Tuesday, July 29, 2014
   

 

American Betrayal

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"This explosive book is a long-needed answer to court histories that continue to obscure key facts about our backstage war with Moscow. Must-reading for serious students of security issues and Cold War deceptions, both foreign and domestic."

-- M. Stanton Evans, author of Stalin's Secret Agents and Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies

"[West] only claims `to connect the dots,' which is a very modest description of the huge and brilliant work she has obviously done. ... It is not simply a good book about history. It is one of those books which makes history."

-- Vladimir Bukovsky, author of To Build a Castle and co-founder of the Soviet dissident movement, and Pavel Stroilov, author of Behind the Desert Storm.

"Every once in a while, something happens that turns a whole structure of preconceived ideas upside down, shattering tales and narratives long taken for granted, destroying prejudice, clearing space for new understanding to grow. Diana West's latest book, American Betrayal, is such an event."
 
-- Henrik Raeder Clausen, Europe News

"No book has ever frightened me as much as American Betrayal. ... It all adds up to a story so disturbing that it has changed my attitude to almost everything I think about how the world actually is."

-- Steven Kates, Quadrant

Her task is ambitious; her sweep of crucial but too-little-known facts of history is impressive; and her arguments are eloquent and witty. ... American Betrayal is one of those books that will change the way many of us see the world.

-- Susan Freis Falknor, Blue Ridge Forum

“What Diana West has done is to dynamite her way through several miles of bedrock. On the other side of the tunnel there is a vista of a new past. Of course folks are baffled. Few people have the capacity to take this in. Her book is among the most well documented I have ever read. It is written in an unusual style viewed from the perspective of the historian—but it probably couldn’t have been done any other way.”

-- Lars Hedegaard, historian, editor, Dispatch International

"Diana West's new book rewrites WWII and Cold War history not by disclosing secrets, but by illuminating facts that have been hidden in plain sight for decades. Furthermore, she integrates intelligence and political history in ways never done before."

-- Jeffrey Norwitz, former professor of counterterrorism, Naval War College

Diana West’s American Betrayal — a remarkable, novel-like work of sorely needed historical re-analysis — is punctuated by the Cassandra-like quality of “multi-temporal” awareness. ... But West, although passionate and direct, is able to convey her profoundly disturbing, multi-temporal narrative with cool brilliance, conjoining meticulous research, innovative assessment, evocative prose, and wit.

-- Andrew G. Bostom, PJ Media

Do not be dissuaded by the controversy that has erupted around this book which, if you insist on complete accuracy, would be characterized as a disinformation campaign.

-- Jed Babbin, The American Spectator

The most important anti-Communist book of our time.

-- J.R. Nyquist, contributor, And Reality Be Damned ... What Media Didn't Tell You about the End of the Cold War and the Fall of Communism in Europe

The polemics against your Betrayal have a familiar smell: The masters of the guild get angry when someone less worthy than they are ventures into the orchard in which only they are privileged to harvest. The harvest the outsider brought in, they ritually burn.

-- Hans Jansen, former professor of Islamic Thought, University of Utrecht 

West's lesson to Americans: Reality can't be redacted, buried, fabrictaed, falsified, or omitted. Her book is eloquent proof of it.

-- Edward Cline, Family Security Matters

In American Betrayal, Ms. West's well-established reputation for lacking "sacred cows" remains intact. The resulting beneficiaries are the readers, especially those who can deal with the truth.

-- Wes Vernon, Renew America

After reading American Betrayal and much of the vituperation generated by neconservative "consensus" historians, I conclude that we cannot ignore what West has demonstrated through evidence and cogent argument.

-- John Dale Dunn, M.D., J.D., Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Enlightening. I give American Betrayal five stars only because it is not possible to give it six.

-- John Dietrich, formerly of the Defense Intelligence Agency and author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy.

If you're looking for something to read, this is the most dazzling, mind-warping book I have read in a long time. It has been criticized by the folks at Front Page, but they don't quite get what Ms. West has set out to do and accomplished. I have a whole library of books on communism, but -- "Witness" excepted -- this may be the best.

-- Jack Cashill, author of Deconstructing Obama: The Lives, Loves and Letters of America's First Postmodern President and First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America

Diana West masterfully reminds us of what history is for: to suggest action for the present. She paints for us the broad picture of our own long record of failing to recognize bullies and villains. She shows how American denial today reflects a pattern that held strongly in the period of the Soviet Union. She is the Michelangelo of Denial.

-- Amity Shlaes, author of Coolidge and The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

American Betrayal is a monumental achievement. Brilliant and important.

-- Monica Crowley, Fox News analyst, radio host and author of What the Bleep Just Happened: The Happy Warriors Guide to the Great American Comeback

"If you haven't read Diana West's "American Betrayal" yet, you're missing out on a terrific, real-life thriller."

-- Brad Thor, author of the New York Times bestsellers Hidden Order, Black List and The Last Patriot.


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Blog
Feb 6

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, February 06, 2011 6:47 AM 

Karzai and the Afghan Supreme Court Mullahs

---

Five years ago, the story of Abdul Rahman, a Christian convert from Islam under prosecution for his faith in US-"liberated" Afghanistan, did not make the pages of the New York Times.

The Chicago Tribune reported the story in the most vivid terms (the lead prosecutor, the Trib reported, called Rahman "a microbe in society," who "should be cut off and removed from the rest of Muslim society and should be killed"),  followed up by a smallish cohort including, among others, WND.com, ABC News, Michelle Malkin, and Yours Truly, in both columns and my book.

Rahman avoided the death penalty when the court ruled he was insane (only a fruitcake would become a Christian, right?) but he couldn't remain in the country and live, what with all the Afghan clerics (and his family) calling for his death, and his jailer, as the Trib reported, promising "we will cut him in little pieces," making a cutting motion with her hands. So, Rahman was spirited out of the country, as they say, in what I imagine was a giant diplomatic pouch, to live in anonymity in Italy. Which sounds to me like he came out of top.

But not US-liberated Afghanistan,  our bouncing, baby theocratic dictatorship where apostasy, blasphemy & any offense or slight against Islam remain serious crimes with punishments up to the death penalty. Remember Ali Mohaqeq Nasab, an Afghan journalist who questioned the harshest aspect of sharia (Islamic law), including death for apostates and the inequality of women? He was sentenced to two years hard labor in 2005 before publicly recanting. Remember Parvez Kambakhsh, a young journalist with similar ideas about women's equality? His death sentence around 2008 for blasphemy was commuted, lucky boy, to 20 years in a US-lberated Afghan jail. 

Get the picture? Well, join the sadly small club.

Today, five years after Abdul Rahman, the story of Sayed Mussa did make the New York Times. This represents progress as the hideous reality of what the US has wrought in Afghanistan all too slowly comes into mainstream focus.

From today's NYT: "Afghan Rights Fall Short For Christian Converts"

The jail commander had remained silent as the prisoner, Sayed Mussa, told a reporter about his journey from Islam to Christianity: his secret baptism nine years earlier, his faith in Jesus Christ and the promise of heaven.

But when Mr. Mussa said he believed in the Bible but also loved the Koran’s teachings, it was too much. “So you love the Koran and the Bible?” the commander broke in incredulously. “What kind of love is this?”

A guard thumbing Muslim prayer beads squared his shoulders and started to rise. “You want me to beat him?” he asked.

“No, no,” the commander said, calming himself and waving off the guard. “Everyone has the right to express themselves.”

Such has been Mr. Mussa’s life since his arrest for converting to Christianity nine months ago in a case that illustrates the contradictions — and limits — of religious freedom in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s Constitution, established in 2004, guarantees that people are “free to exercise their faith.” But it also leaves it open for the courts to rely on Shariah, or Islamic law, on issues like conversion. Under some interpretations of Shariah, leaving Islam is considered apostasy, an offense punishable by hanging.

Some? What "interpretation" of Shariah, pray tell, does not consider apostasy a capital crime?

UPDATE: Meanwhile, it's simply false to say that the Afghan constitution "leaves open" the courts' reliance on sharia. To wit, Ch. 1, Art. 3 from the Afghan constitution:

"In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam."

"No law" means no law -- not, "it's open to the courts."

Mr. Mussa, 46, is staring at the prospect of a death sentence.

Mr. Mussa was arrested after a television station in Kabul broadcast images that it claimed showed Westerners baptizing Afghans and other Afghans praying at private Christian meetings. The broadcast stoked fears of proselytizing brought on by the influx of foreigners since the American-led invasion in 2001. Some lawmakers publicly declared that converts should die.

Since his arrest, Mr. Mussa said, guards at one jail slapped him and beat him with sticks. At another, two prisoners who learned of the charges against him assaulted and raped him, urged on by Taliban inmates.

“The Taliban were saying, ‘He is an infidel, he is filthy and he needs to be killed,’ ” he recalled.

Mr. Mussa has not seen his wife and six children in months, since they fled to Pakistan for their safety. He is not even sure if he has a lawyer; he signed agreements with two, then never saw them again.

His treatment has been better, he said, since the American Embassy intervened on his behalf about two months ago to have him transferred here to the Kabul Detention Center.

Here's my favorite part:

Diplomats and Afghan officials, meanwhile, have tried to keep it out of the spotlight, fearing that publicity, particularly from the local news media, could set off an outcry from --

Guess who -- US diplomats? The UN? CENTCOM? US Congressmen? The President? of the United States? The European Union? The Pope? The Free World?

hard-line conservatives, endangering him and other Afghan Christians.

NB: "Hard-line conservatives" means devout Muslims.

Embassy officials have been quietly trying to find a political solution that could allow Mr. Mussa asylum in another country.

Because, of course, a country liberated and funded by the United States isn't fit for a Christian to live in.

But after months of intermittent measures by diplomats to free him, Christian advocates and members of Congress are growing frustrated, not least with the larger issue of underwriting an Afghan government that has not ensured religious freedom.

"Growing" frustrated? How about at the end, finally, of our rope?

“We cannot justify taxpayer dollars going to a government that allows the same restrictions on basic human rights that existed under the Taliban,” two Republican members of Congress, Representatives Trent Franks of Arizona, co-chairman of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, and Doug Lamborn of Colorado, wrote in a letter last fall to Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, urging stronger action.

Yes. But then what happened? If we can't justify tax dollars going to a theocratic dictatorship, why are still sending them?

In a sign of the case’s delicacy, officials with the Ministry of Justice and the Ulema Council, which advises the president on religious matters, refused to discuss it, even to talk in general about the law as it applies to conversion, which is not mentioned in the Afghan criminal code.

A senior prosecutor closely involved in Mr. Mussa’s case, however, suggested that officials were feeling the weight of international pressure.

“Based on Shariah law, whoever converts from Islam should be sentenced to death,” said the prosecutor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “But based on international agreements that Afghanistan has accepted and agreed with, Sayed Mussa has a chance to be released.”

The Afghan government has not executed anyone for religious crimes since the Taliban’s fall, though at least one person has been sentenced to death: Parvez Kambakhsh, a journalism student, who in 2008 was condemned for blasphemy for distributing material found on the Internet questioning women’s rights under Islam. A court later commuted the sentence to 20 years before President Hamid Karzai pardoned him.

Another man, Shoaib Assadullah Musawi, has been jailed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif since November after being accused of giving the New Testament to a friend, who then turned him in.

Afghan and American legal experts say such cases are rare.

Of course, they're rare. To maintain a reign of terror, such cases do not have to be frequent. If someone is arrested for giving a New Testament to a "friend," how many people are going to follow suit?

But in the handful that have emerged publicly, it has taken Western intervention to secure a release, leaving the central ambiguities in the Constitution unresolved.

Sorry,  there's no "ambiguity." The Afghan constitution, enabled by American "experts," holds Islamic law supreme. Islamic law does not allow freedom of religion. Period.

“The problem of not following due process and not properly defining constitutional limits and rights is across the board,” said Scott Worden, senior rule of law adviser for Afghanistan for the United States Institute of Peace. “It’s one of many signs that Afghanistan’s legal system has a long way to go before it can be considered up to international standards.”

??

An ethnic Hazara, a minority group long oppressed in Afghanistan, Mr. Mussa grew up a Shiite Muslim in the central highlands around Bamian Province. He lost his leg to a land mine as a young man serving in the army of the Soviet-backed government. For the last 16 years before his arrest, he worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross, helping amputees get fitted with artificial limbs.

He became intrigued by Christianity, he said, when a jet bombed a neighbor’s home in Kabul where he lived during the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal. The home’s owner, an impoverished porter with eight children, was at the market when the bomb hit, killing seven of his family members. But not long after, two foreign women drove up and helped dig through the rubble amid gunfire from factional forces.

“When I saw these women and their compassion for my people, it affected me,” he said. “I asked people who they were and they said they are the followers of Jesus Christ.”

In time he found another Afghan Christian in his neighborhood who gave him a copy of the New Testament, and later baptized him.

He now spends his days at Kabul Detention Center, living in a corridor among a handful of other prisoners. He signed an agreement late last year with a foreign lawyer but then never saw him again. Unbeknownst to Mr. Mussa, a judge barred the lawyer, a South African, from representing or seeing Mr. Mussa.

A second lawyer visited last month, Mr. Mussa said. But to him the lawyer seemed more like a prosecutor, asking him who converted him, who prayed with him and if he believed the Koran was the complete book of God.

“If you go back to Islam, I can help you,” Mr. Mussa recalled the lawyer, Mohammad Mostafa, saying.

Mr. Mostafa, who declined interview requests, works for the Legal Aid Organization of Afghanistan, which said he still represented Mr. Mussa. His boss, Mohammad Afzal Nooristani, said defense lawyers — a profession barely a few years old here — were loath to take apostasy cases, fearing reprisals from the authorities and the public.

Mr. Nooristani has even heard mullahs broadcast ominous warnings during Friday Prayer. “They said people who represent infidels are also infidels,” he said.

Gee, I wonder if they're broadcasting from mosques that American soldiers built?

Mr. Mussa, meanwhile, longs to see his wife and children again. He wants either to be freed or to go to court, even if it means his execution. “Staying in here,” he said, “is like dying every minute.”

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