Why does Dinesh D'Souza hate America?

|

In a post that will gladden the hearts of all who believe religious moderates are the real problem, Radley Balko examines the publicity copy for racial scientist Dinesh D'Souza's new book The Enemy at Home, which advertises some bold new ideas for how our nation can appease its Islamist foes:

He argues that it is not our exercise of freedom that enrages our enemies, but our abuse of that freedom–from the sexual liberty of women to the support of gay marriage, birth control, and no-fault divorce, to the aggressive exportation of our vulgar, licentious popular culture.

The cultural wars at home and the global war on terror are usually viewed as separate problems. In this groundbreaking book, D'Souza shows that they are one and the same. It is only by curtailing the left's attacks on religion, family, and traditional values that we can persuade moderate Muslims and others around the world to cooperate with us and begin to shun the extremists in their own countries.

I could cite this as a great example of the good cop/bad cop technique wherein we have to suck up to extremists because otherwise our buddies the moderates won't be able to hold them back. But it's just some back-cover copy, and I'm just hoping D'Souza's got the balls to object to the aspect of our sick society that infuriates the Islamists most of all: America's notorious tolerance for Jews. After all, hip hop and gay marriage are pretty small potatoes compared to that one.

Thanks to commenter Adam W.

NEXT: Left Out

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It’s not easy to find new ways to connect the dots any longer.

    Still, no matter how hard you try, you can’t connect the three houses to gas, electric and telephone without crossing lines.

    That’s no social construct.

  2. We love freedom, but can’t you harlots exercise your freedom while wearing a burka and shutting up!

  3. So I guess all the women who died on 9/11 deserved it because they weren’t bearfoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. The men deserved to die because they didn’t make sure the women were bearfoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

    Am I evil for wishing that these apologists for the terrorists were the ones who died that day instead?

  4. barefoot, barefoot, barefoot. Damnit to Allah I knew that spelling was wrong.

  5. Am I evil for wishing that these apologists for the terrorists were the ones who died that day instead?

    No, but it is a rule of H&R comments that you are not (publicly) to wish bodily injury on anybody.

  6. So, lemme get this straight:

    D’Souza’s argument = interesting and thought-provoking.

    Robertson and Falwell make the same argument, oh, 5 years ago now = wrong-headed religious zealotry.

    Blech. Pass, thanks.

  7. We’ve been told that if the terrorists win then they’ll put Jennifer in a burqa. There’s only one way to prevent this: We must put Jennifer in a burqa.

  8. At least the leftist version of this argument blames the actions of the government. Wars for oil, arming Israel, the coup in Iran, Rumsfeld giving targetting information to Saddam, blah blah blah.

    D’Souza is talking about us. He’s talking about who Americans are, and how we live our lives.

  9. We must put Jennifer in a burqa.

    What was that about not publicly wishing anyone bodily harm? Where I am it’s pretty warm today.

    Chivalry comes in all stripes, I guess.

  10. This makes Dinesh a shoe in as our next Ambassador to East Timor ;the reconquista has to start somewhere.

  11. Sarcasm, Ayn, sarcasm. Nothing D’Souza has ever written was interesting or thought-provoking. Except maybe “Stars and Stripes Forever.” That’s a D’Sousa piece I like.

  12. I didn’t read sarcasm in what you wrote, Tim.

    Anyway, D’Souza’s argument can be correct without being interesting. Maybe Islamists would be less enraged if American culture appeared less permissive to them. Yeah well fuck if it’s gonna.

  13. I can only offer my experiences in talking with Muslim Arabs regarding how some of them see the downside of Western freedoms; less control of the family can bring the shame of a being in the company of a male unattended,(leading to the aforementioned pregnancy in the worst case) but the shame is seen as worse than the pregnacncy. There is also the idea that drug use and alcoholism are both rampant and condoned in the West. There is also the idea that the West is materialistic and godless, which I find ironic when I think of so many Western pundits bitching about impending American theocracy. The fact that we don’t actually throw homosexuals in jail, or kill them, is held against the West by more than a few Muslims.
    In short, consciously or not, Muslims worry that too much freedom will prove too great a temptation to stray form the path of the faithful, and that by not stridently condemning or even persecuting “sinners” as they define them, their whole society will be deemed apostate and judged harshly in this world and the next. Many Muslims want a lot of the freedoms that western democracy offers, but at the pace of their choosing, and not at the expense of their traditions, family or religion.

    It’s a very difficult thing for even most devout Christians to understand the intimate day to day part that Islam plays in the life, thoughts and actions of your average, not extremist, Moslem. Seriously, many of them will deny themselves an easier way of life if they feel the harder way is closer to the guidance of the Koran and Hadith.

    While D’Souza may not have clearly expressed this in his article, which I have not read, I could see why he’d make the staements above.

  14. I thought one of D’Souza’s books was pretty interesting and thought provoking. But damn if I can remember what it was about.

  15. I meant to mention the israeli/Jewish connection. You’d also be surprised that the Jews are seldom mentioned in many Arabic countries, except during times of war.

    I also neglected to mention that most Arabs get their impressions of the West form the same place we get our impressions of the Arab world: television. I did however, have one Arab once say to me, ” I know all about America, I went to college in Los Angeles”.

    A lot of Arabs do not hate us for our freedoms, they fear that embracing the freedoms we have might cause them to leave the path of righteousness. Take it for what its worth.

  16. All right, the original post is rewritten, though I don’t know if it recalibrates the sarcasm effectively enough. If not: I am not saying America should stop tolerating Jews in order to appease Islamists…yet!

  17. So Dinesh D’Souza argues that it is our “abuse” of freedom, including the aggressive exportation of our vulgar, licentious popular culture that enrages our enemies.

    What Nonsense!

    The chief exporter of pornography into the Arab world is Scandinavia and the Islamic clerics preach and complain bitterly about it, but there were no 9/11 type attacks on Stockholm or Copenhagen. It took our government’s interventionist aggression, especially the taxpayer funding of the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land, and also US combat troops in the Arabian penninsula, to motivate the 9/11 attacks against us. Note that:

    “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.”

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

    In his 9/11 Fatwa Bin Laden told us the three reasons for the 9/11 attack:

    1. The American military in the Arabian Peninsula

    2.The blockade if Iraq.

    3. American government support for the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land.

    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm

    The ongoing presence of the US military in the Arab world is what continues to motivate terrorism.

  18. All right! All right! I’ll talk to this Humungous! He’s a reasonable man, open to negotiations!

  19. Rick,

    The people who march in the streets to oppose gay marriage list as their motivations:

    1. The desire to protect the children, who grow up better with a parent of each sex.

    2. The desire to strengthen heterosexual marriage.

    3. The desire to prevent things like incest and necrophilia from becoming commonplace.

    You know what? Maybe they do believe those things, too. But mainly, they just hate gay people.

  20. joe,

    Are you projecting again? 😉

  21. joe,

    Yep, I’m quite sure that hate of Gays is at least part of the agenda for some of anti-gay marriage folks. But my point is that doesn’t look like it’s the “aggressive exportation of our vulgar licentious popular culture” that motivates terror attacks against us cuz although they scream about the actual porn that comes into the Arab world from Sweden, they haven’t been motivated to blow up stuff there.

  22. Rick,

    Your point about Sweden is well-taken.

    But I see no reason to take fundies with a deep commitment to bigotry, which they justify by pointing to some choice language in their scriptures, at their word when they act in accordance with that bigotry. Either here in Massachusetts or in the Middle East.

  23. Picnicker pokes hornet hives with stick.
    Hornets attack picnickers.
    Stick weilder tells other picnickers: “They hate us because of our culture.”

  24. joe,

    Yeah, I think that’s wise counsel.

  25. joe,

    BTW, what kinda fundie folks ya got back there in Massachusetts?

  26. uncle sam,

    Very nice!

  27. Birth control, divorce-on-demand, gays treated like humans, women allowed to have sex without utterly destroying their lives. . .oh, how fucking convenient to believe terrorists hate the same aspects of America that the hard-core right-wingers do. So now we can promote these attitudes from “bigotry” to “the patriotic desire to keep America safe!”

    Bin Laden’s going to attack us again pretty soon, by the way, because he just hates knowing that I live with a man I’m not married to. He really does. I moved in with my boyfriend in March 2001, and six months later the World Trade Center was gone. Coincidence? Not fucking likely.

  28. Scratch “fundie,” Rick. We’ve got Sox Fans, but they’re rioting for completely different reasons.

    Replace with “fanatics.”

  29. And Rick, don’t forget the Netherlands-pot’s basically legal, prostitution IS legal, and yet I’ve not heard of a big terrorist attack there.

  30. “The chief exporter of pornography into the Arab world is Scandinavia”

    So that’s who is getting all the good Scandinavian porn these days!

  31. Osama bin Laden hates suburban sprawl, carbon emissions, and diners that don’t fry their eggs long enough to cook them all the way through.

    Who’s next?

  32. The point is not the sincerity of the terrorists. It is what motivates them enough to kill. We don’t have to “take them at their word” because we can infer from their actions that lifestyle alone is not enough.

  33. Bin Laden hates those assholes who play their car stereos loud enough to be audible within a three-block radius. And boring housewives who start every third sentence with “My children are” or “my husband is.” And NASCAR fans who decorate their cars with stickers of Calvin peeing on Jeff Gordon’s car. That’s why he attacked us.

  34. Jennifer,

    Ok I’ve got a plan: You and your boy friend get married. We get the word to Al Jezeera. Bin Laden announces a cessation of their hostilities. We pressure our government to cease theirs. You two win the Nobel Peace Prize. You write about it and gime a cut of your book deal cuz I hatched the idea.

  35. Believe me, Rick, I’ve been contemplating it. But as much as I’d like a Nobel Prize, I like destroying America even more.

    Also: not to brag or anything, but you have not had good sex until you’ve had America-destroying sex. They say that the brain is the biggest sex organ of them all, y’know, and when your brain is thinking “illegitimate children have substandard reading scores and troop morale is low and wages aren’t keeping up with inflation and the World Trade Center is gone and it’s all because of ME” the orgasms are absolutely explosive. KABOOM!

  36. Funny thing is, before the current administration took power if I tried saying “I, Jennifer, am responsible for all of America’s ills” I would have been considered an absolute monster of narcissistic solipsism, rather than one who merely agrees with our wise leaders and their wise advisors.

  37. These people have always hated us. They will always hate us. They hate us for not being like them. That’s ever going to change. They despise the most devout, pious and observant Christian and Jew as much as the most deviant of heathen. It does no one any good to pretend that we can “fix Islam.” The only reason we are not under an illiberal caliphate today is that better generations fought Islam’s expansion to a standstill on several fronts.

  38. Jennifer,

    Whoa! What a fortunate guy your boy friend is. Damn, I came up with a cool plan but now I’m just getting horny as Hell!

  39. …oh, how fucking convenient to believe terrorists hate the same aspects of America that the hard-core right-wingers do. So now we can promote these attitudes from “bigotry” to “the patriotic desire to keep America safe!”

    You know, I’ve noticed that too. Jen. To save America from Islamic terrorism we have to emulate their backward, bigoted culture to placate them (albeit in a Christian fashion)? Which means that Tim’s titular inference is right on and the morality mongers are giving into the demands of Osama and his Mohammedean hordes. Isn’t this appeasement? Is not this “cut-and-running?” Where’s Sean “Yura Great ‘Merican” Hannity to dare to call D’Souza “traitors” for not defending the American way of life? Oh yeah, he’s among them.

    This has got to be among the lamest ploys by the kulturekamphers to push family values fascism since the “gay marriage equals bestiality” meme started circulating. However, knowing conservatives as I do, it just might catch on.

    Robertson and Falwell make the same argument, oh, 5 years ago now = wrong-headed religious zealotry.

    Ayn, while I’ll take Tim at his word that he was being sarcastic (and just because a statement is thought-provoking doesn’t mean it’s something you agree with), there is a kind of a a difference. D’Souza is saying that the terrorists attacked America because of our libertarian culture, while Mullahs Pat And Jerry claimed that God lowered America’s holy force field and let 9/11 occur to teach us a lesson about allowing women to vote, gays to walk the street, and people to look at pictures of naked people doing fun things.

    OK, maybe I’m just splitting hairs.

  40. Jennifer:

    Also: not to brag or anything, but you have not had good sex until you’ve had America-destroying sex. They say that the brain is the biggest sex organ of them all, y’know, and when your brain is thinking “illegitimate children have substandard reading scores and troop morale is low and wages aren’t keeping up with inflation and the World Trade Center is gone and it’s all because of ME” the orgasms are absolutely explosive. KABOOM!

    Errrrr….

    I’ll be in my bunk.

  41. So. A conservative writer has naively made a hilarious – and obvious – connection between the cultural intolerance of American Conservatives and the cultural intolerance of Extremist Muslims and is using it as an example of why all Americans need to be Conservative.

    Hmmm. And Tim thinks this supports his odd notion that while terrorists kill, politicians mislead and neo-cons make disasterous calulations, ‘religious moderates are the real problem.’

    So the guys setting the agenda, controlling the argument and pulling the trigger aren’t to blame. It’s the victims, the bystanders and the people seeking to understand.

    And can we actually consider Dinesh D’Souza a moderate? Does not necessarily being a militant extremist make you a moderate?

    It would appear (according to D’Souza anyway) that not only do Islamofaschists hate our freedoms…Conservative Republicans do as well.

  42. Do they hate our freedoms over here (tolerance of gays, emancipation of women, divorce, birth control, pornography, agnosticism and atheism) or are they worried that such things will migrate over into their countries?

    One of the main targets of the taliban are schools and teachers in them who educate girls. These schools aren’t educating them to be prostitues or Andrea Dworkin type feminists. We are talking about the 3 Rs.

    I really don’t see how you can compare Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (who are still jerks IMHO) to the Islamic Fascists who want to reinstate the Caliphate.

  43. They despise the most devout, pious and observant Christian and Jew as much as the most deviant of heathen. It does no one any good to pretend that we can “fix Islam.”

    Not true. The big centers of fundie Shia Islam are Iran, Pakistan and The Sudan. There is zero evidence of any terrorism directed against us emanating from Iran, and very little emanating from Pakistan and The Sudan. Most terrorists come from countries that have both Sunni majorities and US government interference.
    BTW, just last night I caught some Pol Sci prof from U of Chi. named Pape on CSPAN at Cato who just wrote a book containing those findings.

  44. This is funny….

    Copy and paste the link.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=TN9l7NiAM9w

  45. Rick,

    “There is zero evidence of any terrorism directed against us emanating from Iran…”

    Unless I’m mistaken (which couldn’t possibly ever happen), the Iranian secret police have been implicated in the Khobar Towers bombing.

  46. I really don’t see how you can compare Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (who are still jerks IMHO) to the Islamic Fascists who want to reinstate the Caliphate.

    I didn’t. I compared:

    US Religious Conservatives who complain about and want to outlaw American’s freedoms to do all sorts of things they find distasteful, objectionable or obscene and who want to impose religiously-based teachings and laws on everyone…

    With:

    Islamic Extremists who hate American’s freedoms to do all sorts of things they find distasteful, objectionable or obscene and who want to impose religiously-based teachings and laws on everyone

    I also pointed out the amusing irony (to me anyway) that D’Souza had pretty much naively done the same thing.

  47. joe,

    Hmm interesting:

    In 2004, the 9/11 Commission noted that Osama Bin Laden was seen being congratulated on the day of the Khobar attack, and this raised the possibility that he may have helped the group, possibly by helping to obtain the explosives or the sophisticated timing device used to enable the escape of the perpetrators. According to the United States, classfied evidence suggests that the government of Iran was the key sponsor of the incident, and several high ranking members of their military may have been involved. The U.S. government may have been hesitant to more aggressively pursue the offenders within the Iranian military due to the recent rise of a more reformist government and a desire to enhance relations with Iran at this time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khobar_Towers_bombing

    Perhaps I shoulda said, and maybe Pape did say, “Recent terrorism against us”.

  48. How on Earth do these people get book contracts? We need to go war and kill lots of them because they hate us because we’re free, but it would help more if we curtail our freedoms so they won’t hate us anymore?

    Oh, and Jennifer’s right about that America destroying sex, even if you’re married, so long as you use birth control and, preferably, are really drunk. Also, every time I send my sons to school so that I can go to work at my evil lawyer job, I get a nice, warm feeling knowing that somewhere, someone is wiring an IED just because of me.

  49. Oh, and I need to go bake some cookies for Andy’s Cub Scout meeting tomorrow. Which is more destructive of our country’s moral fiber, oatmeal-raisin or chocolate chip?

  50. Which is more destructive of our country’s moral fiber, oatmeal-raisin or chocolate chip?

    I hear oatmeal has lot’s of fiber…so I’m going with chocolate chip.

  51. Which is more destructive of our country’s moral fiber, oatmeal-raisin or chocolate chip?

    Chocolate chip cuz oatmeal-raisin cookies contain fiber…What should I do for dinner…?

  52. whoops, I missed that. madpad beat me to it. Hey madpad, ya know great minds…

  53. Chocolate chip it is, then. And, I’m going to make enough so that we can eat ’em while sitting in front of the television and watching something really mindless. And we’re going to strew crumbs on the carpet. Take that, America!!

  54. Thanks Rick and back at ya’.

    BTW, thanks for the stuff on the sources of terrorism. I did not know that…not that I’m surprised, mind you…

  55. And we’re going to strew crumbs on the carpet

    Inciting the influx of armed flying carpet-baggers?

  56. I doubt very much that abandoning Israel would appease the terrorists. It would probably egg them on.

  57. Si vis pacem, para bellum.
    If you want peace, prepare for war.

    but then again,/i>

    http://www.poemhunter.com/p/m/poem.asp?poet=6786&poem=30881

    Damned if you do…

  58. Has every once serious, sensible conservative gone batshit insane? Why hasn’t NR condemnded D’Souza for wanting to appease the wishes of terrorists?

  59. D’Souza is clearly using some bad interstate commerce.

    But, assuming his mad visions were correct and that this was the real, fairly peaceful solution to Islamist terrorism…

    Would it take me afoul of the no-wishing-bodily-harm rule to say, “I’d rather bomb’em”?

  60. There are a lot of rabid bats up Dartmouth way, but Dinesh has struck a rich historiographic vein with his “the left’s attacks on religion, family, and traditional values ” have put Muslims on the warpath thesis .

    You see, the Bey of Algiers got wind of the Whig takeover of Independence Hall, and the Salafist SOB told the Barbary Pirates . It all sort of snowballed
    thereafter ………

  61. The terrorists don’t attack Scandahoovia because it’s so dern cold up there and they eat a lot of smelly fish. In other words, they don’t feel much envy when it comes to those Northern climes. And other than the easy dope and prostitution in the Netherlands, what’s to envy? But America….we’re the biggest baddest, coolest place on the planet -we’re the Fonz, John Wayne, Janet Jackson’s nips, Bruce Willis slicing and dicing the sodomizing guys in Pulp Fiction, George Patton, Madonna, Goliath, and Godzilla. Who wouldn’t want to kick our asses while fantasizing just how much they want to be us. The Scandinavian and other European countries might do some of the same naughty things we do, but they don’t inspire that particular mix of envy and hatred that we do. They do some of what we do, but we’re the symbol of all of that – and symbols are very important for them. Of course, the more important factor might be that we kick them around a lot more, but I wouldn’t discount that particular mix of cultural envy and hatred as playing a contributing role.

    (And on another note, I think it was P.J. O’Rourke who said something like the Arabic world has a relationship to us like a 13 year old sexually frustrated and inexperienced boy to a beautiful 21 year old woman).

  62. Jenn:

    God DAMN it I love it when you talk that way.

  63. First, on the subject of destroying America, I would observe that my Catholic wife and I have been married for 3 years and yet we have no children.

    Second, speaking as a Catholic, the terrorists are God’s way of punishing America for (1) killing John F. Kennedy and (2) not electing John Kerry. If you don’t accept Rome’s emissaries as your leaders, God will punish you.

    Third, Karen, I suggest you bake the chocolate chip cookies. I say this as a certified cookie expert. (My wife actually calls me her “cookie monster.”)

  64. a summary:

    right wing hack supplies another robot tit for 36% of americas bottomfeedees to suckle themselves into the closest imitation of an altered state they will ever know.

  65. Has every once serious, sensible conservative gone batshit insane?

    If you remember the rhetoric the Right used during the Clinton Administration, you’ll realize that conservatives started jumping the couch long before 9/11.

    The reality of a self-professed draft dodger, pot smoker, and adulter become president unhinged the right. 9-11 drove them into raving lunacy.

    Why hasn’t NR condemnded D’Souza for wanting to appease the wishes of terrorists?

    Personally, I’m still waiting for NR to switch it’s editorial policy on drug legalization to appease their largely prohibitionist audience.

    I think they’ll do it after Buckley kicks.

  66. Picnicker pokes hornet hives with stick.
    Hornets attack picnickers.
    Stick weilder tells other picnickers: “They hate us because of our culture.”

    I think it’s funny that on the Gypsy board, racism was rightly decried. Call a bunch of Arabs “hornets” (which are full-bore lunatics and dangerous as hell) like they are some angry monolithic Borg-like culture, and the anarchists get an erection.

    Hmm…

  67. Uri ben Tzvi:

    I doubt very much that abandoning Israel would appease the terrorists. It would probably egg them on.

    Ending our government’s giving the Israeli government our money to prosecute a brutal occupation is not “abandoning Israel”. It would change the internal Israeli political calculus of the occupation by making it more expensive for the Israeli government to keep doing the wrong thing.

    Given all the evidence to the contrary, I don’t think that there’s much risk that it will somehow “egg them on”. (btw, anyone happen to know the etymology of that curious idiom?)

    And yaknow, there’re lotsa fine folks in Israel who oppose the occupation and wish that the US government would quit paying for it.

  68. Ayn_Randian,

    I don’t think that that was meant to compare Arabs to hornets at all. The point of the analogy was to illustrate the idiocy of the “they hate us cuz of who we are” response to blow-back against intervention.

  69. Uri ben Tzvi,

    If that’s your real name, then I nominate it for the coolest H&R screen name-real name category.

    (Don’t feel pressured to reveal whether it is or not if you have privacy concerns. I’m hep)

  70. The problem, Rick, is that, although intervention may play a HUGE part (I have no idea and quite friggin’ frankly, neither does anyone else, so quit saying it like it’s some obvious truth), it is indeed possible that hatred for America comes from hatred of our liberal way of life. Using this analogy is the simpleton’s way of claiming that everything is blowback, which, surprise, surprise, makes everything the United States fault and acts as if radical Islamists and Arabs aren’t complex, diverse people with thoughts and feelings. Instead, this analogy and the belief that everything is “blowback” reduces Islamic terrorists to dumb, noble-savages who only react to stuff the U.S. does. It’s narcissistic, simplistic and pretty patronizing toward Islamists.

  71. The only bit of bin Laden’s arguments that have any relevance is his strong horse/weak horse analogy. The rest including the stuff about Israel, imperialism, occupation etc. is intended to guilt-trip credulous westerners.
    The failure to use overwelming force after the Beirut and Somali events are specifically mentioned as the foundations for his belief that we are the weak horse.

  72. It strikes me that this ploy (“Muslims really hate us because of a laundry list of reasons that’s suspiciously similar to our own gripes about America”) has been used before.

  73. Since I can’t answer the Big Questions:

    I don’t think that there’s much risk that it will somehow “egg them on”. (btw, anyone happen to know the etymology of that curious idiom?)

    http://dictionary.reference.com/help/faq/language/e39.html

    It’s those Scans again. They all look alike anyway.

  74. “I thought one of D’Souza’s books was pretty interesting and thought provoking. But damn if I can remember what it was about.”

    It was an anthology of other writers that he edited.

  75. “I thought one of D’Souza’s books was pretty interesting and thought provoking. But damn if I can remember what it was about.”

    ‘It was an anthology of other writers that he edited.’

    I meant my comment as a joke. But I guess it wasn’t a very good one. 🙁

  76. Before further escalation of incivility , you may want to build a Simple Bat Detector–

    http://pw1.netcom.com/~t-rex/BatDetector.html

  77. Lawrence v. Texas? Oh no, friends, it’s Lawrence v. America!

    – Josh

  78. “blowback” reduces Islamic terrorists to dumb, noble-savages who only react to stuff the U.S. does. It’s narcissistic, simplistic and pretty patronizing toward Islamists.

    It’s pretty unfair to Americans, as well. And it covers up the actual missteps in American foreign policy that actually do contribute to the problem.

  79. “blowback” reduces Islamic terrorists to dumb, noble-savages who only react to stuff the U.S. does. It’s narcissistic, simplistic and pretty patronizing toward Islamists.

    And yet, utterly denying blowback reduces Islamists to inhuman, unfeeling automatons who can, for example, look at an American bomb killing their family and just shrug and think, “Feh. If I’m going to hate America I’ll ignore what they’ve done to my family and just get pissed off because miniskirts are coming back into fashion.”

  80. And yet, utterly denying blowback

    And just where did I “utterly deny” blowback?

    Wouldn’t it be kind of stupid for someone who just said that the situation is complex to then claim it comes from one bumper-sticker slogan?

  81. It doesn’t seem so ridiculous to me that victims of bombing campaigns would also hate/resent the symbols of the culture that sponsored or supported or in some way helped to facilitate those bombing campaigns, if their own symbols were so very different. Proceeding from there, their reactions might include trying to take out some of the cultural symbols (WTC) they perceive to be responsible for or tied in with the parties supporting dropping the bombs.

  82. Well, Ayn Randian, how can someone describe the mess over there without setting off your literal-o-meter? Guy makes the common “we shouldn’t have stirred up a hornet’s nest” metaphor, which of course flies completely over your head and so you start sputtering about the racism of comparing Muslims to stinging insects with a hive mentality, and then in regards to blowback you turn into a goddamned Objectivist Goldilocks. “THIS porridge gives too much credit to blowback, and THAT porridge doesn’t give blowback credit enough!”

    So what is the just-right amount of credit blowback deserves in your eyes? What is the proper balance between “America deserved it” and “America is blameless,” or “Islamists have reason to be pissed off” versus “Islamists are just plain evil and kill us for no reason?”

  83. The problem, Rick, is that, although intervention may play a HUGE part (I have no idea and quite friggin’ frankly, neither does anyone else, so quit saying it like it’s some obvious truth), it is indeed possible that hatred for America comes from hatred of our liberal way of life. Using this analogy is the simpleton’s way of claiming that everything is blowback, which, surprise, surprise, makes everything the United States fault and acts as if radical Islamists and Arabs aren’t complex, diverse people with thoughts and feelings. Instead, this analogy and the belief that everything is “blowback” reduces Islamic terrorists to dumb, noble-savages who only react to stuff the U.S. does. It’s narcissistic, simplistic and pretty patronizing toward Islamists.

    My father is an educated, middle-aged Palestinian Christian and he symapthizes with Al-Qaida and Hamas. I think he’s bat shit insane for doing so.

    The guy is nothing but an old anti-semite. I argue with Arabs who you wouldn’t think based on their backgrounds would support Islamist group goals (many are Christian or secular) and that ugly truth always rears its head.

    My theory is Arabs need to blame someone else for the fact that their civillizations suck. The Jew or the great Satan acts as a manovelent force that keeps the Arabs down. Otherwise, they’d have to admit that the culture is poison.

    And for a Muslim, if Islam is the true path then how come the countries that have the strongest faith in it are poorer and generally worse off than Jews and infidels. If Islam doesn’t make people well off….well….the conclusion is too horrible to contemplate.

    The more I talk to Arabs the less hope I have. The people are hopeless.

  84. Jennifer, my point was this; claiming that either one is the overriding factor oversimplifies the situation. I think that if the barbarians that just want to kill Americans want to find a reason to justify it, they are going to find one, be it tolerance of gays, “closeness with teh Jews” or soldiers in Saudi Arabia. But again, I believe that these groups are a blend of people coming from many different anti-West approaches: some may have seen their houses bombed, some may be jealous, some may be insane. I don’t think that blowback addresses the rich sons of Arab families (i.e. I doubt Osama bin Laden ever saw his family bombed) getting involved in radical Islamic terrorist attacks, but I don’t reject out of hand the possibility that some Islamic terrorists either use our actions as excuses OR are legitimately pissed at us for those actions.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the United States should continue in its tradition of tolerance, refrain from meddling in foreign affairs as much as possible but remain friendly with those countries that share our premises (constitutional democracies/republics that are honestly classically liberal and tolerant) and respond to threats to those societies accordingly. This way, the Rockwellians like MUTT and Barton can’t scream to the high heavens about how EEEEEVIL United States financial support and interventionism is, and when the inevitable happens, that is, when we are attacked again, the world will understand that we did everything we could to mind our own business and people still came around to mess with us. And then I think the problem can be dealt with on a multilateral level with most of the world now sympathetic to the United States.

    I understand that doesn’t fit either the “we deserve it” or the “they hate us ’cause they’re jealous” memes, but it’s the best I have because I have so little understanding of the situation over there.

  85. Jennifer :

    If
    “Bin Laden hates those assholes who play their car stereos loud enough to be audible within a three-block radius.”

    it’s because they are playing music, which the keffala clad killjoy views as a hateful distraction from calls to prayer-

    Now for the bad news – while down on Vivaldi, bagpipes, and kazoos, as a high church Salafist, OBL esteems war drums A-OK .

  86. Oh, I think any dimunition of aid to Israel on the part of the Americans would be interpreted as a victory by the Jihadists. In any case, it’s stupidly simplistic to imagine that American aid to Israel is central to the jihadist agenda. It appeals to anti-Semites, obssessive Israel, bashers, and other ignoramuses. A little knowledge isn’t just dangerous; it usually leads to nonsensical conclusions.

  87. “How on Earth do these people get book contracts?”

    Well, Dinesh D’Souza, agree with him or not, is an excellent writer and a thorough researcher. In his book “Illiberal Education”, he doesn’t just sound-off like a Bill Bennett. He sat in the back the college classrooms so he could make direct observations of the lessons. He read the class material, he read the Professor’s publications. The sources in the book are thoroughly footnoted. He knows the history or Western civilization inside and out.

    Your problem is what again ?

  88. Uri:

    In any case, it’s stupidly simplistic to imagine that American aid to Israel is central to the jihadist agenda

    Only if we ignore the evidence…

    “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.”

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

    In his 9/11 Fatwa, Bin Laden told us that our tax support for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land was one of the three motivations for the 9/11 attack:

    1. The American military in the Arabian Peninsula

    2.The blockade if Iraq.

    3. American government support for the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land.

    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm

  89. Uri:

    Oh, I think any dimunition of aid to Israel on the part of the Americans would be interpreted as a victory by the Jihadists

    Interpreted by whom? Whatever; it’s the right thing to do. Ya know, you can work wonders when ya don’t worry who will take credit for them.

    So Uri, are you saying that the prospect that al Quida may try to bask in the reflected glory of a prudent decision by our government is sufficient cause to continue to force us to pay for the Israeli government’s occupation? If so, aren?t you giving al Quida lotsa power?

  90. I thought Ive seen the far limits of what Ive been accused of…….I mean, Ive been thinkin/speakin/writin about this shit for a while.
    But noted dingbat Randian accuses me of being….financed? inspired by?? led?? mesmerized by??? What, exactly?
    My imagination fails- by Norman Rockwell?
    Huh?
    Im sure Im horribly guilty.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.