"Meet Dinesh D'Souza. He sits on the Catholic League's Board of Advisors, former editor of the race-baiting Dartmouth Review and advocate for buccaneering versions of unregulated capitalism.
Oh, and by the way, he is simpatico with the religious beliefs of your local al-Qaeda theocrat.
I kid you not.
Dinesh D'Souza blames liberalism for just about every ill under the sun. For example, his views on slavery and the African-American experience can leave the average--and not so average citizen, with jaw agape.
But in his most recent work, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, D'Souza truly goes over the edge. Right in the introduction he concludes:
The left is responsible for 9/11 in the following ways. First, the cultural left has fostered a decadent American culture that angers and repulses traditional societies, especially those in the Islamic world, that are being overwhelmed with this culture. In addition, the left is waging an aggressive global campaign to undermine the traditional patriarchal family and to promote secular values in non-Western cultures.
He claims that the bin-Ladenesque theocrats of the world hate the United States because we are attacking traditional family values -- you know all those traditional values that are the same the world over. This is how the Catholic League advisory board member puts it:
Contrary to the common liberal view, I don't believe that the 9/11 attacks were payback for U.S. foreign policy. Bin Laden isn't upset because there are U.S. troops in Mecca, as liberals are fond of saying. (There are no U.S. troops in Mecca.) He isn't upset because Washington is allied with despotic regimes in the region. Israel aside, what other regimes are there in the Middle East? It isn't all about Israel. (Why hasn't al-Qaeda launched a single attack against Israel?) The thrust of the radical Muslim critique of America is that Islam is under attack from the global forces of atheism and immorality -- and that the United States is leading that attack.
Contrary to President Bush's view, they don't hate us for our freedom, either. Rather, they hate us for how we use our freedom. When Planned Parenthood International opens clinics in non-Western countries and dispenses contraceptives to unmarried girls, many see it as an assault on prevailing religious and traditional values. When human rights groups use their interpretation of international law to pressure non-Western countries to overturn laws against abortion or to liberalize laws regarding homosexuality, the traditional sensibilities of many of the world's people are violated.
Incredible, isn't it?
D'Souza's credibility is immediately impeached by the facts. Among other things, Osama bin-Laden has openly harangued about American troops on the soil of Muslim states. As bin-Laded told ABC's John Miller in May 1998, " The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control."
The al-Qaeda leader went on in that 1998 diatribe alone to refute D'Souza on just about every claim.
I guess D'Souza--a Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the very conservative Hoover Institution--doesn't know how to use Google or do other basic research. Since it took me only a few seconds to find prominent examples that prove D'Souza so utterly wrong, the objective reader can only reach one of two conclusions: either he is lazy or a liar. In either case, it speaks volumes for what passes as quality scholarship for right-wing think tanks. Apparently, they believe that perpetrating propaganda is more important than arguing the facts.
D'Souza's other new line is that atheism, not religious fanaticism is the real cause of politically-inspired mass murder. In dissembling on this point, he points to Hitler, Stalin, and Mao as murderous non-believers.
But the poisoned-penned pundit entirely misses the point. The driving issue behind either a Mao or a bin-Laden has always been egotistical self-interest. They, as well as other similar twentieth century tyrants, suffered from the reckless self-delusion of seeing themselves as the state personified, entitled to use ruthless violence to achieve authoritarian ends. And while D'Souza cites Hitler as an atheist, he conveniently overlooks the Fuehrer's constant courtship of religious leadership as well his contemporary Japanese ally's fanatic State Shintoism; a religious belief that greatly contributed to events such as the Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March.
This is not the first time D'Souza has twisted logic to suit his ends. At page 83 of his book-length celebration of modern conspicuous consumption, The Virtue of Prosperity, D'Souza declares: "The guy who is worth little has probably little of value. By the same token, the guy who's earning twice as much as you is most likely - perish the thought - twice as good as you are."
What a prince! Dinesh pegs the value of human life to earnings. It would interesting to know which man has greater value in D'Souza's eyes: Jesus [the working class carpenter] or the wealthy scion of Matthew 19:24 who could not bring himself to sell his worldly possessions, give the proceeds to the poor and follow Christianity's founder?
And as D'Souza defends his book in the media, it becomes quite clear that the controversial author admires al-Qaeda's theocratic message. As New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani observed:
It's an interpretation he does not deny: "Yes," he writes, "I would rather go to a baseball game or have a drink with Michael Moore than with the grand mufti of Egypt. But when it comes to core beliefs, I'd have to confess that I'm closer to the dignified fellow in the long robe and prayer beads than to the slovenly fellow with the baseball cap."
This is what it comes down to: if you exercise your freedom to be an atheist, you're provoking Muslims into terrorism. If you hold to a more progressive religious tradition than D'Souza (which would include most American Catholics), you too are provoking Muslims into terrorism. And if you as a faithful person treat gays and agnostics as equals -- or even understand that they too can evoke ethical thought-- yes, you too are provoking Muslims into terrorism. But if you invade a predominately Muslim country that had nothing to do with 9/11 you are a hero of the faith.
This brings us back to our good friend Bill Donohue. He himself is well known for Coughlinesque tirades against "Hollywood Jews" as well as his all too casual use of the term "gooks" to describe Asian-Americans. Just like his more mild mannered, but equally demagogic advisory board member, D'Souza crudely defines those with whom he disagrees in terms of the enemy/friend relationship whereby justice is attained by helping friends and hurting enemies.
Should we then be surprised that Bill Donohue seeks advice for his Catholic League from the factually-challenged D'Souza?
Nope. That makes perfect sense."
Note: Content reposted with the permission of the author.