Monday, February 05, 2007

“The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11”

Having promised the future Baron a plug for Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, here is the fulfillment of that pledge.

The Enemy at HomeThe book is called The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. Obviously, as any regular reader of Gates of Vienna knows, we agree with the title.

What makes Mr. D’Souza’s take on the current situation a little different from the usual writer of political books is that his childhood background was truly a “multicultural” setting:

I grew up in Mumbai in a community almost equally divided among Hindus, Muslims and Christians. The families I grew up with had different religions, but they had common aspirations and their values were very similar. They disagreed on theology but agreed on morality.

Note the last sentence. “They… agreed on morality.” And that morality was essentially conservative:

I realized in reading the Islamic radical thinkers that they were speaking not just to Muslims in the Middle East but to the great mass of traditional people in China and India and South America and Africa. These cultures are all religious, patriarchal, and culturally conservative. And what the radical Muslims were saying to them is that our religion and our morality is under attack. In the Middle East this translates to “Islam is under attack.” It is under attack by America, the fountainhead of global atheism and moral depravity. According to this critique, America is using its power around the world to thrust its values on the world’s people against their will. The effect will be to dilute religious faith, undermine the traditional family, and corrupt the innocence of the children. I found myself facing a totally different critique of America than the one we are accustomed to in the West.

Mr. D’Souza differentiates between what conservatives and leftists think are the root causes of Islamism. The former, he says, view radical Muslims as opposed to our freedoms and want the advent of the Ummah in order to take us back to some dark age enslavement. I’d agree with that. Given that I’ve read it repeatedly in Islamic tracts, I also think it’s true.

The understanding of the Left, he sees as “so off-base as to be largely irrelevant”: the radical Muslims are upset because of the Crusades.” [so goes the Left’s mantra -D]

Mr. D’Souza retorts:

But the Crusades were a belated, clumsy and unsuccessful effort to block the Muslim conquest of Christian territory—the holy land—and Muslim invasion of Europe. The Crusades failed, and Muslim historians hardly mention them because they are considered an insignificant chapter in much bigger story of the spread of Islam to three continents.

Then the Left claims “they are upset because of America’s history of colonialism.”

To which Mr. D’Souza responds:

But America has no history of colonialism in the Middle East. In fact, after War II, America used its influence to send the British and the French colonists home. “They’re upset because American foreign policy is so pro-Israel and anti-Muslim.” Yes, Israel is a source of Muslim irritation and embarrassment, largely because every few years Israel stands up and pistol-whips the entire coalition of Muslim countries in the region. But despite its unwavering support for Israel, America’s foreign policy has hardly been anti-Muslim.

He calls his new book “provocative”:

…it gives a new and disturbing interpretation to the post-9/11 world, and it names “the enemy at home”—the people and institutions in this country who sowed the seeds of 9/11, and who are working in league with the enemy to defeat the “war on terror.”

Yes, I am speaking of none other than the cultural left, such people as Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank and George Soros and Al Franken and Michael Moore. Throw in the ACLU and the radical feminist groups and the gay rights groups and the so-called human rights groups and you get the general picture. My contention is that without the influence of the cultural left in America over the past couple of decades, 9/11 would not have happened.

[…]

The Enemy at Home is not just a book about 9/11. It is also about the left’s campaign—so far successful—to undermine the war on terror and ensure that America retreats in humiliation from Iraq, just as it did in Vietnam. This “war against the war” has now assumed a new dimension with the Democrats seizing both houses of Congress. In effect, some of the people who want America to lose, and lose big, now have their hands on the levers of power.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Provocative? Undoubtedly. However, there is at least one serious flaw: Mr. D’Souza says that his ideas, as presented in his new book, are a “new and disturbing interpretation of the post 9/11 world.”
- - - - - - - - - -
But this line of thought was being laid down immediately after 9/11 by… you guessed it: blogs. The Belmont Club has been beating this here particular drum for some years now, with fine analyses of the problems that are informed by Wretchard’s observations as a young man in the Philippines, and his understanding of history, military strategy, and literature. It takes that kind of breadth to generate synthesis.

Here at Gates of Vienna, we’ve been discussing the treasonous beliefs and behaviors of the Left for over two years now. Compared to some of our predecessors, we’ve not been at it long.

That said, I’d like to read this book to see if Mr. D’Souza may entertain the notion that radical Islam could be projecting when it claims, as he says, that “America is using its power around the world to thrust its values on the world’s people against their will.” That’s an ideology and a behavior. Both can be argued on their merits (or lack of them). But America is not a place that beheads dissenters or trains its children for shahid martyrdom (though the Left might claim that’s what our military amounts to). We have created no Beslans, no Taliban societies. Though the Left is certain that this is the Christian Plan.

Those perfervid theories aside, there are indeed behaviors that have been performed before cameras and watched by billions of people all over the world. The sales of beheading snuff films, not to mention the movement of illegal drugs and slavery, have financed the Islamists’ killing fields — or deserts, as the case may be.

The amoral behaviors of the mullahs in Tehran, with its rampant child prostitution, its growing HIV-AIDS population, and its horrible poverty, homelessness, and lack of jobs are all testaments to the huge chasm between radical/fundamentalist Islam’s rhetoric and its reality. Such gaps go beyond hypocrisy to some realm of calculating cynicism we haven’t seen since Communism was in full flower.

It may be that radical Islam simply picked up the bloody sword that Communism dropped. Perhaps it is filling some necessary void — some essential manifestation of evil — that is inherent in humanity at our current level of development. As long as there are those who believe in some kind of Utopia — a place where perfection reigns — we will have evil loose in the world, determined to delude the Believers that paradise can be had, or enforced, in this mortal realm.

Name your fantasy: a physical environment without flaw, a polity without unfairness, a faith without sin, a science with all the answers. In those directions lie madness. And in the alliance of the America-hating Left and the America-hating Islamists you have the perfect storm of destruction.

What will be left standing?

18 comments:

Phanarath said...

We talked about this book, at Uriasposten.

I think one of his points is that the reason Islam attacks the west, is all the things the left stands for - Feminism Gay-rights and so on.

We usualy hear from the left, that its all the "rights" fault. So this is a new angle that might confuse the left a little. But both wiews are wrong.

The truth is, that Islam will attack when they can, for no other reason then that we are not Muslim. Its an ilusion to think, that we can behave in a way that will make them not want to attack us other then convert.

The left has made us weak and oppened us up for an attack. But the left is not to blame for Islams actions.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

The Wall Street Journal was critical of this book in it's review. Reading about those who came to America and went back to lead antiAmerican jihadism, one comes prominetly upon one Egyptian who came to Kansas in the late 40's and was scandalized when a Protestant church had a dance for college aged stuents, not exactly cultural left type activities.

Alexis said...

Hi. It's not directly on topic, but I thought you'd be interested anyway.

In the history of this war, one key episode happened today during the Fourth Quarter of Super Bowl XLI. It was a beer commercial. You can see it online.

http://sports.aol.com/nfl/superbowlads

When you get to this address, go to “Browse by Quarter”, click on “Fourth Quarter”, and then click on “Budweiser: Crabs”.

Now, does this look anything like Muslims at prayer?

When I saw this, I gasped because I understood the social reference. Making a mockery of Islam was something I didn’t think a beer company would have the nerve to do. Sure, it has plausible deniability, just as the French film Pontcarvel had plausible deniability for its criticism of Vichy during World War II.

Yet, there it is -- a beer commercial that satirizes Muslims at prayer. Is CAIR planning protests? Are mosque preachers in Gaza, Copenhagen, Islamabad, London, Cologne, and Beirut prepared to incite riots over a beer commercial for a Super Bowl in a sport most Muslims don’t understand, let alone watch or play? That remains to be seen.

Captain USpace said...

D'Souza feels it's all our fault because we don't lock up Britney and Paris and shutdown Hollywood. He feels it is our loose values that have offended the poor Muslims, this has made them want to destroy the West, you see it really is our fault. From what I've heard he doesn't consider the history of Jihad at all. He is an overrated tool, a future dhimmidiot of the highest order I fear.


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
just shut down MTV

please an Islamist today
for they all just want peace
.

Profitsbeard said...

D'Souza's thesis is schizophrenic because:

- he claims that the "left", by being "liberal" (pro-gay / pro-woman's rights/ pro-freedom of thought/expression/'lifestyle') , thereby incites the anger of the "religiously / morally conservative" Muslims enough to provoke their "jihad" against the West.

But, if the jihadists were really aiming at the "liberals", and their influences, then the Islamofascists would be targeting ulra-liberals like Michael Moore, loud-mouthed lesbians like Rosie O'Donnell and a musical multi-culturalists like Bruce Spingsteen, not railing against cultural conservatives like Robert "The Truth About Muhammad" Spencer, traditional religious / moral figures like George W. "No gay marriage" Bush, or any others who are not promoting "liberal" culture.

I agree with phanarath that the "left" is, at best, irrelevant to this resurgent Islamic Imperialist threat.

Or, more dangerously, they are self-blinded "useful idiots".

Whose studious ignorance of the dismal dogmas of Mohammadism leave the "left" able to blithely demonize as "Islamophobes" all who are openly fighting against this theocratic world-tyranny-in-the-making.

And the "left"'s unconcen with Muslim "ultra-conservatism" allows them to glibly pretend that Islam is a poor, harassed third world faith which is simply striking back at the evil, post-colonial West in order to retain their Muslim cultural identity and traditional local autonomy.

All of the glaring anti-human rights faults and inhumane horrors of Sharia Law are overlooked in order for the "left" to wallow in the sitz-bath of self-loathing guilt about the sins of their own "colonial" past. And to revile their present (conservative) government.

So, the "left" is also schizoid.

However, D'Souza's main failing is his shallow, anti-historical, and stupendously wishful-thinking presentation of Islam.

Painting it as a reactionary force acting in righteous response to Western incursions. (The same faux portrait of Mohammad's doctrines that the uninquisitive "left" posits.)

And he does not show Islam as it has been, since 622 A.D.- a despotic, expansionist, terroristic, war-making mass-movement that has been seeking to create a global prison camp for all who will not bow to their retrograde vision of a Universal dictator, AKA Allah.

The "left" did not exist when the Barbary pirates were attacking our ships and enslaving our sailors in 1805, nor did the "left" have much to do with the conquest of Spain (Andaluia) in medieval times.

And Dinesh's birthplace of India was over-run and conquered by Islamic hordes long before the concept of "liberal" thought ever dawned in the West.

You can't blame those Muslim depredations and genocides on the "left" -who are simply suicidally-insular suckers whitewashing the bloody sword of Islam- since the true cause for the current Jihad War rises from within the egomaniacal impulses of a creed founded by a warlord 600 years before the Magna Carta (the root of "liberation" and "liberalism" in our Civilization) was written.

D'Souza needs to aim better.

A house divided against itself is the primary folly of the "left". That is their most dangerous idiocy for this current battle.

We need to transcend our petty differences (left/right) in the face of an implacable enemy.

Dinesh merely mimicks this same divisive mistake of the "left".

And sows intellectually-sloppy division where we need spiritually-inspired unity.

Phanarath said...

Haha

Just found something like it. On Veritas Universalis

It seems it realy Islam realy isnt to blame after all. In a new book we can read that the real master of terror is no other then Good old Darwin

Witch-king of Angmar said...

D'Souza claims that he has spent 4 years studying islam. But when he was asked what was it that he studied he said he was reading Bernard Lewis. Not one mention of the Koran or the Hadith.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Robert Spencer eviscerates D'Souzas book in a review in Frontpage.

Lawrence Auster, who is normally quite ready to violently critique Spencer, writes : Aside from the excellence of Spencer’s arguments, one is left wondering at the sheer effrontery, ignorance, and dishonesty of D’Souza, and all employed in such a wicked cause: to convince us that the answer to our problems with Islam is to silence all our criticisms of it, and make ourselves the friends and allies of the people whose holy book tells them: “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them for friendship is of them.... Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them.”



While we're here : There is another article with some fascinating and potentially important observations at Frontpage The Study of Political Islam

Our major intellectual breakthrough is to see that dualism is the foundation and key to understanding Islam. Everything about Islam comes in twos starting with its foundational declaration....

Endless ink has been wasted on trying to answer the question of what is Islam? Is Islam the religion of peace? Or is the true Islam a radical ideology? Is a moderate Muslim the real Muslim?

This reminds a scientist of the old arguments about light. Is light a particle or is light a wave? The arguments went back and forth. Quantum mechanics gave us the answer. Light is dualistic; it is both a particle and a wave. It depends upon the circumstances as to which quality manifests. Islam functions in the same manner....

All of Western logic is based upon the law of contradiction—if two things contradict, then at least one of them is false. But Islamic logic is dualistic; two things can contradict each other and both are true.

Panday said...

Profitsbeard said,

"But, if the jihadists were really aiming at the "liberals", and their influences, then the Islamofascists would be targeting ulra-liberals like Michael Moore, loud-mouthed lesbians like Rosie O'Donnell and a musical multi-culturalists like Bruce Spingsteen, not railing against cultural conservatives like Robert "The Truth About Muhammad" Spencer, traditional religious / moral figures like George W. "No gay marriage" Bush, or any others who are not promoting "liberal" culture."

You're forgetting that they're using strategy: among the leftists mentioned, the jihadists find useful idiots and quislings. The jihadists use them to shut down sources of potential and real resistance (i.e. Robert Spencer). Once that's complete, the Sororses and O'Donnells will be next on the head-sawing block.

Baron Bodissey said...

Psychiatrist --

one Egyptian who came to Kansas in the late 40's and was scandalized when a Protestant church had a dance for college aged stuents

That Egyption was Sayyid Qutb, the great popularizer of (and martyr for) the Muslim Brotherhood.

So we could say that, in effect, Midwestern Protestantism radicalized the Muslim Brotherhood!

Phanarath said...

Well it dosnt realy matter if its Zionism, Emperialism, Liberalism, Feminism, Protestantism or Darwinism.

The important thing to understand is that its never Islams fault.

Everyone knows that Islam was perfectly peacefull until about a week ago, when that guy did that thing with the questionable motives.

They where simply forced to respond.

eatyourbeans said...

Aren't both views right here?

The Anti-D"Souzas, that Islam is bad to tbe bone, always has, a;lways will. The D'Souzas, that the decadence and immorality of the West has stirred them up. We were attacked because it's been centuries since they've had such a soft, hedonistic and muddle headed enemy. Our weakness, their moment.

Put this way, did D'Souza really say we didn't know?

dick said...

Alexis:

You're spot on. I can't believe that Anheuser Busch didn't know exactly what they were doing with this. Truly amazing.

No reaction from the moos, yet, though.

I'm a Bud drinker now.

Flanders Fields said...

Some commentors overlook the left and the danger posed by it. Islam and muslim influence would still be within the sphere of the ME if it's way had not been paved by the left. I'm not speaking of liberals who love the countries and cultures of the West, but of the organized extreme left who have successfully invaded our government and societal institutions. Muslim extremism would have been contained and not otherwise be an actual threat within our boundaries. Many of the Neo-cons are included within the leftist designation.

We now have two enemies of Western culture. The Muslims are empowered to advance shariaist aims by the active assistence of the left. Muslim power in Europe when combined with power of leftists is what prevents limitation of the danger. It will be the same in the US. How do we neutralize dangers from one without dealing with the danger from the other?

Bostonian said...

If D'Souza were right, then why on earth is the US the target?

If I were going around the globe looking for self-indulgent pleasure-seekers to blow up, I'd certainly go to Europe.

Phanarath said...

D'Souza Dosnt even have basic knowlegde about what he wrote a book about. As I wrote when we had a topic about it on Uriasposten; he should have called his book: "How I think it could be fun that it was"

Flanders Fields.

What you write about the left is true, they have put us in a terrible danger. But that is not the point D'Souza is trying to make.

Imagine you are in an old western town with your pistol in your hand. You know that as long as you have the gun your enemies will not dare to attack you. But you forget about that when you see an apple, and you put your gun away and start eating it. Seeing that you put your gun away, someone tries to take a shot at you.
D'Souzas point would be, that they did it becourse they where offendet by fruit.

Panday said...

Bostonian,

Because Europe doesn't support Israel. The entire Middle East has a pathological, all-consuming hatred of Israel.

Formerly Arch said...

Bostonian, europe is a target just as much as the US, we just don't get named. There have been more attacks on this side of the pond than yours. This isn't to sound morally superior or anything, it's just that we're simply easier to hit because we're closer and have porous borders.

The entity "Europe" is schizophrenic toward Israel. The EU obviously doesn't support it, but individual member states have yet to hand over their foreign policy decision-making to that big stinking pile, and many of them are openly supportinve of Israel - and the US. Especially in the east. But that support, or lack thereof, doesn't make a difference. The fact that plots were hatched in every single country here, with varying degrees of success, demonstrate that while the US is the named target, a lack of support for Israel makes no difference; they'll come for everyone sooner or later.