Ronald and Di: A Linguistic Perspective
By Marten Gantelius
[Editor’s introduction: Marten Gantelius has analyzed Professor Jeff Lipkes’s 12,000-word critique of Diana West’s American Betrayal which was published on American Thinker a month ago. The following elements are discernible: (1) Professor Lipkes relied heavily on abstract or pompous words; (2) his texts were 90 percent off topic; and (3) he repeatedly criticized West for omitting subjects unrelated to her work. These elements in combination suggest, moreover, that Lipkes did not write a “balanced” review as he now claims in his response to the editor at GatesofVienna.net. The analysis suggests, instead, that the professor’s 12,000 words constitute an attempt to recast the history of the American Betrayal controversy, shifting it away from Ron Radosh’s failed critique. What we find in Lipkes is the scaffolding of a new critique which carefully avoids any discussion of West’s actual thesis. Thus we have what Gantelius might characterize as a “reframing” of the debate; or what the Soviets would simply call “framing.” It is a technique which requires a “conservative” journal of opinion as a launch platform; for this is the only venue, under the circumstances, which transforms simple misinformation into disinformation. The analysis that follows is intriguing if not enlightening.]
On July 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2014, American Thinker published Diana and Ron: What Was Going On?, Diana and Ron: The Second Front and Diana and Ron: Backstory by Dr. Jeff Lipkes.
Before reading a text, I have an “early warning system” where I judge the content of the text compared with the number of words used in order to detect what the French call “langue de bois." (wooden language)
Dr. Lipkes’s essays heavily relied upon langue de bois. Despite this fact, my interest was caught by the final two statements of Ronald Radosh and David Horowitz. Previously I had written a “review” of Diana West’s American Betrayal published at Gates of Vienna.
With regard to Dr. Lipkes’s three-part series, the title “Diana and Ron” sends the signal – at least to me – that the two named individuals form a couple where Ms. West is the aggressor and the misunderstood, nicknamed “Ron” is the victim. This is the background to my choice of title. (According to Dr. Lipkes, the title “Diana and Ron” was his own choice and not the editor’s.)
Regardless, “Diana and Ron” or “Ronald and Di,” I judge the topic to be: “American Betrayal in the light of Ronald Radosh’s review McCarthy on Steroids and his following Why I Wrote a Take-Down of Diana West’s Awful Book, Diana West’s Attempt to Respond and Diana West Down Crackpot Alley.”
When reading the essays, I found approximately 90 percent of the 12,000 words off topic.
My background material, in the order I have worked them out before starting to write this essay may be numbered as follows: 1) The Three Essays where I have underlined what I found linguistically interesting, plus 12 short notes; 2) plus and minus for West and Radosh respectively; 3) phrases of insecurity, phrases of speculation and the use of “Leftists”; 4) the essays with focus on Big Lies, Small Lies, Truths, Totally Off Topics, Repetitions, Contradictions and Needle Pricks. I have been assisted in correcting and confirming the factual material by John Dietrich, author of The Morgenthau Plan, and JR Nyquist, author of Origins of the Fourth World War.
Most of us know the following type of linguistic attack: “Why do you not live in New York? Don’t you like the city?” or “Why do you as a Swede not drive a Volvo? Do you prefer your money to go to the Japanese?” The possibilities are endless.
The same applies to writing. The possibilities are endless when it comes to criticism of what an author has omitted. Both as a reader and a writer, you have to judge whether the critiques of the omissions are relevant or merely pieces of linguistic violence. I took the risk of mentioning two omissions by Dr. Lipkes in my 12 notes. (Pts 1 and 4) In Dr. Lipkes’s essays, he criticizes Ms. West for seven omissions in American Betrayal.
[And now, we may interpret as follows:] Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa defected to the U.S. in 1978 when he was the head of the Romanian intelligence service DIE. Here a few quotes from his book Disinformation with co-writer Professor Ronald Ryschlak:
During the Cold War, more people in the Soviet bloc worked for the disinformation machinery than for the Soviet Army and defense industry put together. (p. 38)
Soon, however, I would be assigned to the inner circle of the despot’s enormous dezinformatsiya machinery, which was responsible for all that image-building. (p. 10)
I believe that I, as its top intelligence officer, very possibly had a clearer picture of how the Kremlin and its dezinformatsiya really functioned than perhaps all but the very innermost Soviet inner circle. (p. 11)
If a report on those documents were published in an official Russian news outlet, that would be misinformation, and people in the West might rightly take it with a grain of salt and simply shrug it off as Moscow propaganda. If, on the other hand, the same material were made public in the Western media and attributed to some Western organization, that would be disinformation, and the story’s credibility would be substantially greater. (p. 35)
There is a proverb saying that lies have short legs; that may be true elsewhere, but in post-tsarist Russia disinformation became a national policy that played a far greater role in shaping that country’s past and present than even Potemkin could ever have foreseen. (p. 37)
There was a major condition for disinformation to succeed, and that was that a story should always be built around a “kernel of truth” that would lend credibility. (p. 38)
In KGB jargon, changing people’s past was called “framing”, and it was a highly classified disinformation speciality. (p. 44)
The Kremlin’s framings can be negative, for demotion, or positive, for promotion; either way, they can literally affect the course of world history. (p. 45)
“IF YOU ARE GOOD AT DISINFORMATION, YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING.” (p. 80)
“Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo” – a drop makes a hole in a stone not by force, but by constant dripping. (p. 350)
In the book Disinformation, the authors penetrate the framing of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope.” Producing dezinformatsiya requires a large amount of work, but defense against it many times more – that’s part of the tactics. Even heavily contradicted, the damage done by dezinformatsiya cannot be repaired. If you do a search on “Hitler’s Pope” today, so many years later, you will get more than 54,000 hits.
Based on the material in this essay, I leave the readers to judge the resemblances to dezinformatsiya in and around Dr. Lipkes’s essays.
It is not easy to navigate in today’s jungle of information and more or less subtle disinformation. My “decoding method” is neither complicated nor “academic.” Use your common sense, and watch out for value-loaded words and phrases!