Pharyngula

Despicable D’Souza gets it all wrong

That third-rate right-wing wanker, Dinesh D’Souza, had a article in the Washington Post, in which he attempted to defend himself from accusations of appalling stupidity in trying to blame radical Muslim attacks on the US on liberal culture. Of course, he failed. Instead, he just repeated his crazy claim that it’s all godless Hollywood’s fault.

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.

David Neiwert ably rips that apart on matters of fact—it’s simply absurd that anyone would associate the chosen targets as symbols of atheism and immorality.

Funny that D’Souza would assume that the “pagan depravity” that angers Muslims and radicalizes them has something to do with hip-hop music and the Oscars, when the only real “pagan depravity” that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon represents is the willingness of entrenched American powers to readily oppress and blithely murder thousands of Arabs in the sake of a nonexistent threat from “weapons of mass destruction.”

I was thinking, though, that D’Souza is also wrong in principle. If extremists and jihadists despise our culture and are using violence and threats to try and compel us to change, isn’t it the grossest kind of cowardice to throw up our hands and say “they’re right, we need to align our culture with that of our enemies”? That’s basically what D’Souza is suggesting—not a military retreat, but instead the abject, unresisting abandonment of portions of Western culture, simply because terrorists demand it.

It seems to me that instead of surrendering, we ought to be celebrating those aspects of our culture that they find most objectionable: things like diversity, secularism, atheism, sex, independent women, and irreverence. And I thought of someone representative of those ideals, who’d also piss off the right wing as much as she would the Muslim freaks.

It came to me because I happened to read this post by Larry Moran right after reading Orcinus—Jane Fonda is back, speaking out at a peace rally. I’d rather have Jane Fonda to represent my country than Dick Cheney, I assure you; much as some detest her willingness to see the point of view of our enemies, I see that as a strength, that we’re willing to be who we are at the same time that we can recognize that other people have different goals.

She’s an uppity woman, too. I’m all for more outspoken women, although I suspect it would infuriate the bearded medieval extremists of the Middle East. How dare she speak her mind, and not swaddle herself up in a burka?

Errm, speaking of burkas…

That movie clip isn’t entirely safe for work, although it should be—it turns out that astronauts don’t wear underwear under their spacesuits, but it’s fairly mild stuff. Barbarella is an awfully silly, campy movie, but at the same time, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with people casually dropping their clothes and speaking of love and peace (ah, the sixties…). I also like the way she describes people who war: they are in a “primitive state of neurotic instability”. That could apply to both our leaders and the terrorists.

I say D’Souza has it completely backwards. Let’s flaunt Jane Fonda and John Phillip Law, let’s disrespect religion, let’s give gay men and women some dignity, let’s just do everything to make the other side gnash their teeth and tear at their beards and rend their garments…because we’re so much better.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    January 29, 2007

    garth is right. Not being a religious fundamentalist of course makes them think you’re hellbound, but it doesn’t make them come across an ocean and kill over 2700 people at random. Read OBL’s own speech here at Aljazeera.