People come to the subject of Communist infiltration of the Roosevelt administration with a bias and preconceived ideas. I come to the subject with an inclination to be suspicious of the Roosevelt administration. After reading Diana West's book I realized that I had not been suspicious enough. I knew American Communists had a decisive influence on American policy from the research I had done on my own book, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy. I have not examined Lend-Lease and the second front issues to any great extent, but I am thoroughly familiar with the policy devised for postwar Europe. Here there is little doubt the Joseph Stalin was the "puppetmaster of American war policy." West's claim that, “World War II could have been ended years earlier had Communists working for Moscow not dominated Washington," is certainly plausible. This would not have required an entente with Hitler’s army against Stalin.
Ronald Radosh refers to Diana West as a "right-wing loopy." He condemns her, "yellow journalism conspiracy theories," her "truculent recklessness that gives anti-communism a bad name" and her "unhinged theories." Her judgment is "bizarre on its face, but also unwarranted by the evidence." West’s is a, "shallow and erroneous interpretation." He claims, "her counterfactual speculations are not regarded as realistic possibilities by any reputable historian of the era," and "her book perpetuates the dangerous one dimensional thinking of the Wisconsin Senator." She is "McCarthy on steroids." This is all very convincing. Radosh neglected to make the most devastating charge: "West is a poopoo head." Pardon the sarcasm, but Radosh's accusations are not worthy of an intelligent discussion of a complex issue. A 400 page book dealing with such a complex subject is certain to have issues that can be legitimately criticized without recourse to name calling.
The criticism of West sounds eerily familiar. Similar things were said of Senator McCarthy, Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers. West is condemned for believing in conspiracy theories. What was the Communist infiltration of the U.S. government if not a conspiracy? Radosh admits that he has no disagreement with West over whether the Roosevelt administration was infiltrated or whether Soviet dupes were influential in affecting administration policy. The disagreement lies in their opinion of the extent of this influence. Her critics claim that she exaggerates the extent of Communist influence on U.S. policy. However, her critics attempt to minimize this influence.
Progressives have come to the defense of the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White and numerous others. Radosh claims West's allegation that, "Hopkins was an actual Soviet agent . . . is, in fact, not true." How does Radosh know this? Loopy right-wingers have accused many administration officials of being Communists. Many "experts" disagreed and questioned the sanity of such claims. Leftists are experts at deception. Even obvious Soviet atrocities like the Ukrainian famine and the Katyn Massacre was denied for years by "progressives." Someone approaching this subject without bias must conclude that the "loopy right-wingers" have more credibility than the "experts."
Radosh cites S. M. Plokhy to show that the Soviets treated American POWs fairly well. How familiar is Radosh with this subject? One of the first acts of the Red Army upon entering Germany was to butcher 50 French and Belgian POWs at Nemmersdorf. The Soviets believed that POWs were traitors. Stalin's own son, a prisoner of the Germans, may have committed suicide as a result of this Soviet policy. Soviet treatment of U.S, POWs is more complex than can be dismissed with the statement, "the Soviets treated American POWs fairly well." I suggest he read Nigel Cawthorne''s Iron Cage.