Diana West is a wingnut columnist, commentator, author and conspiracy theorist. She is most famous for her book American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, which basically argues that Joseph McCarthy and the most wild-eyed red scare conspiracy theories of the 50s and 60s, such as those promoted by the John Birch society, were entirely correct: communist spies and puppets were everywhere, at every crucial level of government and culture (a “deep occupation” in which communists actually controlled the White House and American foreign policy). And you know what? It didn’t really end with the end of the Cold War but “lives today in our embrace of the Communists’ false historical narrative” and its deep impact on how we view the world, especially contemporary liberals’ embrace of anything communist. There is a takedown of some of West’s points here, with a follow-up here (yes, those links take you to FrontPage Magazine). According to West’s conspiracy theory, the aftermath of WWII, including Soviet control of Eastern Europe, was the result not of realpolitik but of a conspiracy by Soviet agents in Western governments; indeed, it was only because Washington was “Communist-occupied” that the US aligned itself with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany in the first place. Meanwhile, communists in the US government working for the Soviets ensured that America provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor they .“subverted relations between the US and Japan by inserting ‘ultimatum’ language into the cable flow that actually spurred the Japanese attack.”
West’s theses are supported by all the wild speculation and sloppiness of research you’d expect; nevertheless, her thesis “that American foreign policy under presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower was secretly controlled by the Soviet Union” has, unsurprisingly, found supporters at the Heritage Foundation and the American Spectator.
Currently, the role of the Soviets have largely been taken over by radical Islamists, forming a Marxist-Muslim conspiracy. For instance, in a 2013 column for the WND, “Huma Abedin: Muslim Brotherhood Princess”, West doesn’t only endorse but assume that unfounded, idiotic and racist conspiracy theory (in fact, West was one of the main promoters of the theory): the “cover-up” of Huma Abedin’s status as “a veritable Muslim Brotherhood princess” is, according to West, part of a plan to shield Americans from the “Muslim Brotherhood penetration of the federal policy-making chain”: “[Michele] Bachmann [who also endorsed the conspiracy theory] was crucified, by Democrats and Republicans alike for asking urgently important questions about national security.” West then goes on to claim that Obamacare means that the Communists were the real winners of the Cold War as the “totalitarian” law creates a “super-state”, which will destroy the Republic, as well as to claim that, with our guards down to the Marxist-Muslim axis, Americans will become complacent to the Islamic infiltration of government and the threat that Obamacare poses: “At this rate, we’ll declare ‘victory’ in the so-called war on terror and, before you know it, become a leading outpost of the caliphate,” says West. Yes, the thesis is that “Marxist” Obamacare will lead to a Muslim takeover. West has also warned us that President Obama was fostering “totalitarianism” and turning America into a North Korean-style dictatorship with “one-party rule”.
West disapproved of the Obama administration’s 2014 decision to send U.S. troops to West Africa to help fight the Ebola epidemic at its source by building treatment centers and training medical personnel. She claimed that the mission also showed that the president did not have “an American agenda” and was instead embracing “a totalitarian government structure.” (How? Well, you shall look in wain for anything resembling a reasonable train of thoughts here. After all, having West’s criteria for what counts as evidence for a totalitarian agenda makes it quite a bit easier to find such evidence.)
Indeed, American foreign policy is suffused with Islamism and communism; for instance, the entire philosophy behind the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan was based on covert Islamism – West even claimed that general Petreaus’ extramarital affair was “apiece” with the whole philosophy: “I’m not surprised to see the men who prosecuted this doctrine, Gen. Petraeus, Gen. Allen, and who else, we don’t even know how many others, showing such immoral leadership and such corruption of their own personal lives,” said West. Grover Norquist, too, is allied with those who hope “to destroy the United States and transform what is left into an Islamic-ruled land”, and he represents “the successful civilization jihad of the Muslim Brotherhood,” something that shows that the United States and the conservative movement are being “subverted from within.”
West is also a birther, arguing for instance that the ostensible “news blackout on an extraordinary chain of recent events that took place in and around a Georgia courtroom and pertained to challenges to President Obama’s eligibility to be a presidential candidate in Georgia in 2012” were due to a liberal-Marxist-Muslim conspiracy to hide the facts. Frank Gaffney praised West’s “research” on the issue. More recently, she has been a major pusher of Seth Rich conspiracy theories.
As for the culture wars, West has said that feminism helps lead to sexual violence because it means that women are no longer “prized and defended.” Feminism also leads to the end of civilization.
There is a decent Diana West resource here.
Diagnosis: Possibly the main contemporary proponent of the ideas and conspiracy theories of the John Birch Society, West should be easily recognizable as a deranged joke. There are enough paranoid conspiracy theorists out there to give her a significant audience, however.