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1st June 2020

This is the second of a four-part series, Writing the Resistance, the first of which featured David Horowitz and links naturally to our second subject, American columnist and author Diana West. West is the author of The Death of the Grown-Up, an entertaining elegy at the funeral of Western notions of adulthood, and their replacement with an infantile culture. But here we will look at the book whose claims could change history; American Betrayal.

My new war narrative is different.

Diana West, American Betrayal

Everybody knows that the war is over.

Everybody know that the good guys lost.

Leonard Cohen, Everybody Knows

The enigma of history versus myth is central to the self-awareness of any historical epoch. The way in which a society answers the question of how much of their accepted history is or might be myth shows its attitude towards the truth. But, while mythology is content to rest among its symbolism, its evasions and elisions, history cannot afford that luxury, if that history claims to be true or at least in pursuit of the truth. And it is myth, or a series of myths, concerning WW2 that Diana West is aiming to replace with history in 2013’s American Betrayal.

If West’s startling revisionism is anywhere near the historical truth, the book is what Nietzsche wished his writings to be, dynamite, and did in fact spark a media firefight in which Ms. West was traduced by a battalion of big guns. The central thesis, and West works from sources with access to declassified FBI and Senate documentation, is that, during the 1930s and 40s there were;

‘More than five hundred willing and variously able American traitors, many operating at the very highest level of the federal government’.

West begins the book as though it were a detective novel. In 1934, two men arrive in Washington, Whittaker Chambers intending to activate Communist cells deep within the American government, and the older William Wirt to expose precisely this type of covert and, in his view, ruinous precursor to a political coup. Chambers ended up lauded, Wirt became the butt of a nationwide joke and died broken and in obscurity.

This sets the mood music for the whole affair, as a shadow policy unfolds within American government effectively air-brushing Stalin and the USSR’s aims and subversive achievements out of WW2 in the same way Stalin himself had people air-brushed out of photographs.

West’s analysis develops to show both the inversion of values which, McCarthy notwithstanding, all but outlawed criticism of Communism at the highest levels of American governance and culture, and the elaborate – and quintessentially Soviet – project of concealment of the collusion between Roosevelt’s government and that of Stalin, which includes historical revisionism. In the meantime, there was still the messy business of WW2 to get through, and West’s stories re-tell received wisdom. One example is the Katyn forest massacre.

In April 1943 the mass graves of thousands of Polish officers were uncovered in the forest of Katyn, near Smolensk. The Nazis, who made the discovery, accused Stalin, who dismissed the charge as propaganda and blamed the Reich. It is still widely viewed – if known about at all – as a Nazi atrocity. It was not until almost 50 years after the slaughter at Katyn that Russia admitted the truth, that Stalin was responsible.

Katyn is one of the key pillars in West’s accusation that the allies helped Stalin extend the war. West’s theory is that WW2 could have been ended in 1943 but for the level of Communist influence in American government actively working to boost Stalin’s ambitions. And those ambitions, as West says in a lecture ‘were not primarily to defeat Hitler but to replace him’.

West’s claim that Communist infection of the US government indirectly cost millions more lives by lengthening WW2 is augmented by a sub-claim that the Korean War was precipitated by Stalin’s having the nuclear bomb, an acquisition greatly aided and abetted by agents – including the executed Rosenbergs – who passed atomic secrets to the Soviet Union in the two decades prior to Stalin’s successful A-bomb tests in 1949.

Then there is the Lend-Lease program, supposedly designed to alleviate Soviet hardship under the new alliance. But Lend-Lease, which West says gifted Stalin the ability to make the final push from Leningrad to Berlin, was a confection sweetened by many extras. Lend-Lease’s control by Communist facilitators in the administration is merely another footnote in the history of WW2, one that West wants promoted to the main text.

At the centre of Lend-Lease, and much else for West, is the curious figure of Harry Hopkins, FDR’s right-hand man, and possibly the left hand too, if West’s account is accurate. As well as the confirmed agents, the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss and others, there were players West can’t prove were directly Soviet-affiliated, but acted as though they may as well have been. Hopkins is one such, stuck between a rock and a hard place, Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe, neither of which fazed him.

If Soviet infiltration at the White House were to be gauged by mere physical presence, the gauge is running high. Hopkins and his family actually lived there for some time, taking breakfast, dinner and tea with the Roosevelts. When Hopkins accompanied FDR to the Tehran summit, Stalin greeted him personally, an honour he did not extend to FDR. West describes the ‘Hopkins shop’, which was ‘a government within a government’, and his fingerprints over so many of the questions West throws up re-iterate her theme, that ‘for many crucial years, American statecraft was an instrument of Soviet strategy’.

And the strategy was to spin out WW2 so that Stalin could prepare to control central Europe, securing at the same time a beach-head from which to launch the next offensive using, instead of battalions of men, cultural Marxism. West sets out her mission statement;

‘WW2 could have 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’.

West goes on to isolate three main areas which illustrate that the end of WW2 was also the beginning of the next phase of Stalin’s grand plan.

The protection of the Soviets from offence became an imperative with the imprimatur of the White House. This extended to the shameful desertion, by America, of up to 20,000 of its soldiers effectively being held as POWs. Stalin signed what was effectively a repatriation agreement at Yalta then predictably failed to honour it. No one on the American side really pushed all that hard.

The silencing of ‘Red-baiters’ in the American political system was concentrated and thorough. Those politicians who had been threatening to flag up the real nature of the Soviet Union were dispatched on diplomatic work, postings sometimes being very far away. The remarkable ex-Governor George H. Earle was sent to Samoa, and is a man who really deserves his own movie.

West returns from history to the present with the undeniable modern phenomenon of the promotion of cultural Marxism in the West. The whole modern linguistic law-enforcement program, which we coyly refer to as ‘political correctness’ - a phrase attributed to Lenin – is Communism by alternative means. Communists were no longer throwing bombs, they were writing text-books. West sees no difference between Soviet disinformation – a department employing more people than the armed forces in WW2 in Russia – and political correctness;

‘“PC” is just another label for big lies – little lies, too. It describes the systematic suppression of fact that advances and sustains the ideology of the state and its barricades in academia, media, and other cultural outposts. Big and Bigger Brother’.

If Communism and the memory of McCarthy and reds under the bed raise a smile now in America, that is because the battleground has shifted in the war for America’s soul, and there is a replacement deep-state offensive to drag it to hell using a new weapon; Islam.

It seems now to be no accident but rather a structural necessity that West originally intended to research a book on Islam’s undue influence on America, and was diverted to write about Communism instead. The big picture suggests that the deep state – the existence of which Trump’s presidency has illuminated – has simply replaced its collusion with Communism with an alliance with the ummah. The wider cultural influence of Communism in its masquerade mask of cultural Marxism still thrives in the USA but, with the introduction of Islam, there is now a twin offensive. The same structures of censorship, avoidance of offence, cultural appeasement and a parallel legal system with regards to Islam mirror the Western kid gloves used to coddle Communism.

To draw back from the picture West paints is to see a breath-taking panorama. The allies fought WW2 to gift central and eastern Europe to Stalin so that he could start the process of cultural Marxism which is currently rotting Western culture like a tooth dropped in a glass of soft drink. Conrad Black led the media rebuttal, himself a biographer of Roosevelt, though did descend to calling Ms. West a ‘loopy’. Perhaps that is just how they talk in jail.

There are many books still to be written about the undeniable and subversive effects of Frankfurt School cultural Marxism and how it came to support the ideological infrastructure of an entire culture, and Diana West has time only for so much. As for her thesis, that same culture and its emerging generation of young adults who know no history need only visit the movies to see how history has been directed. West’s book and its ideas, even if they read it, would be;

‘…literally incomprehensible to a society shaped in some large part by vast armies of Nazi villains sweeping across pop culture (their understudies either CIA or corporate villains), ranging far beyond the time and bounds of the twelve-year-old Third Reich – and with never a commissar, Gulag guard, or show trial judge in sight’.

This is why Anne Applebaum, as she describes in the introduction to her remarkable and harrowing book Gulag, found herself puzzled as she watched Western tourists shopping for souvenirs on the Charles Bridge in newly liberated Prague;

‘Most of the people buying the Soviet paraphernalia were Americans and West Europeans. All would be sickened by the thought of wearing a swastika. None objected, however, to wearing a hammer and sickle on a T-shirt or a hat’.

Mark Gullick is a philosophy PhD from London, England, who went on holiday to Costa Rica four years ago and forgot to go home. He now works there as a musician. His debut novel, Cherub Valley, is available as an ebook here'.

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