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"Bush is fighting two wars, one against the enemy abroad and the other against the enemy at home."
January 18, 2007 5:43 PM   Subscribe

"Why do they hate us?" was a fairly common question asked by Americans in the wake of 9/11. In his new book The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, Dinesh D'souza gives us the answer: "the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world." Some reviews: WaPo, The American Conservative, Esquire. D'souza previously on mefi: [1] [2] [3]
posted by bardic (139 comments total)

 
I imagine a few people are going to claim that any discussion of D'souza is simply giving him undeserved attention a la Coulter. I'd point out that his latest book is being published by Random House, and he just published an op-ed in the today's LA Times entitled "How the Left Led Us into 9/11."
posted by bardic at 5:44 PM on January 18, 2007


When he was on Colbert last night, I thought Colbert did a great job riding the line between his character persona buying into the guy's view while at the same time taking it so seriously that he did a good job dismantling the viewpoint piece by piece.
posted by mathowie at 5:47 PM on January 18, 2007


Yeah, mathowie. I was really impressed with how Colbert handled that.
posted by brundlefly at 5:48 PM on January 18, 2007


Missed that Colbert show. Here's the youtubery.
posted by bardic at 5:50 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, he's right. But I hate each wing of America equally. Plus the tail and the claws.
posted by fire&wings at 5:51 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Colbert's main argument (delivered in reverse) was that if the Left was responsible for provoking 9/11, then hampering or getting rid of the left would be giving in to those same terrorists.

So what we need is more gay sex on TV, in order to show the terrorists who's boss.
posted by delmoi at 5:56 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


D’Souza: F.D.R. ‘Indirectly Responsible’ For September 11

He's insane.
posted by amberglow at 5:56 PM on January 18, 2007


That such crap is taken with any seriousness is amazing. In fact, Al Qaeda, under Bin Laden, was angered by an American presence in Saudi Arabia. Why? Because according to strict Muslim believes, their soil was soiled by non-muslims. But why were Americans in Saudi Arabia? Bush the father, and Cheney convinced the Saudis, through fake sattelite photos that Irdaq was planning to invade from Kuwait, which Saddam had taken. The Saudis sent observers to check this out but could not find any evidence of an intended Iraqi invasion (and did you believe it too?), but they allowed American military there. Bin Laden angered over this. Thus, it was the zRight and not the Left that got Bin Laden to act as he did.

In general, strict Muslim belief abhors Western values, but these are the values of capitalism--and good Muslims do not approve of interest in banking--they dislike. A nd here it is both the right and the left that embrace these values.

In the last election, most Muslim votes went to the dreaded Left (aka Democrats)...so there goes that dumb arguement about the Left.

That this guy should blame the Left for terrorist attacks is a disgrace. How many "leftiss--ie, non-conservatives--died in the horrors of 9/11?
shame on that book and its author. And so Random published it. Bi;lg deal. Simpson's book nearly got published tgoo till p-ublic outrage reversed that one.
posted by Postroad at 6:01 PM on January 18, 2007


I don't think many asked "Why do they hate us?" after 9/11. But a hell of a lot of people spent a lot of time screaming, "Ask yourself why they hate us!!!"

(Just for the record, I think D'Souza is full of crap on this one.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:01 PM on January 18, 2007


He's insane.

Insane all the way to the bank.
posted by delmoi at 6:04 PM on January 18, 2007


fire&wings writes "Well, he's right. But I hate each wing of America equally. Plus the tail and the claws."

The horns suck, too.
posted by mullingitover at 6:06 PM on January 18, 2007


Damn. D'souza got pwnd.
posted by Cyrano at 6:07 PM on January 18, 2007


Insane all the way to the bank.

He has a checking account at Wells Fargone.
posted by cortex at 6:08 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Where's the "batshitinsane" tag?
posted by edverb at 6:11 PM on January 18, 2007


(And I really wish Colbert had asked him what Bush Jr. did when he heard, "Bin Laden Determined to strike the U.S.")

Oh, wait, he said, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

What a fucking tool.

posted by Cyrano at 6:11 PM on January 18, 2007


I have been asking myself all day "Who is this callow retard?"
posted by toma at 6:12 PM on January 18, 2007


I'd point out that his latest book is being published by Random House, and he just published an op-ed in the today's LA Times entitled "How the Left Led Us into 9/11."

Don't forget the gays and lesbians, and the secular humanists. And Poland. Don't forget Poland.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:16 PM on January 18, 2007


delmoi has it, I think. Every time I see this guy speak, I get the strongest feeling that he's just barely restraining himself from busting out laughing at how easy it is to push the stupid American buttons.

And make a fortune while he's doing it.

I'd be laughing too.
posted by Aquaman at 6:17 PM on January 18, 2007


It is better to be talked about than not talked about.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:19 PM on January 18, 2007


The thing that continually amazes me about these right-wing tele-pundits is that they seem to believe that there actually exists a vital, active left-wing in America at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It's a the perpetual scapegoat: the cranky old white-guy "damned liberals done gone ruinin' America!" rant, but myself being what generally is termed a "radical leftist", I have to confess: the left is in hibernation and has been in this country for quite a long, long time!

D'Souza isn't an intellectual, or a scholar, or even a remotely interesting thinker and he never has been; he's a p-u-n-d-i-t. There are certainly arguments to be made about pluralism in Isaiah Berlin's use of the term and in Europe's recent experience of it, but this is certainly not what D'Souza is referring to. Real political philosophy is a little over his head.

Also, why is this an FPP? Do we need to have discussions about Bill O'Reilly's trashy books or Bernard Goldberg's when they are published?
posted by inoculatedcities at 6:20 PM on January 18, 2007


Colbert is razor-sharp, and does a great job of cutting to the heart of D'Souza's rhetoric. It's hard to get upset at D'Souza's line of reasoning because it's so wildly absurd, it's just...wow. He's saying that we should be doing more to make ourselves like the fundamentalists, and this will appease them. Wow. You know what I think? I think bin Laden arranged the attack on 9/11 because he was upset about the presence of US troops the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia. I think this because that's what he fucking said.

You know what I think emboldens the terrorists? When we have Dubya fly in and give a speech in front of a big MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner on the day we pulled US troops out of Saudi Arabia. Yeah. We fucking gave bin Laden exactly what we wanted. What did he learn from that?
posted by mullingitover at 6:23 PM on January 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


Carter ousts the shah, who is committing heinous human rights. The Ayatollah replaces him, and Reagan does behind-the-scenes negotiations with him on Carter's watch - emasculating Carter in the process - and then fails to get him out of power.

So yeah, Carter's policies were to blame.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:25 PM on January 18, 2007


not-on-preview, mullingitover, nice David Cross.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:27 PM on January 18, 2007


look, this is the guy who built his career as "conservative" pundit on a book that argued that slavery greatly benefited those unhelpful, unruly slaves. 9/11 almost killed his career -- he was slow to figure out a hook for books/speeches, and being uglier than Michelle Malkin and less blonde than Coulter didn't help either. not to mention that for many jingo rightwingers in his potential audience his strange name and strongly ethnic looks (btw, have you ever seen photos of Malkin without make-up on? interestingly, all her make up work makes her look much, much less ethnic than she actually is) and, well, suspect national origin make him much less, er, appealing that, say, All-American Sean Hannity.

poor D'Souza needed to dream up some shit real bad, his income depended on it -- those juicy book contracts, lecture fees and TV bookings don't fall from the sky. he finally figured out a narrative -- crude as hell, but he's never been much subtle. or brighter.

of course the fact that America (well, Random House, AOL, and other corporate masters) takes this clown seriously does not help the arguments of those who insist that the US has not become a bit of a laughinstock post 9-11. but, you know, whatever.

I don't think many asked "Why do they hate us?" after 9/11

the unexamined life, etc.
I'm sure that those convinced that history began one day in September little more than five years ago don't get as many headaches as the less moronic among us.
posted by matteo at 6:29 PM on January 18, 2007


The decline of American Conservatism illustrated by its most popular pundits:

1970: William F Buckley, jr
1980: George Will
1990: Pat Buchanan
2000: Ann Coulter
2007: Dinesh D'souza (or Sean Hannity?)
posted by LarryC at 6:29 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


So the point is that republican's are terrorists?
posted by srboisvert at 6:29 PM on January 18, 2007


"the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world."

Personally? I blame Hasselhoff.
posted by felix betachat at 6:36 PM on January 18, 2007


I want to make some money too. Do you think I could make a similar case that the American Left were the guys that betrayed and crucified Jesus? Y'see, I've uncovered Judas' wallet at an archeological dig and it turns out the guy is a card carrying democrat AND a member of the ACLU! Have I hit gold here or what!

Then I could buy an island and start my own cult :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 6:36 PM on January 18, 2007


Hi, 2002 called, it wanted its resident asshat back.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:39 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, if we take on board the logic that seems to be applied these days and use it here...

The Terrorists attacked because of the things the Left stands for.
We are opposed to the Terrorists
Therefore, we need to embrace the things the Left stand for.

It works for me, how about you?
posted by Jimbob at 6:44 PM on January 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


But America's conservatives have been working really hard to implement such policies as chopping the hands of thieves, and stoning adultresses and homosexualists in the village square!

More stoning! More chopping! More clitoridectomies! More methedrine and man ass! (Hang on. Some mistake here, surely?)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:47 PM on January 18, 2007


So D'Souza's point is that we need to beam "Mama's Family" into the middle east 24/7? Hell, I'm game.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:47 PM on January 18, 2007


PopAmerica will eat itself.
posted by furtive at 6:54 PM on January 18, 2007


"Why do the hate us?"

Noam Chomsky has the answer:


"Why do they hate us when we're so good?" -- George Bush's poignant question -- it's a very old question, for it was asked by President Eisenhower in 1958


...[T]here was a ...serious and considered answer given by the National Security Council, the highest planning agency.They pointed out that there's a perception in the Arab world that the United States supports status quo regimes which, of course, are brutal and oppressive, and does so in order to secure its own interests in obtaining oil, and then they said, well, it's hard to counter this perception because it's correct. They said it's natural for the United States to link itself up with the status quo regimes and try to sustain them and to pursue its interest in obtaining oil. So the end result is that there's a campaign of hatred against us among the people who we're basically robbing and on whom we're imposing harsh, brutal, repressive and corrupt regimes, and it's pretty difficult to counter that campaign. You know, that's exactly what The Wall Street Journal is finding after September 11th.

posted by Clay201 at 6:56 PM on January 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


It might also have a little something to do with a certain coup staged by the CIA in 1953.
posted by bardic at 7:01 PM on January 18, 2007


Goatse man must also bear some responsibility for all this. If all American sphincters are as wide as Goatse man, Osama can single-handedly simply fist you all into submission.

And I don't wanna hear any nonsense about him being French. Goatse man is on the interwebs. America owns the interwebs. Everything on it is American. Unfortunately, we can't get Jemma Jameson behind Muslim national firewalls, but we *can* get world-famous American degenerate Kirk Johnson, aka Mr Bumstretch, aka Goatse man!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:01 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dinesh D'Souza has found common cause with Osama Bin Laden.
posted by homunculus at 7:03 PM on January 18, 2007


So, basically D'Souza is saying that he hates our liberal guts just as much as the Taleban and its jihadists cohorts do, and that the latter were right and justified in piloting planes into buildings.

So much for neocons *not* being blame-America-firsters.
posted by clevershark at 7:04 PM on January 18, 2007


I would like to demonstrate some leftist decadence for Al Qaeda by making D'Souza wear my testicles like a set of earmuffs.
posted by The Straightener at 7:08 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


The WaPo review has it right IMHO. D'Souza is simply too smart a guy to actually believe the tripe he writes, and that makes him little but the latest in a long line of right-wingers who are dishonestly milking 9/11 for their own personal gain.
posted by clevershark at 7:08 PM on January 18, 2007


This idiot made it big? I remember when he was just another looser right wing frat boy from Dartmouth who couldn't get laid at my college.
posted by QIbHom at 7:09 PM on January 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


QIbHom writes "This idiot made it big? I remember when he was just another looser right wing frat boy from Dartmouth who couldn't get laid at my college."

Remember the other right-wing "luminaries" who've "made it big" by commercial standards -- Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly... in today's world commercial success really shouldn't be seen as an indication of anything else.
posted by clevershark at 7:12 PM on January 18, 2007


Noam Chomsky has the answer:

I'm sorry, but only unpatriotic hippies like Pat Tillman read Chomsky.
posted by homunculus at 7:18 PM on January 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


On Colbert last night, he described liberals as 'eating maggots' at one point; this supposedly added to bin Laden's fury. Does anyone know what the hell he was talking about? It's been driving me nuts.
posted by maryh at 7:28 PM on January 18, 2007


he described liberals as 'eating maggots' at one point

Fear Factor?
posted by peeedro at 7:32 PM on January 18, 2007


maryh writes "On Colbert last night, he described liberals as 'eating maggots' at one point; this supposedly added to bin Laden's fury. Does anyone know what the hell he was talking about? It's been driving me nuts."

He's talking about this youtube video. Shit, he was right.
posted by mullingitover at 7:33 PM on January 18, 2007


Me thinks that the neo-con orgy is in its last throws and this petty little act will soon be put back in its drawer for safe keeping (by professional Republican politicians no less). If Mr. D'souza feels it imperative to cash in on the very last cent, I am too tired to care. Soon, it will be time to assess the damage. The moment will be upon us when reasonable people will ask, "Why?" but then, with that question unanswered, they will go about picking up the pieces--as the pieces are many and in need of tending.

In the meantime, another wave of the disenchanted haters will start their decent into the pit, only to rise again in the far but foreseeable future in some slightly different but still recognizable form. Once again they will have their way, for they are rabid and that is a power onto itself. Rinse, repeat.

I don't understand what I wrote but I am listening "The Very Best Of War" and that's what "the voices" told me to write.
posted by a_day_late at 7:33 PM on January 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Once again they will have their way, for they are rabid and that is a power onto itself.

Yea verily. :-(
posted by fleetmouse at 7:35 PM on January 18, 2007


If all American sphincters are as wide as Goatse man, Osama can single-handedly simply fist you all into submission.

If your sphincter is that wide, you are immune to being fisted into submission.

Anyway, he only has two hands, you know.

"Bush is fighting two wars, one against the enemy abroad and the other against the enemy at home."

and both are unjustified wars of aggression.

So the end result is that there's a campaign of hatred against us among the people who we're basically robbing and on whom we're imposing harsh, brutal, repressive and corrupt regimes, and it's pretty difficult to counter that campaign.

I think that our support of Israel is a more serious offense to the Arab world, actually.

That this guy should blame the Left for terrorist attacks is a disgrace.

Exactly. This is the worst kind of demagoguery. Anyway, they targeted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, not Hollywood and Provincetown.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:36 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah. Cause it couldn't have anything to do with American policies in the middle east over the last 60 years. Nope. Not a damn thing.
posted by ilsa at 7:41 PM on January 18, 2007


No, it's definitely the gay parades that did it, Ilsa.
posted by Mister_A at 7:44 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is a turning point. Through his twisted logic about the Terrorists hating the same things he has declared himself hating, i.e. "liberal America", he is actually declaring himself an ally of the Terrorists (as I always believed he was).
posted by wendell at 7:52 PM on January 18, 2007


This isn’t as crazy as it seems, and had they been on the ball, this should have been in the playbook a long time ago.

But think about what this means.
If the Muslim world hates the Left, and so does the Right, that puts them on the same side, doesn’t it? How many times have we noted on MeFi that our most extreme conservatives and, say, the Muslim Brotherhood, share some common values?

Sure, Bin Laden was (AFAIK) about American presence in Saudi Arabia, but Qutb, for example, was all about western decadence/corruption. A good argument could be made for saying that the excesses of the left (as the right would see it – Hollywood, liberal sexual mores, etc.) led us down this path.

And anyway, the most important element here is this will play. Pretty much since the initial installment of Bush Jr., it’s been the case that your argument doesn’t have to be correct. You just need an argument. Something to shout at your opponent that backs what you already believe. And now they get to shout at their favourite opponent, regarding their favourite disaster since Pearl Harbour. It’s perfect.
posted by dreamsign at 7:52 PM on January 18, 2007


Ok, that sounded far too much like a “they hate our freedom!” refrain.
American “intervention” abroad is and has been a far greater factor in contemplated and enacted violence against its population, assets, or government. I’m just saying that a clash of values, when it comes to this particular group, is also part of the package. (and it’s a great political play, if a little too late)
posted by dreamsign at 7:55 PM on January 18, 2007


Personally I think they hate is because we have been fucking around in Arabian/mid-east politics for a long time instead of letting them collectively figuring it out.

Does this mean that we can post anything that gets an Op-ed and a book deal? The guy is whacked, or at least espouses whacked ideas and people eat it up.
posted by edgeways at 8:02 PM on January 18, 2007


Okay, but if the terrorists want us to be like them (more 'traditional', more patriarchal), shouldn't we, as proud Americans, be as unrepentantly gay and pagan and eccentric as humanly possible? Isn't it our duty to our great nation? I'm going to warm up a big maggot burrito and consume it with matriarchal zest. Take that, terrorists.
posted by maryh at 8:11 PM on January 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


In regard to that Colbert interview... my god... that guy has no conscience. Colbert was fucking awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 8:17 PM on January 18, 2007


I’m having trouble putting myself into the mindset of someone so reactionary, that everything my opponent believes in must be wrong. But you’re right, maryh, that’s been the spin. It should be possible to respond that “we believe X” and “those people who believe in Y are making things even worse for us by drawing the fury of others who believe in X” but in this polarized little political world the shrubs have created, maybe that isn’t even a credible spin!

On preview -- argh. I can't watch video from here. Looking forward to the Colbert clip. One of the great things about this age (maybe one of the few great things) is that a public-enough commentator can destroy new spin if artfully done, and Colbert can certainly be that.
posted by dreamsign at 8:20 PM on January 18, 2007


From the FPP: Dinesh D'souza gives us the answer

Boy I hope that was sarcasm.


I would just like to add that Colbert totally destroyed him last night, exposing the idiocy of his argument and making Dinesh look like a gibbering moron spouting nonsense simply because it could get him a book deal; that is, he looked like exactly what he is.

It made me happy; sometimes Colbert is a little too good at his right-wing maniac persona and he leaves some soft-spoken semi-liberals in the dust. It was nice to see him turn it on a D'ouche like D'souza.
posted by papakwanz at 8:24 PM on January 18, 2007


Wake up you seething sinning weaklings!

It's our decadence that is to blame! God hath brung-est-eth his-eth fury down-eth upon-eth us-teth!

And lo' I have come to see the truth of D'Souza's words.

No more eating pork, smoking crack, and masturbating my gay boyfriend while we gather our adopted 13 year old thai boy slave to watch girls-gone-wild and police chase videos. No more of that for me.

Instead I'm gonna drive my fat lazy ass in my new tax deductible gas guzzling Jesus Fish SUV to the corner to get my mail and later write a letter insisting my president give MORE arms to Israel and bomb the shit out of MORE fucking Ay-rabs... and then I'm gonna drive my Jesus Fish SUV BACK to my mail box and mail me my letter...

... so, you know, them fucking Ay-rabs won't hate me.
posted by tkchrist at 8:31 PM on January 18, 2007


I think ya'll are setting fire to way too many strawmen (but not unreasonably....). D'souza has a point somewhere in the rhetoric, and this point is not really that controversial. He is talking about the perceptions of America that people outside of America have and are formed through American exports of media and culture. D'souza of course uses the "cultural left" as an effigy to sell books and to stir trouble, but in reality, his point makes sense.

You know what causes people of any religion to become truly batshit fundamentalist? When they feel that their traditional beliefs, culture, and values are being attacked, (and so they turn inward towards a form of their religion that really is new but is believed to be old, and protective).

I personally believe that it is economic globalization that most undermines so-called "traditional values" wherever they appear, but that's a force that is pretty damn hard to fight back against. However as D'Souza's points out, it is the American media exports, and so-called American values that receive the largest backlash. And it makes sense for backlashes to form against them. What is the easiest target? Media, and American media... the same DAMN THING happens in the U.S. too!

But i think Felix is most right here. I wouldn't want my daughter turning into some American hussy, running along to slow-mo to cheesy music either.
posted by stratastar at 8:47 PM on January 18, 2007


I think Osama himself answers idiotic arguments like this best: Let him tell us why we did not strike Sweden, for example.

We barely have a left at all, especially compared to Europe.
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on January 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


So we are still living in dumbasses's era
posted by zouhair at 9:15 PM on January 18, 2007


Ok so the groupthink here is it's not a morality issue, they don't hate us over what they perceive to be moral differences, issues such as drugs, abortion, Christina Aguilera... what then?
posted by scheptech at 9:34 PM on January 18, 2007


Hey, they may hate us for what they see as our moral failings. I don't give a fuck, and I think it's extremely disturbing that the American right is taking their points on criticizing the left from terrorists.

Myself, I would be asking a few questions about my own ideology if I discovered it was shared by people who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:36 PM on January 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


D'souza of course uses the "cultural left" as an effigy to sell books and to stir trouble, but in reality, his point makes sense.

Yes. Part of the equation of why idiots form their idiot reactionary opinions about Others is the perceived threat Others seem to post to their backwards dysfunctional traditional values.

So what.

Do you know how long cultures have been "in decline" due to "decadence?" My God - Rome fell because of it's "decadence!" Though Rome did seem to last a couple thousand years anyway.

Do you know what "decadence" means? It really means success. Societies that are successful at creating wealth and exploiting resources tend to have more time for more trivial pursuits. Like fucking and drinking. And painting, writing about, and video taping fucking and drinking.

And if , just if, these backwards destitute societies were not exploited, bombed, oppressed, and raped they may become successful wealthy societies and commence more with the drinking and fucking themselves. And do less of the worrying about who else is fucking and drinking. Not to mention less of the blowing themselves up.
posted by tkchrist at 9:49 PM on January 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


scheptech, see amberglow's link above.
posted by maryh at 9:50 PM on January 18, 2007


So the end result is that there's a campaign of hatred against us among the people who we're basically robbing and on whom we're imposing harsh, brutal, repressive and corrupt regimes

Wow, what an amazing load of crap. We imposed a "harsh... regime" on Bin Laden? We robbed billionaire Bin Laden?

You know who's silly?
This guy the post is about.

You who's almost as silly?
People who make excuses for Bin Laden. Yes, there are things in our foreign policy we need to change, especially under Bush. But to apologize for a billionaire oil-heir mass murderer as if he's some kind of Robin Hood:

"if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao/you're never gonna make it with anyone anyhow..."
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:51 PM on January 18, 2007


Quoting the Beatles is a little silly, too.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:52 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


they hate me because i'm beautiful.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:52 PM on January 18, 2007


9/12/01: Why do they hate us?
11/3/04: Why do we hate us?
1/19/07: Why does Dinesh D'souza hate us?
posted by joe lisboa at 9:52 PM on January 18, 2007


Wow, what an amazing load of crap. We imposed a "harsh... regime" on Bin Laden?

What do you know about the Saudi royal family?
posted by stammer at 9:53 PM on January 18, 2007


What do you know about the Saudi royal family?

They like them the Techno Disco, the Jenna Jameson and the Cocaine!
posted by tkchrist at 9:56 PM on January 18, 2007


Ok so the groupthink here is it's not a morality issue, they don't hate us over what they perceive to be moral differences, issues such as drugs, abortion, Christina Aguilera... what then?

That's not what I read from the "groupthink" here. I read people saying "So what if they do hate us for those things, we aren't changing them to make the terrorists happy, and the people who say we should change them to make the terrorists happy have just revealed whose side they are really on."

And then I read other people presenting further alternative ideas in regards to historic middle east policy.
posted by Jimbob at 10:08 PM on January 18, 2007


You misread the will of the hive mind, Jimbob. Us sheeple couldn't have come up with anything nearly that sophisticated, and, instead, just bicker over talking points that the liberal media has placed in our microcephalic heads.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:13 PM on January 18, 2007


scheptech, see amberglow's link above

I read people saying "So what if they do hate us for those things,

Bin Laden's personal beef with the US couldn't have given life to what we see now by itself. He's exploiting the situation to grind his own axe but the cultural differences exist with or without him. I may be unduly influenced by personal experience here but I've recently chatted with folks from both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Israel dosn't offend them, they chalk that up to power politics, history, the way things just happen to be - and believe or not see shades of gray in it all - what offends them at a gut level is Christina. Well, actually it's the idea the US military appears ready to kill them to defend her ability to export her thing. It's not so much that we're willing to accomodate her (go ahead, it's your funeral heathens, as it were) but that we recently appear willing to bomb them into accomodating her too. There's something in there that crosses a moral boundary for them.
posted by scheptech at 10:21 PM on January 18, 2007


do these ppl even realize they are being played?
posted by MrLint at 10:25 PM on January 18, 2007


Several people have already pointed this out above, but I thought I'd add my two cents:

D'Souza is saying that American conservatives are in complete agreement with Islamic terrorists. D'Souza thinks that 9/11 was caused by Islamic fundamentalists being offended by our free and open society. And DSouza agrees with the medieval religious lunatics.

I mean, I keep trying to follow his argument to some other conclusion, but I can't seem to muster enough stupidity.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:44 PM on January 18, 2007


However as D'Souza's points out, it is the American media exports, and so-called American values that receive the largest backlash.

D'Souza may may assert that, but I don't see any rational reason to believe it.

What's fueling Al Queda's current recruiting drive? The occupation of Iraq. What, over the course of the last few decades, has pissed off more middle easterners than any other single issue/event? The occupation of the Palestinian territories. What absolutely terrifies people in Iran and Saudi Arabia? Isreal's air power and their nuclear weapons.

Should we believe that the above factors don't have a much larger impact on middle eastern politics than lesbians kissing on TV, mini skirts, and a Madona? Only if we're really stupid.
posted by Clay201 at 10:47 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


The occupation of Iraq. What, over the course of the last few decades, has pissed off more middle easterners than any other single issue/event?

Right, but it's not just a killing bombing military thing which is bad enough in itself. It's worse even than that. It's the idea that western culture will follow the soldiers in and that's supposed to make it all ok. That the enemy justifies the military intervention ultimately on cultural grounds. We have a better culture, we bomb you for various dubious reasons, but in the end it doesn't matter what our original reasons were because we're just plain old better anyway.

And then, looking at this supposedly superior culture and seeing stuff they find just absurdly nonsensical, things that any sane person would immediately reject as socially, personally destructive, in a word: evil. And forced on them at the point of a gun.

Anyhow, that's my understanding of the mind set. They care what we do at home as an indication of what we'd like to do around the world. They don't wanna be us and believe we'll use force to make it so.
posted by scheptech at 11:27 PM on January 18, 2007


Viet Nam was like taking home a really drunk chick and fucking her brains out.
Iraq was like running up to the first person you see in times square and raping them.
posted by tehloki at 11:34 PM on January 18, 2007


Well, actually it's the idea the US military appears ready to kill them to defend her ability to export her thing.

And if they believe that the ARE idiots deserving to be colonized because the planet could do without more idiots like that.

We are bombing them for the plot of land they were accidentally born on and the substance that lays beneath it. Period. And when that shit runs out they can go back to doing fuck all for all we will care.

If they think we are bombing them to expand our consumerism? Well. Killing your supposed future target markets is not a very bright idea for Christina is it? They have business schools, I assume, in the middle east?

Sure "globalism" is a major factor. But it is NOT the superficial cultural implications of globalism - though those are very visible in the immediate... its the economic implications that drive this hate and give it real power.

If it were purely about Porn and Britney Spears THE MUSLIMS would be on the winning edge of that exchange since Islam is about THE most successful export in the world even in places with Porn and Pop.

No matter what. They have more babies than us. Their culture - in the open marketplace - will win. See how globalism ushered in CONSERVATIVE political societies (and liberal consumer societies). It's counter intuitive and contradictory. But that is what happens when the walls go down.

So. The guys point is retarded. Because if he is right then Bush is right - they hate us for our freedoms. Which is absurd.

They WANT liberties. But real freedom is a frightening messy prospect to a retarded society even if they DO want it.
posted by tkchrist at 11:38 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


but it's not just a killing bombing military thing which is bad enough in itself. It's worse even than that. It's the idea that western culture will follow the soldiers in and that's supposed to make it all ok.

Do middle easterners actually believe that the US conquest of Iraq is going to result in a McDonalds on every corner in Baghdad? Or Britney Spears CDs being available where they weren't before? US influence is very strong in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan; the governments in those countries do what we tell them. But our cultural influence there is probably less than it is in China, a country where we have considerably less control.

We are not exporting our culture to the middle east. We do our best to sell our products to every man, woman and child on the planet, but nothing our military is currently doing is making it more likely that the next generation of Iraqis will be fans of California gangsta rap.

And if anyone here is suggesting that the US is trying to create a democracy in Iraq (or Afghanistan) I ask you this: What will happen if either of those countries tries to adopt a foreign policy that isn't in line with the US's? Suppose Iraq wants to form an alliance with Iran or Afghanistan doesn't want to share intelligence with the US regarding suspected Al Queda members? Do you seriously think that any US president that we might elect in '08 or '12 would even consider allowing that? If you do, please speak up, because I can't wait to hear your reasons for beliving in such a fantasy.

The point: since we know that these countries aren't free to make their own decisions, we know that they aren't democracies Therefore, we can conclude that the US is not, in any way, trying to create democracies in the middle east. Rather, it's trying to stop democracy from spreading in the middle east.
posted by Clay201 at 12:08 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


The funny thing is, Clay201, I've spoken to a number of conservatives, some of them current or former members of Metafilter, who are adament that any country that doesn't do as the US says isn't actually a democracy! They aren't ashamed to say this.

To follow your examples, they believe that if Iraq wants to align with Iran, then it's not democratic, and the US has to kick out whatever government is in power in Iraq and install a "democratic" one.

If the majority of people in Venezuela vote for and elect a socialist government in free and fair elections; well, it's clearly an undemocratic government, and we have to oppose it and get a new one in power.

The problem, I think, lies in the definition of democracy.

You and I think democracy equals freedom for the populace, the ordinary people, to make decisions and run their own country as they see fit, instead of being subservient to elite powers above them. If citizens elect a socialist government, then that's the choice they made for their country.

The conservatives think democracy simply equals western, American values. Therefore, if citizens chose to elect a socialist government, that socialist government believes in values that aren't the same as American values, therefore the country isn't democratic.

They are also adament that Americans values are the ONLY values worth supporting. They believe America IS right. Always. By definition. It's kinda pathetic.
posted by Jimbob at 12:53 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


doesn't really deserve more than.. BULLSHIT!
posted by zog at 1:13 AM on January 19, 2007


This discussion has made me realize something... and I feel stupid for taking so long to realize it: when you're talking about international politics, "conservative" and "liberal" can be set completely arbitrarily.

Of course radical fundamentalist Christians and radical fundamentalist Muslims have more in common than either group has in common with regular people. Here, I'd always kind of seen them as being on opposite ends of a spectrum, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:21 AM on January 19, 2007


Chomsky said: So the end result is that there's a campaign of hatred against us among the people who we're basically robbing and on whom we're imposing harsh, brutal, repressive and corrupt regimes

Wow, what an amazing load of crap. We imposed a "harsh... regime" on Bin Laden?

Yep. He's from Saudi Arabia. You taken a look at the Saudi government lately? Of course, as a member of the ruling elite, Bin Laden had it far easier than most of his countrymen. But still... we did, in fact, impose this government on his country.

We robbed billionaire Bin Laden?

Actually, Bin Laden got rich off the money we robbed. His family was in the construction business, as I recall. Well, where do you think the money for office buildings and mansions and so forth came from? From the Saudi Royal Family and the elite wealthy class that surrounded them (a tiny percentage of the total population of the country). Where did those people get all that money? From the oil. How come they got the money and all those other people in their country didn't? Because we made sure it worked out that way by arming and training the Saudi military, making sure they had the necessary firepower to put down a rebellion.

But all this talk about Bin Laden is totally useless. He's not the issue. He could get shot in the head tomorrow and basically nothing would change. The issue is all those people out there in the middle east who either support Bin Laden or consider him the lesser of several evils. *Those* are the people we've fucked up the ass. Remember, when Chomsky uses that term "campaign of hatred," he's quoting someone in the Eisenhower administration. These people were pissed at us long before Bin Laden. And they were (and are) pissed because, as the NSA told Old Dwight, we support the governments that oppress and rob them.

You who's almost as silly?
People who make excuses for Bin Laden.


Please point me to the writings of these people. I've not read them. It might be educational.

to apologize for a billionaire oil-heir mass murderer as if he's some kind of Robin Hood:

That's Bush. Bin Laden is a contruction-heir mass murderer.

And again, if you could point me towards the people who are apologizing for Bin Laden, I'd like to read what they're writing. I've yet to come across any such thing.
posted by Clay201 at 2:38 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oops. In the above post I quoted first from Chomsky and then, beginning with "Wow, what an amazing load..." from drjimmy11. My apologies for omitting that piece of information.
posted by Clay201 at 2:41 AM on January 19, 2007


What absolutely terrifies people in Iran and Saudi Arabia? Isreal's air power and their nuclear weapons.

People in Iran and Saudi Arabia probably fear their own governments more than Israel's air power and nukes.
posted by PenDevil at 2:41 AM on January 19, 2007


The problem with this guy's argument, as I see it, has little to do with how they see us. He's focused on how we see each other, specifically how we see each other here, in the US. It comes down to a simple equation: Good 'Muricans walk like this, traitors walk like this. It barely has anything to do with political thought, just the most superficial visuals of difference. I don't want to wear Birkies; I don't want to wear pinifores. And from that he extrapolates an entire world of differences where maybe they don't really exist. I get the impression that he's yet another 'conservative' looking to find his fortune in hideously divisive politics, like that's just a candy flavor, one side likes chocolate, the other vanilla. But this sort of crap talk built to Kosovo after a number of years, and as sloppy as Dinesh D'souza is about his history, something tells me he's not unaware of that.
posted by maryh at 3:10 AM on January 19, 2007


He's a tool.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:02 AM on January 19, 2007


People in Iran and Saudi Arabia probably fear their own governments more than Israel's air power and nukes.

I lived in Saudi Arabia for eleven years. It was when I was in elementary school. We were required to take Arabic classes until the sixth grade (which I don't regret or resent, even though the only things I remember are how to write my name and how to say, "You have no brains," in Arabic.) Oh, and this next bit.

After a vacation to a Mediterranean spot I don't remember (and that was one of the perks of living there; you were pretty close to all those places that people dream of going,) I came home with a book, bought from an airport bookstore, of world flags. I noticed this one flag of a country I hadn't seen before. "Israel." It looked like it was in the Middle East. We'd spent tons of time learning about the countries thereabouts, but this one never came up. So I asked my Arabic teacher about it. Her response, screamed to a ten-or-so year old kid who was pretty much Tabula Rosa on the whole IP thing: "There is no Israel! Only Palestine!"

A few years ago I came across the same book of world flags. One page was earmarked (sorry, jessamyn.) It was the page that had the flag of Israel and, in my own handwriting; it had the word "evil" written on it.

You can mix fear and hate into whatever kind of bitter cocktail you feel you can stomach. But that at least some folks in Saudi Arabia fear Israel and are willing to teach it is not at all surprising to me.

/Aramco Brat
//Wouldn't change that for anything
posted by Cyrano at 5:08 AM on January 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


scheptech: Ok so the groupthink here is it's not a morality issue, they don't hate us over what they perceive to be moral differences, issues such as drugs, abortion, Christina Aguilera... what then?

I'm surprised no one really took this comment to task farther up thread. Because, actually, I think it was pretty abundantly clear that "the groupthink" at that point in the thread was that they hate us mostly for the shit we've done to them.

Some of that shit includes (what people in the muslim world see as) encouraging their daughters to behave like American hussies by running in slo-mo down the beach in bathing suits to bad rock. But more substantively, it involved supporting repressive regimes and swindling them out of money, the latter in part by cramming western culture down their gullet.

Never forget that this 'western media' monster that D'Souza decries is an industrial monster. It's in business to make money, and there have been a lot of right-wing backers for that business. Unless D'Souza wants to argue that the market's being manipulated and the world would rather buy thousands of hours of "Highway to Heaven" clones than "Baywatch", he's standing on very tenuous -- really, imaginary -- ground.

To be fair, Brits, French and Russians had a hand in all that, too. But they're much less powerful now, and effectively not the driving players in the game in that part of hte world. (Though the Russians are bound to make a comeback.) We're the remaining threat. Ergo: Us, not Sweden. (Who, by the way, sells a lot of guns and bombs in Africa. But only to willing buyers, of course...)

Bin Laden arguably is "all about" the culture. But his cultural message has resonance because of the political and economic history. He's nothing without our swindling, swaggering and conniving to prop him up.
posted by lodurr at 6:32 AM on January 19, 2007


Wingnut welfare: nice work if you can get it.
posted by edverb at 7:07 AM on January 19, 2007


Did I miss something. I hardly every watch Colbert live, just the TiVo the next day. Wasn't O'Really supposed to be on last night? Did he chicken out?
posted by psmealey at 7:41 AM on January 19, 2007


Wasn't O'Really supposed to be on last night? Did he chicken out?

He was on last night at 11:30 p.m.

It wasn't very exciting, though. Colbert was in character, which meant he had to agree with everything O'Reilly said. It was actually the friendliest interchange with O'Reilly that I've ever seen.
posted by crackingdes at 7:57 AM on January 19, 2007


I don't characterize us as 'cramming Western cuture down thier gullet' Its attractive to them (less attractive once you have it, IMHO), they want it, and that we produce it and market it is true, but they are free to not buy/do/want shit.

The part about wanting us out of their lands is a huge part of why 'some of them' not 'they' hate us.
posted by sfts2 at 8:01 AM on January 19, 2007


tkchrist: "So. The guys point is retarded. Because if he is right then Bush is right - they hate us for our freedoms. Which is absurd... They WANT liberties. But real freedom is a frightening messy prospect to a retarded society even if they DO want it."

This strikes me as a little silly. Regardless of what Bush says or doesn't say, freedom is not a valued thing in Islamic society; and saying 'they WANT liberties' sounds to me a bit akin to saying 'Chinese people WANT tacos. They just don't know how to make them yet.' In short: just because you like something doesn't mean everybody does.

Hell, I have pretty mixed feelings about liberty and equality myself. Look at what ridiculous crap it's brought us: culture in the toilet, massive psychological problems in society that apparently weren't there before, widespread unhappiness. I can't say I blame them much.

There were several people over the course of our history here in the west (de Tocqueville springs immediately to mind) who saw the extreme drawbacks that liberty and equality might hold, and made clear, careful arguments indicating why those drawbacks could either be avoided or were worth it. But we lost the ability to consider rationally our own attachment to liberty and equality years ago; they are little more than an object for our blind, unmeasured devotion now. Unfortunately, when confronted with a religious civilization, we'll need to be able to explain to them exactly why it makes sense to aim for freedom and equality; and that seems like something we are profoundly unable to do now.
posted by koeselitz at 8:05 AM on January 19, 2007


In a parallel universe, I agree with D'Souza.

Our concern should be with the traditional Muslims, who are the majority in the Muslim world. These people are also religious and socially conservative, and they are our natural allies. In fact, since the cultural Left in America is de facto allied with the radical Muslims, we as conservatives have no choice but to ally with the traditional Muslims. We cannot win the war on terror without them. No matter how many Islamic radicals we kill, it’s no use if twice as many traditional Muslims join them.

(Except, of course, the part where the Left is allied with the radical Muslims--which is about the dumbest thing he could say.)

But building bridges between "traditional Muslims" (let's call them "mainstream Muslims" because I don't think that anyone knows what the hell a "traditional" Muslim or a "traditional" Christian reallly is) and mainstream America is a good idea.

The traditional Muslims are our best bet. Besides, they’re not asking us to live like them. They’re asking us not to attack their religion, which conservatives do with depressing regularity. They’re asking us not to force secularism and separation of church and state on their society, another foolish cause to which some conservatives subscribe. And they would feel a lot better about America if they could see the “other” America, which is say, Red America, the America they don’t see on television, where people go to work and look after their families and subscribe to traditional values and go to church. Bush should project more of this America to the rest of the world, especially to the traditional cultures of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Don't attack their religion. Don't try to convert them to Christianity (ala Coulter.) And show our humanity to the Arab world that the right-wing Christian are now vilifying.

Live and let live! Let the Right see that Islam is not the religion of terrorism and Muslims are not the bad guys.

Filter out all the hatred from his theories and I think he may be on to something.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:13 AM on January 19, 2007


I don't agree with D'Souza, but it is clear that--whatever his motivations--he has put a lot of thought into his position and it does have a historical basis. That doesn't make him right or any less wrong, but it is foolish to suggest that he is just some guy who cobbled together some talking points.

I saw him on a panel discussion at an American Constitution Society meeting. D'Souza is a brilliant guy, but he is too impressed with his own intelligence. So he tries to construct these novel theories with grand arcs in them which are always too clever by half. When I saw him on the panel, the other panelists were talking about pragmatic and practical histories of recent international conflicts and domestic responses. D'Souza launched into his theory that the clash between bin Ladenism and the West was a clash of Platonism and the Enlightenment.

D'Souza's point was basically that the Islam of bin Laden was based heavily on the theories of Sayyid Qutb and a misreading of the Koran. That theory he identified as Platonic. He argued that Plato believed that society/the state exists to increase the virtue of its citizens, and he correlated that to bin Laden's theory of the Islamic state which should exist to increase the virtue of its citizens by forcing various Medieval theories of the good life onto its citizens; as we are all fallen angels, we need the strong structure of society to protect us from ourselves and tell us how to live.

D'Souza contrasts that with America which he equates to the Enlightenment. He argued that the great revolutionary idea of the Enlightenment was that it rejected the Platonic view that society can increase the virtue of its citizens and embraced the idea that society exists to maximize freedom of its citizens. And it is in that freedom, that we find virtue because virtue coerced by the state is not virtue at all. He made some argument that in freedom (such as freedom of speech) people can show their true virtue. (I remember him alluding to Milton's argument about not being able to praise a fugitive or cloistered virtue). And if I recall correctly, he argued that America adopted a specific philosopher of the Enlightenment: Rousseau. He argued that America fell for Rousseau's view that morality does not exist outside or external to the self, so for man, the internal voice is sovereign. This is the idea that D'Souza pushes when he starts talking about Hollywood and the Cultural Left. He argues that they took Rousseau to an extreme of complete moral relativism where every act must be accepted as moral if the person believes it to be so. And he falls back on the facile laundry list of complaints that social conservatives always argue are the end result of a slippery slope.

So that was his grand arc. That the battle of Islam v. America was the battle of Platonism v. Enlightenment (or specifically, Rousseau).

The problem I see is that D'Souza projects the beliefs of Sayyid Qutb on to bin Laden perhaps too much and with the wrong amount of emphasis. Moreover, I think he overstates the acceptance of Rousseau in the American conscience. It is clear that D'Souza doesn't like Rousseau. But it is also clear that he rejects the construct of bin Laden-Platonism that he defined. He wants to chart a middle course. This leads D'Souza to make pronouncements--which comes off as shocking--that he can understand and partially agrees with the complaints of bin Laden. Of course, some people jump on that (as they have done in this thread) to suggest that he is pro-suicide bombing or stoning women. But I think that is unfair to D'Souza. When he says that, what he is saying that he thinks America has accepted Rousseau too much and gone too far in that direction (which is something that Qutb argued, but I don't think bin Laden does that much). But he still rejects the sort of 'bin Laden Platonic ideal,' but one gets the impression that he doesn't reject the 'Platonic ideal.' Rather, he rejects a society that exists to increase the virtue of its citizens when that society defines virtue as the sort of Medieval Islamic fundamentalism that bin Laden advocates. One gets the impression that he would be fully on-board with a Platonic society that enforces virtue if D'Souza gets to define virtue himself.

So while I think D'Souza is wrong, and he clearly allows himself to say things that potentially inflammatory for the sake of exposure, I think it is wrong to suggest he is clearly an idiot or a completely superficial joke a la Coulter. He knows he is smart, and he has decided that the way to show his intelligence (and make a living) is to make statements which are shocking at first to get the audience's attention, but then to follow those up with these too clever grand arguments all in an effort to promote his paleoconservative viewpoints. That doesn't translate well to a show like Colbert's where Colbert never allowed him to make the follow-up, and he is left looking like the guy who only says crazy stuff.
posted by dios at 8:14 AM on January 19, 2007


But his cultural message has resonance because of the political and economic history. He's nothing without our swindling, swaggering and conniving to prop him up.

To Bin Laden culture is a tool not an end. He wants to destroy and exact revenge, not reform - and certain aspects of our culture provide him and many others, with varying agendas, justification ammo. This is the kernal of truth in what D'Souza is saying. The case he builds around that kernal is mostly distortion and errors of omission of course.

Yes, people in the middle east want liberties but not at the price they see us paying. They want to find their own balance between personal freedom and what they see as our general abrogation of social responsibility. They see a continuum of choices between these two competing desires, not a limted "yer either with us 'er agin us" choice between being American or backward.
posted by scheptech at 8:29 AM on January 19, 2007


I find it amusing that someone would think a background in political philosophy no matter how developed would somehow render a writer immune to the lure of fast cash and whoring a shit book to get it.
posted by The Straightener at 8:30 AM on January 19, 2007


I find it amusing that someone would think a background in political philosophy no matter how developed would somehow render a writer immune to the lure of fast cash and whoring a shit book to get it.
posted by The Straightener at 10:30 AM CST on January 19


Was this directed at me? It appears to be, but that seems odd because it doesn't have anything to do with what I said other than taking a shot at me. I haven't read the book and didn't comment on it--it may very well be shit. I was referring to D'Souza in general. I criticized his approach and pointed out how he stakes out superficially inflammatory positions for the sake of exposure and money and then develops these too-clever-by-half grand arc explanations to defend them. He has determined that this is how to make a living. But he is still a brilliant guy; brilliance having nothing to do with good/bad or right/wrong.
posted by dios at 8:47 AM on January 19, 2007


Whoring a shit book for fast cash constitutes complete superficiality to me, ala Coulter, which is what you said D'Souza is not and does not do and I am disagreeing with that. I am not speaking about D'Souza generally, and could give a fuck about him generally, I am addressing his specific shit book writing and whoring in this particular instance and noting its similarity to other shit book whoring pundits in that respect.
posted by The Straightener at 8:56 AM on January 19, 2007


So I suppose you read this book and know it is a "shit book whored for cash"? Neither did I. So where are you getting this idea that you have a disagreement with me with respect to this book? I never said anything about it. But what I did say is that it is clear that D'Souza is a smart person who has some depth behind his superficially inflammatory positions. So if you want to argue with me, as you appear to be deadset on doing, how about arguing with what I did say--not what you imagined I said.
posted by dios at 9:05 AM on January 19, 2007


D'Souza has been an annoying little prick since his days at Dartmouth in the early 1980s - the Reagan Youth Years - when he was a leader in the fight to save the Dartmouth Indian sports symbol from attack by... Dartmouth's outraged Native American community. He wrote a lot of crap like "I'm from India and I'm not offended..." He is made of really shallow stuff, and he just loved the attention it brought him. He then came out as a major pro-apartheid apologist, and loudly supported Inkatha, the violently nationalist Zulu party during Chief Buthulezi's US visit. Everybody on the right loved the spectacle of a priveleged non-white person supporting racism.

He has no ideology other than the same one Ann Coulter has:
1.Push "liberal" buttons
2.Publish book.
3.Profit!
posted by zaelic at 9:10 AM on January 19, 2007


So excrutiating.
posted by The Straightener at 9:14 AM on January 19, 2007


Troll.
posted by zekinskia at 9:16 AM on January 19, 2007


I'd hit it.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:18 AM on January 19, 2007


Schwing!
posted by The Straightener at 9:19 AM on January 19, 2007


I'd be all like "Talk dirty to me, baby! Say I hate America!"
posted by octobersurprise at 9:21 AM on January 19, 2007


The Washington Post review nails it:
D'Souza is too busy projecting to really grapple with al-Qaeda's politics, strategy or ideological appeal; it's as if he read Mein Kampf and concluded that its author's main concern was not Aryan supremacy or genocidal anti-Semitism but distaste for Weimar theater.

For a Stanford fellow, D'Souza shows a surprising ignorance of the growing literature on jihadist ideology. One has to ask which is more likely: that such authors as Steve Coll, Lawrence Wright, Peter L. Bergen, Marc Sageman, Jessica Stern, Richard A. Posner and Bruce Hoffman could have scrutinized al-Qaeda ideology and somehow failed to notice that bin Laden's main beef was with America's corrupt cultural left, or that the grinding sound you hear off in the distance is D'Souza with an ax.
posted by jokeefe at 9:51 AM on January 19, 2007


On the original Post (ignoring those essays)..

I'm taking the old drama queen stand: "I'd rather be hated than ignored." *blasts Triple H's music*
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 10:39 AM on January 19, 2007


I'm sure Scaife is really proud of his boy.

I haven't read the book (and have no intention of doing so) but surely somewhere in that dung heap has to be the obligatory words:
It's all Clinton's fault!
posted by nofundy at 10:50 AM on January 19, 2007


Just have to say I am so happy / saddened / overwhelmed / shocked by this Pat Tillman story that I somehow missed in the media blitz abusing his name and life. Thanks for the link, homunculus.
posted by inoculatedcities at 11:48 AM on January 19, 2007


"...Michael Moore’s radical ideology — the insurgents are the Minutemen, they are the freedom fighters, and they will prevail! — has now come to center stage...."

And Michael Moore is wrong...how?
posted by rougy at 11:57 AM on January 19, 2007


" don't agree with D'Souza, but it is clear that--whatever his motivations--he has put a lot of thought into his position and it does have a historical basis.
dios

"...It is Bush and his conservative allies, not Bin Laden and his radical allies, who threaten the Left’s most cherished values."
D'Souza

Wow. You got one right, dios.

Our cherished values like open government, standard protocol, budgetary soundness, habeas corpus, privacy, and punishment where punishment is due, i.e. accountability.

Bush/Cheney blocked the 9/11 investigation – not liberals.
posted by rougy at 12:04 PM on January 19, 2007


Dinesh D'Souza is absolutely correct. The liberal left, its rejection of austerity and emphasis on liberty enrage terrorists. The cultural left has little in common with Islamofascism and the praxis of religious/ethnic power, especially when expressed through violence.

Conversely, the right are a pack of pathetic, freedom-hating, terrorist appeasers with *much* in common with the enemy. Right wing governments have consistently practiced a policy or terrorist appeasement, whether it's by aligning with anti-freedom values such as gender and sexuality-based subjegation, or by providing arms and material aid to terrorists or terror-supporting states. Social conservatives give moral comfort to the enemy by encouraging a segment of society that the terrorists have too much in common with, convincing Islamofascists that there's enough of a cultural bridge to impose their political agenda.

Fiscal conservatives are traitors with no respect for the integrity of nations. They stabbed the West in the back with their activities shortly after 9-11, by selling in a panic instead of doing their duty to preserve the stock market. They are willing to sell to totalitarians and oppose restrictions on the small arms and explosives that figure so highly in terror attacks.

With this kind of behaviour, moral and fiscal conservatives are practically terrorist quislings. It is obvious that anyone who sincerely opposes al Qaeda style terrorism is from the left, while the right, with so many similarities in values and tactics, simply indulges in the rhetoric of opposition to cover the fact that to them, it's only a squabble between their tribe and the terror tribe, with nary a moral difference between the two.

Yep, I gotta give D'Souza credit for making it all so clear.
posted by mobunited at 12:30 PM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


We can all agree that he's no Ranesh Ponnuru.
posted by bardic at 1:50 PM on January 19, 2007


This strikes me as a little silly. Regardless of what Bush says or doesn't say, freedom is not a valued thing in Islamic society; and saying 'they WANT liberties' sounds to me a bit akin to saying 'Chinese people WANT tacos. They just don't know how to make them yet.' In short: just because you like something doesn't mean everybody does.


Ok I see what your going for here. And there is a good point there; but: freedom is not a valued thing in Islamic society You're wrong.

They value freedom - but not in the secular political sense. Your thinking about freedom as a western ideological edict. And that is NOT what freedom ultimately is. Freedom, for the non-religious, is the natural state of man, right? If you believe in a creator and you want liberty you believe in liberty being an extension of "free will"... being "endowed" by the creator. And no man comes between you and this sort of freedom.

This idea is very much in alignment with Islamic ideas of freedom. The Bedouin's, for example, were VERY much about this sort of freedom.

However, here is the problem: there is not the critical mass in Islamic societies to support the idea of freedom under law "for everybody" in the society. For women or religious minorities. IE: YOU want to be free from oppression but you still think oppressing somebody else is just fine. Which to us seems abhorrent but there you go.

We are hypocrite's. THIS is what pisses off Islamic Societies. We talk about, democracy, freedom, and justice for everybody but they see what REALLY goes down. And it's essentially what they are suffering... the rich powerful guy gets what he wants and fucks everybody else over. After all we are IMPOSING our ideas on them... with force. How can that not be the ultimate slap in the face?

I'm saying this: Freedom is man's natural desire and state. The vagaries of managing it, distributing, governing it — the machinery of liberty — well the devil is in the details, right?

koeselitz saying that you have fears of the repercussions of freedom is, understandable, but your thinking about liberty all wrong.

The problem is society is made of individuals who are not cookie cutters of you and who, like you, are all imperfect. They will make mistakes.

We MUST be free to make mistakes or we will NEVER self-correct. Having a big brother looking over you preventing you the liberty of making mistakes puts impossible pressure on you, infantilizes you, and society can never mature. And in the long run it's an impossible task for Big Brother. A political community (or a religious community for that matter) to impose rules and manage so many behaviors in a large growing civilization is a losing formula.

Strict traditional societies work in small tribal societies. But it won't work in the modern world.

The pangs and foibles of liberty just have to be dealt with as they happen or simply tolerated or we stagnate.
posted by tkchrist at 4:00 PM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mr. D'Souza responds to my email : >
posted by amberglow at 9:15 PM on January 19, 2007


D'Souza's LA Times piece doesn't sound far-fetched at all; of course I don't "blame" Carter or Clinton (or any other US administration) for 9/11 -- that falls squarely on the fucking terrorists - but it's hard to argue that if Carter or Clinton had responded militarily - strongly - in each of the incidents (Cole, 93 WTC, Shah, etc), we would be in the same "War On Terrorism" that we are now engaged in.

All you D'Souza haters need to grow up a bit, and quit living in your fantasy land of America-bashing. And even those of you who aren't full-on America-bashing, you sure seem at least terrorist-appeasing to varying degrees.
posted by davidmsc at 9:27 AM on January 20, 2007


I have never appeased a terrorist to any degree, which is more than I can say for people who excuse or apologize for the atrocities committed by the U.S. at Abu Graib, Guantanamo, Falujah, etc.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:03 AM on January 20, 2007


I suppose that it's a good thing that the rhetoric that davidmsc just left us with is starting to sound dated. A couple of years ago, it probably would have pissed me off to read clichéd nonsense like "America-bashing" and "terrorist-appeasing". Now it just sounds empty.
posted by psmealey at 11:15 AM on January 20, 2007


All you D'Souza haters need to grow up a bit, and quit living in your fantasy land of America-bashing. And even those of you who aren't full-on America-bashing, you sure seem at least terrorist-appeasing to varying degrees.

I see you're in the military. Are you directly in the field supporting the terrorists' political objectives or are you making the terrorists stronger through less direct means?

That's not a yes or no; it's an either/or.

Whether it's fighting in the wrong countries or providing propaganda avenues for America's enemies, you're part of a potent machine devoted to the apeasement of direct state actors in anti-US terror like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The question is, I suppose, whether you are merely a dupe or your conservative leanings represent real sympathy with the terrorists' conservative, freedom-hating agenda.

Again, an either/or question. Dork or ideological traitor? Isn't D'Souza logic fun and reasonable?
posted by mobunited at 11:30 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I see you're in the military. Are you directly in the field supporting the terrorists' political objectives or are you making the terrorists stronger through less direct means?

I see you're in the role-playing game industry. Are you directly in the field of supporting the wild fantasies of sexually-frustrated middle-aged men and their young male counterparts who are anxious to meet hot babez online, or are you making the gamers safer by providing a healthy, non-aggressive outlet for their desires?

Yeah, we can play this back-n-forth crap all day long.
posted by davidmsc at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2007



All you D'Souza haters need to grow up a bit, and quit living in your fantasy land of America-bashing. And even those of you who aren't full-on America-bashing, you sure seem at least terrorist-appeasing to varying degrees.


It's actually D'Souza and his other wingnut welfare freaks who are actually appeasing terrorists by trying to blame and eliminate those who are different--it's exactly what the Taliban do. By accusing some imagined "left" and by accusing them of all sorts of things, D'Souza and his ilk makes Osama laugh--they're doing his work.
posted by amberglow at 5:33 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


By accusing and blaming, that should be. Our culture is what allows D'Souza to spout his bullshit, yet he's trying to narrow it until it only allows one voice -- a voice solely in support of whatever shit the right demands.
posted by amberglow at 5:34 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


and linking the cultural left to Carter or any administration is completely baseless. There is no connection.
posted by amberglow at 5:36 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


One more thing---it's Reagan's administration that poured resources into both the Taliban and Saddam's Iraq, not Carter. It was Reagan who did Iran/Contra, and who made a secret deal for the hostages. It wasn't either the cultural left nor Carter or Clinton.
posted by amberglow at 5:40 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


this remains the best and only thing that needs to be said: ... it's as if he read "Mein Kampf" and concluded that its author's main concern was not Aryan supremacy or genocidal anti-Semitism but distaste for Weimar theater. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:48 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The corresondence continues.

It's wonderful to finally see these two great patriots finally forge a relationship.
posted by homunculus at 7:00 PM on January 20, 2007


correspondence

I blame the terrorists.
posted by homunculus at 7:02 PM on January 20, 2007


Or the liberals. They're all the same, after all.
posted by homunculus at 7:03 PM on January 20, 2007


LOL: ...
Please accept my apologies for being fooled, myself. I'd like to make it up to you by inviting you over to the compound for a weekend. We'll drink beer, eat Frito pie, and punch each other in the shoulders like men do with their man friends. Then we'll dress up in gladiator outfits and watch Ben Hur and Spartacus, and maybe even Gladiator if I can get that goo off the DVD. After that, if you're up for it, I'd like to honor you in the only way a warrior may truly honor another warrior--that is to wrestle naked in the ancient manner of our Spartan philosophical forefathers until one of us establishes dominance over the other by driving his mighty shaft of supreme manliness into the other's cavern of shame. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:19 PM on January 20, 2007


I see you're in the role-playing game industry. Are you directly in the field of supporting the wild fantasies of sexually-frustrated middle-aged men and their young male counterparts who are anxious to meet hot babez online, or are you making the gamers safer by providing a healthy, non-aggressive outlet for their desires?


Yes and yes. What's your point?

*My point* is that by D'Souza's logic you're pretty much a terrorist collaborator. By D'Souza's argument you're Hurting America and you're Osama bin Laden's iedological fellow traveller. Maybe, just maybe, your best rhetorical solution is to *stop* advocating D'Souza, since you obviously believe that it's natural conclusion (that you're a spiritual traitor the the ideals of your own country) is flawed.
posted by mobunited at 12:51 AM on January 21, 2007


Some people were high when they posted their comments here. Some people were intellectually masturbating. Some people were self-congratulatory, patting themselves on the back when posting. Some had cannily studied and diced and savored their insights. Some found their insouciant riposte marvelous and wonderful. Some burped. Some took another bite of pizza or thought it would be good to go to Chipotle. Last word? Guilt is becoming empowered.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 9:18 AM on January 21, 2007


It pays to be on Wingnut Welfare
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on January 21, 2007


...Many of us have noticed for a long time that there are frightening parallels between extreme Christian fundamentalism and extreme Muslim fundamentalism. Many of us have noticed that righties’ full-throated cries in support of freedom of speech only apply to Danish cartoonists, not to critics of the Iraq War or Christian fundies or anyone else the Right identifies as fellow tribesmen. It has been well noted that righties are, at heart, authoritarians who are terrified of freedom (per Eric Fromm).

But while most righties lack the moral strength and courage to be honest with themselves about themselves — their literature promotes “freedom” and “liberty” as ideals even as they crusade to destroy freedom and liberty — D’Souza’s latest rantings might be seen as an attempt at honesty, transparency, even. Perhaps he has looked deep into himself — well, half an inch into himself, anyway — and realizes that freedom must be crushed if his vision of moral utopia will ever come to pass....

posted by amberglow at 1:11 PM on January 21, 2007


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