January 22, 2007


None (but Me) Dare Call It Treason: a review of THE ENEMY AT HOME: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 By Dinesh D'Souza (ALAN WOLFE, NY Times Book Review)

Dreadful things happened to America on [9-11], but, truth be told, D'Souza is not all that upset by them. America is fighting two wars simultaneously, he argues, a war against terror abroad and a culture war at home. We should be using the former, less important, one to fight the latter, really crucial, one. The way to do so is to encourage a split between "radical" Muslims like bin Laden, who engage in jihad, and "traditional" Muslims who are conservative in their political views and deeply devout in their religious practices; understanding the radical Muslims, even being sympathetic to some of their complaints, is the best way to win the support of the traditionalists. We should stand with conservative Muslims in protest against the publication of the Danish cartoons that depicted the Prophet Muhammad rather than rallying to the liberal ideal of free speech. We should drop our alliance with decadent Europe and "should openly ally" with "governments that reflect Muslim interests, not ... Israeli interests." And, most important of all, conservative religious believers in America should join forces with conservative religious believers in the Islamic world to combat their common enemy: the cultural left.

The "domestic insurgents" who, in D'Souza's view, constitute the cultural left want "America to be a shining beacon of global depravity, a kind of Gomorrah on a Hill." "I intend to name the enemy at home," D'Souza proclaims, and so he does. Twenty recent members of Congress, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ted Kennedy, are on one of his lists, and 17 intellectuals (one dead, one British) are on another, with similar numbers of Hollywood figures, activists, foreign policy experts, cultural leaders and organizations. Some of those he identifies -- Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Ward Churchill -- might not be surprised to find themselves here. Others -- the sociologist Paul Starr, the historian Sean Wilentz, the clergyman Jim Wallis, the philosopher Martha Nussbaum -- are less obvious candidates for inclusion. (One person, Thomas Frank, is mentioned on two different lists.) All these people might charge D'Souza with "McCarthyism" for supposedly exposing them, but he accepts the challenge. McCarthy, after all, was "largely right."

That much is hardly arguable. The USSR was never a threat to make us communist, but, unchallenged, the Left might have had some success in making us a secular society. Defeating Eastern Europe was quite secondary to avoiding the suicidal fate of Western Europe. Once Ronald Reagan ended the liberal epoch at home the far enemy fall quite quickly.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2007 8:16 AM

As I noted in the comment thread below, it's not the vehemence with which the NYT and the usual suspects have attacked Mr. D'Souza that's remarkable, it's the all-out viciousness of the neo-con response that's been amazing to me. Do the neos really care that much for the porn merchants and abortionists?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 22, 2007 4:30 PM

The Zeus worshippers do indeed hate Christians that much. That's all the Miers nomination kerfuffle was about.

Posted by: oj at January 22, 2007 7:53 PM

Miers complete legal incompetence and total lack of judicial experience might have had a little something to do with it... On the plus aside, she did provide a shining example of what a faith based judiciary would be like.

Posted by: dna at January 22, 2007 8:03 PM

She's been extremely competent as the leading attorney in the United States. As the conclusion to your comment demonstrates, the opposition was for her faith.

Posted by: oj at January 22, 2007 8:45 PM

Darn those faith hating conservatives:

Notable conservative commentators expressing these or other concerns included newspaper columnists Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, Ramesh Ponnuru, and George Will; former Bush speechwriter David Frum; and constitutional scholar Randy Barnett. Finally, Robert Bork, one of the premier advocates of originalism and a Supreme Court nominee under President Reagan who was eventually rejected by the Senate, proclaimed that the nomination was "a disaster on every level," and a "slap in the face" to conservatives

Posted by: dna at January 22, 2007 9:22 PM

Anyway, getting back to Dinesh D'Souza, basicaly his thesis is that if only we became more like the terrorists the terrorists would like us.


Posted by: dna at January 22, 2007 9:26 PM

Bork thinks if you didn't go to Yale you don't belong. It's the Law Review theory of judging. In reality, judging just isn't very hard.

Posted by: oj at January 22, 2007 10:47 PM

No, it's that the terrorists don't matter much. Terror should be used to win the culture war at home.

Posted by: oj at January 23, 2007 12:14 AM

So you're saying that 9/11 should be our Reichstag fire and give us an excuse to round up all those undesireables?

judging just isn't very hard

That statement alone disqualifies you as someone who should be taken seriously on the subject.

Posted by: dna at January 23, 2007 6:16 AM

No, only the American Left rounds people up--Wilson's anti-German campaign and Red Scasre and FDR's concentration camps.

The Right wins the battle of ideas.

Just as terrorism is obliterating multiculturalism in England we can use it here against the moral relativists.

Posted by: oj at January 23, 2007 9:29 AM