Jay Reding.com

D’Souza’s Friendly Fire

Eric Scheie has a piece that rips into Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book accusing liberals of being somehow complicit in 9/11.

I’m with him. D’Souza has gone beyond the pale. His argument is on the far edge of what constitutes fair commentary. It is simply and completely wrong to blame America’s liberals with the terrorists who executed the atrocities of September 11, 2001. D’Souza’s argument — that America’s culture provoked the terrorists into acting, gives the terrorists rhetorical cover and tries to rationalize their inhuman acts. D’Souza tries to finesse the argument, but there’s nothing to finesse. It’s a wrongheaded and destructive argument.

Islamic radicals didn’t attack the United States because they dislike only parts of our culture. They attacked because the very nature of our culture conflicts with their values. When the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb visited conservative Greeley, Colorado in 1949 he found it to be entirely un-Islamic. If D’Souza thinks that some kind of alliance between traditionalist Americans and traditionalist Muslims will be successful and an aid to the war on terrorism, he is entirely mistaken. It’s not only foolish, but destructive.

To be frank, D’Souza’s argument is personally revolting. I’m ashamed that conservatives are supporting an argument that provides such apologia for America’s enemies. One can make the argument that the left has emboldened the terrorists, but to take it to the extreme that the left is responsible for 9/11 in some way is simply ridiculous. Our enemies despise us for educating women, tolerating dissent, being capitalist, and producing a quality of life for our citizens that is the envy of the globe. Trying to bow to their demands is no less odious than arguing that we should have found common ground with the Nazis during the Second World War.

A younger, wiser D’Souza once stated:

America is under attack as never before — not only from terrorists but also from people who provide a justification for terrorism. Islamic fundamentalists declare America the Great Satan. Europeans rail against American capitalism and American culture. South American activists denounce the United States for “neocolonialism” and oppression.
“Anti-Americanism from abroad would not be such a problem if Americans were united in standing up for their own country. But in this country itself, there are those who blame America for most of the evils in the world. On the political left, many fault the United States for a history of slavery, and for continuing inequality and racism. Even on the right, traditionally the home of patriotism, we hear influential figures say that America has become so decadent that we are “slouching towards Gomorrah.”

If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed.

Those critics are not right, even when D’Souza is one of them.

UPDATE: Scott Johnson of Power Line also finds the book horrendous. D’Souza’s not a dumb man, but either this is the literary equivalent to an internet troll or he’s lost sight of both the enemy and ourselves.

3 responses to “D’Souza’s Friendly Fire”

  1. Mark says:

    I see that you widely discarded the original link you had to a conservative blogger bashing D’Souza’s argument…..the one that suggested we’ve lost fewer American lives in four years of Iraqi occupation than we expected to lose simply toppling the Hussein regime. That argument was stupider than anything D’Souza said. Can’t say I blame you for snuffing it out, along with most of your cartoonish commentary that followed it.

  2. Mark says:

    Oops, premature declaration. I just looked at the wrong post. It’s the post above this one that had the memorably idiotic line how more than 3,000 American deaths was the casualty expectation for before we toppled Hussein….not to mention your own increasingly shrill diatribes about how the people who’ve been exactly right about the course of the war so far are the ones leading us to defeat, and not people like yourself who have been completely wrong about the course of the war. That’s what I get for giving you the benefit of the doubt. I won’t make that mistake again.

  3. Jay Reding says:

    It’s the post above this one that had the memorably idiotic line how more than 3,000 American deaths was the casualty expectation for before we toppled Hussein…

    I was predicting that we’d lose close to 5,000 taking Baghdad. Look at what the Chechens did to the Russians in Grozny. The difference was that we had better tactics and armor, and the Ba’athists had less fight in them. It could have easily been otherwise.