BUY THE BOOK AT AMAZON!
"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
“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
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
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.
"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
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
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.
Saturday, October 27, 2012 12:28 PM
In the last installment, I examined cables written by Christopher Stevens in 2008 (and available courtesy Wikileaks) that seem to capture a significant trend in his thinking, and, perhaps the thinking of others in the US government, which may have helped drive the evolution of the disastrous US "Arab Spring" policy that put Uncle Sam in alliance with al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and other groups driving the spread of sharia (Islamic law).
This trend appears as Stevens learned how to explain -- how to rationalize, really -- the jihad corridor that eastern Libyans in particular followed to fight Americans in Iraq. While the Washington Post today quite narrowly (ignorantly) tells readers that Derna sent more jihadists to Iraq "during the U.S. occupation [sic] than any other place in Libya," the larger truth is that eastern Libya, led by Derna and Benghazi, sent more jihadists to kill and maim Americans -- whose Iraq "occupation," by the way, included fighting AQ, preventing Sunni-Shiite civil war and "nation-building" all at the same time -- per capita than any place in the world. And, as discussed in Part 2, the citizenry is extremely proud of this ultimate anti-American fact.
The explanation, to Stevens, had little to do with an Islamic culture well-primed to heed the age-old Islamic call to jihad. Citing the poverty, boredom and Al Jazeera (as though poverty, boredom and Al Jazeera would inexorably lead all people everywhere to strap bombs to their bodies and kill Americans while yelling Allahu Akbar), Stevens passed along the rationale of a source who described the men of the region as engaging in "extremism in the name of religion" -- never, ever mind the "extremism" of the "religion" itself as reinforced by the pride the local culture took according to these same cables, in such "extremism."
This pride, however, still bothered Stevens, who wrote: "The most troubling and difficult aspect of [redacted's] account is the pride that many eastern Libyans ... appear to take in the role their native sons have played in the insurgency in Iraq."
What did Stevens mean by "difficult"? What obstace to what path did he have in mind? He wrote this, by the way, in February 15, 2008. By June 2, 2008, Stevens seemed have found his way around this difficulty: The anti-Western, jihadist activity of eastern Libya, he concluded in the June 2, 2008 cable, was largely due to local frustration with Qaddafi's regime. This was the message, loud and clear, pressed upon him by a source he had met accidentally ("accidentally"?) over lunch at the Derna waterfront in May 2008. In sum, Qaddafi was the problem. Eliminate Qaddafi, and the anti-American animus would be eliminated, too. (This is discussed in Pt. 2.)
Of course, that was also the goal of violently anti-American Al Qaeda and its affiliates in the Mahgreb. This shared AQ goal would become US policy in 2011, and Stevens would become a major broker of this policy on the ground in Libya.
This didn't seem possible in June 2008, a time when, also according to the June 2 cable, eastern Libyans "feared the US would not allow Qaddafi's regime to fall and therefore viewed direct confrontation with the GOL (Government of Libya) in the near-term as a fool's errand."
Wasn't that further reason to uphold our agreement to support Qaddafi? Apparently not to people like Christopher Stevens, who have a different outook than the average American. (Remember Stevens' and the US embassy's solicitousness of ex-Gitmo al Qaeda detainees repatriated to Libya, including Bin Qumu, now leader of Ansar al-Sharia (described in Part 1.)
The June 2, 2008 cable continues:
Rejecting the idea that Derna was uniformly extremist, [Redacted] and his business partner described the town as being divided between religiously conservative and secular residents. ... Elaborating, [he] attributed more extreme iterations of Islam to "unnatural foreign influences" on religious practices in Derna. ...
Really? The cables next elaborates on this notion of foreign or prodigal Libyans returning home with an unnatural, rather than purely Islamic message. For good measure, it throws in "a dearth of social outlets" and a weak educational system as conditions that further "enabled conservative clerics" -- always as if people are unable to swing a few more "social outlets" and improve education somewhat instead of sending their sons to "martyr" themselves in jihad.
A heavy influx of Arabic-language satellite television ... also fostered a hard view of the world. ... Not everyone liked the "bearded ones" (a reference to conservative imams) or their message, [Redacted] said, but the duty of a Muslim in general -- and a son of Derna in particular -- was to resist occupation of Muslim lands through jihad. "It's jihad -- it's our duty, and you're talking about people who don't have much else to be proud of." Derna's residents might take issue with attempts to ban smoking or restrict social activities, but there was consensus on "basic issues" like jihad.
This is a striking comment, and in keeping with other cable reports attesting to both the normalcy and acceptance of jihad among the population at large. Interestingly enough, it is only the manners and mores of sharia -- smoking bans, restricted social activities -- that are at all controversial in this culture. Jihad, then, becomes a defining attribute, and, a deal-breaker for making common cause, or so an average American might think. But in the next sentence Stevens seems to fall back to invoking the political propaganda of Al Jazeera as a driver of general violence. It's not that Al Jazeera doesn't play a role in inciting jihad and anti-Americanism; obviously, it does. But the role it plays it reinforced or, better, enabled by Islam itself. Stevens then goes on to apply what might be described as a Western gloss:
Depictions on al-Jazeera of events in Iraq and Palestine [sic] fueled the widely held view in Derna that resistance [sic] to coalition forces was "correct and necessary." Referring to actor Bruce Willis' character in the action picture "Die Hard," who stubbornly refused to die quietly, he said many young men in Derna viewed resistance against Qadhafi's regime and against coalition forces in Iraq as an important last act of defiance.
Thus, the evolution of US foreign service thinking: When Islam has nothing much to do with anything, it's Die Hard time in Derna. So, take away Qaddafi, you take away "resistance," right?
Q: When did removing Qaddafi become US policy in Libya? Most of us only heard about it last year. Libyans, meanwhile, seem to have been suspicious for some time. In a cable dated August 29, 2008 preparing for SecState Rice's visit to Libya, Stevens noted: "Conservative regime elements are still wary that our ultimate goal is regime change."
To be cont'd.