Dinesh D'Souza, apparent terrorist sympathizer, defending himself from the meanies:
Why the onslaught? Just this: In my book, published this month, I argue that the American left bears a measure of responsibility for the volcano of anger from the Muslim world that produced the 9/11 attacks. President Jimmy Carter's withdrawal of support for the shah of Iran, for example, helped Ayatollah Khomeini's regime come to power in Iran, thus giving radical Islamists control of a major state; and President Bill Clinton's failure to respond to Islamic attacks confirmed bin Laden's perceptions of U.S. weakness and emboldened him to strike on 9/11. I also argue that the policies that U.S. "progressives" promote around the world -- including abortion rights, contraception for teenagers and gay rights -- are viewed as an assault on traditional values by many cultures, and have contributed to the blowback of Islamic rage.
I've just quoted this for context. This is his argument, straight from him. Moving on:
Immediately following 9/11, there was a wondrous moment of national unity in which the American tribe came together. "Why do they hate us?" some wondered, but no one wanted to comprehend the enemy -- only to annihilate him. And I shared this view.
Statements like this lead me to believe that people lost their minds on 9/11. And it benefitted conservatives greatly. Here's Karl Rove in June 2005
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers
This is the same sentiment D'Souza expresses. Liberals are soft on terror. They don't sufficiently understand evil. And the most insidious suggestion is that "no one" wanted to conprehend the enemy, implying everyone wanted his destruction. D'Souza goes on to say that the prevailing liberal and conservative theories for 9/11 were wrong:
Contrary to the common liberal view, I don't believe that the 9/11 attacks were payback for U.S. foreign policy. Bin Laden isn't upset because there are U.S. troops in Mecca, as liberals are fond of saying. (There are no U.S. troops in Mecca.) He isn't upset because Washington is allied with despotic regimes in the region. Israel aside, what other regimes are there in the Middle East? It isn't all about Israel. (Why hasn't al-Qaeda launched a single attack against Israel?) The thrust of the radical Muslim critique of America is that Islam is under attack from the global forces of atheism and immorality -- and that the United States is leading that attack.
First, if revenge for foreign policy isn't motivating terrorism, then why did D'Souza say, only a few paragraphs earlier, that
President Jimmy Carter's withdrawal of support for the shah of Iran, for example, helped Ayatollah Khomeini's regime come to power in Iran, thus giving radical Islamists control of a major state; and President Bill Clinton's failure to respond to Islamic attacks confirmed bin Laden's perceptions of U.S. weakness and emboldened him to strike on 9/11.
It should be obvious why this contradiction exists. Its the same reason why only democratic presidents are cited. D'Souza scans history selectively for evidence that supports his thesis, no matter how flimsy it is and without regard for the total picture. This isn't surprising, though. After all should someone who says, "Bin Laden isn't upset because there are U.S. troops in Mecca, as liberals are fond of saying. (There are no U.S. troops in Mecca.)" be trusted with foreign policy analysis? Bin Laden was upset with the presence of US forces in Saudi Arabia
--you know, the Holy Land
--not Mecca. And that is something bin Laden himself has said. It is not a "liberal explanation." Did D'Souza merely make an error? Are the Washington Post's editors that lazy? I don't think so. I think that statement was and is believed to be true. It's an alternative reality. And in this alternative reality, there is a vast, vast, liberal conspiracy:
mine is a dangerous book. But if a book says things that are obviously untrue and can be disproved, then it is not dangerous -- it is merely fiction and should be ignored. A book is dangerous only if it exposes something in the culture that some people are eager to keep hidden.
And what is that? It is that the far left seems to hate Bush nearly as much as it hates bin Laden. Bin Laden may want sharia, or Islamic law, in Baghdad, they reason, but Bush wants sharia in Boston. Indeed, leftists routinely portray Bush's war on terrorism as a battle of competing fundamentalisms, Islamic vs. Christian. It is Bush, more than bin Laden, they say, who threatens abortion rights and same-sex marriage and the entire social liberal agenda in the United States. So leftist activists such as Michael Moore and Howard Zinn and Cindy Sheehan seem willing to let the enemy win in Iraq so they can use that defeat in 2008 to rout Bush -- their enemy at home.
I'm so confused. the far left wants to keep hidden their Bush hatred? Why are there regular protests against Bush then? D'Souza should have just kept his mouth shut. Now he looks even bigger the fool. But obviously there are people that believe in this alternative reality--sort of a parallel universe to our own--and it includes a version of history that sounds different from the one we all know.
The disturbing equation of liberals with islamic terrorists is not just insulting and incoherent but dangerous. If you haven't noticed, the right wing has become more outspoken in their belief that we are dealing with a people that cannot be "civilized." I noted this sentiment earlier with Marty Peretz's suggestion that we have a "higher standard" of civilization than they do. Glenn Greenwald examines Peretz's remarkable bigotry in this fine compendium. And this Greenwald post is worth a read as well. He starts begins with Instapundit's reaction to a story about deout Muslim families refusing certain 'un-Islamic' vaccinations: "JUST THINK OF IT AS EVOLUTION IN ACTION." Let that sink in for a moment. I don't expect people to be shocked by this, but consider how prominent it is. Conservatives constantly complain about being shackled by "political correctness" and it now seems they're throwing caution to the wind and saying what they feel. And apparently they believe a lot, if not most, people will agree with them. I wonder what D'Souza would say, author of "The End of Racism." But we're in an alternative reality here, which means when Glenn Reynolds says
it's also true that if democracy can't work in Iraq, then we should probably adopt a "more rubble, less trouble" approach to other countries in the region that threaten us. If a comparatively wealthy and secular Arab country can't make it as a democratic republic, then what hope is there for places that are less wealthy, or less secular?
Bomb the savages into submission. No, not racist at all. Bcause civilized people aren't predjudiced, right? And in America, we have no race problems, right? We don't produce extremists, right? Ask Martin Luther King Jr. Or how about the blacks who were lynched for decades in the South to preserve the white man's civilization. I don't expect D'Souza or Reynolds or Charles Krauthammer
or Marty Peretz to see clearly on these matters. To them, the enemy is everywhere and must be eliminated. It's rational to them. There is no need for subtlety or study, just shock and awe. We are destined to rule the world, so let's start ruling it. I guess it's true that those who are ignorant of history
are doomed to repeat it.
I know this alternative reality isn't going away and its adherents are going to become more shrill with time. But as always, the more light that is exposed on ignorance, the less it is tolerated. Conservatism, tied to the Iraq and all the sentiment it brings out, will be unable to call upon market fundamentalism, moral values, small government or any of its more positive selling points. All that will be left is incoherent rage over the decadence of liberalism at home and frustration with savagery abroad. That is not a pretty message and it will not compel Americans to vote for self-identified conservative candidates in 2008, regardless of what their views are.