According to historian M. Stanton Evans’ “Law of Inadequate Paranoia,” in effect, things are always worse than you think. This holds true especially of conventional history books on World War II and the Cold War, Evans said last Wednesday, upon introducing Diana West, recipient of the 2013 Center for Security Policy Mightier Pen Award for her remarkably courageous work American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on our Nation’s Character.
One gets a hint of major historical oversights, passed off as fact for decades, the moment one opens West’s American Betrayal. At the dawn of the modern age, in 1920, she notes, Bertrand Russell already warned of a “conspiracy of concealment” well underway, by Western visitors to the new Soviet Union anxious to project a civilized veneer onto what Ronald Reagan six decades later so much more aptly termed the evil empire.
“Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam,” Russell noted, as Ibn Warraq reminded us in Why I am Not a Muslim. Marxists and Islamists shared a sense of predestination and fatalism. Unlike the spiritual and mystical Christian and Buddhist doctrines, Russell noted, “Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world.”
West’s book proffers that these two parallel forces crept into the U.S. government, albeit in different periods, in much the same way. The author it challenges readers to suspend their disbelief at the door, and wonder aloud, with her, “why?”
West attempted in American Betrayal to unravel a series of Big Lies, she told the rapt audience. She started in our own age, after 9/11, with the Big Lie that “Islam is a religion of peace” and worked backwards from there, to the 1940s, when Americans were sold several bills of goods on the Soviet empire. “Uncle Joe Stalin is a friend of democracy” and “the USSR has freedom of religion,” for starters.