I always think it's odd when liberals are accused - as they frequently are in some circles - of being in league with radical Islamic conservatives. Surely the people who have common cause with religious conservatives are other religious conservatives? Right? I mean, I've seen God's Next Army and Jesus Camp and they were a bit scary.
But I confess that I'm shocked that a leading conservative thinker has come out and said it. That being Dinesh D'Souza, whose new book is The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. The gist of this book is that America attracted al Qaeda's ire by embracing the depravity implicit in, among other things, feminism, gay rights and free speech. And, further, if we (that's the wider, Western "we") could only show the Islamists that we're decent God-fearing folk they might not hate us so much and we could all get along.
And D'Souza is not an outlier, he's right in the tent. He was a senior policy advisor in the Reagan White House, he's a fellow at the Hoover Institute, he has a blog at AOL.com and he dated Ann Coulter and Laura Ingram. His books for the winger imprint Regnery are routinely bestsellers, as this one probably will be too - despite a withering review for the WaPo by Warren Bass, who sums up "this dim, dishonorable book":
Here's the main argument, such as it is. Why has al-Qaeda targeted America? "Not because of U.S. troops in Mecca," D'Souza writes. "Not even because of Israel. . . . The suicide bombers of radical Islam are not blowing themselves up because they are distressed over the Gulf War of 1991 or because they are in solidarity with the Palestinians." Rather, "what bin Laden objected to was America staying in the Middle East, importing with it the immoral ingredients of American values and culture." That makes the left "responsible for 9/11" because it "has fostered a decadent American culture that angers and repulses traditional societies" and has waged "an aggressive global campaign to undermine the traditional patriarchal family and to promote secular values in non-Western cultures." In sum, "the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world."
The Carpetbagger report transcribes a simply amazing interview with D'Souza by Stephen Colbert, and Slate's Timothy Noah muses on the "values based alliance" D'Souza seems to envisage with Osama Bin Laden, observing that:
Al-Qaida's enemy isn't the excesses of secular culture; it's secular culture itself. And to a surprising degree, D'Souza is willing to go along for the ride. Theocracy, D'Souza argues, is misunderstood to mean "rule by divine authority of the priesthood or clergy." Not so! There are checks and balances, just like in the U.S. Constitution. In Iran, for instance, "the power of the state and of the mullahs is limited by the specific rules set forth in the Koran and the Islamic tradition. The rulers themselves are bound by these laws."
To be fair, some conservatives think D'Souza has gone a bit far.
But his deranged book is being touted at WorldNet Daily. He gets a powder-puff interview with the National Review Online (in which he is allowed to advance the astounding idea that "Bush is fighting two wars, one against the enemy abroad and the other against the enemy at home. There is no way to win the second war without winning the first war") and another one on NewsMax. That's the conservative trifecta, folks.
Well, lefty liberals, there's only one thing for it. We need to gather in our tens of thousands at some large site - say, a stadium - and conduct ourselves in a liberally depraved fashion, hour upon sordid hour, to the festering accompaniment of the Devil's music. Today would be good.
Because if we don't, the terrorists will win.
PS:If you're planning on blogging your Big Day Out, drop me a line with your links over the weekend and I'll round it up on Monday. See you in the Boiler Room.