Would you believe there is someone out huckstering his book that Muslims were correct to believe that America is an immoral pagan society worthy of being attacked? That someone agrees with the attackers on the corrupt and sleazy and immoral nature of American society? That someone believes America is unworthy in the sight of those who value God and morality and tradition? Would you believe that this immigrant to the United States, Dinesh D'Souza, works for a leading conservative think tank and gets lots of mainstream media platform space while being wildly applauded by the right? Sadly, this is all true. Dinesh D'Souza tries to explain how liberal Godless America brought on the terrorist attacks.
David Neiwert explains how D'Souza has it wrong:
Indeed, it's clear that American military action and the heavy hand of its economic interests are the sectors of American society that are the source of [Bin Laden's] anger -- not gay marriage and bad Hollywood movies. This was clear from the choice of targets on Sept. 11 -- the World Trade Center, the vibrant center of American economic might, and the Pentagon, its center of military power.D'Souza now has a new cause, to expose how the left is being uncivil to him, because of his beliefs. And he attempts to justify his book and explain the attacks on him and his book in the same way of those who defend The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He claims he is exposing a hidden truth that those liberals harming the real America don't want to see exposed and those depraved,liberal heathens are trying to shut him up. Wolcott explains that really the book is a pack of lies.
Yet D'Souza sees it this way:I pose a simple question: Why did the terrorists do it? In a 2003 statement, bin Laden said that to him, the World Trade Center resembled the idols that the prophet Muhammad removed from Mecca. In other words, bin Laden believes that the United States represents the pagan depravity that Muslims have a duty to resist.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."
On January 7 I linked to another writer noticing that the right in this country was becoming similar to Holocaust deniers. D'Souza is the latest example of this same mentality. You distort reality and claim everything bad is the result of this vast evil conspiracy by some powerful group, in this case the liberals, and then claim when liberals cry foul on your fraud it actually helps prove your case.
Recently I read The Plot by the late famed graphic artist Will Eisner. It is a history of how The Protocols, first published in 1903, were fabricated by the Russian czar's secret police as a way of undermining a growing social reform movement and to stop or slow Czar Nicholas's turn toward the West. Jews figured prominently in this movement, and the police theorized that they could discredit it by fabricating "the sinister Jewish agenda." Mathieu Golovinski, concocted the "protocols" or minutes of an international meeting of Jewish bankers, journalists and financiers outlining a purported plot to dominate the world. He based this primarily on a French book and quickly copied its arguments about a supposed plot to undermine the Emperor but placing Jews as the protagonists. Amazingly this fraud was exposed in 1921, and repeatedly thereafter, but the printings of the book multiplied and the harm it caused spread. The first line of the novel is Eisner at his simple and powerful best: Whenever one group of people is taught to hate another, a lie is created to inflame the hatred and justify the plot. The target is easy to find because the enemy is always the other.
For conservatives, liberals have become the other, and the lies to justify their hatred multiply. Linking liberals to why America was attacked on 9/11, as D'Souza does, is part of the Big Lie, the Plot.
Is it possible to rationally debate this? Perhaps you may think that believers in this big lie just need to be shown how absurd their arguments are. I'll ask you, have you ever tried to rationally debate a Holocaust denier? By engaging with them you are acknowledging some part of what they say might be true. In the end they are unconvinced and they believe that you are either part of the deluded masses or are helping the other's plot.
Calling D'Souza a "ratfink," "a national disgrace," "a childish thinker," "a lover spurned," "surrender monkey" who has produced "sleazy, shameless, ignorant, ahistorical, tendentious, meretricious lie" is more than appropriate.
Added: Not all of the prominent right media agreed with D'Souza. In fact, there were some strong attacks like this. They are very angry at him for promoting a peaceful moral Islam instead of showing that all Muslims follow a hate-filled religion.