Friday, May 02, 2014
The Cure for the Communist Cold
It's interesting, and perhaps noteworthy, that the only analysis to cut to the heart of the whole Diana West/David Horowitz Imbroglio over her book American Betrayal has come this late in the game, months after, it seems, the dust has settled and the smoke cleared.
West published on her blog this recent analysis by J.R. Nyquist which, aside from its many tangentially astute observations, also adverts to what I consider to be the very crux of the whole problem: namely, that the nature of the reactions by Horowitz and his hatchet man Ronald Radosh (along with at least one or more of a motley slew of others in their train) presents a mendacious sophistry of such a degree that the reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that they cannot be merely sincerely deluded, severely stupid, nor clinically brain-damaged; and that therefore the only explanation is that they are still Communists -- or, more precisely, that they are Stealth Communists (almost a redundancy, one might say). Not figuratively, but literally.
Nobody among the few who have weighed in with their critical faculties on this matter in or out of the Blogosphere have had the guts to say this straight out (except for me; but Blogospherically speaking, I'm just a peon on the fringes, so I don't count). I don't expect Diana West herself to say this, of course; good Lord, she's done enough in writing the book in the first place, and then going to the trouble in her subsequent Rebuttal of painstakingly teasing out and holding under a lucid microscope all the torturous sophistry of Messrs. Horowitz & Radosh et al.
Also, it's unclear whether she or any of the painfully few who have defended her are merely being gingerly about this, or whether they sincerely believe that Horowitz et al., are merely deluded or rude. If it's the latter, then they are strangely neglecting a key aspect of the whole puzzle: the nature, as I said above, of the reactions by Horowitz et al. which reveals a mendacious sophistry of such a degree that it cannot be explained except as a willful, conscious, deliberate "policy" as J.R. Nyquist puts it -- or as a tactic in a war of ideas that makes sense only in the context of a Stealth Communism. This neglect would become so strange in Diana West, since she has analyzed that mendaciously sophistical nature so extensively, that it must reasonably be rejected as an explanation -- and we are left with the only explanation, that she is being cautiously gingerly, which is her right (though others do not enjoy her unique exemption and have been therefore derelict in their duty to call a spade a spade). (The first two paragraphs of a more recent and fascinatingly detailed -- and damning -- entry by Diana West reiterate this gingerly disinclination on her part to speculate, much less to call a spade a worker's spade.)
J.R. Nyquist gives one particular example of this mendacious sophistry employed by Horowitz and Radosh -- one example out of dozens which could be cited (which can be found in West's Rebuttal). It's worth quoting his analysis of this one example at length:
... let me provide an example of rhetorical trickery from Radosh’s take-down piece, where he alleges that West used a bogus anecdote concerning George Elsey who “found confidential files in the [White House] Map Room that showed FDR naively thinking he could trust Stalin….” Radosh wrote, “[West] believes that this was a smoking gun proving that FDR was ‘making common cause with the NKVD.’” Radosh then proceeded to correct West’s alleged mischaracterization of FDR. In doing this, he supposedly exposed West’s scholarly incompetence, which he claimed to be “groundless or worse.”
West challenged this allegation, saying that the George Elsey anecdote “wasn’t in my book.” To double check, West performed a search of an electronic version of her text, and couldn’t find the anecdote anywhere (see If FrontPage Lies about This, They’ll Lie about Anything). Brazenly offering a counter-challenge, Radosh responded in a FrontPage piece titled Diana West’s Attempt to Respond. “Maybe she couldn’t find the anecdote,” he blustered. “But it is there in three different places where she writes how FDR told Hopkins to go into Molotov’s bedroom while he was staying in the White House so that he could meet with the President….” Radosh then proceeded to list three pages – p. 129, p. 268 and p. 296. But then Radosh made a bizarre and confusing admission: “She [West] missed [the three pages cited] because of a trivial error [I made] which was to associate the anecdote … with the anecdote about [Elsey].”
So Radosh, having made a mistake about the Elsey anecdote, amplified his charge to include three pages. So I opened West’s book to page 129 and found no mention of Molotov’s bedroom. I next turned to page 268 and, again, there is nothing. Next I turned to page 296 and, once again, cannot find the alleged scholarly blunder. As West herself explained, “The anecdote [about George Elsey or Molotov’s bedroom] is not in my book – not once, not three times.” And I will testify to the reader, at this juncture, that Radosh’s unscholarly pratfalls occur and reoccur throughout. Study the texts and you will see what Radosh has done, and what Mr. Horowitz has endorsed. The whole affair, in fact, discredits West’s attackers, whose malicious bungling is as disgraceful as it is contemptible. The whole affair also discredits those “brave” scholars and editors who, fearing the mark of Caine which Mrs. West has been branded with, now steer clear of her book, refusing to take sides on what turns out to be a pivotal controversy.
Notwithstanding Nyquist's acute perspicacity of the shenanigans of Horowitz & Co., and notwithstanding how close he gets to exposing them, he seems to hedge his bets curiously whenever he zeroes in on naming their crime. He will say, as I noted above, that what they have done to Diana West amounts to an "obvious policy", not merely "a lapse". However, his conclusion we must draw from this, he says, is that "they belong to the Left". After all he has done to palpate their disease in this long analysis, this is the worst he can say about them. Why can't he say what I can say -- that Horowitz, Radosh, et al. are in fact Stealth Communists, actively pursuing sabotage now?
We do not have apodictic proof of this conclusion of course; but after the mountain of meticulous data and dots sifted through by Diana West in her Rebuttal, and after such sterling analyses as this one by Nyquist, and previous ones by M. Stanton Evans and Vladimir Bukovsky, it is the only reasonable inference to make, and the burden of proof for an objection to this should be on those who would demur.