Who’s in charge and what do they want?

If ever there was a book designed to make you appreciate how little one even knows of the times in which they live, it was Diana West’s epic American Betrayal. And in spite of the efforts to kill this book by people on what you would normally think of as on the conservative side of politics – the left has never had to lift so much as a finger to do the dirty work – it continues to make its way in the world. West has now put up a post of further reflections on her own book as she prepares the audio tape version: Rereading American Betrayal: Why Did Uncle Sam Keep Soviet Secret Agents a Secret?

The book is about the Roosevelt White House, but it is also about our own times right now. Maybe fifty years from now, if we are still as free then as we are today, some future Diana West may write the actual story of who Obama really is and what he was up to. In the meantime, you should read the book. There is nothing its equal anywhere in our political literature. But the real reason to read the book is so you can then follow the argument about the forces that have tried to destroy this book’s credibility on our side of the fence. When you have finally come to terms with all of that, you can wonder about what those political forces there are and where we are being led.

Why Obama stayed home

Why did Obama stay home? a number of people have asked. This is John Hinderaker’s answer:

I offer two possible explanations. The first is incompetence. The second is that if it didn’t seriously occur to Obama that he should go, it may simply not have occurred to him to send anyone else.

He also canvasses five other possibilities:

1. Incompetence: This theory should always be on the table when government at any level is involved. And it can explain why Obama didn’t have a top level official appear at the Paris rally.

2. Security: Don’t make me laugh. When Obama wants to do something, he doesn’t let security issues interfere.

3. Terrorism, what terrorism?: The estimable Byron York posits that Obama skipped Paris because he wants to downgrade the issue of terrorism. John finds this theory plausible, and I do too.

4. No sympathy for colonialists: This is a crude summary of an elaborate theory offered by Lee Smith. It’s worth considering, but very speculative. I think Smith may be over-thinking this.

5. He’s too cool: This, in essence, is the theory the White House is now providing.

Others have said that he stayed home to watch the football, which is plausible, although I was able to watch the games easily enough here in Australia. That, too, is not why I think he stayed home.

Here’s my answer. He didn’t go because he supports the other side. He did not want to add even so much as an ounce of support for those who are fighting the Islamists since he wants to see them succeed. I would be happy to entertain some other answer as the real one were it not for the fact that there is not a single position Obama has taken, at any time in his life, that would make me think he is on my side of any important ideological question, and this one least of all.

And having written this, I came across this, by Roger Simon: Is the White House a ‘Sleeper Cell’?. The idea is so obvious, and has been for so long, that I assumed that no one has put two and two together because the conclusions are not just terrible for the politics of it, but is vastly discrediting for the American system of government. Let me go to how Simon ends his article before coming back to the point:

A “sleeper cell” in the White House? It would certainly explain Obama’s not going to France, which was a decision that hurt the USA, hurt the effort against Islamic terror and hurt the president’s already tarnished reputation into the bargain. There are so many other things that the existence of a White House “sleeper cell” would explain that I couldn’t even begin to count them. And as you know, a cell doesn’t have to be violent to be active. There are many ways to do damage.

But who would be a member of this cell? Is it one or all of them? Well that, I am sorry to say, I cannot tell you. I do not have the proper clearance. You are, however, free to guess. Who would stop you?

Simon has clearly come to the same conclusion as I have, but won’t say it. It is just too terrible to have to admit. A Parliamentary system can be subverted, I suppose. But anyone who gets to the top has had to go through the proving ground of the Parliament itself. You must stand your ground on innumerable occasions, being asked questions by people whose interests are to find a flaw in your policies, that being the members of the opposition parties. This is a crucible that simply does not exist in a republican presidential system, and especially one in which the media is as corrupt as that found in the US.

Obama has never had to face serious questioning at any stage of his rise, nor does he now that he has reached the presidency. No one knows who he is, really is, nor has anyone probed him to find out what he truly believes. But you would have to have been born an idiot not to understand exactly what he stood for even before he was elected. Since that time, there has never been an instance that he has stood up to any radical Islamic government. The only time Egypt, for example, caught his interest was after Al-Sisi successful coup. Then, but only then, he was set to punish the Egyptians. Nor did he provide any support of any kind, not even ideological, when the Iranian people tried their own counter-revolution.

This is not a first-time instance, either. The near-as-certain certainty is that the FDR White House was riddled with Stalin’s agents. Not spies who tried to steal secrets, but the actual policy advisers who ran the government. This is the final paragraph of my review of Diana West’s American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character which I titled, with good reason, America, the Big Dumb Ox. This is where the title comes from:

As a result of reading West’s book, I now look on the United States as a big dumb ox, led around by a cabal of its enemies whose intent is to take the beast out to slaughter. It is a very large beast and will not go quietly. But given what you will learn from this book, you will be in some despair in trying to work out what can be done. This is a very troubling book which I nevertheless encourage you to read.

When I see the Obama White House, my attitude is, so what’s new? And what has been the most troubling part in reading West has been the effort made by the “elites” on the conservative side of politics in the US to discredit everything she wrote. The only conclusion vast enough to make sense of it all is the notion of progressive internationalism, whose most important ideal is bound up in the notion of open borders. If Islam, as peaceable as most of its adherents no doubt are, has within it a core of violent primitives, who cannot be contained by the more civilised notions that have been painfully and slowly accumulated in the Judeo-Christian West, then this entire progressive internationalist enterprise is a planetary disaster that will bring on a new Dark Age. But the vision will not disappear, and on we go.

So let me say this straight out. Wherever you are, wherever you are reading this right this minute, you cannot know what political system and religious values will prevail one hundred years from today. You may have your preferences, and you may find it inconceivable that Sharia may dominate the planet. But if the US can elect an Obama in 2008, don’t you tell me what will not happen by the year 2115.

A big dumb ox

a big dumb ox

As I have already discussed in an earlier post, there is a ferocious debate going on in the US at the moment over the book written by the American journalist, Diana West. The book is titled, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character and to give you its essence, is about how communist infiltration of the Roosevelt administration ultimately meant that America’s war aims during World War II were, for all practical purposes, determined in Moscow. But what is most peculiar about the book is that it has created such a major and intense schism on the right between those who agree with her and those who think everything she wrote is delusional.

To give you some idea of the nature of this debate, there has been a furious correspondence at The New Criterion following its publication in December of a review of the book. The editor has now published a defence, not so much of West herself, but of the importance of maintaining an open mind. His editorial is titled, Premature historical closure: Why it’s important to continue debating the historical record, in which he refuses to take sides. The correspondence that follows the editorial, which is different from the correspondence found in the magazine itself, is generally quite dismayed at this evenhanded approach since if you are the type of person who subscribes to The New Criterion you are not apt to find it all that farfetched to hear that Roosevelt’s White House was riddled with communists or that it made a difference in how the war was fought.

As it happens, I read the book myself before it had become quite as controversial as it now has and wrote a review of it that has just been published in the January-February issue of Quadrant. At the start of the review, I write what I feel even more to be the case now that I have witnessed this continuous harassment of West by others who one would have thought would be on her side, our side.

No book has ever frightened me as much as American Betrayal. The only thing wrong with reading it is that you find yourself so surrounded by impossible odds that it seems there is no way you can go that isn’t in the wrong direction. Trying to fix things is as bad as just leaving them alone. But because the story the book tells is so incredible, you realise just how unbelievable her thesis would be unless you had read the book yourself.

And while the issue is narrowly about Soviet infiltration of the American foreign policy apparatus, the book has much wider implications that not only matter in the present but will remain a concern as far into the future as one might try to look. As I say in the review, I don’t wish to tell you what the book is about since it is the breadth and detail that matter. It is over 400 pages long with every fact footnoted and referenced. By the time you are finished, you will know why I have titled the article, “America, the Big Dumb Ox”. And if you read the book, you will also see what makes me so fearful about the future of the Western world.

A very troubling book which I nevertheless encourage you to read

a big dumb ox

Diana West has posted my Quadrant review of her book at her blog, The Death of the Adult. The picture is from her blog and shows an ox attacked by wolves, the very image of its title, “America, a Big Dumb Ox”. This is her intro, the rest is what I wrote:

An interesting new review of American Betrayal from the January 2014 issue of the Australian journal Quadrant, edited by Keith Windshuttle.

She has highlighted various parts of the review so you can see what she thinks are particularly relevant. But why this book has caused the commotion that it has I have no answer to.

Beyond Betrayal

No book has ever frightened me as much as this. The only thing wrong with reading it is that you find yourself so surrounded by impossible odds that it seems there is no way you can go that isn’t in the wrong direction. Trying to fix things is as bad as just leaving them alone. If I were to write this up, these are the elements that would go into the story.

1) Ronald Radosh’s review of American Betrayal was so scathing I knew it had to be worth reading. He is a leftist plant who is so patently not on our side that the only wonder is that he is not universally recognised for who and what he is.

2) My own background living with my father who was a lifelong dedicated communist. I grew up understanding that the international communist conspiracy does not require everyone to receive a set of instructions to tell them what to do. They merely have to understand what the rules are and from then on they can be left on their own to play their part as they interpret it.

3) Reading the book which has been a dispiriting experience. Maybe I should just stop reading long books since they take so long but I do think it was the content.

4) What’s the content? When we were in New Orleans in 2010 I found for $3 a book titled The Politician by Robert Welch. Welch was the central figure in the John Birch Society which was this ultra-looney group on the far right when I was growing up. If you wanted preposterous then they would supply it. But between then and now my politics have moved from the left where they were then to the right where they are now. But even as I picked it up, my expectation would be that I am dealing with beyond the pale. Instead, I found Welch to be as moderate and reasonable as one could want, fully understanding who he was and how he would be viewed by others and portrayed by his enemies. He just took up the fight because he knew what he knew and could see no alternative but to try to do what he could to fix things. For what it’s worth, I still think Welch is looney and his views extreme but that he saw communism as a mortal enemy of freedom is to his credit.

5) And what Diana West writes across 400 pages might be summed up in a single sentence from The Politician.

The American people have not yet waked up to the clear evidence that Harry Hopkins, instead of being the fumbling half-mystical dogooder for which they took him, was one of the most successful Communist agents the Kremlin has ever found already planted in the American government, and then developed to top-level usefulness.” (217-218)

Diana West’s book is about Harry Hopkins, his role as a Stalinist agent and the influence he had over Roosevelt. It’s much more than that but on its own that is more than enough to make you see the world in a very different way. Weird even to write this down but it is the very implausibility that makes this an idea worth pondering. Radosh certainly had no arguments that would counter what West wrote.

6) In a nutshell, with Hopkins literally (as in actually, he really was) living in the White House during World War II, virtually the whole of American policy and strategy was designed with one purpose in mind – to allow the Russians to expand their grip on the rest of the world. Both the tyrannies of Eastern Europe after the war and the communist takeover in China were caused by these agents of influence who set American foreign policy and determined the allied war strategy. She may be wrong but she does tell an incredibly plausible story that fits with everything I already know. And if it is true, you can hardly see how an enemy this powerful can ever lose. I take the same view as Whittaker Chambers, we are on the losing side.

7) All of which West ties to the present struggle with Islamic jihad where those within our political elites who you would think ought to be alerting us to the dangers of letting down our guard are instead conspiring with the Islamists to create a world in which the rest of us will come under their sway. I cannot understand why they would do it but there seems too little evidence of resistance and plenty of evidence of collaboration.

8) As with Communism, the only saving grace in the end is just how repulsive the Islamic enemy is. But if the fifth column is as relentless and as well placed as the communists were (and are) I do not see how this can be overcome. Hence depressing but I do not wish to be so defeatist. But it’s a war that now that I see the dimensions of makes me tired and fearful. It also makes everything else seem so minimal.

Maybe I’ll be more rested tomorrow but tonight it has gotten right on top of me.