Poor Dinesh D’Souza has an op-ed piece in the Washington Post whining about his horrible mistreatment by reviewers of his new book that blames terrorism on the fact that people in the West actually dare to exercise their liberty in ways the nuts don’t like. Funny, that’s exactly what Bin Laden says. He begins by striking the standard persecution pose so popular among wealthy and powerful conservative leaders
The reaction I’m eliciting is not entirely new to me. As a college student in the early 1980s, I edited the politically incorrect Dartmouth Review and was frequently accosted by left-wing students and faculty.
I’m sure it must be horrible making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from a conservative thinktank and still have to suffer the disagreement of others. If only those big liberal meanies would stop criticizing you for saying stupid things, you could live your life in peace. He lists the horrible things people have said:
“Ratfink writes new book,” James Wolcott, cultural critic for Vanity Fair, declares in his blog. He goes on to call my book a “sleazy, shameless, ignorant, ahistorical, tendentious, meretricious lie.”
In the pages of Esquire, Mark Warren charges that I “hate America” and have “taken to heart” Osama bin Laden’s view of the United States. (Warren also challenged me to a fight and threatened to put me in the hospital.) In his New York Times review of my book last week, Alan Wolfe calls my work “a national disgrace . . . either self-delusional or dishonest.” I am “a childish thinker” with “no sense of shame,” he argues. “D’Souza writes like a lover spurned; despite all his efforts to reach out to Bin Laden, the man insists on joining forces with the Satanists.”
It goes on. The Washington Post’s Warren Bass writes that I think Jerry Falwell was “on to something” when he blamed the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on pagans, gays and the ACLU. Slate’s Timothy Noah diagnoses me with “Mullah envy,” while the Nation’s Katha Pollitt calls me a “surrender monkey” and the headline to her article brands me “Ayatollah D’Souza.” And in my recent appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” I had to fend off the insistent host. “But you agree with the Islamic radicals, don’t you?” Stephen Colbert asked again and again.
And Colbert was right. And every criticism above is accurate and justified. He then tries to strike the moderate pose by saying he disagrees with both liberals and conservatives in their explanations for why Bin Laden does what he does:
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.
Awww, isn’t that horrible? By telling Bin Laden and his fellow hateful whackos that they don’t have the right to stone gay people to death, we offend their “traditional sensibilities.” The solution, according to D’Souza, is to stop telling them not to stone gay people to death. At the risk of violating D’Souza’s traditional sensibilities, this is a pretty good reason to tell him to fuck off. And a good reason to say that, in fact, he does agree with the Muslim extremists. This is right wing appeasement, plain and simple.