Who Cares About Facts? Even History Under Attack By Right-Wing As They Push New Book

The right-wing in this country is engaged in a war; a war against reality itself. Science and mathematics — the cornerstones of an enlightened society — are under attack by those who would seek to turn this nation into some form of hate-filled religiously driven theocracy. When they do not like something they read about or hear, they dismiss it. Now their fight to destroy the progress of the 20th century has driven them to embrace the lowest of the low, the most despicable and horrifying of thoughts, they seek to exterminate history itself.

While one cannot destroy history, one can push a false narrative in an effort to undermine our understanding of history. So, the right-wing, led by such notables as Breitbart.com, have embraced historical revisionist Diana West, and have even decided on putting her new piece of trash history, “American Betrayal,” front and center. Diana West appears to believe that Senator McCarthy was right, that communism has infiltrated our government, and that Stalin was pulling the strings over three presidents: Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

She makes her case, she lays it out bare, and if you were not to do even a casual check of her source material, the case presented is damning. However, even basic inspections cause the whole house of cards to crumble without any resistance. Her case that the Roosevelt administration “pushed uranium and other A-bomb essentials through to Stalin” collapses when you check the shipping manifests. What is found is that yes, the Roosevelt administration did send almost 1000 lbs of Uranium to the Soviet Union, the idea that this was for atomic weapons is a modern idea, applied backwards through time. The form of Uranium sent was uranium nitrate, also called uranyl nitrate. Until the 1950’s, uranyl nitrate was used heavily in industrial glassmaking, particularly for glass fronts which needed to glow in the dark. With a small ultraviolet light, a whole glass panel could be lit up, incredibly handy for night time bombing raids. All indications show that the material exported wound up for use in photography, such as from spy aircraft. This replaced silver nitrate, which was more useful to the war effort to treat burn victims.

And this is but one example. The entire book is filled with such errors, ignoring history. For instance, Harry Hopkins notably warned the Soviet Union that their agents were under surveillance. In historical terms, FDR’s war adviser was telling our then-ally “We know you are spying on us, stop it or else.” Common practice in 1940’s spy games, giving your ally a way to save face before exposure. But to Diana West, who was seeking a communist in the White House, this had to be Mr. Hopkins betraying the United States.

Diana West even gets geography wrong. To her, the D-Day invasion of France was a push by the United States to support the Soviet Union, and we should have invaded France through our already established European theater of Italy. Unfortunately for her thought, there’s a big problem with an attempt to invade Germany from Italy:

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Mannlichen

Meet the Alps, the tallest mountain range in Europe. Extending from France all the way to Austria, the Alps are a natural barrier filled with narrow ravines, steep cliffs, and majestic mountains. They are also the deadliest enemies to the tanks which the Allies were fielding. Hannibal, in his famous march over the Alps, lost all but 37 of his prized elephants, a stark reminder of how dangerous they can be when one realizes he began his campaign with 9,000 of them. To go around them would require moving the army far to the east, almost into Russia itself, which would in turn enable Germany to concentrate on defending itself along one border. So, the D-Day invasion was the only logical approach which would split the German army. Pity Diana West for her failure to appreciate the enormity of the Alps and the role they play even in modern warfare.

Even more disgusting was how Ms. West ignored facts over US POWs in the Russian occupied zone. She made a rambling claim to attempt and paint FDR and his advisers as some form of monster, who left tens of thousands of POWs in Stalin’s hands, with the ominous closing line “What happened to these men? American betrayal.” Of course a true historian would know that, by the time the events in her tirade happened, there were technically no American POWs within the Russian controlled territory. As uncovered in 1992 through a joint effort, the Soviets had given the POWs a choice, renounce American citizenship, or be executed. By the time of the cables which Ms. West holds up as proof that Stalin was in control of the United States through puppets in the White House, the deed was done and there were no “American POWs” in the Soviet Union’s eyes. Either they were now members of the Soviet Union, eventually used in work factories such as Camp 27 (Krasnodar); Camp 64 (Tambov), Camp 4B (Ivanov), or dead. Her attempt to use them in this manner shows precisely how low she is willing to go in order to rewrite history.

Diana West went so far that even right-wing media outlets typically safe for her form of rhetoric turned their backs on her. Ronald Radosh wrote a scathing review for FrontPageMag.com where he put it best:

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.

Diana West has made a particularly interesting book, a work of fiction. To call it historical is an insult to readers, and holds no more historical accuracy than “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.” Diana West wrote her book to push an agenda, cherry picking information as it suited her desire, ignoring context, applying modern views on to historical realities. In other words, she wrote absolute and utter garbage.

roosevelts-comunist-manifesto

Ms. West is not the first person to proclaim that Franklin Roosevelt was a communist, of course. Emanuel M. Josephson published “Roosevelt’s Communist Manifesto” in 1955, for example. In it Mr. Josephson, just like Ms. West here, pushes the idea that Roosevelt’s entire administration operated as part of a larger operation, with the difference being only the puppet master involved. For Ms. West, it was Stalin, while for Mr. Josephson, it was the Illuminati. The apple does not fall far from the tree one supposes.

No wonder the madmen from the extreme right-wing have embraced her. This form of revisionist history, such as the drive to dumb down our schools through rewriting the textbooks, eliminating sections of history that they do not want to see. This is the enemy, this mindset. Those are the actions of children, sticking their fingers in their ears while going “I’m not listening!”

The reality is that history is made up of men and women, human beings with all of the flaws, faults, and attitudes that we have today. They are not perfect, and neither are we. But revisionist historians dive in with the idea that real history is flawed, and must be “fixed” to their viewpoint. Diana West revealed herself to be just such a person, unable to handle reality. So she presents her fantasy, one where Stalin was a grand puppetmaster with the United States the marionette on the string.

When the reality is that she, and those like her, are the puppets, with her masters pulling the strings.