the universities. Ignoring the basic fact that most of the universities have been under leftist control (“leftist” need NOT mean “Communist” – but the Progressive followers of William James and Richard Ely certainly did not have a greater respect for objective truth than the Marxists did or do) for many years.
    By the way (just to take one specific example) it has been know for many years that Harry Hopkins was a Soviet Agent of Influence.
    If Mr Radosh has said “we do not need West to tell us what we all already know” he might have had a point. However, Mr Radosh actually appears to deny that Harry Hopkins was a Soviet agent of influence – which indicates that Mr Radosh simply does not know what he is talking about.

  • Guest

    Gee what happened to the original glowing review of American Betrayal by FPM? Gone done the memory hole?

    • Lt. Aldo Raine

      Ever hear of dissenting opinions?

      • AlexanderGofen

        Does the post of a “dissenting opinion of Radosh” implies scrubbing of the previous review of Tapson? What are you speaking about?!

    • AlexanderGofen
      • WOOF

        A valuable service, Mr. Gofen, thank you!

    • InformedCritic

      The review is gone from the FPM website, as FPM realized that the review was uninformed and uncritical, and no longer endorses it.

    • Slavko

      I love Horowitz but in in removing the favorable first review he did a disservice to his reputation. This move reminded me of Stalin’s penchant for air-brushing out from photo faces of politburo members who fell our of grace. David, a suggestion: why not show both and let your readers decide? What are you afraid of?

  • Lt. Aldo Raine

    10 comments and not one adressing Mr.Radosh’s arguments. Only attempts to character assassinate him, and botched ones to boot…

    • wildjew

      I think Diana West should stick to the scourge of totalitarian, supremacist Islam. She’s done an admiral job in that respect.

  • DogmaelJones1

    It seems that Mr. Radosh is an envious neocon, as suggested by another reader, who undoubtedly would have written the same book and reached the same conclusions as Miss West, had he but invested the time and effort that she invested. Why is it so “unlikely” that the Soviets influenced American, and especially Roosevelt’s, foreign and war policies, to the extent Miss West alleges (and proves), when West’s original concern was the extent to which Islamic influences on U.S. foreign and war policies is so obviously demonstrable? Just about everywhere we turn, we find Muslim Brotherhood operatives in virtually all government departments and agencies, including the military. Roosevelt promoted the existence of totalitarian Communism when he granted it recognition; Obama and his predecessors, chiefly George W. Bush, granted Islamic supremacism and the Brotherhood legitimacy by favoring them with enabling policies and even subsidies. So, if those phenomena are demonstrable, why isn’t the idea that Roosevelt was a willing, amoral, and pragmatic puppet of Stalin’s unbelievable?

    • dansama

      Roosevelt had many opportunities besides the war to do the right thing. His wife wanted Jewish orphans sent back to Germany. He refused to allow what was called in movie, “Voyage Of Damned”, a boatload of Jews running from Nazi Germany to land in the U.S.A.. They were then forced back to Germany and all them died. I must say this country was doomed when progressivism really grabbed power in the Theodore Roosevelt years.

  • paparotc

    Mr. Radosh: are you writing this to protect the bolsheviks, who STILL have a huge voice in our country, (and are currently in power) or to illuminate the truth? I think I know the answer. Reader Reardon is right re Joe McCarthy being right. The U.S. Government was then full of dedicated communists who favored communist China and Soviet Russia over the freedom these people yearned for. They caused the cold war and all that it cost. They changed the course of history and, in the process, caused the death of many millions of people.. AND THEY ARE STILL DOING IT TODAY.

    Sorry Radosh. When I want to read about communism in American government, I’ll read Whitaker Chambers, not some motivated revisionist..

    • James Keir Baughman

      paparotc, I fully agree with your view, with just one alteration. In 30 years of research as a writer and publisher, and as an elected official for more than ten, it seems very clear to me that Senator Joseph McCarthy was totally correct about Communists in America, in our government, and in leading, very influential institutions. He was also exactly right about who they were, and are, and which hugely influential, frightening, American arenas they control. They created Communism, destroying Russia and 100 million innocent lives in the last century. As insiders, as traitors, they are still today the major force working to sneak Communism into America. McCarthy did not include one caveat. 22% to 25% of this group of citizens are among the most loyal, dynamic, supporters of our American freedoms. They are among those working the hardest, the most effectively, to fight our now enormous Communist threat.

      +-

      • paparotc

        Thank you. I can agree with your caveat. It seems that the people in America who are most aware of our precious liberty and how close we are to losing it came from another country. They know how potent the communist threat is because they lived under it.

      • jburack

        James, if the Communists have as much power as you and the other defenders of West’s ludicrous tomb pretend, how is it you are an “elected official” of anything? How is it you and all the others here are even still alive or speaking on this forum? How is it the forum itself even exists? How is it that consistent with your beliefs you are not already underground, in hiding or fleeing for your lives? Instead you stand bravely bellowing your views from this Hyde Park Soap Box extraordinaire? Do you want us to see you as inexplicably brave and foolhardy? No one does see you that way. Not even you yourselves do. You know this is a game, but it’s a very self-defeating one. I wish you would give it up.

        • James Keir Baughman

          Sorry, Mr Burack, I did not intend to inspire a discussion of Communist ideology. That’s firmly in the minds of many Americans on both sides. Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules For Radicals” makes it clear what it means in our great Nation, that it is here within us, and that it MUST be disguised as peaceful and helpful until total power is achieved. Good to remember, though, after its 1917 take over in Russia by the Bolsheviks, 21,500,000 Christians and Gentiles were murdered or starved to death and 40,000 Christian churches burned. So I say, once again, it is very dangerous for those of us who love America as it was founded to quietly allow those who are Communists or Communist-leaning to hide by calling themselves Leftists, Marxists, Progressives, Utopians, etc., etc., etc. Much more recently than Saul, Jane Fonda, who numbers herself among “them” explained it best. “Yes I believe in Socialism,” she said to a journalist, “all the way to Communism.” How much more clear can one make it?

    • David Horowitz

      Perhaps you failed to notice that Whittaker Chambers was anti-McCarthy.

      • paparotc

        Hi David: No I didn’t ‘notice’ that Chambers didn’t like McCarhty. What difference does that fact make to this discussion? It doesn’t matter to me at all. Eventually the left destroyed Joe M. because of his anti-communism. Others watched his destruction from the sidelines with quiet satisfaction. I believe that is when the politics of ‘self-destruction got it’s real start.
        We needed more Joe McCarthys then, but the left intimidated them into silence. And we need them again now. If indeed you are David Horowitz, the author of several books I have bought and enjoyed, “Radical Son” among them, I would think you would understand this better than most. Tyrants come in many guises: communists, fascists, black separatists, muslim jihadists, etc., etc. When we do not fight against them all, we all lose.

        • EarlyBird

          “Eventually the left destroyed Joe M. because of his anti-communism.”

          McCarthy was his own worst enemy and didn’t need the help of the left to destroy him. McCarthy was a tyrannical bully whose methods – not aims – belonged to Mussollini’s Italy, not America’s democratic process. He was an easy character to hate no matter where one stood on the question of communism, and the real tragedy of his un-American tactics is that it became easy for communist sympathizers to caricature their enemy as fascist and reactionary.

          “Tyrants come in many guises: communists, fascists, black separatists, muslim jihadists, etc.,…”

          As well as defenders of democracy who use undemocratic means, like McCarthy. If one’s methods are corrupt, the end product will be corrupted.

          • tagalog

            That’s right. Just because McCarthy was correct about Soviet spies in the U.S. government doesn’t mean that he didn’t lie about some issues (such as the United States Army and David Schine, for example) for his own personal reasons.

      • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

        How about making the Fraud in Chief your target Mr. Horowitz and do your country and all the amazing men and women serving our country in the military a great service and expose this Fraud in Chief. All the work has been done all you have to do is investigate the evidence, there in plenty of it.

      • GuyGreen

        Dear David,
        Wouldn’t it be fair to state that Chambers had problems with McCarthy for more pragmatic reasons, such as style and depth, rather than with actual facts of the extent of infiltration? I saw one quote that Chambers felt the Senator “simply knew that someone threw a tomato and the general direction from which it came,” and was a “slugger and a rabble-rouser.” True, when it comes to PR, McCarthy couldn’t sell tricks on a troop train, but he was a voice in the wilderness, and Washington was a VERY Leftist place in those days. He was FAR more right than wrong, and he smelled a real rat. “Anti-McCarthy” seems a little simple. Please pursue the dialogue between Ron and Diana as the heat of today subsides. The Left never eats their young until the war is won. Diana is far too noble a warrior to be dealt with this way. Our cause is too endangered for infighting. I’d welcome a few sluggers and rabble rousers right now.

        • jburack

          “Washington was a VERY Leftist place in those days.” We are talking about the early 1950s!!??

          • GuyGreen

            Yes, we are. And Washington consists even more of its permanent bureaucracies than the circuses of Congress and The White House. It was a very Leftist place indeed, compared to almost any time in its preceding history, although paling in comparison to a few decades later. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • jburack

            GuyGreen
            At the time of which you speak, we were fighting communists in Korea, building H-bombs, reconstructing Europe to keep Communism from triumphing there and even putting up with fake anti-Communists like Joe McCarthy. Your take on this should stand in here for all the rest of the comments and what they reveal about the intellectual descent of the right in our day. And since not a one of the comments actually deals with any of the specifics in Ron’s evisceration of West’s book, this is ALL these comments reveal.

          • GuyGreen

            Yes, JB, some Americans were doing all those things you mentioned. Just like some of us are fighting radical Islam today. Others? Not so much. Which Weltanschauung would you say is on the ascent today? Not merely in politics, but in the all important culture. How ironic would it be for Chambers to have been correct all along about defecting to the losing side?

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            It seems to me that a fairly generic and enervated form of standard middle-class liberalism is on the ascent today, and largely by default. The Right, unfortunately, still has not faced up to the economic crisis and what it means for their beliefs. Thus, they have been unable to formulate a viable conservative alternative to Obama’s policies.

        • EarlyBird

          Chambers was against McCarthy because he used undemocratic means to protect democracy.

          • GuyGreen

            Could you cite Mr. Chambers on this, please.

          • EarlyBird

            I read Sam Tanenhaus’ excellent biography of him years ago, and remember this distinctly. I won’t be digging into books to cite anybody.

          • GuyGreen

            I have also read the Chambers bio by the former Asst. Editor of The New York Times. ( He shares a Pulitzer with Walter Duranty, you know. ) Couldn’t find your characterization of Chamber’s sentiments there. Perhaps your memory serves additional causes. I remember one nice quote in Diana’s book from Robert Conquest: “Not even high intelligence and a sensitive spirit are of any help once the facts of a situation are deduced from a political theory and not vice versa.”

          • EarlyBird

            Uh huh. You went to your shelf to scour Tanenhaus’ book just to argue with a stranger on a chat board. Sure. And how is a good, red blooded patriotic Murcan reading a book by a NYT editor anyway? Could this mean you’re a commie mole who just blew his cover?
            That’s it! Even “GuyGreen” sounds sort of…socialist. Think of it: “Guy” is a name for the common man, and “Green” is what those whacko environmentalists are.
            You’re a commie!

          • GuyGreen

            Spread your wings early bird! That’s the stuff! You’re a stranger, alright! Welcome out of the closet, troll! Dismissed.

          • EarlyBird

            Here’s from a review of that excellent book. Not quite the exact characteriziation I remembered, but close enough for government work:
            “In fact, Chambers detested McCarthy and, though he adored William F. Buckley Jr., declined to endorse Mr. Buckley’s eulogistic ”McCarthy and His Enemies.” ”For the Right to tie itself in any way to Senator McCarthy is suicide,” Chambers said. ”He is a raven of disaster.” “

      • Strac5

        Perhaps you both failed to notice that Whittaker Chambers was an ex-Communist spy who traded homosexual favors for information from members of FDR’s government.

    • Sue Sponte

      Yet Chambers denounced McCarthy as someone who was bringing discredit to the anti-communist cause. See his letter to Buckley explaining why he refused to write a dustjacket blurb for his 1954 book defending the Wisconsin Senator.

  • GuyGreen

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. A simple glance at the state of our Republic, and what passes for its superstructure and culture, not to mention the totalitarian thugs of the Obama Administration, reveals a near complete descent into the Progressive mindset, complicated by a national soul nearly bereft of faith and strength. I am appalled that no consideration in this review was given to the millions of deaths in the Cold War. Were they not a part of the cost of fighting the Communists? Peace on paper was tried in 1939. Diana West’s synthesis of how that has transpired is alone worth the effort to read and re-read her book. As one who has read most of the works Mr. Radosh has used in his attack, I feel there has been plenty of cherry picking on his part. Combined with his ruffled feathers and bellicose bluster, I’d say West has the upper hand, and offers a clearer interpretation of “history” which, as we all know, is a wilderness of mirrors. I sincerely hope Mr. Horowitz sponsors a debate between the two authors. I will place an appropriate wager on the victor at that time.

  • conspiracytheory1234

    Way too long and self important. His comment to her:”(When I sent her a collegial email questioning this assertion, and requesting that we get together to talk about it, she became huffy. “Dialoguing is one thing,” she emailed back; “issuing directives is another.”) A very telling remark by him. To me it screams envy and self importance that she refuses to recognize by not agreeing to meet with him. A pompous ass, with all due respect.

  • krinks

    How about this? The Goals of Communism read into the Congressional Record in 1963 have all been met. What other explanation is there other than Communist subversion?

    • Benjamin Kerstein

      I wasn’t aware that the government owned the means of production in the United States, or that private property had been abolished. Thanks for the useful information.

      • krinks

        Look at Merck and Gardasil. Gov’t mandated corporate profits. Then examine Obama-Care. Gov’t mandated purchase of insurance from a private insurer. What do you call that Chief?

        • Benjamin Kerstein

          It is regulation of private property and industry, “chief.” You may consider it too much regulation, but that is not at all the same as the nationalization of all industries and the abolition of private property.

      • krinks

        Then try not paying your property taxes. You’ll find out quickly who owns the land. It isn’t you.

  • theoprinse

    What a fascinating article mr. Radosh.

    The US through Roosevelt to some extend had to ally with the KGB. However the US also has thousands of nazi intellectuals in what later bewcame NASA, CIA etc and thus had the Nazi’s to a large extend take over ideological conrtrol of the US since 1950.

    General William J. Boykin recently said about the hate speech of an imam on 22 seals killed in Afghanistan that the 2nd WW was the last war where politican did not betray their soldiers …. In 1950 Washington betrayed those fallen in the 2nd WW with the Nazi’s within project MKULTRA.

    The fight against the enemies of Americans today is against Islam and is confused with the intellectual struggle during the cold war against communism …. where instead Islam should be compared to Germany’s Nazi connection with Islam.

    This is where I differ from Diana West.
    West and others are foccusing in Islam in confusing islam with communism.

    I share with Diana West discontent for Roosevelt’s policies although back then Roosevelts party was racial and people like Ford, Prescott Bush, Kennedy etc had great sympathy for the German national socialist and other European fascist parties.

    Roosevelt had Sherman tanks run on Ronson gasoline.

    Roosevelt chained today’s US foreign policy to the Islam jihad Sharia based Caliphate war all over the world with Hussein Obama as their most important agent … when Roosevelt struck near the port of Suez in 1945 an Islam oil deal with Gulf sheiks.

    However I support the atom bombs on suicidal Japan because conventional military campaign would have doubled US WWII casualties.

    I support Diana West’s that Roosevelt allowed Soviet KGB in the US. But the US OSS radar post on Hawaii failed to see the Zero’s coming why the OSS was instituted in the CIA of Alan Dulles and Richard Helms.

    The OSS jurisdiction was so vague that Edgar Hoover has to hand over Frank Marshall Davis dossier to the new CIA due to Venona. Since then the nazi CIA sat on the future biological sun of or at least Barack (horse) Obama’s mentor Frank M. Davis like a horny manchurian cuckoo ….

    Dulles and Eisenhower allowed 500 dr Mengele Nazi’s to take the lead in the CIA through project MKULTRA. Although Eisenhower rejected basic aspects of MKULTRA in Artichoke and rejected the Muslim Brotherhood it was nazi Germany who laid the basis of today’s Muslim Caliphate driven jihad through the meeting of Hitler with the grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

    http://cpnagasaki.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/the-muslim-nazi-connection/

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    I commend Radosh for informing us of the excesses of West’s book. Constructive criticism in imperative if we on the right can avoid creating stilted inbred narrative. But was West substantially wrong on the sympathies of FDR and his cronies? Wether it was machinations of subversives or the natural inclinations of leftists supporting the latest fashion in socialism, was not FDR too willing to be pro-Stalin?

    Here, too, Radosh tells us that we supported Stalin to keep him in the war. Stalin had no choice. Hitler was an “Easterner” who invaded Russia for lebensraum. That the support for Stalin was excessive is clear from Stalin’s military might at the end of the war. Radosh, himself, explains how Britain was exhausted while the USSR had military superiority.

    Finally, Radosh worries that West’s excesses will undermine the right and revive anti-anti-communism. As we know there is a double standard. Leftist absurdities never discredit the left’s narrative or embarrass reasonable liberals. But the right is continually at the mercy of the next Joe McCarthy who shoots off his mouth.

    Still Ron is right that there are better scholars covering the same material.

    • GuyGreen

      Somehow I think it is soldiers rather than scholars that will be decisive in this fray. Diana West stacks up pretty well in both categories. Complaining about the double standard won’t feed the bulldog. Smashing it to smithereens is the ticket. So often the right makes the perfect the enemy of the good. The seemingly eternal debate as to how many demons can dance to the beat of a pinhead is going to get us killed. Doesn’t it seem, Jason, that Mr. Radosh went well beyond “informing us?” As well explained below by Alexander Golan, it appears he has another agenda, or at least not one of pure education.

    • bobguzzardi

      The horrors of the Ukrainian Famine detailed in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin occurred in the two years immediately preceding US recognition of the Soviet Union which Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover all refused to do. The truth of the Ukrainian Famine, the murder of millions of defenseless Ukrainian peasants, was suppressed at the time and it has not yet received the attention it deserves. Like the Armenian Massacre ( or genocide as some call it), the mass murder set the stage for the Holocaust.

  • MacMac1000

    Now that Radosh has duly pointed out West’s flaws, he would do well to write a thesis that explains fully and in great detail just how it is that this country has been overrun with Leftist (read COMMUNIST) influence. Everywhere one might look, in every crack and crevice of our society and culture, our institutions, our schools and universities, and even our churches, the Left’s heavy thumbprint is to be found.
    Would Radosh point out that both Clinton and Obama are endorsed by CPUSA? And that CPUSA and various communists have made it clear that Americans were not going to accept Communism by that name, so it was decided to infiltrate, subvert, overtake the Democrat Party.
    How would Radosh explain that since Republicans turned on McCarthy along with the screaming Leftists and Democrats, there has been little mention or concern for all things Communist –IN– this country. Republicans and even so-called self-styled Conservatives refuse to even say the word Communist much less point out that the Democrat Party is owned and operated by CPUSA and that the two party’s platforms are suspiciously similar, and how about the telling vote at the 2012 DNC convention to reinstate God to the platform where the atheists were loud and clear during that embarrassing vote.
    It is clear, far more clear than it has ever been, that this country is succumbing to the Communist cancer and both political parties are to blame — the Dems for BEING Communists, and the Repubs for flat out allowing it through total indifference, weakness, and collaboration.
    It has been said that Communism would succeed in taking this country from within and without firing a shot. Who can now step forward and deny it?
    Perhaps Mr. Radosh would care to explain why this is or is not the case?

  • Alan Charles Kors

    Ron Radosh is a person of critical mind, moral principle, and a commitment to the truth. All of those qualities are what separate the historians whom conservatives should admire and propagandists such as Howard Zinn on the left. The rigorous scholars whom Radosh defends, such as Harvey Kleher, and, indeed, the astonishing group around the Yale University Press’s series on what evil and true conspiracies have been revealed by recently opened archives are all impeccable scholars. Radosh has offered a compelling, documented, reasoned, and vitally important critique of a work that too many are admiring because they want to believe it, because (most tempting of all) it fits their meta-narrative, and (most dangerous) because it makes the complications of history go away. Our commitment to reality is what separates us most from the enemies of our civilization, and, as Ron Radosh indicates, it would be tragic indeed if we sacrificed that commitment to reality.

    • GuyGreen

      Would a “commitment to reality” lead us to concludes that, just perhaps, this review was not Mr. Radosh’s finest hour? There is more than a hint of comparison of West to Zinn in your eloquent defense. That suggests more emotion than critical mindedness. Not very pretty emotion, I might add. What say we keep it above the belt, eh?

      • http://boardgamegeek.com/user/Darth+Thulhu Darth Thulhu

        West is more than a hint like Zinn. Given the fawning and foaming support in the “conservative” press, West is a good deal more dangerous.

        • GuyGreen

          Not a single footnote in A Peoples History, Darthy. May I call you Darthy?

        • GuyGreen

          Just how is she like Zinn, “Darth?”

    • jburack

      Thanks, Alan Kors. It is almost physically sickening to read the paranoid, smug, self-certain comments directed at Ron Radosh here, They are typical of what the blog commentary world has become. They are a threat to a viable conservative movement every bit as much as the left versions are to a viable liberal movement. Very few if any of Ron’s critics here actually deal with even one of the specific and dramatically embarrassing flaws Ron exposes in West’s work – as for example her laughable attempt to make something of the transfer of useless U238 to the Soviets under Lend-Lease, to cite just one instance. Nothing to say about the facts from people who posture and position themselves as all-knowing. It is revealing, but also revolting. So again, Alan, thanks. It was a relief to get to the end of this string of diatribes and find your comment.

      • Sue Sponte

        The one laughable contention Radosh did not address is West’s assertion in discussing the Second Front issue that a better alternative would have been to scrap the cross channel invasion and focus on slogging it up the Italian peninsula as if the Alps didn’t exist.

    • Sue Sponte

      I agree, intellectual honesty and competence is the real issue here, not political perspective.

    • http://theravenspoke.blogspot.com/ TheRaven

      Teahadists have permanently ruined the GOP. Watch them lap up West’s execrable trash like gospel truth. America’s principled conservatives are dead & gone. All that remains are bigoted, denialist, anarchist JBS loons. Zinn is a funny counterpoint to West. Thinking people have no respect for propagandists.

      Our commitment to reality is what separates us most from the enemies of our civilization….

      Guess what pal – you just defined the GOP as an “enemy of civilization”.

    • philbest

      I have great respect for Professor Kors. But it is quite possible for an anti-communist like Radosh to still be “soft on liberal leftism” of the FDR variety. It is not Radosh’s committal to anti-Communism that is in question here, it is his willingness to dismiss from his mind the possibility that many stalwart figures of the benign, “liberal” Left, might have been a lot softer on Communism than he, Radosh is.

      Even Jimmy Carter in the 1970’s was saying there was enough room on the Planet for Communism to co-exist with the rest of the world. With this kind of weakness of judgement extant that late in the Democrat Party’s top man, why not even more weakness than that in the 1930’s?

      And I found M. Stanton Evan’s book on McCarthy completely convincing. It is evident that the Democrats in the 1950’s were perfectly capable of defending the indefensible and destroying effective “anti-communists”.

      British libertarian Sean Gabb pointed out very acutely a few years ago that the Left works diligently to shift the whole political spectrum by destroying those furthest from them. Gabb warned the Conservatives that if they went along with the Left in the UK, ruling libertarians like himself out of political consideration altogether, before long they, the Conservatives, would find themselves under attack as the new “extreme right”.

      It seems to me that the Democrats in the 1950’s did something like this to McCarthy. This indeed did make them de facto traitors – but not because they were “communists”, rather that to them, politics is war, all the time. If taking down McCarthy was politically convenient, letting Communist subversives off scot-free was just collateral damage.

    • Slavko

      Professor Kors,
      I was and am a great admirer of your work and writing but your defense of Radosh’s vitriolic attack on West sounds like you are defending a friend because he asked you to. I am a survivor of Communism and to us who ended up in DP camps in Germany after WWII and saw how FDR and his entourage gave away half of Europe West’s account sounds perfectly plausible. In fact she does a fantastic job in connecting all of the dots, something no one has done up to now. The massive outpouring of favorable opinion supporting her book attests to that. I need not remind you that some of the best accounts of the evil deeds of Communism were not written by professional historians, as for example Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago or Viktor Suvorov’s Ice-Breaker. And up until recently the mainstream establishment historians denied, minimized or ignored the Ukrainian genocide-famine of 1932/33. In fact many even today still question if it was a genocide. And why remove a favorable review that originally appeared on Front Page? Smacks of soviet-like censorship to me. Why not leave both and let the public debate and decide its merits of faults? Two months after Radosh’s take-down the consensus on the blogosphere is overwhelmingly one sided in support of West.

      • Richard Magner

        Another non-professional historian example: Neal F. Thompson’s “Reckoning: Vietnam and America’s Cold War Experience, 1945-1991″

  • http://www.compellingconversations.com Eric the sceptic

    Great debunking of a strangely fashionable, paranoid right wing conspiracy. Thank you for also sharing the nuanced, balanced, and consensus analysis of serious historians of WW II and the origins of the Cold War.

  • Ben

    It is shocking that Frontpage published such a garbage. Another self-centered, sclerotic pseudo-scientist is trying to dictate what is truth. Unfortunately for him Soviet period will not come back… On the hand, as one who remembers golden age of Frontpage magazine with its intelectually brilliant debates and revealing articles I have to say that it looks like Dark Age now. This site is becoming more and more borringly stupid. May be a new editor is needed?

  • Dennis Milligan

    Historians would do well to look at the present as a means of illuminating the past. West has done this, Radosh has not. The current state of the country and the West in general, supports D. West’s thesis more than it does Radosh’s. This has been pointed out already in several comments.
    What is less commented upon, and more disturbing to those of us who have been supporters of frontpagemag, is the fact that they made an editorial decision to scrub a previous positive review of West’s book by Mark Tapson, with the sole explanation that it would be replaced in the future by another review. Apparently the future is here. Shameful practice, and very damaging to frontpagemag’s claim of being an anti-totalitarian voice.
    I’ve been reading this site since its inception, and never has the split in the conservative community become more apparent than in the editorial/readership divergence of opinion over the Edward Snowden case, and now here over American Betrayal, and Frontpage’s obvious editorial endorsement of the view Radosh expresses. The question is: does Frontpage have the integrity to 1) give an explanation for the scrubbing of the previous Tapson review; and 2) give Diana West equal time?

    • GuyGreen

      I think they will, Dennis. I think Jamie Glazov would be able to do a splendid show with the two as guest debaters. Your initial assessment of looking at the present is paramount. In an age dominated by disinformation, the task is formidable. Petty infighting is suicidal. I hope you stay a supporter of Frontpage. I am confidant they will earn your support.

    • AlexanderGofen

      Thank you for the insightful comment Mr. Milligan. However the real moment of split in the “conservative community” and loss of integrity of the Front Page happened much earlier then the Snowden case. Front Page lost integrity and journalistic honesty in 2008 refusing to address the already then obvious aspects of unconstitutionality of Obama’s campaign. Instead, Front page published some disinformation and obfuscation. All the time since then Front Page stayed away of reporting even on the uncovered plain thievery of Obama-Soetoro-Soebarkach-Bounel (the name uncertain); Not a word about the trials that took place, or about any of the prominent fighters such as Dr. Orly Taitz exposing the horror of lawlessness and corruption which consumed America. “Not our profile” – is all I could extract from my attempts of correspondence with the editors.

      Sure enough, their profile is to be on the leash of the party, the criminal party guilty in the 2008/2012 double betrayal and many other betrayals on a lesser scale.

      http://www.resonoelusono.com/HarshLetterToMembers.htm

      • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

        Thank God for folks like AlexanderGofen. You hit the nail on the head, I have made similar remarks about Front Page sitting by in silence as this FRAUD in CHIEF is allowed to get away with the Scandal of the Century. What the hell is holding them back?

    • David Horowitz

      The question is, does Diana West have the integrity to respond to
      Radosh’s claims that she misused her sources, was wrong about Agent 19,
      the shipment of uranium, the opening of the Second Front, Harry Truman’s
      anti-communist bona fides — in short, everything crucial to the thesis
      of her book? We offered her as much space as Radosh. She refused the
      offer and repeated her personal attacks. Interpreting the past through
      the present is exactly what historians should not do. Drawing parallels
      is another thing entirely, and if you look at what I have written and
      spoken you’ll see I did draw parallels between the roles that Grover
      Norquist and Huma Abedin have played in enabling the Muslim Brotherhood
      infiltration of our government with that of Alger Hiss in the Communist
      era. The issue here is historical fact, not historical parallels.
      Unfortunately the thesis of Diana West’s book is a fiction that
      discredits the sinister facts that others have uncovered and whose work
      she has trashed.

      David Horowitz

      • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

        The question is, when will David Horowitz begin to cover the 22 month long criminal investigation of Barack H. Obama. You have one hell of an investigative team and you yourself can be considered a damn good investigative journalist so what the hell are you waiting for. Those fine patriots who have been carrying out this amazing criminal investigation could sure use your support to shed some light on the Fraud in Chief. All of the background information that is available here at Front Page about radicals and not a damn article about the Scandal of the Century or perhaps in the history of our country. Does this administration have something on you to keep you silent? Why do you leave these patriots to fend for themselves and say nothing when they are labelled “birthers” and “conspiracy nut jobs” when in fact they have a ton of evidence to back up ALL of their claims. Shame on you David Horowitz.

      • AlexanderGofen

        “Everything CRUCIAL” for the thesis of the book is merely a list of a few true historic facts per se (items 1-7 in my post). A mere list. And I did not even go into the post 2002 period of paving the way and enthroning of a Marxist foreign impostor and thief with uncertain names. Nor did I list the total neo-Marxist subversion of the entire school and university systems. Here is the “hard” reality which is the best demonstration of the thesis of the book, Mr. Horowitz.

        You and Mr. Radosh are attempting to drown the thesis in a long polemics over a few particular details (that I cannot verify). You are using exactly the same wrong terms and language as Stalin did, for example: “Second front” while it was 5th or 6th; Lend-lease as though some very minimal contribution America owed, and so on. You both yourselves exemplify the thesis of this book…

        Ms. West is absolutely correct that she refused to condescend to playing your games.

        • PapayaSF

          Refusing an offer of space to respond is a very bad sign. It implies that she doesn’t think she can support her case. Sorry, but saying “she refused to condescend to playing […] games” is an evasion.

          I’ve read part of her book, and while she makes many good points, I think that she took them too far. “To the man with a hammer, all problems look like nails.” Radosh seems to make good points, and if she refuses to respond, she is forfeiting the debate.

          • AlexanderGofen

            Her case is well supported by the hard reality and by a line of the true historic events, as I already pointed out above. She might have various valid reasons to not wish to respond to Radosh, whose criticism was focused on a few possible inaccuracies only rather than addressing this line of true historic events. Radosh and Horowitz themselves exemplify that very result of corrosion of the American values. Their language betrays them. Why do you limit yourself to just Radosh review? Look for some more than 60 other 5 star reviews in Amazon.

          • PapayaSF

            I don’t think it’s accurate or helpful to say Radosh and Horowitz “exemplify that very result of corrosion of the American values.” Both are dedicated anti-communists who, as a result, are vilified by the left. You may disagree with them about this book, but it’s silly to be a “splitist” over this.

          • AlexanderGofen

            I do not know what you mean as “helpful”, but the TRUTH is that not only Horowitz and Radosh, but the entire GOP (not to mention Dems) exemplify exactly the result of corrosion of the American values under pressure of neo-Marxism, described by Ms. West (and also by me http://www.resonoelusono.com/HarshLetterToMembers.htm , http://www.resonoelusono.com/2008vs1917.htm ). Horowitz and Radosh are anti-Communist just so much as prescribed by the party line. As to splitting, I ought to split with Horowith already in 2008 because of his refusal to expose any aspect of Obama’s ineligibility and criminality. In 2008 Horwitz even had a chutzpah to say that the Constitution after all is no more so important [when we all already thing Kumbaya] (or something to this effect).

        • Benjamin Kerstein

          You present nothing whatsoever to indicate that West’s conspiracy theory is in any way accurate. She charges that there was a very specific conspiracy involving very specific people in very specific positions (Agent 19, for example) and Mr. Radosh has proven those specific claims untrue. You can continue to pile on irrelevancies for as long as you want, it proves nothing.

      • monostor

        Allow me to say, as a simple reader, not an academic, and after reading DW’s book from cover to cover that you misread her intentions completely. She is clever enough not to give in and respond to such an unfounded and unjustified onslaught on her as a writer and a thinker. The truth is not always pleasant. Made up mind is difficult to undo.

      • Dennis Milligan

        I don’t recall the Editor’s Note being at the head of the article when I made the comment at 8 or 9 this morning. If I had seen it I wouldn’t have included challenge #2. Was it there? Or was it added after the fact? If it wasn’t there, I would wonder why it showed up later. In any case, that still leaves #1: the scrubbing (the right word) of Tapson’s review, unaddressed. Will it remain unaddressed?

        As to the present being a tool (one of many) for gaining some understanding of the past: it is not only valid but self-evident, for present circumstances, being the result of prior conditions, are the very ground from which any inquiry initially finds shape. From that point a kind of ‘tracing backwards’ can take place into the encounter with historical evidence. I cede the point (which I think you are suggesting) that care must be taken to avoid revisionist mischief, but that failure is a matter of choice, and is not inevitable. But I digress.

        You maintain, as does Radosh, that West’s thesis is a fiction. Her thesis as I understand it, in both of her books, is that sociological (Death of the Grown-up) and political (Betrayal) antecedents, both a result of Soviet influence operations, have led directly to a collapse of the American character. To argue that such a thesis is a fiction, one would have to ignore a great deal, not the least of which would be the capture en masse of nearly every American institution, by Marxist ideology. Whatever ‘national character’ has allowed and continues to perpetuate that, it certainly isn’t one that any of the readers of this site recognize as American in any traditional or patriotic sense of the word. It is one that has grown weak, decadent, and therefore vulnerable to the mortal threats it faces today. Some thing happened to it, and Wests’ books give coherent and well researched reasons why. It is a worthy, important, and original pursuit.

        If the issue is as you say, historical fact, there remain unarguable facts that maintain the integrity of her thesis: recognition of USSR in 1933 in the midst of the Terror Famine; the diverting of critical war material (an abandonment in fact) from our Pacific forces who were at war and under mortal siege, to a Soviet Union that was not; the pervasive pro-Soviet bias encouraged by the FDR administration, and that took root so deeply in our culture that it lies malignantly upon to this day. This and so much more damage was wrought by the influence operation that West accurately calls a Soviet occupation, and that we see being repeated today (the historical parallel) with an even more nefarious enemy, if that is possible. Against this, the disputed facts that Harry Hopkins may not have been “Agent 19″ (could he have been any more damaging if he were?) or that we knowingly or not supplied Uranium to Stalin (we certainly gave him just about everything else he wanted, including firing designated anti-Soviets in the State Dept; a preponderance of the heavy equipment with which he occupied Eastern Europe, not to mention, mechanized the Gulag) while perhaps not incidental, they certainly are not fatal to her thesis as Frontpage, in the person of its contributor, and apparently its founder, suggest.

        Just a final note: Did she really just say ‘No.’ and begin calling people names? Astonishing! The quick throw-away line in the comment above certainly gives that impression. Perhaps we’ll eventually learn the actual nature of the request AND the refusal.

        • Sue Sponte

          Death of a Grown-Up, what a jokey school marmy book, sophmoric is too kind of a word to describe it. Men wearing baseball caps and having tatoos is a function of communist subversion. Yeah, right!

        • EarlyBird

          What an infantile view of ourselves this entire perspective is. Any American set-back or failure, any decline in American wealth, power or virtue must be the result of some nefarious plot by un-American or anti-American failure. We were bound for constantly expanding glory until our exceptional American DNA became damaged by liberalism.

          This sounds like children who are unable to see their parents as real people.

        • EarlyBird

          I don’t mean to state that there were not genuine communist sympathizers and actual Soviet agents who were working against the US. But I believe their effectiveness is far, far, over exaggerated.

      • Alan Charles Kors

        David… you’ve shown great integrity both in publishing Ron Radosh’s compelling critique and in offering Diana West equal space to attempt to refute his factual and inductive claims. It is quite remarkable and revealing that she has not taken you up on your offer, which most authors would leap at.

    • EarlyBird

      “The question is: does Frontpage have the integrity to 1) give an explanation for the scrubbing of the previous Tapson review; and 2) give Diana West equal time?”

      No, Dennis, the questions are, 1.) “Are Front Page Magazine readers so brittle and extreme that they can not tolerate a serious thinker in their midst who shares their world view while being less allergic to facts and fairness?,” and 2.) “Is this a site for thinkers and independent minds, or the imposition of orthodoxy?”

    • tagalog

      West has promulgated a type of conspiracy theory about the post-Yalta world that contains some truth and quite a lot of speculation. There are even a few misrepresentations contained in her allegations. That’s OK, because students of history interpret past events through their own prism.

      What makes Ron Radosh’s writing on her book valuable is that he appears to be sticking to the competent authorities in maintaining that the mainstream historical view in this instance is a better perspective than that of Ms. West.

      The conduct of FrontPage Magazine in scrapping an earlier positive review of West’s book in favor of Radosh’s seems to be an instance of responsible people taking a second look and changing their minds, a salutary thing in my estimation.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    There are many faults to be found with US foreign policy vis a vis the Soviet Union, but major scholars in the field are not worthy objects of scorn. For a different take on US-Soviet relations see http://clarespark.com/2011/04/09/jean-francois-revel-and-father-mapple/. “Jean-Francois Revel and Father Mapple.” Everyone should read Revel’s “How Democracies Perish.” Conspiracy theories have no place in our political culture. Radosh and the scholars who merit our respect should be revered for their labors.

  • tagalog

    There WAS a Soviet conspiracy to put Soviet agents into the United States government. Whittaker Chambers was talking about it in 1939. He wrote about it in Witness.

    Americans WERE sympathetic to the Soviets before and during World War II. That fact that Communism was widely advertised as the wave of the future, with free-market capitalism on its last legs moved many Americans to feel some degree of sympathy toward the Soviets even before they felt sympathy for them for their sacrifices in fighting the Nazis.

    The Soviets successfully sold themselves to FDR as people whose leaders he could deal with. Stalin accurately saw FDR as a dupe he could manipulate. Yalta was probably necessary, and most of the American people agreed. The idea in America, that Communism is just an extreme form of democracy, was widely circulated and taught in schools. I heard it even as late as the Korean War era in the public school I attended, where I was taught that the Soviet Union was ruled by a written constitution very much like ours.

    I agree with Radosh that the U.S. wasn’t held hostage by Communist infiltration of our federal government, but I also think it’s fair to say that during the 1930s and 1940s, and continuing for a while after that, Americans wanted to be sympathetic not only to the Russians, but to Soviet Communism. It was Stalin whose excesses and madness finally drove the American public away from the Soviets.

  • Andrew Bostom

    To understand Radosh’s scurrilous proclivities as a “reviewer”
    see this eviscerating rebuttal by M. Stanton Evans (re-posted by Ann Coulter): http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2008-01-01.html

    The “Hopkins
    section” of my review of American
    Betrayal gives a much fuller presentation of the damning evidence West
    adduces against FDR’s “co-President”, but to actually understand the breadth of
    her arguments, notwithstanding Radosh’s misrepresentation, read the book!

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/american-subversion/

    …American
    Betrayal, as filtered through Diana West’s unique prism—sorting out
    and logically organizing the disparate rays of evidence—rivets upon one
    sensational alleged spy, FDR “co-President,” Harry Hopkins. West’s own summary
    assessment of the historical record, which “demands our attention,” avers that Hopkins “was at least an
    asset, at least an ally, and quite possibly an agent of the Kremlin.” She
    arrives at this conclusion through amassing copious documentation, and
    analyzing it with a piercing logic that is not warped by the conventional FDR
    court historians’ apologetic mindset.

    As West recounts, in 1998, Eduard Mark (d. 2009), a U.S. Air
    Force historian, published his study of a decrypted KGB
    cable (from the so-called “Venona archive” of Soviet cable traffic decrypts),
    ostensibly authored by the notorious secret Soviet spymaster in World War II-era
    America, Iskhak Akhmerov,

    …in
    which a very senior Roosevelt administration official code-named “Source 19,”
    conveys the contents of a private, top secret conversation between FDR and
    Churchill in late May 1943 about the invasion of Normandy, which at that time was still a
    year off. By process of painstaking elimination, Mark determines that its
    “probable virtually to the point of certainty” that “Source 19” is Harry
    Hopkins.

    Earlier, West notes, a KGB defector, and former KGB colonel
    Oleg Gordievsky, who also served the British as a clandestine operative in
    Moscow (1974-85), had heard Akhmerov (during a 1960s discussion),

    Devote
    most of a lecture at KGB headquarters “to the man whom he alleged, was the most
    important of all Soviet wartime agents in the United States: Harry Hopkins.”

    She supplements these intelligence findings with the
    observations of expert Venona cable analysts Romerstein and Breindel about the
    relationship between Akhmerov, an “illegal” Soviet spy chief, operating outside
    the protections of diplomatic immunity, and Hopkins:

    [A]n
    illegal’s identity as a Soviet intelligence official is a secret from everyone except his espionage contacts.
    This, as the authors underscored in their 2000 book, is a weighty factor in
    favor of the argument that Hopkins was a conscious
    Soviet agent…Akhmerov, Romerstein and Breindel write, had no reason to break
    “cover” and reveal himself as an intelligence officer of the Kremlin to Hopkins
    “unless Hopkins were an agent himself.”

    West adduces the most clear cut, striking example of Hopkins’ traitorous perfidy by simply reproducing a letter
    FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote to Hopkins (dated May 7, 1943), and
    chronicling what followed via revelations from another KGB archive.

    When
    we read what Hoover told Hopkins in his confidential letter—that a Comintern
    agent posing as a senior Soviet diplomat in Washington was passing money to the
    American Communist underground to establish Comintern networks within the U.S
    war industry to steal military secrets—and see Hopkins immediately turn around
    and tell the Soviet Embassy, where that same “diplomat” was posted, that the
    FBI was onto them, we have to realize that we are looking at a traitor, acting
    with Soviet, not American interests at heart. I don’t see any other plausible
    conclusion—and this traitor was the closest advisor of the president of the
    Unites States…We wouldn’t know about this act of treason if a retired KGB
    archivist named Mitrokhin hadn’t bothered to copy, hide, and successfully
    smuggle his archives out of the former Soviet Union in 1992.

    American
    Betrayal enumerates an almost numbing litany of Hopkins’ pro-Soviet
    activities: his excessive largesse toward the USSR via Lend-Lease, which he
    oversaw, even to the point, arguably, of sacrificing American and British
    military needs; his relentless dedication to Stalin’s “Second Front” demands,
    rejecting at least equally viable military alternatives less “advantageous” to
    Soviet expansionist designs in Eastern Europe, as originally laid out in the
    secret August, 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany;
    his dismissal of the 1940 Soviet Katyn massacres of 22,000 Polish civilians,
    soldiers, and officers; his labeling of Soviet defector to the U.S., Victor
    Kravchenko (author of the memoir, “I
    Chose Freedom”), a “deserter,” while pressing FDR to deport Kravchenko back to
    the USSR, where he faced certain execution; and his facilitation of uranium-235
    shipments to the Soviets, which also qualifies as another frankly treasonous
    action, by any objective criteria.

    Eduard Mark, whose 1998 analysis
    discussed earlier, identified Harry Hopkins as “Source 19” in the cable
    putatively authored by Soviet spymaster Akhmerov, lamented

    the
    indifference of American diplomatic historians to intelligence and of their
    predominantly liberal political orientation which has led them to ignore the
    whole question of the relationship between internal security and foreign policy
    as smacking of ‘McCarthyism’.

    Diana West’s unsettling conclusions from her reasoned,
    synthetic analysis of Hopkins’ pro-Soviet clandestine and public
    activities—gleaned from confidential diplomatic reports or correspondence, and
    intelligence files, as well as published
    memoirs, media accounts, and public speeches—demonstrate why Marks’ diplomatic
    historian colleagues in the (overwhelmingly Left-leaning) “academy” have never
    conducted any comparable studies.

  • theoprinse

    What a fascinating article mr. Radosh.

    The US through Roosevelt to some extend had to ally with the KGB. However the US also has thousands of nazi intellectuals in what later bewcame NASA, CIA etc and thus had the Nazi’s to a large extend take over ideological conrtrol of the US since 1950.

    General William J. Boykin recently said about the hate speech of an imam on 22 seals killed in Afghanistan that the 2nd WW was the last where politican did not betray their soldiers …. In 1950 Washington betrayed those fallen in the 2nd WW with the Nazi’s within project MKULTRA.

    The fight against the enemies of Americans today is against Islam and is confused with the intellectual struggle during the cold war against communism …. where instead Islam should be compared to Germany’s Nazi connection with Islam.

    This is where I differ from Diana West.

    West and others are focusing in Islam in confusing islam with communism.

    I share with Diana West discontent for Roosevelt’s policies although back then Roosevelts party was racial and people like Ford, Prescott Bush, Kennedy etc had great sympathy for the German national socialist and other European fascist parties.

    Roosevelt had Sherman tanks run on Ronson gasoline.

    Roosevelt chained today’s US foreign policy to the Islam jihad Sharia based Caliphate war all over the world with Hussein Obama as their most important agent … when Roosevelt struck near the port of Suez in 1945 an Islam oil deal with Gulf sheiks.

    However I support the atom bombs on suicidal Japan because conventional military campaign would have doubled US WWII casualties.

    I support Diana West’s that Roosevelt allowed Soviet KGB in the US. But the US OSS radar post on Hawaii failed to see the Zero’s coming why the OSS was instituted in the CIA of Alan Dulles and Richard Helms.

    The OSS jurisdiction was so vague that Edgar Hoover has to hand over Frank Marshall Davis dossier to the new CIA due to Venona. Since then the nazi CIA sat on the future biological sun of or at least Barack (horse) Obama’s mentor Frank M. Davis like a horny manchurian cuckoo ….

    Dulles and Eisenhower allowed 500 dr Mengele Nazi’s to take the lead in the CIA through project MKULTRA. Although Eisenhower rejected basic aspects of MKULTRA in Artichoke and rejected the Muslim Brotherhood it was nazi Germany who laid the basis of today’s Muslim Caliphate driven jihad through the meeting of Hitler with the grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

    http://cpnagasaki.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/the-muslim-nazi-connection/

  • bobguzzardi

    Would it not seem likely that Soviet Communist agents and Soviet Communist sympathizers, like VP Henry Wallace, would advocate policies sympathetic to Soviet Communism?

    • David Horowitz

      There is no disagreement over this point at all.

      • bobguzzardi

        Who did more damage to the American Constitutional Republic? Soviet agent Alger Hiss or Joseph McCarthy?

        What influence, if any, did Alger Hiss, and the many other Soviet Communist agents and Soviet Communist sympathizers, if any, have on American Policy from 1917 through end of Korean War?

        Diana West has her view. What is yours?

  • tagalog

    Please don’t condemn Republicans for being isolationists and having some ethnicist/racists among them. The times were racially tinged. Remember that the Democrats lauded Adolf Hitler because he brought full employment to Germany and Mussolini because “he made the trains run on time.”

    Overcompensating is not limited only to the right.

    • wildjew

      I am harder on my party because I am a Republican. I think we need to be vigilant that this (racist-isolationist) element does not dominate the party. As reluctant a war-time president FDR was – Churchill complained FDR would not lead or educate the public about the N azi threat like Churchill did – he was better than the Republican leadership at that time. I have read some appalling things written in the American media about Hitler’s “moderation,” early nineteen thirties, NY Times and other left-leaning publications. I’ve not read where Democrats lauded Hitler. Do you have any sources?

  • Hank Rearden

    The book to read about McCarthy is “Blacklisted by History.” Superb. Reads like a mystery. Ike’s career was dependent on George Marshall who reached down and pulled him out from the pack. In the 1952 election, McCarthy had made his very unfortunate speech which implied, but did not say, that Marshall did not look out for the best interests of the country. Marshall was a Titan and McCarthy was off-base with that speech.

    When Ike and McCarthy were on the same platform in Wisconsin, Ike did not speak the full text of his speech. The part he left out was a defense of Marshall. My personal view is that Ike could not forgive himself for this lapse of courage. McCarthy’s presence reminded him of it. At least that is my view.

    By the time Ike became president, McCarthy was urging whistleblowers in the bureaucracy to come forward. I think that from Ike’s view, this raised the question of who was in charge. Also, McCarthy was investigating the Army for not rooting our communists from sensitive positions. Again, he was right, but Ike was Army.

    Read “Blacklisted by History.” And no, I don’t think McCarthy was trying to compensate for Republican isolationism.

    • wildjew

      I will try to reserve judgment about McCarthy until I read more about him. I am not saying there wasn’t some truth in his allegations of Communist spies and subversives. It’s just that I see the bitter fruit (in the nineteen sixties, early nineteen seventies and again in the nineteen eighties) from this paranoid and obsessive fear of Communism; an evil ideology which I have no interest living in or under. But that is not to say millions, if not billions of servile human beings are not drawn to Communism and socialism. Communism is very seductive to millions, perhaps billions of slaves and others that want government to take care of all their needs; to fight all of their personal battles.

  • Donald J DaCosta

    I am not a student of history but have nearly 80 years of experience in the study of human nature. Two statements by Mr. Radosh are revealing. First this bit of hubris implying that Ms. West’s writings hardly qualify as worthy of review
    by an historian of the caliber of Mr. Radosh, an opinion that would be far more impressive if offered up by an independent observer.

    “As a historian I normally would not have agreed to review a book such as this one.” It’s beneath him.

    Then he implies that he generously offered Ms. West the benefit of his historical knowledge.”

    “When I sent her a collegial email questioning this assertion, and requesting that we get together to talk about it, she became huffy.”

    Ms. West’s response suggests otherwise.

    “Dialoguing [sic] is one thing,……….issuing directives is another.”

    If you’ve ever had the opportunity to watch and listen to Ms. West in a collegial setting you’d conclude that this response doesn’t fit her congenial persona.

    This leads to the conclusion that Mr. Radosh and Ms. West neither like or respect one another and taints this extensive review. Are the historical inaccuracies and his assertions about Ms. West’s motivations and ignorance of the facts, as he describes them, so egregious as to require a total condemnation of “American Betrayal,” as having no historical value whatsoever, as Mr. Radosh suggests or is it rather to render it of no commercial value?

    Radosh takes 22 pages to review a book he ordinarily would “not have agreed to review.”

    Buy the book. Ms. West is a strong conservative voice, one among very few willing to speak her mind in a hostile public forum. Mr. Radosh’s comments and analysis may be largely correct from a historical perspective but he can correct what doesn’t fit with that perspective in a far more constructive, conciliatory manner. What he’s done here is what his progressive counterparts have made into an art form, the “hatchet job.”

    • T.A.

      Diana West will not, or cannot, answer Radosh’s criticism. I’m not going to take the time to read a book if the author can’t defend it against an unfavorable review.

  • gfmucci

    Even though I respect West and her understanding of Islam and our government’s obliviousness to its threat to our freedoms, I do have a problem with historical revisionism. It is easy to look at history from afar without an up front and personal appreciation for the mood, the politics and the sense of urgency and dread that the historical circumstance engendered. One glaring revisionist exercise is condemning our treatment of Japanese during WWII. It was believe essential at the time. It was demanded. We were just attacked by the homeland of our Japanese immigrants. It would be like being bombed by Mexico and not having the same reaction to Mexicans in the US. Ridiculous! If Arab Muslims pulled the same crap as 9-11 or worse, I wouldn’t blame us at all for rounding up every last Muslim and penning them.

    At the same time, it is obvious we have a Communist sympathizer in the White House. This did not happen overnight. It took decades to get Obama’s support base in place. And I have no doubt it began developing in the 30’s and 40’s. Political correctness and kowtowing to foreign interests and ideologies began with the persecution of McCarthy. That is clear even without West pointing out the obvious.

    Which leads to my concluding remark about Front Page’s closet liberalism. This same “coming out” occurred a few weeks ago with Horowitz’s rant against the right to carry following the Zimmerman verdict. That article was a quirk, this article is a coincidence, a third one in the near future would be a trend.

    • cantpleaseall

      Agree-

      “Which leads to my concluding remark about Front Page’s closet
      liberalism. This same “coming out” occurred a few weeks ago with
      Horowitz’s rant against the right to carry following the Zimmerman
      verdict. That article was a quirk, this article is a coincidence, a
      third one in the near future would be a trend.”

    • AlexanderGofen

      You ought to come to conclusion about ” Front Page’s closet liberalism” – i.e. party controlled, approved from the authority conservatism – already in 2008: Because of their refusal to expose any aspect of Obama’s ineligibility and criminality. In 2008 Horowitz even had a chutzpah to say that the Constitution after all is no more so important [when we all already sing Kumbaya] (or something to this effect).

  • David Horowitz

    Obviously you haven’t even read Radosh’s piece. Mark, her only source for the claim that Hopkins was Soviet agent 19 repudiated his conclusion before he died. There is no evidence that Hopkins was a Soviet agent.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      There is plenty of evidence that Barack H. Obama is a Fraud and that should make the former Communist hair on your neck stand up given what this man has been allowed to do while usurping the office of the POTUS. No I am not a nut job, I am a proud veteran, married 45 years, 7 grandkids, worked 35 years in the Dept. of Corrections in NYS and just really pissed off that people with the tools like you have continue to ignore this scandal. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Benjamin Kerstein

        How exactly did Obama “usurp” the presidency by being elected to it? You may not like it (I don’t like it either), but it’s hardly a coup d’etat.

  • Wilson D. Miscamble

    Those familiar with Ronald Radosh’s important
    work–from his “The Rosenberg File: The Search for Truth” through to his recent devastating critique of Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s atrocious book “The Untold History of the United States”–know of his unrelenting commitment to pursue the truth where the historical evidence leads him. This is why his
    criticisms of Diana West’s book hold such force and need to be taken so
    seriously. As a historian working in this area I find them very convincing. Franklin Roosevelt made some bad decisions and engaged in some wishful thinking regarding Stalin, but to suggest that FDR
    fought the War to promote Soviet rather than American interests is quite
    wrong. It does a real dis-service to the cause of good history to engage in such ill-founded conspiracy theories that Radosh exposes in “American Betrayal.” The misunderstanding of the Lend-Lease Program evident in the book should give all readers real pause. Furthermore, the suggestion in it that the United States should have joined the German forces to fight the Soviets after 1942 reveals a deep ignorance of wartime realities. Radosh has done a real service by clarifying such matters.

    • Sue Sponte

      very well stated

  • DogmaelJones1

    Radosh’s column here is the kind of weaselly, rationalistic, duck-and-clutch argument I see being made to exonerate Islam and Muslims of the assault on the West. But, as I’ve already noted, West initially wondered why Islam was making so many inroads in our government and culture, and that led her to investigate why the Left has exercised such an enormous and destructive influence on especially the U.S. If you deny the influence of the Left and of the Soviets on our policies, then you may as well deny the influence of Islam on our crack-brained and pragmatic political leadership, too, and bury one’s head deeply in the sand. West has opened the eyes of many an American. We ought to be thanking her for it, and not nit-picking her work to death citing a flock of non-essentials.

    • T.A.

      This is an absurd argument. Radosh has made reasoned argument based on evidence. If Diana West refuses to respond, that speaks volumes.

    • Benjamin Kerstein

      What exactly is wrong with being “rationalistic”?

      • DogmaelJones1

        There’s a difference between offering a rational argument and offering a rationalistic one — and the difference is in the definition of “rationalistic,” which means imbued with the mere appearance of rationality, and not with rationality.

        • Benjamin Kerstein

          I do not think it means what you think it means. The American Heritage dictionary defines “rationalistic” as

          1. Reliance on reason as the best guide for belief and action.

          2. Philosophy The theory that the exercise of reason, rather than experience, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the primary basis for knowledge.

          I think you meant to say “pseudo-rationalistic” or something along those lines. In any case, I think you’re quite wrong.

          • DogmaelJones1

            I mean what I said, and you have to take in the larger context. If I say this car has four tires, that’s a rational statement. If I say this car has perhaps four tires, but one of them is flat and another is bald, and then begin to discourse on the faulty ignition system, that’s a rationalistic argument. It appears to be “rational,” but only appears so, because the context has been dropped and focus diverted to subsidiary issues. This is what Radosh does in his “review.”

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            I don’t know why you allocate to yourself the right to unilaterally redefine the English language, but let’s put that aside.

            Your example is entirely mistaken. They are all simply statements of fact. It doesn’t make an argument at all. If someone were to say “All cars have four tires, this object has four tires, therefore this object is a car,” they would be making a rationalistic (though mistaken) argument.

            I also simply cannot agree on Radosh’s review. What he is trying to point out is that West’s book is massively inaccurate and comes to entirely erroneous conclusions. Radosh also deals extensively with the context surrounding the book and its claims.

    • daized79

      What does any of this have to do with the Left and Islam? Obviously Leftists likes Islamism because they have a common enemy. And obviously Leftists have a lot of political power in this country. It is not necessary to believe that the Soviet Union controlled the US like a puppet (when exactly? Just during the Roosevelt era?) to recognize that. England turned totally socialist and they weren’t controlled by the USSR. They took part in the Cold War to bring it down. The influence of Leftists is not the same as being a puppet to the USSR. obviously Roosevelt was influenced byt he Left. And he probably had a softer spot for the USSR than any of us would have (or even Churchill). yet Churchill acted in concert with Roosevelt. History is not unimportant, but it also not all-important. Whether you agree with West or Radosh about WWII, you should have no problem opposing Leftist policies in the US.

  • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

    I certainly appreciate all the old history but I would like to know when all these intelligent folks commenting at Front Page will be talking about the Scandal of the Century. Obama is a FRAUD and CRIMINAL and that will soon come to light and I don’t seem to see any Front Page research going on concerning the 22 month long criminal investigation of Obama being talked about. Look how much this article brings folks out, how about an article and comments dealing with the criminal investigation that has been going on?

    • EarlyBird

      You’re a crank. Go away.

      • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

        Eary Bird, go back to bed!

        • Benjamin Kerstein

          I must disagree, for once, with EarlyBird. Please don’t go away, your insanity is far too entertaining.

    • tagalog

      Obama is worse than a fraud. He’s pretty up front about making “fundamental change” to the U.S. scheme of things.
      What is most frightening is that far too many people are content to let him do just that, overtly and without deceit.

    • Benjamin Kerstein

      Forgive my skepticism, but I strongly doubt that your Scandal of the Century will “come to light.” Mainly because it exists nowhere but in your own fevered imagination.

      • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

        The scandal doesn’t exist because our Representatives refuse to examine the evidence. Some have and they are now pursuing a criminal investigation. Congressman Stockman, Yoho and Barletta are now on board and more to come.

        • Benjamin Kerstein

          I imagine you could find a handful of congressmen – Left and Right – to pursue damn near anything, however insane. The evidence has been examined prodigiously, most notably by various courts, and found to be either meaningless or non-existent.

  • TienBing

    Most of Ron’s denunciation of West’s latest opus render down to quibbles over the extent of various subjects involvement and whether or not they where agents or dupes. Those fine points will be argued by investigators forever. Believe whom you will.

    Mr. Radosh blithely makes some assertions in the process of his critique that deserve closer scrutiny because of their underlying assumptions. Most glaringly is the assumption that US military involvement in the Second World War was a purely selfish enterprise in the best interests of the US. If US involvement wasn’t necessary or in the best interest of the US, subsequent analysis would be different. The question, though rarely heard, and if heard ignored, still remains: Was U.S. military intervention in the Second World War in the best interest of the U.S. ?

    Other questions still debated: Should the US have cut a separate peace with Germany? Should the US turned the German army east and joined them in an attack on the Soviets? In the immortal words of H.R. Clinton: “What difference does it make now?” It could have made a great difference to the world in 1946.

    Any way you look at it the Soviets won the Second World War, and the world continues to suffer from that victory. Furthermore they were aided by American citizens from the lowest to the highest stations of social, economic, and political position.

  • Ron Radosh

    A lot of my critics are responding, as David writes, with snide and crude attacks, that demean conservatives who want their views to be taken seriously. Many have argued that Soviet espionage proves Joe McCarthy was right. On this, I recommend reading Harvey Klehr’s speech delivered a few years ago at the Raliegh, NC conference on espionage. Its title is “Was Joe McCarthy Right?”

    http://www.raleighspyconference.com/docs/joe_mccarthy_klehr.pdf

    • glennd1

      If only Mr. Horowitz was so honest about the history of Zionism and the conquest of Palestine by its adherents. I do enjoy this substantive discussions versus the tropes and frothing at the mouth that characterize this site. Thanks. Fyi, I found the Raleigh speech riveting.

      • tagalog

        Palestine has been conquered by adherents to Zionism? Where is Palestine, and how and when did Israel conquer it? Given that conquest, who’s firing the rockets from Gaza and elsewhere and why?

        • daized79

          First, the British and league of Nations called it Palestine (lovely of them), so I suppose a Jewish victory would be conquest of Palestine.

          However, glenn is obviously referring to the conquest of Canaan (the Philistines didn’t arrive in Canaan until a little after the Joshua-led conquest). However, as is well-known, the Jews took several centuries to conquer the entire Land. Whence the attacks from Gaza.

          • tagalog

            When it was called “Palestine” by the League of Nations and Great Britain, no one claimed it. It was also called Judea. Also the Holy Land. Also the Levant. It was part of the uncharted deserts in which the nomadic Arabic tribes wandered. Much of what is now called Israel was unoccupied desert, except for the watered land near the Mediterranean and around the inland waters there. It wasn’t called “Palestine” because of any identifiable “Palestinian” peoples living there. It was called “Palestine” for administrative convenience by the non-indigenous occupiers for the League of Nations.

            Zionism, the doctrine whose adherents are said to have “conquered” “Palestine,” is roughly 150 years old and began with Theodore Herzl. It wasn’t adherents of Zionism who conquered Canaan at the conclusion of the Exodus three millennia ago.

          • daized79

            The second paragraph was sarcasm/humor. Sorry that was unclear. Of course Glenn meant what you said. I was poking fun at the idea that Jews are newcomers to the Land of Israel or that we haven’t had trouble from Gaza in the past when different non-indigenous people lived there.

            Still, since you take me seriously, if Zionism is a movement to establish Jewish rule in Israel, then certainly Joshua and his ilk were Zionists.

            In its usual sense, except for the negev, Israel was not desert. You are confusing wilderness and uninhabited area with desert. Some of the uninhabited area was swamp (thinking of khulda here). Again, aside from the negev and the Bedouin, the Arabic speakers there were not nomads, but had villages. There were just many less of them than there are now (even without the ridiculously large “Palestinian Diaspora”). Furthermore, for 30 years people living in what is now Israel were called Palestinians even though it was just a temporary political term.

            What you say otherwise is correct. But doesn’t make what is aid wrong. It was a territory named Palestine by the League of Nations and the British. I don’t know exactly what it means to “own” land, but part of the territory then known as Palestine was still conquered by the Jews after the Arabs rejected peace. (I guess Israel doesn’t technically “own” the golan, but if the Syrians took it back you could legitimately say they conquered the golan from Israel.)

  • Christine Brim

    Best to read book “American Betrayal” by Diana West here (http://www.amazon.com/American-Betrayal-Assault-Nations-Character/dp/0312630786/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375915265&sr=8-1&keywords=American Betrayal [http://www.amazon.com/American-Betrayal-Assault-Nations-Character/dp/0312630786/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375915265&sr=8-1&keywords=American Betrayal] ) and judge for yourself.

    Radosh’s
    attack has had unintended consequences it seems – the book is now
    selling like hotcakes, in the top 10 in 3 categories at amazon.com [http://amazon.com/]!

    Maybe there’s a reason for that. It’s worth your time. Give it a try.

    • T.A.

      I won’t bother. If she can’t refute Radosh I’m not interested.

  • bobguzzardi

    Andrew Bostom’s review of Diana West’s American Betrayal was one of the main reasons I read the book and gave it the credibility I did.

  • EarlyBird

    I’m stunned. I never thought I would read an article like this on FPM. It’s actually saying that another person is overly hysterical about communist inflitration of the US government? Amazing!

    Good for you, Horowitz, that you still have friends as honest and sensible as Radosh.

    • GuyGreen

      The glee of the trolls speaks volumes about the folly of infighting while totalitarian thugs occupy the White House. Sign your real name, EarlyBird.

      • EarlyBird

        Oh grow up. The hysterical reaction on this site that “one of us!” can have the temerity to actually criticizing another one “on our team!” “speaks volumes” about how ossified and stupid conservatism has become.
        I am embarrassed and horrified, as a conservative, that it our movement in 2013 boils down to shouting that there are “totalitarian thugs,” not to mention, “Marxists, Islamists, jihadists, racists, and illegitimate Kenyans!” running the White House.
        This site is where conservative ideas go to die.

        • GuyGreen

          About that name, youngster.

          If you are a movement conservative, I’m the Queen of England. For one thing, you rile too easily.

          • SteveMGD

            On the other hand so it seems, do you and patronizing to boot. I think both of you need to grow up and debate the issues as sensible adults.

          • GuyGreen

            Now, Ward, don’t you think you’re being a little hard on the Beaver?

          • SteveMGD

            So do you. Sounds like you two should both grow up and debate the issues as adults.

  • jburack

    David Horowitz has briefly and sufficiently made the only point one needs to make in response to Bostom’s rambling note here. All I would add is to say I did actually go and read Ann Coulter’s equally rambling attack on Ron from 2008. Not one link in it either to Ron’s piece or anything backing up her own incoherent McCarthy-exonerating claims. It was very hard to see what substantive point she was making, as opposed to attack, attack, attack against Ron Radosh Treating Radosh, on this subject in particular, as if he is not qualified to take on such a shock superstar as she is his great crime, apparently. This is way too much for anyone who knows the work Ron has done to take seriously. The right is now in as full denial of the importance of disciplined knowledge as the New Left of my day was when it’s response to the professors was, inevitably, “tear down the walls, M-F!” and nothing more. Conservatives will accord Coulter credibility on this for one simple reason – she is a celebrity, and the talk radio virus has rendered the right as besotted with the disease of celebrity culture as every poor soul eyeing the latest tabloids while waiting in the supermarket checkout lane. This is the pathetic state of the right today. Sad.

  • Strac5

    Here is what is going on here. Judging by Radosh’s affiliations (the Hudson Institute, The Weekly Standard, Commentary), he is a neoconservative. West has taken a polar opposite view of national defense (i.e., American self-interest only and no nation-building), and she is popular among conservatives. Neoconservatives have to discredit the proponents of these ideas somehow before they become official policy on the right. Appealing to authority seems to be that “somehow,” and I am singularly unimpressed. The authorities have failed us spectacularly this millennium on everything from statist economic policy, crisis-causing financial regulation, bogus national defense, do-gooder foreign policy, and just plain immoral and suicidal political party strategy. The non-authorities are here to do the job the authorities didn’t.
    There isn’t room for both of us in this party. The old guard have to go.
    A quick comment on the central claim of the last paragraph. The “calculus” at the end of WWII was that the Soviet Union was population-eroding, militarily-depleted, economically defunct, and dependent entirely on the materiel provided by the U.S. There was no “Rubik’s Cube.” The United States and Britain could have easily told the USSR to take a hike back into the hinterlands. They did not, because of philosophical reasons.

    • daized79

      What does any of this have to do with lack of nation-building? It sounds like West would have preferred MORE nation building in Eastern Europes, etc.

    • P Gustaf

      This would have been more convincing if it wasn’t ad hominem. Perhaps if you dealt with Radosh’s arguments (and didn’t make such hilarious assertions as “the US and Britain could have easily told the USSR to take a hike back into the hinterlands) this would have been worth reading.

      • Strac5

        I am skeptical that you have any intention of being “convinced” of anything, so please spare us the rarified intellectual air pretensions. I am just laying out a warning for those who do care to know. But just in case, here’s a hint. Since neocons explicitly hold the belief that intellectuals should and must promote false beliefs to the masses, there is really no such thing as an ad hominem against a neocon. Everything they say is a dissembling or a dissimulation, so you cannot go down the rabbit hole they try to lead you into.
        As proof, look at Radosh’s link below to a lecture where the lecturer takes down McCarthy for being wrong on the details, but admits that McCarthy was right about “large” issues. What do you think he is trying to convey here? He knows that West has made some groundbreaking observations. So he has to take her down with endless detail-mongering. He is basically signaling to his fellow neocons, esoteric-style as per usual, that this is the way to go. A truly good-willed researcher would have acted intrigued by her fresh paradigm even while criticizing some or many of her factual assertions.
        Russia should have been told in no uncertain terms that it would have to hightail it back to the hinterlands. Russia was in no position whatsoever to resist. None. If they had tried and the Allies stuck to their policy, it would have been goodnight, USSR. It doesn’t matter if you or anyone else wants to believe Russia was metaphysically powerful and the situation therefore complicated, requiring the unique skills of intellectual game players. The numbers have been run. Russia was finished. It would have collapsed without Western assistance, during and after the war.

    • HughdePayens

      Let’s not forget that neo-conservatives are leftists mugged by reality. They only know one way to fight…the art of personal destruction.

  • SteveMGD

    ‘its government controlled by Kremlin agents who had infiltrated the Roosevelt administration and subverted it.’
    If this was the case, shouldn’t we be speaking Russian today?

    • GuyGreen

      In case you hadn’t noticed, we are:
      “workplace violence”
      “overseas contingency operations”
      “religion of peace”
      “health care affordability act”
      “PROGRESSIVE”
      But, I suppose one could just say: “What difference does it make?

  • SteveMGD

    ‘When I sent her a collegial email questioning this assertion, and requesting that we get together to talk about it, she became huffy. “Dialoguing is one thing,” she emailed back; “issuing directives is another.’
    Did you email her before or after you issued your rebuttal?

    • Ron Radosh

      Way way before. Indeed, I did so after reading an interview with her about Agent 19. I hadn’t as yet read the book then. She would not acknowledge the evidence disproving her argument, even though she knows about the Vassiliev papers. That is why I say she is intellectually dishonest.

  • emptorpreempted

    I knew it was not a good book. Thank you for this.

  • SteveMGD

    ‘Had the USSR lost that fight’

    I doubt that was ever within the realm of historical possibility. At the height of the war, even after the invasion of Normandy, the Germans never had less than eighty percent of their forces focused on the Eastern Front. Germany made their eventual loss inevitable on the day they invaded the Soviet Union.

    • emptorpreempted

      Russia almost lost in the fall of 1941, after the entire south-western front, some half a million troops, had been eliminated in the Kiev encirclement, and then the bulk of the forces defending Moscow, more than half a million troops, had fallen in the Vyazma-Bryansk encirclements.

      Then Russia almost lost again in the summer of 1942, after the disastrous battle of Kharkov practically cleared the way to Stalingrad and the Caucuses.

    • daized79

      Loss would mean suing for peace after Germany took a large swath of the USSR. As Radosh writes.

  • derekcrane

    There is a major stench still lingering from the FDR administration when information from the FDR FBI, KGB, NKVD and CIA files, Venona, Mitrokhin Archives, court cases, interviews with old KGB agents, Elizabeth Bentley’s defection and confessional books by ex-Commies like Whitaker Chambers revealed that New Dealers like John Patton Davies, Harold Glasser, Lauchlin Currie, Laurence Duggan, Alger Hiss, Duncan Lee, Irving Goff, Owen Lattimore, Henry Wallace, Harry Dexter White, Victor Perlo, Lee Pressman, John Stewart Service, and about 400 other FDR New Dealers were indeed Commies dedicated to ole Uncle Joe and traitorous to their native country, the USA. Harry Hopkins, may not have been Agent 19, but his advice to FDR certainly made the world safe for communism for about 45 years.

    • AlexanderGofen

      Well said.

  • Harper

    Disagreeing with and even attempting to refute Ms. West’s book is fine but the blatant personal attacks are unbelieveable not only from the reviewer but from David Horowitz also. Ms. West is wise to steer clear of responding at this venue…but subsequently the reviewer and editor have just boosted the sales of her book….so bravo Ms West!!

    • T.A.

      What “blatant personal attacks”? Mr. Radosh is presenting evidence which Ms. West is apparently unable to respond to.

    • Benjamin Kerstein

      To point out that someone is engaging in conspiracy theory is not a personal attack, it’s a statement of fact.

  • Ron Lewenberg

    As someone who like’s Ms. West’s work I am mortified by this. Worse, she is doubling down.
    She just ran a piece calling the fall of the Philippines a communist plot, as if the US Navy was in any position to do anything about the Japanese invasion.
    http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2602/Breaking-History-on-Breitbart-Pt-1-Why-Did-FDR-Let-the-Philippines-Collapse.aspx

    • daized79

      It sounds horrible, but you’d think MacArthur would have said something stronger than the Navy was self-deprecating if supplies headed for the Philippines were rerouted to the USSR.

      • Ron Lewenberg

        The supplies could not get to the Philippines. Even if we had 10 divisions and 10,000 Lee tanks, not a single one could get to the Philippines. Equipment sent to Russia via the Atlantic convoys were irrelevant. We could get nothing to the Philippines because Japan control the Eastern Pacific and had air control of the islands. MacArthur understood this. Ms. West does not.

        • daized79

          Apparently he didn’t agree, but he at least understood why someone could make a rational decision that differed from the one he would have made.

          Do you think she’s making up whatever she is referring to that supplies got rerouted to the Pacific and then back? She gives not citation to support that…

  • chem major

    u238 can be turned into plutonium. add a neutron,

    • derekcrane

      I am curious. What did Stalin need uranium for?

      • Benjamin Kerstein

        Radosh says why in his review. Did you not read it?

        • derekcrane

          Radosh said that we gave it to them but they could not properly process it. It still doesn’t explain why Stalin asked for the uranium and we gave it to him. Were they treating cancer patients with it? Irradiating bandages for the war effort? Doubtful.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            “While separating uranium ore was a daunting technological issue, mining uranium ore and refining it into metal was easy, and the Soviets, like other nations, did so for industrial purposes vital to the prosecution of the war, such as producing steel alloys for arms.”

          • derekcrane

            Uranium-Steel alloys were experimented with before and during the war; however, widespread use of these alloys, such as in armor piercing rounds, are strictly of post war use. I doubt that the Russians needed uranium for hard steel alloys.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            Mr. Radosh could deal with the issue much better than I, but nonetheless, your doubts are not proof of anything, let alone that the Russians were using it in an atomic weapons program for which – as Radosh notes – it was useless anyway.

          • derekcrane

            You don’t really know, I don’t really know, Radosh doesn’t really know, Diana West may know a little about it.

            Regardless, giving the Russians ANY uranium during WWII is either moronic or traitorous. More investigation and study is needed to determine which.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            But that is not at all what West says. She claims it is proof positive of a massive conspiracy by the Roosevelt government to provide the Russians with atomic weapons. In another words, Radosh is quite right to criticize her on this point.

          • derekcrane

            …as I said, it is either moronic or traitorous. West believes it is traitorous.

          • Benjamin Kerstein

            West believes it is traitorous for specific reasons of historical fact that Mr. Radosh has shown to be erroneous. Everything else is entirely irrelevant.

          • cbinTH

            It was demonstrably neither moronic nor treacherous. As is explained in the article.

          • daized79

            If Roosevelt believed that the USSR, as an ally against Germany and Japan, should have had nuclear weapons, why wouldn’t he have ensured that the Manhattan Project shared its research with the Soviets or better yet, why not have a collaboration of top American and Soviet scientists? I don’t like Roosevelt any more than the next conservative, and I think the cover up of Katyn was reprehensible, but this post is ridiculous.

            I must say I was unaware of the lengths Churchill and Roosevelt went to cover up Katyn. They really believed that propaganda was necessary and people wouldn’t fight against the truly evil Nazis if they knew the Nazis were also fighting the evil Soviets. And the invasion of Poland, the ostensible cause of WWII, was never defended since the Allies gave it to the USSR (along with Germany, which was never part of the USSR!). So lots to complain about without resorting to nonsense.

          • cbinTH

            I agree with everything you say.

          • Guest

            Now if I cold only arrange a meeting between you and my wife… :)

          • daized79

            I realize I accidentally said that in “reply” to you, cbinTH. Sorry!

    • http://thusbloggedanderson.wordpress.com/ ThusBloggedAnderson

      Yeah, good luck with that, “chem major.”

  • LolKatzen

    If the US had entered the war in 1939, yes, things would have turned out better. But the sentiments of the people at that simply would not have allowed it.

    • wildjew

      That is where FDR failed. He should have been educating the public throughout the nineteen thirties like Churchill did his public even if the public would not listen. They needed to hear the truth.

      • EarlyBird

        People don’t fight for abstractions. To the average American in ’39, as terrible as what was happening in Europe, it was happening “over there,” and Americans’ biggest concern at the time was finding work. It took Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declarations of war to get Americans stirred to fight and die.

        • wildjew

          People don’t fight for abstractions. You mean like Bush’s war against terrorism abstraction and Obama’s war against violent extremism abstraction?

          • EarlyBird

            Yes. When it comes down to it, you don’t get people to risk their lives for ideas, but to fight for something tangible. The fact, for instance, that evil Islamists are taking over parts of desert nations doesn’t get young men to join the army. The idea that those Islamists are trying to kill us at home, does.

          • wildjew

            Oh it’s “Islamists” that want to kill us. Not Muslims?

          • cjkcjk

            9/11 was not an abstraction.

          • wildjew

            9/11 was not an abstraction but wasn’t what Bush defined as the enemy after the attacks an abstraction? Terror. War on terror. Terror is something that causes great fear or panic. That is what Bush told the nation we were at war with; terrorism. Bush’s dutiful toadies, Rush Limbaugh and others, propagated Bush’s abstraction for seven plus years even after Americans elected a Muslim president. Didn’t Bush, Limbaugh and others help Americans to elect a Muslim. Now Obama says we are at war with violent extremism. That’s not an abstraction?

          • cjkcjk

            I was there and 9/11 was the direct reason for going to war PERIOD.

          • wildjew

            You are in denial. You live your life in total delusion. I was also there and I was there to hear all the many lies George W. Bush told the nation about the enemy. And 9/11 was the direct reason Bush took America to war against an abstraction. Bush wasted Americans lives fighting an abstraction.

          • cjkcjk

            You’ve just revealed yourself as either a liar or someone with a zero for a memory.
            9/11 was the direct reason why Americans were MASSIVELY in favor for war, PERIOD.

  • LolKatzen

    Good piece. Agrees with everything I’ve read about the era, certainly.

  • derekcrane

    Actually, West has replied to this critique of her book and promises a more extensive response soon:

    http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2608/If-Frontpage-Will-Lie-about-This-What-Wont-They-Lie-About.aspx

    • T.A.

      This “reply” does not respond to a single criticism of fact that Radosh gives. It is an emotional rant, nothing more.

      • derekcrane

        Give the woman a chance. She was given less than three hours notice of Radosh’s review. It was a long review and requires a few days to properly write a reply.

  • blawrence

    Well done, Professor Radosh

  • TienBing

    There is a difference between a critical but un-hostile critique, and a critical and hostile critique. I believe a major source of negative reaction and hostility to Mr. Radosh’s review of Ms. West’s work is not only the condescension dripping from every paragraph, but the obvious hostility. Many including myself think it unwarranted and don’t understand it.

    One could point out inconsistencies, exaggerations, or unsupported theories without attacking those who agree with Ms. West, or implying that Ms. West and those who are swayed by her thesis and arguments are unhinged.

    Despite Mr. Radosh’s assertion that in regards to the issue of communist influence and infiltration of the US government “the science is settled” – he settled it, there remains many areas of information and interpretation that are still unsettled and contentious.

    I am not a scholar of FDR, but it seems that there was a turn in our government towards being “communist friendly” and support for the Soviet Union that cannot be explained or dismissed by invoking coincidence or merely dismissing them as the necessity of the times. It didn’t just happen.

  • CurmudgyOne

    Why does anyone expect consensus on history, in the first place? There is not now, never will be, and never was agreement on anything political. And, everything is political.

    • Benjamin Kerstein

      Consensus on history may be difficult (though it does happen), but error, misinterpretation, and conspiracy theory are not an issue of consensus, they are an issue of truth or untruth.

  • Jacquelin

    True, when it comes to PR, McCarthy couldn’t sell tricks on a troop train, but he was a voice in the wilderness, and Washington was a VERY Leftist place in those days. He was FAR more right than wrong, and he smelled a real rat. “Anti-McCarthy” seems a little(lion king games) simple. Please pursue the dialogue between Ron and Diana as the heat of today subsides. The Left never eats their young until the war is won. Diana is far too noble a warrior to be dealt with this way. Our cause is too endangered for infighting. I’d welcome a few sluggers and rabble rousers right now.

    • davids64

      Yeah, DC was “very left” in those days. That is true.

      The problem is in the desire of some on the wacko-right to conflate “left” with “communist”. All rational and serious people understand that one can be “liberal” or “leftist” and not be a commie. Ms. West lacks the intellectual sophistication to understand that difference, I suspect.

      • poptoy1949

        I respectfully disagree with your last written sentence.

  • Benjamin Kerstein

    I think Horowitz and Radosh are doing precisely the right thing in trying to discredit nutcases like the two of you.

  • Benjamin Kerstein

    For the sake of argument, let’s say the review is self-important (I don’t think it is), how does that make it in any way inaccurate?

  • Judy K. Warner

    Much of Radosh´s work has been in the service of exposing communists and the harm they have done to America. He is a historian who followed the facts where they led.

    When he began researching the Rosenberg case he thought he would show they were innocent. But his research showed they were guilty beyond a doubt. Therefore he changed his mind. I repeat, the facts Changed His Mind. His book demonstrating the Rosenbergs´ guilt lost him many friends, cut off career paths, and brought down on him all the hatred the left is capable of. He followed that book an expose of Communist influence in Hollywood and a takedown of books on Amercian history written by leftists, among much else.

    To accuse him of being lukewarm about communist influence in America is ludicrous. As a fellow Red Diaper Baby who changed because of the facts, I can attest that it is incredibly difficult to conclude that your friends, your family, the whole world you grew up in is wrong. Once you´ve done it and you realize the implications of that world you don´t go back; you recoil in horror.

    Ron Radosh came to his beliefs because he engaged in honest research and didn´t flinch from the implications. To say now that he´s afraid of West´s conclusions or her research is bizarre when you consider his life. But his path might tell you something of the importance to him of finding the truth based on facts, not what you want to believe.

    • davids64

      Good points, Judy.

      The PROBLEM is that the wacko right (as opposed to the SANE right), doesn’t care about factual accuracy. They ONLY want to hear what they already have predetermined to be true, and any and all contradictory evidence MUST be a conspiracy!

      Unfortunately, with the rise of the TeaParty in recent years, this trend is accelerating. Pseudo-conservative anti-intellectualism will mean the death of the Republican Party in the USA.

  • Christine Brim

    Diana West is answering the Radosh critique in a series of posts – the next one from this afternoon is linked below – Each one is also educational in itself on the broad topic of the evidence supporting her book – see here on Hopkins: http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2610/If-Frontpage-Lies-about-This-Theyll-Lie-about-Anything-Pt-2.aspx

    Also, note that the book is as of this hour, #5 in History & Theory and #8 in Commentary at amazon.com. You owe it to yourself, if you haven’t read it yet, to pick up a copy and make your own judgment on this ground-breaking work.

  • Benjamin Kerstein

    Yes, shame on Mr. Horowitz for criticizing a completely deranged conspiracy theory without a shred of evidence to back it up. How dare he imply that the president was born in the place everyone from the state of Hawaii to the judicial system says he was born in. Horrible indeed.

    • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      There is a ton of packaged evidence that has been presented to our Representatives. Congressman Stockman and Yoho and Barletta have just recently viewed the evidence and they will be pursuing an investigation. So please refrain from talking about a subject you know NOTHING about. Folks like you, the uninformed voters, are the reason this Fraud and Phony in Chief can get away with fraud and crimes. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Benjamin Kerstein

        Your “ton” of evidence does not seem to amount to much, based on your previous posts. All of the official evidence indicates that you are barking mad. I presume that you believe all this evidence is tainted as the result of a conspiracy, which is also barking mad, though I despair of convincing you of that fact.

  • EarlyBird

    People tend become isolationists after foreign adventures don’t go so well. Consider that Americans along with other Great War combatants had to scratch their head as to what all that carnage really accomplished. The Europeans’ empires were realigned far more than the European states themselves.
    The US entered the post-Vietnam “malaise, and now the US is pretty exhausted by the Iraq debacle and the grinding mission in Afghanistan. We’re in an isolationist mood right now.

    • wildjew

      Why do people tend to scratch their heads and become isolationists after a terrible war? Do you scratch your head and become an isolationist? I look for answers. I pray to God for wisdom. Why didn’t Churchill scratch his head and become an isolationist after the Great War. Here’s a good quote. See if you can ‘make heads or tails’ of it:

      “Of war, he (Churchill) wrote in 1930, “we now have entire populations, including even women and children, pitted against one another in brutish mutual extermination, and only a set of blear-eyed clerks left to add up the butcher’s bill.” War’s utility was altogether another matter. He told Colville that those who complain that wars settle nothing were speaking nonsense, because “nothing in history was ever settled except by war.” War, in spite of its horror, was the answer when the questions were framed in terms of liberty and the preservation of the West’s most humanistic traditions.”

      • EarlyBird

        Oh thank you Wise Warrior. I in no way expressed that idiotic sentiment that “war solves nothing.”

        I was answering a very limited question as to why Europeans and Americans were reluctant to fight another European war, after the Great War which didn’t change much about Europe at all. “What did we all fight and die for?” THAT is what they were “scratching their heads about.” Decisive wars people understand.

        • wildjew

          Do you know why we had to fight another war with the “Hun?” Look to General Pershing for answers. He was furious at Wilson. Pershing complained that Germany did not know they were defeated because Wilson wanted a strong Germany to preside over a peace conference in Paris. Pershing wanted to destroy the German army. Pershing lamented Germany did not know they had been licked. Thus the “stab in the back,” and the rise of Hitler. We should not believe revisionists like Patrick Buchanan who said the Treaty of Versailles is the reason for the second world war. Pershing knew better. FDR and Churchill did not repeat Wilson’s folly. You destroy the enemy. You don’t let the enemy or their army come back for another fight. Speaking as a Jew, I would have obliterated Germany. FDR and Churchill were too soft on Nazi Germany.

          Nations, like individuals, have moral obligations. “You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor,” applies to nations as well as individuals. Isolationism in America while our neighbor (ally) bled at the hand of the Nazi murderer was evil and immoral. You don’t think God stirred up the “Japs” against sleeping America (who stood idly by the blood of our neighbor) at Pearl Harbor?

      • EarlyBird

        Responding to your post stuck in moderation:
        “Do you know why we had to fight another war with the “Hun?”

        Because we didn’t destroy the enemy in WWI AND added to Gemans’ humiliation with the Treaty of Versailles.

        It’s not either-or, it’s both. To my knowledge, WWI is the only major war where a peace treaty took place where the “loser” had never had its land invaded, and so the Germans rightfully didn’t “feel” like losers in that war. Add to that the draconian terms of the Treaty, and they felt humiliated and betrayed by their own government. Buchanan (regardless of your obvious bones to pick with him), is hardly the only to make the connection with the Treaty. Hitler nursed that wound on his rise to power.

        “Speaking as a Jew, I would have obliterated Germany. FDR and Churchill were too soft on Nazi Germany.”

        Germany was functionally obliterated. If you are saying that you would have used atomic weapons to incinerate countless thousands of individuals when it was not necessary to defeat that enemy, as it was the Japanese, to get revenge for the Holocaust, that’s between you and God.

        The rest of your post is just moralizing and arguing against someone who doesn’t disagree with you. I am not arguing that the pre-WWII isolationists were correct. I’m saying they were human to be reluctant to go to war.

  • ulyssesmsu

    I’m always perplexed by statements like this–“He is author or co-author of over 15 books . . . ” Doesn’t Mr. Radosh know how many books he has written? Is it 16, or is it 20, or is it 100? Why say “over 15″?

    On a more serious note, TY, Mr. Radosh, for this excellent review and brilliant synthesis of numerous and diverse historical sources.

  • semus

    Stop mischaracterizing McCarthy.

  • Stonewall

    According to M. Stanton Evans & Herbert Romerstein, in their book Stalin’s Secret Agents, there was a vast left wing (Communist) conspiracy directed against the United States, just as Diana West has said. Here is an excerpt from Evans and Romerstein.

    “With the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, conflict between the new Soviet rulers of
    Russia and the non-Communist nations was fore-ordained and… would last for
    generations. The hostility stemmed… mainly from the belief of Soviet commissars Lenin and Trotsky that their victory would be the precursor to a Red revolution elsewhere, and that the new Communist state would lead the way in making this happen. Soviet methods of secret warfare were developed to advance this revolutionary vision. Generally speaking, what the new disclosures tell us about all this is that Communist covert actions against the United States and other target nations were relentless and effective, far more than most historians have imagined. The Kremlin used such tactics in systematic fashion,
    made them key elements of state policy, and devoted enormous resources to them…As the record further shows, a main object of Moscow’s subliminal onslaught was to plant secret agents in the United States and other Western nations, with emphasis on official agencies that delt with military, intelligence, or foreign policy issues. From these positions, pro-Soviet operatives were able to engage in policy sabotage, spying, and other species of subversion that advanced the interests of the Kremlin… It’s evident from now-available records that Communist penetration of our government – and our society in general – was, over a span of decades, massive. Hundreds of Soviet agents, Communist Party members, and fellow travelers were ensconced on official payrolls, beginning in the New Deal era then increasing rapidly during World War II… As the record further shows, Communists and fellow travelers on official rosters in case after case were agents of the Soviet Union, plighting their troth to Moscow and striving to promote the cause of the dictator Stalin… In sum, as shown by a now substantial mass of data, a powerful and devious enemy had by the middle 1940s succeeded in planting myriad secret agents and sympathizers in offices of the U.S. government (and other posts of influence) where they were able to serve the cause of Moscow and betray America’s national interests.”

  • Stonewall

    Ron Radosh says: “The Soviets would have faced an insurmountable problem in using the shipped [U-238] ore for bomb making. The problem they would have faced was in separating bomb-grade U-235 (which makes up only 0.7 percent of natural uranium) from U-238 (99.3%), a difficult technical engineering challenge. Until the Soviets could figure out how to separate the isotopes, which they eventually did through the post war espionage at Los Alamos we are all familiar with, the uranium ore they received would be useless for making a weapon.”

    Weapons grade Plutonium-239 is created by bombarding U-238 with a beam of neutrons, so the technical engineering challenge of separating bomb-grade U-235 from U-238 ore was minimized since they could go the Plutonium-239 route instead – and produce the same type of “Fat Man” nuclear weapon we used on Nagasaki. This is exactly what happened on August 29, 1949 when the Soviet Union exploded their first atomic bomb – a Plutonium-239 implosion fission device. It didn’t take the Soviet Union very long to develop Plutonium-239 nuclear weapons due to the shipment of U-238 by FDR, as detailed by Diana West, and their espionage network.

  • DrMaxHathaway

    Why is this traitor and communist-tool being allowed to impugn the established factuality of the history recited by the marvelous detective work of Diana West…?
    Let him write his treasonous tripe for the daily beast

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/AnneMarie-Dickey/1722922502 AnneMarie Dickey

      I swore an oath to defend the Constitution from people like you. Here, in a very short space, you have advocated the mass murder of anybody who does not agree with you, including journalists, lawyers and scholars…while incredibly calling other people “traitors” who think this sort of thing is a bad idea. You do not want democracy, because you do not want debate or disagreement. You want authoritarian rule. In short, you are a Sans-Culotte. A Parisian Jacobite. A Herbertist. You would purge our Republic with fire and blood, and in doing so turn us into exactly the sort of thing you claim to hate.

      There is nothing conservative about your claims of “…the kill-list would not stop with the fake Journalists, fake lawyers, fake professors and all the other quacks. We have to be ready and willing to fight fire with fire. If some don’t have the stomach for what needs to be done, then they should step out of the way.”

      This is the sort of thing you heard in The Reign of Terror in 1793, and Moscow in 1921. You heard it in Havana, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. It is radical lunacy that ends in firing squads, tumbrel rides to the guillotine and mass murder in the Vendee’.

      I know you for what you are, and you the enemy of everything I stand for and everything this country has resisted since 1775.

      • davids64

        Thank you, Annemarie.

        I think it is quite clear to everybody what a REAL American believes. “Doctor” Max is most certainly NOT a real American.

  • DrMaxHathaway

    The critical lesson from Diana West is that history is repeating itself.

    Now, we have a president who is a communist plant, imposter, and a total fraud — the post-turtle of all post-turtles, a man elevated beyond belief by others to a position he completely lacks the faculties to carry out unless the misson is suicide and destruction, in which case he’s a wild success.

    This daylight robbery and mass murder by Obama and his co-conspirators does not even need cover when a complicit national press corps black-washes all questions of Obama’s legitimacy and polcies and black-outs everything the public needs to know about our traitor-in-chief.

    In the last ervolution one of the rallying cries was kill all the lawyers. In the next it should be: KILL ALL THE JOURNALISTS, then kill all the lawyers, followed by the professors.

    • Benjamin Kerstein

      It’s unfortunate that the word “fascism” is thrown around so easily, because when a real live fascist such as yourself comes around, it’s difficult to think of precisely what to call you.

      • Silence Dogood

        Yes, DMH went overboard. He should have said deport or imprison all the Marxist Journalists, deport or imprison all the Marxist lawyers, and deport or imprison all the Marxist professors.
        Marxism is a violation of the American Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights – Marxism is levying political war against them. So let the trials for treason begin – under a new non-Marxist government – which, of course, will take some time.

        • Benjamin Kerstein

          So, basically you want a Stalinist purge in reverse.

          • Silence Dogood

            Stalin purged with mass starvation, gulags and bullets through the head. I would purge with the power of the pen – amending our Constitution with anti-Marxist law – and then enforcing the Constitution with prison or deportation.

          • WordsOfTheNorth

            You are a leftist troll, slandering conservatives as paranoid maniacs. Go back to Salon or Slate.

          • Silence Dogood

            Stalin purged in violation of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I would purge in defense of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

          • DrMaxHathaway

            Sweep the deck clean

        • DrMaxHathaway

          Deporting does no good—we want to make example of these degenerates. And FYI: the kill-list would not stop with the fake Journalists, fake lawyers, fake professors and all the other quacks.
          We have to be ready and willing to fight fire with fire. If some don’t have the stomach for what needs to be done, then they should step out fo way.

      • 57nomad

        “because when a real live fascist such as yourself comes around, it’s difficult to think of precisely what to call you.”….said Kerstein calling someone a fascist.

        Physician, heal thyself.

        • Benjamin Kerstein

          Well, killing all the journalists, lawyers, and professors is generally how the fascists started out. Then they moved on to everyone else who disagreed with them. Good luck with that.

          • 57nomad

            Yeah, that’s true and my remarks were just some self-entertainment. Nonetheless, calling the poster a fascist wasn’t called for. I’ll withdraw my comments if you’ll amend yours.

      • DrMaxHathaway

        I am not the type who will sit there in a circle-jerk with traitors like you who pretend to engage in intellectual discourse with degenerates whilst they plot, plan and scheme to overthrow western civilization adnrepaand it with their totalitarian utopia.

    • roma8989

      ladies and gentlemen, meed Diana West’s little helper……;-)

  • sybarite123

    In this corrupt world as we have come to know it, I am inclined to accept Diana West’s theses as correct. Moreover McCarthy is in the process of being vindicated. Many Leftists may and have crucified these ‘Crusaders’ but that is always the fate of Prophets, isn’t it? In parallel fashion, those raising alarms about Islam today are being attacked as “Islamophobes”. A retired Catholic priest in Canada.

  • cjkcjk

    Eisenhower was a dope who gave the Nazis at least 3 more months of time to commit genocide than they should have had.

    • tagalog

      Yeah, Ike COULD have listened to Montgomery or Patton, both of whom advocated for creating salients that the Wehrmacht could take advantage of, as in the Bulge or Operation Northwind down in the Vosges.

      Remember, the armies in Western Europe didn’t have a port to unload supplies in until Antwerp was liberated and the port rebuilt. When was that, November 1944, maybe October at the earliest? Supplies were being transported by truck from the beaches of Normandy. They were running out of gas repeatedly. The Allied advance was stalled. Advancing on a broad front was the most sensible thing to do. Eisenhower was right.

      • cjkcjk

        Gee, why didn’t they capture Antwerp earlier?
        Ike was a dolt.
        The Bulge was a perfect opportunity to capture hordes of German troops and supplies , but good ole Ike chose a frontal meat grinding attack, what a doofus
        Guess which major American commander in WWII was about the only guy to not see combat in WWI?
        That’s right dumbazz Ike.

  • Mittymo

    Mr. Radosh,

    Assume that France, Britain, & the U.S. had no business being in WWII & that Stalin (as part of his goal to dominate Eastern & parts of central Europe) entangled them as pawns as part of a Machiavellian plan to accomplish that.

    Now, I know you hate conspiracy theories, but this one isn’t that hard to put together. Stalin couldn’t have achieved his goals on his own.

    Stalin planned to subvert eastern & parts of central Europe. The only obstacle to achievement of his goals was Germany. Plus, Germany aligned with another of Russia’s long-standing foes, Japan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lake_Khasan

    Stalin couldn’t risk a two front war with both Germany & Japan. As a consequence, he designed a cunning plan to involve the U.S. in the war.
    First, Stalin’s agents got Britain to make a foolish pledge to defend Poland. Then, he plotted with Hitler to jointly invade Poland. But instead of invading simultaneously according to their plan, Stalin delayed his invasion by 2-weeks. Britain then declared war on Germany.

    When Russia invaded Poland 2-weeks later, Britain & France ignored the attack. (Were Russian agents helping to shape British & French policy? Or were those countries merely relying on promises by FDR’s emissary, Wm. Bullitt?)

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=8065

    Next, Stalin’s agents within the U.S. government got FDR to goad Japan into war.

    “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it
    was planned that way.” ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of
    the U.S.

    “How can we maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.” Diary of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War under FDR.

    FDR told Churchill he would get the U.S. into the War by becoming
    progressively more provocative until either the Germans or the Japanese
    made a fatal mistake that would give him the opportunity. See “Cruise
    of the Lanikai,” by Kemp Tolley, p-274, quoting from British documents
    declassified in 1971.

    In the summer of 1941, FDR met with Churchill, & together, they crafted the Atlantic Charter. The Charter detailed the aims of the Allied powers concerning the war and their goals for the post-war world (similar to the role of the victors
    crafting the Treaty of Versailles). Under the Charter, Britain and U.S. would have an equal role in planning the post-war consequences for the vanquished.

    Why would FDR help plan the goals for the war & the consequences for the losers unless he had plans to involve America in that war?

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4740-pearl-harbor-hawaii-was-surprised-fdr-was-not

    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1930

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Harry_Dexter_White

    As Stalin put it: Britain bought us time, the U.S. gave us the money & diversion we needed; but we did the heavy lifting.

    http://www.hnn.us/articles/126978.html

    See “Stalin’s Secret Agents” by M. Stanton Evans & Herbert Romerstein

    Many believe Britain & the U.S. should have let Germany & Russia fight to exhaustion & potential collapse. (See “The Unnecessary War,” by Patrick J. Buchanan.)

    Britain’s most respected military analyst, Sir Liddell Hart pointed out that Hitler’s logical route of expansion was to the east, against her natural enemy, Russia. Hart also believed Britain should let Germany and Russia fight it out to the point
    of exhaustion and bring about the downfall of both dictators.

    “I urged in 1941 that we should allow those two dictators to exhaust each
    other. I stated that the result of our assistance would be to spread
    Communism over the whole world…. The consequences have proved that I
    was right.” Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States

    See “Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956,” by Anne Applebaum.

    • BRobCleveland

      Huh? Germany invaded France and attacked Britain, and declared war against the US and sank our ships BEFORE we invaded at Normandy. How is this a claim that those three countries “blundered into WW II” when the Germans waged war against them all?

      This is complete nonsense!

  • moderate Guy

    Ronald, my boy; next time you should really read a book before attempting to critique it, rather than relying on a synopsis from New York Times book review.

  • MLCBLOG

    I used to really like her, but I respect Mr. Radosh more. Looking forward to the read.

  • http://tinatrent.com/ Tina Trent

    You’re wildly simplifying known arguments and facts.

    Read Justice Doenecke.

    • wildjew

      “On the eve of the GOP gathering, (Wendell) Willkie had called for immediate U.S. aid for Britain, adding that he was “in accord with the national administration” on the issue— a clear thumb in the eye to Republican isolationists. Enraged by his remarks, some fifty Republican members of Congress signed a letter urging the convention to choose a “leader with a past record consistently supporting Republican policies … and whose recognized position and recent pronouncements are a guarantee to the American people that he will not lead the nation into a foreign war.”

      “Willkie’s avowal of bipartisanship infuriated Republican leaders. Most prominent Republicans in Congress and the party hierarchy strongly opposed Lend-Lease, and they hoped that Willkie, as titular head of the GOP, would do the same. Nothwithstanding his defeat, he was still extremely popular with a significant segment of the American people….”

      “Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941″ by Lynne Olson

  • Mike

    The depth of delusion amongst those who only see evidence that confirms their worldview of endless conspiracies is truly astounding. Wow. The US is fine. These paranoid theories about the collapse of America have been spinning since day one and are nothing more than industries drummed up to cultivate fear for profit. Talk radio and the Internet have just given amplified them, not given them more substance. Everyone chill…go outside, take a walk, enjoy life…

  • bobster1985

    One relevant point that Radosh leaves out is that in addition to needing Stalin’s help in defeating Nazi Germany, the Allies wanted the USSR to also join the war against Japan. Until July 1945 the Atomic Bomb was untested and it seemed inevitable that a bloody invasion of the Japanese home islands would be needed to end the war in the Pacific. Having the Red Army fighting the very capable Japanese troops would save countless American lives in Asia as it did in Europe. Getting Stalin’s promise to join the war against Japan was one of FDR’s main goals at Yalta.

  • Jerry Rosen

    It is also the case that LIndbergh and Ford were vociferous Jew-haters. Ford had published the infamous “Protocols of Zion” (a forged a and plagiarized by a Russian official of the Czarist secret police); I don’t doubt that the same sort of people who refused to lt Marian Anderson (a black0 sing at the DAR’s Constitution Hall felt no little sympathy for the Nazis intentions for the Jews — which was at the time to ostracize, demonize, and expel them after confiscating their property — and not yet to physically destroy them (although the Krystallnacht of November 1938 was a pretty could harbinger of the joys to come).

    • tagalog

      “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

      • Jerry Rosen

        I know that. I was just trying to save typing.

  • Thomas Cleaver

    Radosh’s complaint about West’s “scholarship” reminds me of a comment once made a few years back by a German friend of mine who lived through the “twelve bad years”: “Hitler wasn’t voted into office by the Nazis, but by the conservatives who believed him when he told them he was one of them, a lie they discovered too late.” American conservatives need to learn the lesson themselves: there is a vast difference between “conservative” and “right wing.” The former is an honorable political philosophy that has contributed much over the course of history. The latter is the province of loonies and know-nothings, and the result of their efforts was described by Richard Hofstadter way back in 1954 in his seminal essay, “The Pseudo-Conservative”: “The pseudo conservative is a man who, in the name of upholding traditional American values and institutions and defending them against more or less fictitious dangers, consciously or unconsciously aims at their abolition.”

    West and her book remind me of what was said of John Stormer’s 1964 missive “None Dare Call It Treason” – call it “None dare call It reason.” I am constantly amazed at how persistent some stupidity really is. One would think actual, for-real conservatives would figure out the looney right wing once and for all.

    • davids64

      “for-real” conservatives? What a tiny minority THEY are!! How often will a person permit himself to be called “RINO” before he gives up on his supposedly “conservative” political party?

  • P Gustaf

    TLDR

  • duke492

    I am disappointed that Diana West- and her allies, such a M. Stanton Evans- did not accept your offer for a debate in these pages. I would be interested to hear the different sides regarding these details. But even if we grant your points, they do not justify the tone of your review. That tone- which is the default editorial posture of the Wall Street Journal, among others- does far more damage to the anticommunist cause than any errors that you might identify in Ms. West’s book.

    We are not dealing with conspiracy theories, and you do immeasurable damage to our cause by using that terminology. There is no doubt of a communist conspiracy to subvert the philosophy of the United States; and there is no doubt that, to an alarming extent, they have succeeded. How else to you explain the fact that we have twice elected as President a man who, from his youth unto this day, has deliberately sought out hardline Marxists as his closest friends and advisors, and who has appointed them into key political positions?

    I agree that the substantial points of her book are not new. But they are new to her. Her fresh approach to these questions reminds me of my own reaction when I first discovered these facts 40 years ago. Her spiritual posture in response to these facts is much closer to the response which they deserve- much closer than you have managed to attain, for all your academic mastery of arcane details. You say that she needs to view these facts in their historical context. I will see that point, and raise you one: history must be viewed in its philosophical context. History is about God’s proving to man that His Word is true, the Word which He has revealed to the apostles and the prophets.

    In 1964 I graduated from high school in a very conservative rural community in the heart of Georgia. After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1968, and finishing first in my class in nuclear power school, I served five years in the nuclear submarine force, where one of my jobs was to verify any orders to fire our nuclear missiles. I was never taught the history and philosophy of communism. The magnitude of that failure, and the implications of the fact that it could happen, justify even more alarm than Ms. West has expressed in her excellent book. When she describes the reactions of American military officers to her attempts to tell them the truth about Islam, she is describing an incredibly powerful spiritual delusion that has descended upon our nation.

    My original obligated service was coming to an end in 1973, and the events of that year shook my world to its foundations. The Arab oil embargo, our impending defeat in Vietnam, the Watergate Hearings- it was no longer clear that the good guys always win. It was not even clear that America is the good guys. That is precisely the goal of communist conspiracy. They call it the period of demoralization, the period before the final revolutionary violent overthrow. They don’t mean merely that the target population is discouraged; they mean that the communists have destroyed the philosophical beliefs which gave meaning to the lives of the target population, the beliefs which motivated them to defend their institutions. They had certainly succeeded with me.

    Was there are was a communist conspiracy? As I tried to determine the answer, I had a strange experience. I would read one argument, and consider the point proved. But then I would read a counter-argument, and find that equally persuasive. Upon closer examination, I found that the facts were not at issue. How can two men argue the same set of facts, and plausibly defend opposite conclusions? At first I thought it was something in the structure of the language. I wasted a lot of time on that, as young men sometimes do when they are a little bit too smart. But I finally arrived at the understanding which is exactly the right amount of smart: it is about philosophical presuppositions. Such presuppositions are seldom stated explicitly, and are never adequately examined.

    I quickly realized that the arguments of philosophy cannot be resolved by human reason and experience. The master debater can, without compromising his integrity, argue either side of a properly framed question. Such answers as may be must be found in religion. The only way to test a religion is to believe it and live it, so that’s what I did. Resigning my officer’s commission, I spent the next three years living in my Volkswagen van along California Highway One, the coastal highway. I accepted every invitation to visit any spiritual commune, and believed whatever I was taught, without quite committing myself to any. I was looking for that teaching which is common to all. The only people who wanted no part of my universal religion project were the fundamentalist Christians. I soon came to regard them as the most narrow-minded people in the world. But I listened to them, and understood one thing: if these people should turn out to be right, everyone else is dead wrong. Five years of intense religious study and spiritual experience in meditation finally convinced me that in fact they are right. Like most people, I was converted to Christianity by a spiritual experience; but before that, I was led to believe many wrong things by spiritual experiences. The proof of Christianity is historical. We submit our claims to the ordinary methods of historical investigation. A good book about Christian apologetics is “The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict”, by Josh McDowell.
    One problem we perpetually encounter in these debates is the fact that most Christians are not intellectuals, and most intellectuals are not Christians. But those few Christians who are intellectuals routinely perform at the top of their class- Isaac Newton, for example.

    I am currently reading a book which speaks to some of your points about Stalin and Hitler: “The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II”, by Viktor Suvorov. The author was a top Soviet intelligence analyst who defected to the West after discovering these facts (the facts in his book) in Soviet archives.
    This is already too long, and I am running late. I hope that my off-the-cuff remarks have served some useful purpose. I will end with a quote from Tal Brooke in his book, “One World.” When man tries to determine truth by the power of his own reason, and then tries to keep the truth by the power of his own will, “he is playing chess against a being with an IQ of about half a million, who has been playing the game for millennia.” When Jesus was tested by Satan in the wilderness, he never argued with the Devil. He simply quoted scripture verbatim. The only truth that man can know is the truth which is revealed by God.

    • haiku artist

      I also having been a lifelong liberal (Princeton undergrad) and student of every philosophy, religion and new age belief under the sun, accepted finally the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It took years upon years of owning and operating a second-hand bookstore to overcome my left wing political bias and the heavy deception of spiritual counterfeits. The Holy Spirit (of truth) can reveal the reality of scripture even to intellectuals who invite the resurrected Jesus into their lives.

  • WOOF

    We here at WOOF can see important distinctions between Zinn
    and West, including the fact that West is much better looking and uses
    footnotes. We are also amused to see our beloved mentor WFB Jr. held up as a finer sort of conservative—one who abjured the extreme invective of Joe McCarthy, even though in reality Buckley remained unapologetically loyal to Joe and wrote some of his speeches—including some of those we see nowadays held up as examples of the sort of extremism Buckley would putatively have eschewed.

    But WOOF also maintains a stout and undiminished respect for Ron Radosh, and we understand his concerns. Confessedly, we here at Watchdogs of Our Freedom hang out on Crackpot Alley by preference; it’s our turf. But we aren’t prepared to de-friend any conservative over differences of degree or nuances of belief. We remember that WFB introduced and maintained conservative “fusionism” at NR, and we refuse to decry Radosh for his principled analysis—even as we persist in adoring Diana West. She writes well, she’s good looking, she’s brave, and she’s on our side—why can’t we just all stick together and guffaw at Zinn? Much more fun and nowhere near as cannibalistic!

  • Eli Rabett

    Having blown down West’s strawhouse, you erect your own wrt the aims of anyone a millimeter to the left of you.

  • philbest

    Yes, I would like to know what Radosh would say about M. Stanton Evans’ book on McCarthy. If Radosh is using “McCarthyism” as a pejorative, he has evidently been content to let the Leftist lies about McCarthy stand.

    Stanton Evans is one guy whose opinion on Diana West’s book, I would love to get.

    I haven’t yet read West’s book, but I have believed ever since reading Evans’ “Blacklisted by History”, that there is a lot more pushback against the Left-defined history needed yet. I can quite believe that the USA of the 1930’s was riddled with Communist sympathisers, including in the Democrat Party mainstream. The seduction of the politics of “equality” is strong for the economically illiterate, which most of the Democrats from the White House down, certainly were.

    Even now, there is evidently myriads of people on the “libbewal” Left who are incapable of learning from the lessons of history, and think enforced equality to be a credible political option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Paddon/100001252965548 Eric Paddon

    ereading this asinine “review” I am struck by how Radosh tries to spin away the notion of how refusal to listen to potential peace feelers from anti-Nazi Germans wasn’t “realistic”. What he conveniently leaves out is that this is attached to the broader question of whether the *unconditional surrender* policy was a mistake that needlessly prolonged the war by (1) undermining anti-Nazi resistance to Hitler within Germany and (2) serving Soviet interests more than American interests. And for him to say no scholar has ever questioned the wisdom of the “unconditional surrender” policy is not true (Thomas Fleming for instance in “The New Dealers War”). It’s debatable to be sure, but for Radosh to presume there is a goose-stepping uniformity on unconditional surrender and that West is therefore a “kook” for bringing up the subject is just a flat-out rubbish. What’s even more laughable is how he tries to spin away the idea that approaching anti-Nazi Germans (notice how Radosh tries to instead rhetorically depict the idea in his headline as if he is trying to suggest to the casual reader that West was calling for an alliance with Hitler against Stalin!) by suggesting how that would have been bad for American credibility because they had been depicting the Soviets in such heroic terms leading up to 1943. Well, DUH! That’s the point of West’s work that such a policy depicting them in this fashion had already been going on thanks in part to the efforts of the Soviet spies and propagandists inside the Administration, that oh, gee whiz, Radosh is clearly interested in minimizing the role of since he doesn’t think there’ s any “conspiracy” going on involving these 500 plus agents that had any signficant impact on the policy judgments of the administration. Talk about trying to have your cake and eat it too!
    This review is a fraud from start to finish beacuse it presumes airs of pretentious superiority it isn’t entitled to possess based on the fact that even if one can take issue with some of West’s points (as even I can), the deeper questions she raises are ones we need to think about and are not worthy of being consigned to “kookdom” by a preening egotist like Ron Radosh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Paddon/100001252965548 Eric Paddon

    In addition to that, Radosh’s section on the Second Front Debate is a joke from start to finish. As West noted in her rebuttal, she did not talk about a cross-channel invasion in 1943 instead of 1944 which is what Radosh is doing and furthermore she does *not* fault Churchill on the eventual strategy since she only echoes a point one could find back in a work like Robert Nisbet’s “Roosevelt and Stalin-The Failed Courtship.” Churchill ultimately believed Normandy could be done without sacrificing the Italian campaign, and West also notes how the misguided ANVIL campaign was even more devastating to the Churchill perspective ultimately. Just like Nisbet, West’s depiction is not of Churchill as a Stalin stooge but as someone who has more sense of the long-term ramifications and is ultimately thwarted by the prevailing pro-Stalin mindset that existed in the FDR delegation. The only time Churchill ever comes up for any criticism is in relation to the Katyn cover-up but West merely reports matter of factly what Churchill did without passing specific judgment on him, personally.

  • Nick

    “Perhaps they didn’t because there no longer is any controversy. At a conference on Soviet espionage held a week before his untimely death, West’s source, Eduard Mark, publicly stated that he now acknowledged that Harry Hopkins was not Agent 19, and that the conclusion he had reached in his 1998 article was false.”

    Shouldn’t that read: Mark stated in a private setting that he now thought that Hopkins was not Agent 19, something which no one who was not there at the time could have known. Mark did not have time to state this publicly, because of his untimely death a week later. So there was no way in the world that Diana West could have been aware of Mark’s opinion on this matter. But I’d still like to criticize her, so I’m going to pretend that it’s not at all unreasonable of me to expect her to be aware of what was said during this private conversation. (Btw one of the other parties involved denies that this private conversation ever took place, but let’s not worry about that.)

  • Michael Johnson

    Communism is a conspiracy if nothing else. It is a conspiracy with global dimensions and designs. It is a travesty that there is so much competition in conservative politics to be the big dog. Diana West’s book has ample supporting documentation. Where documentation is missing because of government secrecy classification or obfuscation, Ms. West uses logic and common sense and the perspective of time to come to a tentitive conclusion. The burden then shifts to the U.S. Government, the Russians or historians prove her wrong.
    There is in law a concept called constructive fraud. It arises when fraud can’t be proved but certain hallmarks are present. Constructive fraud is legally deemed fraud and carries all the legal ramifications and sanctions as when the intent to commit fraud is proven. It must be so with conspiratorial ideologies as Communism and religions as Islam which codifies deceit in the Koran. In such cases it is foolish and suicidal to give the benefit of doubt or require all that is unknown to be known before reaching a working conclusion. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck it is deemed a duck regardless of what lable is given. “American Betrayal” and it’s author, Diana West has done more for the understanding of the past and present century than a mountain of academics.

  • Herzl Balfour

    Herzl Balfour

  • Herzl Balfour

    Radosh should make clear that the Soviets put pressure on the Americans and British to open a second front against Germany in France during 1942 and 1943, and that Roosevelt and Churchill resisted this pressure. The U.S. Communist party and other Soviet sympathizers in the U.S. and Britain also pressured the Western powers to begin a second front during this period, but to no avail. West’s conspiracy theory that Roosevelt and Churchill held back on an invasion of France until 1944 in order to enable the Russians to conquer Europe is contradicted by the fact that Russia wanted the Anglo-American alliance to move more quickly onto the European continent, not more slowly as West claims, in order to relieve pressure on the Russian forces on the Eastern front. If Roosevelt and Churchill had really been Soviet stooges as West insinuates, they would have ordered the invasion of France in 1942, before U.S. and British forces were ready. But the fact is that they resisted Soviet pressure for an early invasion.

  • rod masom

    What’s really instructive for me about this hit piece on Diana West is the complete ABSENCE of any discussion of the book heavily cited in Diana West’s “American Betrayal” entitled “From Major Jordan’s Diaries” by, I believe, Major George Racey Jordan, which is truly ASTOUNDING! It’s never been adequately answered by anyone as to it’s thesis, including this scabrous attack by Ronald Radosh on Diana’s book. In it, which I read many years ago, Jordan marshalls quite a bit of evidence that FDR and Harry Hopkins heavily, almost slavishly, would NOT deny anything to Stalin’s murderous forces, including copious amounts of just about everything needed to win this war, i.e., tanks, jeeps, ammunition by the tons, munitions of ALL kinds, and also including heavy water and other types of materials used in making atomic bombs, etc., and all to a depraved dictator like Stalin, twenty times WORSE than Hitler, and by the time we shipped all this stuff to Stalin, pretty much FREE OF CHARGE, HE AND HIS DEMONIC ARMIES AND ADMINISTRATION HAD ALREADY MURDERED SOME SIXTEEN MILLION RUSSIAN KULAKS! Are you kidding me, Radosh? This was the absolutely WORST type of ally to have. And have you no decency, sir?