Monday, January 15, 2007

Time to Talk about Dinesh D'Souza's Book, I Guess

Here's a round-up of some initial reactions to Dinesh d'Souza's new book, from people who haven't read it. But Amazon has a pretty forthright explication of the book's central argument, and after having read it I wonder why one would need to write an entire book on it.

The short version is that the "cultural Left," e.g., the results of the counter-culture revolution of the sixties, notably the sexual antics, are the primary reason that they hate us. Absent the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, 9/11 doesn't happen.

Hmmm. Well. It is true that they are disgusted by the vulgarity that is on display in our popular culture. And it is true that the vulgarity is disgusting.

It is also true that one of the seminal texts that sparked the Wahabbist movement was written by Sayyid Qutb, who came to America and pronounced us horribly corrupt. Clayton Cramer asks,
So where did poor Qutb end up? Disco era New York City or Los Angeles? Did he wander into a strip club? Perhaps he got lost at a gay pride parade?

No, Greeley, Colorado. In 1950. Oh yeah, that's a wild, depraved, and sexually promiscuous place! Pretty obviously, what Qutb was doing was projecting his own sexual desires for these American women with their "round breasts... full buttocks...and... shapely thighs" in a period that is among the more sexually restrained periods.

I agree with Ace: we might have problems in that arena, but we don't need to hear it from them.

I suppose the only use D'Souza's argument has is to serve as a type of tu quoque rebuttal to the Ward Churchill argument about chickens coming home to roost. In other words, an absurd rebuttal to point out the absurdity of the accusation.

The problem is that D'Souza might be serious, which puts him in a camp with those who use 9/11 as a platform to grind their pet political axes. I haven't followed his writings very closely, but I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a shark-jumping episode for him, and whatever clout he had among the right is now evaporated.

At some point, I'll write that essay I have in my head about Historical Inexorability and how there is no single Root Cause to jihadism but rather a convergence of multiple factors. Maybe someday we'll stop blaming ourselves and realize that the jihadis' reasons are their own and that we are unwitting players in their narcissistic drama.

1 comment:

Muslihoon said...

Please write that post on root causes. I'd love to hear your take on it.

D'Souza, it is said, was the enfant terrible of the right. Brown, of immigrant stock, and breaking the molds people tried to put him in, he was a rising star of the Right (particularly the neo-cons).

And then he jumped the shark. I don't know what happened and why he did this.

Saying that this clash of civilizations is a war on morals -- the conservative against the decadent -- is to seriously misunderstand what is going on.