Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dinesh D'Souza's "Blame America First" book

A great many of you have never heard of Dinesh D'Souza, giving him the obscurity and irrelevance he deserves. I have known Dinesh's writings, though, since about 1984, when he was editor of Prospect magazine. Remember the stink about Judge Samuel Alito and the Concerned Reactionary Alumni of Princeton? Prospect was C.R.A.P.'s newsletter, advocating the Concerned Alumni's dream of returning to an all-male, all-WASP university, turning out gentlemen who can make conversation at cocktail parties. Trouble is, Dinesh D'Souza never actually attended the university, so technically he wasn't an alumnus. He was openly challenged on the point, but he insisted that he was qualified to be the editor because he had attended another Ivy League school, or some such rationalization. Maybe he was looking for Weapons of Mass Depravity, while acting as a mouthpiece for racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Tonight, thousands of Americans were given their first taste of Dinesh D'Souza on Comedy Central's Colbert Report. D'Souza's new book blames liberals in the United States for the problem of terrorism. Stephen Colbert knocked Dinesh to the rhetorical floor, pinned him, tickled him, and gave him a few verbal noogies. Here's the transcript, with my commentary.

Stephen Colbert: Welcome back, everybody. My guest tonight says that to win the war on terror, we must export traditional American values. First, we have to find a way to make apple pies explode. Please welcome Dinesh D'Souza!

Mr. D'Souza, thank you so much for coming on. (Pleasure.) This book is a revelation to me. It's called The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. Okay, I've been trying to figure this one out for a while — walk me through it: how did the liberals plan 9/11? Go!

Dinesh D'Souza: Well, first of all, the liberals convinced Jimmy Carter to withdraw American support from a valuable ally, the Shah of Iran. The United States pulled the Persian rug out from under the shah, and who did we get? Khomeini. In trying to get rid of a bad guy, we got the worse guy.
Kind of like we got rid of Saddam Hussein, only to get what could very well turn out to be — from both an American and an Iraqi perspective — the worse guy?
Colbert: But Reagan got back at those bastards by selling them Hawk missiles in the '80's, right? He showed them a thing or two about American muscle by giving them some.

D'Souza: Well, he also sent some missiles the way of Khadafy, which put him out of the terrorism trade. Here's the second point: in the 1990's, the radical Muslims launched a bunch of attacks — Cobar Towers, the embassies, the U.S.S. Cole; President Clinton did absolutely nothing, and bin Laden said, you know what, the United States is a bunch of cowards, and that's why he says he was emboldened to strike at 9/11.

Colbert: But is all the responsibility Carter and Clinton's? Doesn't some of it lie at FDR's doorstep? Doesn't things [sic] like Social Security and Medicare and LBJ's Great Society — doesn't some of that send the wrong message to our enemies, that America cares about domestic issues, not just about foreign policy?

D'Souza: Indirectly, yes; here's why —

Colbert: Okay, I can't wait. Can I guess? It's because we never got to see him standing up, and therefore America doesn't stand up for its principles?

[Audience groans]

D'Souza: No. FDR gave away Eastern Europe through Yalta, and then the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the Muslims had to fight back — that's where bin Laden got his start.
So really, the problem of terrorism is Churchill's fault, because without his determination to oppose the Nazis, we could've gotten rid of that pesky Soviet Union instead of giving it Prague and Poland and Potsdam.
Colbert: But it's worse than just politics, right? I mean, it's worse than just international relations that does it. Isn't our culture itself corrosive, and invites this kind of attack?

D'Souza: Well, that's what the radical Muslims say. They say America is the fount of global depravity and atheism.

Colbert: But do you think there's any truth to this, because I'm with you — our culture is depraved, correct? (Wrong.) Hollywood is depraved? (No, but—) Hollywood is depraved or not? You pro-Hollywood or anti-Hollywood?

D'Souza: Well, I have mixed feelings about Hollywood. (Oh, that's not going to sell books!) But I'll tell you this: we in America know that there's a big difference between some of the excesses of our popular culture and the way that Americans actually live, but abroad they don't know that. The only America they see is the face of TV, and the music industry, and the movies, so they're getting a distorted picture of America, but that's the only America they see.

Colbert: What should we be sending them? Because I'm afraid they're seeing things like, you know, The Goonies, and I'm pretty sure that's responsible for the Cole attack. Can't we send them stuff like this? Jimmy, show 'em the Truckasaurus. Wouldn't this send a strong message to our enemies, not to mess with us? Wouldn't this be helpful?

D'Souza: Symbolically, it might be useful, but look: here is the point. The point I'm trying to make is that there is an America, a traditional America and also a liberal America. Very often, the only America that the Muslims see is "blue" America: they see the America of gay marriage, they see the America of people eating maggots, they see one side of America. They don't see —

Colbert: Why do gay people love maggots so much, is my question for you. (I wasn't putting — ) Because I've never been to a gay wedding, but I assume it's on the buffet.

D'Souza: I don't know everything about the gay lifestyle, but —
Yup, nothing like a nice big bowl of maggots for marrying two faggots!
Colbert: Well, what can we do? What can we do, because I am with you, there is this depraved, destructive element in our culture that invites attacks by Islamic extremists, but what can we do to get the attacks straight to them, and leave us alone, because there's certainly real Americans, like you and me, and liberal Americans, who don't deserve our protection or our liberties.
You either support our President, or you hate America. Of course, blaming American liberals for telling the terrorists to "bring it on," simply by not adhering strictly to fundamentalist Muslim tradition — that's just speaking truth to power.
D'Souza: Look, I'm not — we can't convince the Islamic radicals. (But you can convince me!) Not you; there are a lot of traditional Muslims, who have traditional values — not very different from traditional Jewish or Christian values.

Colbert: And can we just hold hands in brotherhood, and use our free hands to stone gay people — is that possible?
It's the one thing that can bring unity to Jerusalem! Last year, leaders from the Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, and Muslim communities came together to issue an unprecedented joint statement condemning a gay pride march planned for Jerusalem.
D'Souza: No. Look, homosexuality exists all over the world. (Right, right.) It's not something — (But it's our responsibility to stop it here, not everywhere in the world.) — no, but there is a difference between something that is allowed or tolerated and something that is seen as given social sanction. That's, I think, what makes a lot of traditional Muslims uneasy. Here's all I'm saying: why don't we show them a little more of the traditional America? That will undermine bin Laden's argument that we're all a bunch of atheists; that will undermine bin Laden's idea that America is trying to project —
So, in other words, it's okay to kill atheists.
Colbert: So, what other cultural editing notes should we take from the terrorists?

D'Souza: It's not editing notes, it's a matter of —

Colbert: No, no, I mean, I agree with you: there are some good ideas these guys have. This is what you're saying, that there are some parts of our culture that are corrosive, and you agree with some of the things that they're saying.

D'Souza: I'm saying that —

Colbert: No, you have the courage to say that, right? That you agree with some of the things these radical extremists are against in America. (I'm more concerned — ) Do you agree with that statement? (Well, no, I'm — ) Just do you agree with that statement?

D'Souza: I agree with it. (Okay, good.) But —

Colbert: Finally, someone has the courage to say that there are things in America that the liberals do that are causing our destruction.

D'Souza: Okay, that's going a little too far —

Colbert: Oh, I know, that's what you're saying: "The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11." That's why I had you on the show, because I agree with that statement, sir!

D'Souza: But I didn't do 9/11!

Colbert: No, because you're not a Cultural Left! And the Cultural Left people did do 9/11.

D'Souza: But bin Laden says he did 9/11 for foreign policy reasons, and because he sees America as culturally depraved, so in other words —

Colbert: So the Cultural Left is responsible for 9/11 — when do you think bin Laden's going to get a movie deal?

D'Souza: No movie deal for that guy! I think —

Colbert: All right, but he's not truly part of the Cultural Left. I think you need to do your research a little better. Dinesh D'Souza, thank you for stopping by. The book is The Enemy at Home; we'll be right back.
Dinesh D'Souza looked like such a fool, he should run for Congress!

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