Religion

Dinesh D'Souza on Why "America Should Be Destroyed"

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Via Andrew Sullivan comes a link to occasional Reason contributor Bruce Bawer's dismantling of Dinesh D'Souza's recent book, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. Snippets, worth quoting at length:

[D'Souza] invites us to "imagine how American culture looks and feels to someone who has been raised in a traditional society… where homosexuality is taboo and against the law…. One can only imagine the Muslim reaction to televised scenes of homosexual men exchanging marriage vows in San Francisco and Boston." Let it be recalled that D'Souza is referring here to a "traditional society" in which girls of 13 or 14 are routinely forced to marry their cousins, and in which the groom, if his conjugal attentions are resisted on the wedding night, is encouraged by his new in-laws to take his bride by force. Such are the sensitivities that, D'Souza laments, are so deeply offended by the American left, which "would like to have Mapplethorpe's photographs and Brokeback Mountain seen in every country… the left wants America to be a shining beacon of golden depravity, a kind of Gomorrah on a Hill."…

He would have his readers believe that if only the U.S. returned to the values of the Eisenhower era, our Muslim adversaries would let us be. But he deliberately obscures the mountains of evidence that for "traditional Muslims," even small-town 1940s America wouldn't do. For example, in sympathetically describing the outraged response of Sayyid Qutb, the father of modern Islamism, to America's debauchery, D'Souza neatly skirts the fact that Qutb first witnessed that debauchery at a church dance in the then-dry burg of Greeley, Colorado, in 1948-a year when, as Robert Spencer has noted, the highlights of America's decadent pop culture included the movie Easter Parade and Dinah Shore's recording of "Buttons and Bows."…

For those who cherish freedom, 9/11 was intensely clarifying. Presumably it, and its aftermath, have been just as clarifying for D'Souza, whose book leaves no doubt whatsoever that he now unequivocally despises freedom-that open homosexuality and female "immodesty" are, in his estimation, so disgusting as to warrant throwing one's lot in with religious totalitarians. Shortly after The Enemy at Home came out, a blogger recalled that in 2003, commenting in the National Review on the fact that "influential figures" in America's conservative movement felt "that America has become so decadent that we are 'slouching towards Gomorrah,'" D'Souza wrote: "If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed." Well, D'Souza has now made it perfectly clear that he's one of those critics; and the book he's written is nothing less than a call for America's destruction. He is the enemy at home. Treason is the only word for it.

Bawer's whole review in The Stranger here.

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  1. American destroyed? The language?

  2. IIRC it was less the church dance and female ‘immodesty’ the US at that time that scared Qutb. Though that played a part, it was also during the era of Jim Crow. And Israel was formed in 1948, and the US was the very first nation to recognize it.

    All these things, justly or not, made Qutb a virulent anti-American. It wasn’t just girls dancing with boys at a church functionl

  3. He would have his readers believe that if only the U.S. returned to the values of the Eisenhower era, our Muslim adversaries would let us be.

    WTF? Even if this were true, is D’Souza seriously advocating that we live our lives to accommodate the sensibilities of radical Muslims? Why? Are radical Muslims about to change their lifestyles to accommodate us? We’re supposed to go cowering under our beds out of fear some foreign nationals might attack us because they don’t care for our way of life?

    When I read something like this, I begin to have some sympathy for Bush’s War on Terror. If there’s an ass-kicking to be doled out by somebody here, then I prefer we’re the ones doing the ass-kicking.

    Incredible!

  4. Maybe the best response to hysterical, thoughtless rhetoric is not hysterical thoughtless rhetoric. While I tend to agree with the reviewer, calling the book “treason” or a call for the destruction of America is unhelpful and sullies an otherwise solid commentary.

  5. I think that Carter, Clinton and Co., did in fact encourage the Islamic killer fringe with a display of weakness. But Mr Gillespie is dead on the money: In the the end nothing would have changed the jihadi attitude. There is no such thing as a concession that will mollify someone whose whole identity is wrapped up in religious rage. By definition their anger is a bottomless pit. It would have erupted in a different time and place, maybe, but these mothers want blood for Allah and nothing will deter them.

  6. And Israel was formed in 1948, and the US was the very first nation to recognize it.

    The Soviet Union was the first to recognize Israel.

  7. The American Right seems to have this odd idea that Muslims don’t mind having a foreign military presence in their region, waging brutal wars and helping corrupt dictatorships like the Saudis drain the land of its one important resource but are willing to die to prevent gay people from holding hands in public half a world away.

    I can’t see how this idea makes any sense.

  8. Number 6

    I believe the use of the word “treason” was an ironic reference to the fact that the neo-cons like to throw that word at anyone who they deem to be “destroying America.”

  9. Time to bring back “the Taliban wing of the Republican Party.”

  10. What Dan T. said.

    Also, there are plenty of statements by actual terrorists out there. By reading what they write we can know exactly what their various beefs are and how they prioritize them. No need for this grand guessing game.

  11. I have been a sidelines fan of Mr. D’Souza’s for quite some time, but my experience has always watching him giving talks on CSPAN or being interviewed (since his first interview with WFB on Firing Line ages ago.

    I might be wrong, but I suspect some mistaken context is being used for this review. Have never noticed the man to be overly prudish, but have heard him say things similar to those quoted above to refute arguments of Leftists.

    Then again, all sorts of folks can turn their attitudes quick enough to throw a shoe.

  12. Guy, from the Israeli embassy website-

    http://www.israelemb.org/US-Israel-Relations/US-israel-Relations.html

    “On May 14, 1948, the United States, under President Harry Truman, became the first country to officially recognize Israel. “

  13. Are radical Muslims about to change their lifestyles to accommodate us?

    Isn’t this what the Afghanistan War was supposed to be about?

  14. Between the “open-minded” leftists who implore us to “understand” and “tolerate” the barbaric culture of many Islamic countries and peoples, and the neopuritanical nutjob rightists, who cream themselves at the thought of having such a homogenously brutal culture, I have to wonder about that whole “destroying America” bit.

  15. They don’t hate us for our freedoms. Some of those that hate us do so because we’ve supported oppressive tyrants. Some because we support regimes they don’t like beyond their borders.

    And quite a number because our way of life does threaten their notions of what is good and proper: but it’s not because of what we do here, it’s that it is so very attractive to so many in their own countries they find menacing. They don’t hate Brazil because Brazilians don’t export mass media to them. But if Rio’s Carnival were beamed to every TV set between the Med. and the Taj Mahal I think we’d hear a different story.

    Regardless, tolerance with “depravity” is still a better option than intolerance and oppression. Rather then emmulate our foes, we should celebrate our neighbors’ “wickedness”. Oh, and D’Souza sucks.

  16. Hold on, here.

    There are two distinct ideas that are being conflated together.

    First, what conservative Muslims oppose.

    Second, what radicalizes them to want to wage war against that which they oppose.

    Mr. D’Souza is right, in that conservative Muslims who look at our popular culture and freewheeling, live-and-let-live lifestyles find it immoral. I find the daughter-buying/wife-selling pratices of certain African and South American tribes to be immoral, but I don’t feel like I want to wipe them off the face of the earth. If my parish priest started urging us to go kill them, I’d stop going to mass. No doubt, there are those in my parish who are already sufficiently racist, violent, and fanatic to take up the gauntlet, but not many.

    On the other hand, if one of those tribes were to wage war on the United States, or if I saw their warriors on leave in my country manhandling my sister, I might find my partish priest’s exhortations more compelling.

  17. My bad, I got US lost in the clutter:

    The United States recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the Jewish state within minutes. The Soviet Union granted de jure recognition almost immediately in 1948 along with seven other states within the next five days (Guatemala, Byelorussia, the Ukraine, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia).

    Also,. I thought a former intelligence official of Israel said, during a talk at the International Spy Museum, that the Soviets were first. Probably said second.

  18. Why does D’nesh D’souza hate America?

    Oh, wait, he answered that already.

  19. They don’t hate Brazil because Brazilians don’t export mass media to them.

    Their mass media and plenty others are on the satellites for the plucking.

    You need an importer for the whole export thing to work, just like you need customers for that whole production thing to work.

  20. “I find the daughter-buying/wife-selling pratices of certain African and South American tribes to be immoral, but I don’t feel like I want to wipe them off the face of the earth.”

    I would like to wipe all forms of slavery off the face of the earth.

  21. Well, D’Souza has now made it perfectly clear that he’s one of those critics; and the book he’s written is nothing less than a call for America’s destruction. He is the enemy at home. Treason is the only word for it.

    Take THAT, Ann Coulter!

  22. jet, it’s pretty clear that “them” in the quote refers to the tribes, not the practices.

  23. America’s fine, but the US has got to go.

    – Josh

  24. Treason is the only word for it.

    Does anyone else stop listening when the word “treason” gets thrown into an argument? I think Godwin’s law needs extending. . .

    Also, any time I come across terrorists statements, they seem to be complaining about U.S. policy, not the behavior of the U.S. citizens. I’m not prepared to change our culture for them, but taking a second look at some of those policies is probably a good idea.

    Please pardon my treason.

  25. I agree on the overuse and misuse of “treason”.

    Treason refers to the specific act of betraying your group to help an enemy group.

    Passing secrets to Al Qaeda or helping one of their agents get into the country would qualify.

    Publishing a book that says “America Sucks” does not.

  26. jet,

    The “them” in my sentence was meant to refer to the people, not the practices.

    I’d like to eliminate those practices, too, but it doesn’t make me want to rain death and destruction down on those people.

  27. I dunno why dudes like D’Sousa don’t move to some place more to their liking like Iran or Saudi Arabia or Warizistan.

  28. D’Souza went over the edge here. I get that western countries have common practices that inspire anger in those inclined toward islamic theocracy. Not to be the bad American, but isn’t the appropriate answer “Screw them?”

    You either believe people should live free or not. What is he suggesting we should be doing?

  29. I’d like to eliminate those practices, too, but it doesn’t make me want to rain death and destruction down on those people.

    I don’t know if all Bin Laden followers want to kill all Americans so much as they want to “defeat” our nation. And just as bringing democracy to Iraq was part of our stated goal for defeating Iraq, based on the claim that doing so was the one way of removing its (supposed) threat permanently, I beleive Bin Laden’s followers believe that defeating America’s decadence is likewise necessary to reforming the foreign policies they don’t like. And, heh, maybe they’re right! While I think joe’s excellent post divides up issues too neatly that I think have more overlap than his example implies, I too think it’s mostly a perceived threat that primarily drives people to war.

  30. The fact that he sides with polygamist, goat fucking, pedophiles when it comes to “traditional” values discredits every other word he has to utter on this topic. If you can even call this a topic.

    Although I must say that I am really glad he wrote this book. It was highly entertaining listening to all of the nutbags call in and ask him questions when he was on Book TV.

  31. Any objective biologist observing our species would surely conclude that we periodically slaughter each other en masse. The “reasons” are filled in later.

  32. Edward- For once, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  33. Treason, appeasement. Whatever.

  34. D’Souza, whose book leaves no doubt whatsoever that he now unequivocally despises freedom-that open homosexuality and female “immodesty” are, in his estimation, so disgusting as to warrant throwing one’s lot in with religious totalitarians.

    I wonder how he feels about former girlfiend and fellow traveler Ann Coulter’s short skirts and low-cut blouses.

  35. Not to be the bad American, but isn’t the appropriate answer “Screw them?”

    Sure, as the initial response.

    To be escalated to “shoot them” and/or “nuke them” as necessary.

  36. I think that Carter, Clinton and Co., did in fact encourage the Islamic killer fringe with a display of weakness.

    What’s missing from that statement? Didn’t we have another President somewhere in there? Who was that? Some guy, I think he was a white guy. I got it! Kennedy. No, that’s not it. I’m close though. I remember that he was shot. Ford, right? No, that’s not it either. Something else happened while he was in office. Something about some dead marines, hundreds of them.

    Can anybody tell me who I’m trying to think of?
    Thanks for your help.

  37. Wille S,

    He also used to be engaged to Laura Ingraham.

    Highnumber,

    Does his last name start with an R? Something about about R rings a bell.

  38. Roosevelt?
    Maybe. Which one do you mean?

  39. He bagged Coulter and Ingraham? The latter was always one of the more attractive Clinton Era Eva Brauns.

  40. They don’t hate Brazil because Brazilians don’t export mass media to them. But if Rio’s Carnival were beamed to every TV set between the Med. and the Taj Mahal I think we’d hear a different story.

    Garth, I’ve spent many a recent evening watching footage of past Rio Carnivals on Fashion TV plucked out of the air by the dish on the roof of my apartment building here in the United Arab Emirates. It’s some of the best boobage to be had on free-to-air satellite channels here, although not as good as the Italian strip-tease channels (that advertise phone-sex lines in Arabic.)

    BTW, the favorite TV shows on the local channels are Oprah and Desperate Housewives.

  41. I’ll have to read the book before I comment at length, but if the summaries that are presented are accurate, the message seems to be: They hate us for our freedoms, therefore we should reduce our freedom, not completely, but just to the point where the moderate Muslims like us and won’t be tempted to strap a bomb to their chest.

    Frankly, I think that’s absurd, but completely in line with the statist leanings of the Republican leadership lately. (Not to exclude the Democrats, but they are, at least, honest about their love for the state and have been for some time.)

    A better solution would be to return to a policy of humility in our foreign relations, encourage negotiations for free trade and peace with all nations, and make it known that while we support freedom for all peoples, lasting change in their nations can only be accomplished from within.

    Terrorists could still be hunted down and this would not require the deployment of 150,000 troops.

  42. D’Souza’s thesis reminds me of the hysterical woman in The Road Warrior who wants to take up Lord Humongous’ offer to “just walk away.”

    “You see, he promised us safe passage in return for the oil!”

    Who will be our Papagallo? Who will be our Gyro Captain? Who will be our Feral Kid? And, lastly, who will be our Max?

  43. bartman,

    I second the Fashion TV review. The thing that sucks, though is that the Beach Rotana Hotel where I usually stay when in Abu Dhabi went to a very sanitized Fashion TV Arabia (it seems to have gradually phased out all the best stuff).

    On the plus side, the Crowne Plaza has the fully risque version, complete with clips from Carnivale, as of two weeks ago. And a version of ESPN which is pretty cool. And a sports bar featuring a shitload of soccer and rugby (but some of the worst service imaginable).

    Can’t say that I’ve seen the Italian strip-tease channels. Those must be residential-only.

    So where in the UAE are you? Were you around for the celebrations after they won the Arabian Gulf Cup?

  44. Anyway, the UAE as a society isn’t nearly so bothered with the US as are some other nations in the region. They love money like everyone else, especially Euros and Dollars.

    Their newspapers make a lot of noise – even to the point of appearing obsessed with US policy – but the man in the street has little more than a passing interest in any of it.

  45. Dave, here’s a link to The Wayback Machine archive of images from the website.

    Now, I know that Radley’s posting of a single image has gotten your straightjacket in a twist because you perceive it as some sort of bias, but since Tim Cavenaugh posted a link to many, many pictures, I guess we can all conclude that Reason is biased in favor of Islamic nations. Or whatever the opposite is of the stupid point you’re trying to make.

  46. Dammit. I posted in the wrong thread.

  47. Yeah, D’Souza’s definitely trying to out-Chomsky Chomsky. He’s not as grumpy as Papa Noam, but he also comes across as more of an intellectual lightweight. Sort of a right-wing Salacious Crumb to Chomsky’s leftist Jabba.

  48. I think any analysis of what has radicalized Muslims in the direction of the jihadists has to take into account the fact that for more than half of the last century, most major political movements in the Islamic world were semi-secular and favored “modernity”, even if they did so in an authoritarian fashion.

    So the question isn’t why Islam has turned against the West – the question is why Muslims have turned away from their own secular modernizers and towards the jihadists.

    And the answer to that question seems to be “Because the secular modernizers got humiliated by Israel, while the jihadists kicked Soviet butt.”

    Compared to those two experiences I really doubt the American gay marriage debate means a whole lot to anyone.

    If the Founding Fathers had lost the Revolutionary War, but then a few decades later some sort of neo-Puritan group had cut the British to ribbons, I bet America’s political development would have turned out differently, too.

  49. Timon:

    I’m a couple of blocks down Najda Street from the Crowne Plaza, by the Nissan dealership. I’ve spent more than a few evenings in Heroes – they have about the best fish’n’chips in town, and actually keep their beer taps clean.

    The hotels obviously limit what they show, but there’s about 1000 channels on the Hotbird satellites, and about half of them are free. I get both the Fashion TV’s. And there’s about 30 Italian strip-tease channels. Of course, there are dozens of hard-core porn channels that you need a smart-card for, and apparently the locals snap them up like hotcakes, under the table in the satellite shops on Electra Street.

    Ever see locals in dishdashes drinking scotch with Moroccan hookers sitting on their knees in Vincents?

    BTW, I had the sense to stay inside after the football game. Got stuck on the Corniche during the National Day celebrations, had to hop out of the cab and walk the last half-mile to the Hilton, coz’ the car was stationary. 🙂

  50. In reply to Chris’s of 12:28 pm, six up as I type (cause I don’t wanna quote the whole thing), but also to everyone, I think the subtext to this debate is that we are all of us naturally sympathetic to the jihadists (or whoever) hating us (to some degree, at least) for what we ourselves think is wrong with America. Thus, if we don’t like our foreign policy in the mideast, we can say, well hell, you can’t blame them for hating us for that! But if we (and this “we” is for the sake of argument) think that allowing homosexuals to hold hands in public is vile, then it’s equally easy for those feeling that way to say, well hell, you can’t blame them for hating us for that! And in a sense, both arguments are reasonable if you buy the underlying premises of what we’re doing wrong. Because if something is inherently immoral, you would expect some sort of consequence to ensue from it! So to a large degree, the whole question of asking why do they hate us is basically circular thinking, because if there’s something we’re doing that we deserve to be hated for, we shouldn’t be doing it in the first fricken place! Though that said, I do think 9/11 has a message in regard to our foreign policy in that it clearly belied the reasoning of those who justify anything we do without our military might on the grounds that we have the strongest military in the world so damned if we need care what anyone else thinks (more often expressed as an implied subtext than outrightly stated). No, we do have to care what others think, at least to some degree, so if we’re gonna piss people off to do what we think is “right”, we’d better consider the possible consequences in our supposedly pragmatic calculus.

  51. I agree with fyodor’s point.

    Also, jihadists hate suburban sprawl and SUVs. Really, who can blame them?

  52. 🙂 Good one, joe.

    Of course, some “why do they hate us” hypotheses will simply seem more credible for various reasons than others, which is why we haven’t seen much of that one. That said, I actually wouldn’t be shocked if some jihadists pointed to our SUV’s as a sign of our twisted materialistic values or that some leftist academician somewhere might in turn say well yeah maybe they have a point. I believe Taliban papers were found that pointed to The Beatles as the beginning of the decline of western civilization, but somehow fingering The Beatles as why they hate us is just not the kind of meme that’s going to have much legs!

  53. joe, why are you so full of hate?

    Heh!

  54. bartman,

    This was my first time at the Crowne, and only for a week, so I didn’t get to see the locals with Moroccan hookers, sad to say. I’ve seen locals with hookers at other places. And I’ve been to the bar on the first floor of Le Meridian. Yikes.

    The Rotana is far and away the most frequented hotel. We’ve got a special deal with them.

    Heroes was out of Strongbow the whole time I was there, but they made up for it with large amounts of Stella. Unfortunately, the Filipinas doing the waitressing were pretty fucking useless.

    After we watched the UAE win, I walked down to the Corniche with one of my colleagues and took some pictures and videos. That was one hell of a scene.

  55. Jihadists are little more than fascists with a religious, rather than nationalist or ethnic, justification for their actions. As such, ascribing rationality to them or seeking ways to mollify them is futile. They do not live to be mollified.

    That said, an isolationist foreign policy is far more likely to avoid getting us bitten by everyone else’s shitty little squabbles than whatever the hell it is that Bush & Co. think they are doing. And, as a benefit, isolationism would have the salutary effect of “de-imperializing” the federal govt. and possibly restoring liberty in the USA. I could care less whether denizens of Dipshitistan live in liberty; I’m worried about encroaching tyranny in my own country.

  56. The problem with the “Jihadists are out to get us” hypothesis is that that there is no evidence to support it. The profiles of some of the 9/11 attackers is that of ‘hired guns’ i.e. guys who loved to drink, party, and have sex, not traditional Muslim practices.

  57. As I young man I lived in the Middle East for a number of years and I can’t count how many times men hit on me. There is a widely accepted practice of sodomizing small boys there. I think this largely due to the unavailabity of women. The Jihadists are just like the Fundamentalists in many ways except the Jihadists wish to fight and refuse to recognise the evil they live amongst. They are no better than anyone else.

  58. There are a lot of Muslims who love to drink, party and have sex and still consider themselves to be very Muslim, down to their family lives and dress. Many can be considered jihadist or sympathetic with jihadi thought.

    Basically, they’re like every other religious group – they have a whole mess of hypocrites. The thing that distinguishes Muslims is the emphasis placed on devout observation and outward appearances of same.

  59. The problem with the “Jihadists are out to get us” hypothesis is that that there is no evidence to support it. The profiles of some of the 9/11 attackers is that of ‘hired guns’ i.e. guys who loved to drink, party, and have sex, not traditional Muslim practices.

    a related problem is that we, the public, do not know much about the 19 hi-jackers at all.

    Did any of them leave notes? If so, have the notes been published? Did they leave videos? Who gave them their money? I mean literally who handed them the money or punched the keys so that the money was transferred into their accounts? What are the names of these people? How many were there? Where are they now? Can they tell us what their motivations were?

    Why do we not know these things the way we know names and faces for people like Cowlings or Nichols?

    Why are we not that curious?

    I think it is because the more we know about the actual people who did 9-11, the less we can project upon these people.

    We did get to hear a little bit from Zaccharias Moussaoui and Robert Reid. They seemed a bit more mentally ill than fundamentalist. Ditto the DC snipers. Ditto that guy who shot up the Jewish lobby.

    From what I heard, the 7-7 bombers were cheesed off about the Iraq and/or Afghanistan Wars.

  60. I think it is because the more we know about the actual people who did 9-11, the less we can project upon these people.

    So what motives do you project upon them?

  61. lunch,

    I think Dave is ramping up for another Weekend Open Thread-like performance.

  62. So what motives do you project upon them?

    I want to discourage any sort of projection. i would rather read their words or watch their tapes, and then decide whether they are being sincere when they say why they did what they did.

    If any of their accomplices are alive (and so far as i know there was not direct communication between Osama and the hi-jackers), then I would like to hear what the accomplices say, the accomplices who knew the hi-jackers and conspired directly with them.

    There are many possibilities. One is that the hi-jackers themselves were as messed up in the head as Ted Bundy, Zaccharias Moussaoui or Eric Rudolph and that they had no coherent agenda. Another is that they had the motivations we would expect Dick Cheney to ascribe them. Another is that they had the motivations that we would have expected Yasser Arafat to have ascribed to them.

    I want more direct evidence before trying to choose the most likely option.

    With a direct accomplice, it would help if the accomplice was still alive so that she or he could correct any bad translations or tape editing that the custodian of documents might otherwise introduce.

    I know that many perceive this kind of dissemination of information as a security threat. I don’t.

  63. I think jihadis are jealous of our command of English, as demonstrated by the Iranians’ decision to manufacture their armaments with English writing all over them.

  64. I don’t mean to entirely discount the “U.S. foreign policy is a factor in foreign jihadist hatred of America” point here, but didn’t that kind of become a chicken-and-egg problem on 9/11? It was pretty clear al Qaeda was operating with impunity and support from the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Do you just let that continue so as not to provide them another justification for their radicalism? Or, if not, how do you prevent an invasion of Afghanistan from being turned into a terror recruiting tool? (Aside, of course, from not trying to eradicate poppy production and otherwise bungle the postwar effort as the Bush admin. has done.)

    I’m also curious if any of you believe that curtailing both military and diplomatic support for Israel (which, pace Dan T., is used a lot more to fan the fanatical flames than our support of the Saudis) would also be a wise move?

  65. I’m also curious if any of you believe that curtailing both military and diplomatic support for Israel (which, pace Dan T., is used a lot more to fan the fanatical flames than our support of the Saudis) would also be a wise move?

    I do not believe that wise in the slightest.

    However, doing it would be doing exactly what D’Souza is being accused of advocating here, just a different topic.

  66. I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at, joe, but it’s very commonplace in the Arab world and the Persian world to manufacture all manner of things with English writing on it, usually in concert with Arabic/Farsi.

  67. I’m also curious if any of you believe that curtailing both military and diplomatic support for Israel (which, pace Dan T., is used a lot more to fan the fanatical flames than our support of the Saudis) would also be a wise move?

    I think we can discuss that based on any of a number of reasons, but that it is fanning the flames of violence against us would actually be pretty low on my list of questions. One would be ‘do they need really it’? Another would be ‘do we really need to give it to them’? Third would be ‘are they doing good things or bad things with it’?

    Just because some asshole is trying to blow you up because you’re doing something, doesn’t mean you should stop.

    But if they’re really blowing us up because we think that who a man chooses to have sex with is no basis for stoning him to death in public, or that women who are raped really shouldn’t be killed by their families for the dishonor of allowing themselves to be raped, then maybe they should go fuck themselves and we should carry on with promoting individual rights over government enforcement of taboos.

    If D’Souza is so convinced that they’re right and we’re wrong, maybe he should put that into action and go Michael Moore himself to smithereens in Team America headquarters.

  68. Timon, joe is alluding to the claim that the United States sells weapons to pretty much anybody with the money to pay.

  69. An interesting thought re Israel. Has anyone considered that U.S. diplomacy/aid is the only thing that’s actually holding the Israelis back from ethnically cleansing the Palestinian territories? I’m not saying they necessarily would do so, but I can’t imagine that an Israel freed of worrying about U.S. public opinion would act in a “kindler and gentler” manner. And yeah, they could get along just fine without U.S. military support.

  70. Well, if they do have images of Carnaval beamed at them and continue to hate us more than they hate Brazil then I think that proves the point that they hate us for something other than our freedoms and our excesses.

  71. Are the weapons in question from the US? Or is joe just assuming so because there’s English on them and the US has a history of selling weapons to Iran?

  72. An interesting thought re Israel. Has anyone considered that U.S. diplomacy/aid is the only thing that’s actually holding the Israelis back from ethnically cleansing the Palestinian territories?

    Yes. The UN would bomb Israel in that case. Glass parking lot.

  73. Timon19,

    I’m not saying they’re American.

  74. Garth,

    Who’s “they”?

    bartman and I temporarily threadjacked and ran with a UAE thread. The UAE decidedly doesn’t “hate” us in the way everyone thinks “Muslims” “hate” us.

  75. Then what are you saying, joe?

  76. I didn’t see any Farsi, Timon.

    They look like something you’d get from an arms dealer.

    All I’m saying is, there’s little but the administration’s word that they came from Iran. The pictures certainly don’t speak for themselves.

  77. You don’t suppose that if they came from an arms dealer that one of the middlemen could have been agents of the Islamic Republic (or anyone else, for that matter), do you?

  78. Just because some asshole is trying to blow you up because you’re doing something, doesn’t mean you should stop.

    This is mainly what I was driving at. I completely agree with your other points about aid to Israel.

    An interesting thought re Israel. Has anyone considered that U.S. diplomacy/aid is the only thing that’s actually holding the Israelis back from ethnically cleansing the Palestinian territories?

    No, I think this is a Jimmy Carter “cartoon villains” view of Israel.

  79. All I’m saying is, there’s little but the administration’s word that they came from Iran. The pictures certainly don’t speak for themselves.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that they’d sex up the evidence are you? I heard that the Iranians have provided them with massive stockpiles of IEDs that can be deployed within 45 minutes. Just imagine if they got those into a US port! Or something.

  80. Timon19,

    Could have been. I suppose they could have come through anywhere.

    Graphite,

    You mean the guy who convinced the most powerful nation in the Arab world to make peace with Israel thirty years ago?

  81. Yes. The UN would bomb Israel in that case. Glass parking lot.

    And which of the UN’s bomber divisions would that be, Dave? Who knew that the UN had a secret air base in Manhattan? I think it would quickly be established that none of the Palestinians’ supposed “friends” would actually lift a military hand to help them, assuming that any of them actually have power-projection capability, which they don’t without U.S. assistance.

    No, I think this is a Jimmy Carter “cartoon villains” view of Israel.

    I agree, which is why I said they wouldn’t necessarily do so, but I’m sure we could expect that such an unbound Israel would not behave with as much restraint as they have shown in recent years.

  82. Ironically, many Leftist Libertarians have been saying it has nothing to do with our culture, that it’s all about our foreign policy.

    D’Souza is right on about the problem. I agree, it is all about our culture. But completely wrong with the solution.

    If anything we Americans should take the route of IN YOUR FACE AMERICANISM! Blasting our Television shows with our busty blonde women all over the Middle East.

    Sticking our middle fingers in the air to these 15th Century jerkoffs, and letting them know what they’re missing out on not being Americans.

    Dinesh D’Souza: Right on the problem, wrong on the solution.

  83. Eric Dondero,
    If you misuse “ironically” once more, we will send you to a reeducation center.

  84. If D’Sousa hates America that much, he should just move to Utah.

  85. Max wins the thread!

    ROTFLOL.

  86. America sucks? But does she swallow?

  87. You mean the guy who convinced the most powerful nation in the Arab world to make peace with Israel thirty years ago?

    I think that had a lot more to do with Egypt’s abject defeat in the Yom Kippur War than any feats of diplomacy. Once Sadat saw they had no chance of besting Israel it was just a matter of time before someone came along and brokered an agreement.

    To answer your question, no, I mean the man who makes serious use of the word “apartheid” in referring to Israel and has made such outrageous and demonstrably false statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that members of the board of advisors for the Carter Center are resigning in disgust. That Jimmy Carter.

  88. I don’t think Israel is some kind of Epcot re-creation of the South African apartheid state, but until a few years ago their policy in the occupied territories was absolutely, positively analogous to the South African homelands policy. So there’s a little bit of small-a apartheid there.

  89. Sayyid Qutb

    As one who has followed the blog world on its views of Sayyid Qutb, your take on this character is interesting. You may be interested in visiting and contributing to a blog that explores the totality of Qubt and Islam in the form of considered essays.
    http://anti-sayyid-qutb.blogspot.com/

    Enjoy

    Dave

  90. “I heard that the Iranians have provided them with massive stockpiles of IEDs that can be deployed within 45 minutes.”

    Flying, pilotless IEDs. That can reach our shores.

  91. Graphite,

    “I think that had a lot more to do with Egypt’s abject defeat in the Yom Kippur War than any feats of diplomacy.”

    Given the ratio of “abject defeat” to “Peace Deals with the Israelis” in the Arab world, I tend to doubt it.

  92. You mean the guy who convinced the most powerful nation in the Arab world to make peace with Israel thirty years ago?

    That was Ted Koppel live on Nightline who convinced them to talk to each other.

  93. “That was Ted Koppel live on Nightline who convinced them to talk to each other.”

    No, he was just tapped as go-between. The Egyptian dude was already willing. There was a misunderstanding at first as to what he was saying – Koppel at first thought he was saying Israel had to do x, y, and z before Egypt would sit down at the table, but on asking for clarification the Egyptian basically said no, that was for something further on in the process, not to begin talking, he’d talk with Israel now if there was a go-between since iirc, they didn’t have diplomatic relations set up.

    This bit was actually played somewhat recently on NPR, so it’s pretty fresh in mind.

    Maybe he convinced the Israelis?

  94. “To answer your question, no, I mean the man who makes serious use of the word “apartheid” in referring to Israel and has made such outrageous and demonstrably false statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that members of the board of advisors for the Carter Center are resigning in disgust. That Jimmy Carter.”

    He’s been pretty clear that he means the occupied territories, not Israel as a whole.

    Of course, he’s just being given the politically convenient “Anyone who criticizes Israel is an antisemite cooking Zyklon-B up in the basement” treatment.

    The ADL wouldn’t think much of the prophet Ezekial, for instance. He was pretty harsh.

  95. I smoked some Ezekiel through a 6 foot bong over the weekend. Pretty harsh is an understatement.
    I’m still coughing.

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