- And in my recent appearance on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," I had to fend off the insistent host. "But you agree with the Islamic radicals, don't you?" Stephen Colbert asked again and again.
He certainly did ask it a couple of times, and D'Souza evaded him before saying:
- Colbert: You have the courage to say that right, that you agree with some of the things that these radical extremists are against in America?...Do you agree with that statement?
Dinesh D'Souza: I agree with it.
D'Souza, of course, is clearly implying that he resisted Colbert's question, when in fact he rather abjectly copped to the point.
As Atrios suggests, the D'Souza piece is a masterpiece of mendacity, phony nonsense, and gross distortion. You know, like his books. F'r instance:
- Bin Laden isn't upset because there are U.S. troops in Mecca, as liberals are fond of saying. (There are no U.S. troops in Mecca.)
No, liberals are fond of saying that Bin Laden is upset at the presence of U.S. soldiers in Saudi Arabia because it is the home of Mecca -- mainly because they were present there at the time of Al Qaeda's founding (namely, during the first Gulf War), and that presence remains permanent to this day. As Bin Laden humself put it:
- In an interview bin Laden gave to CNN in 1997, he said the ongoing U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia is an "occupation of the land of the holy places."
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 his 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.
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."
He saves the best for last, of course, in describing how he rationalizes all the criticism his book has attracted:
- But if a book says things that are obviously untrue and can be disproved, then it is not dangerous -- it is merely fiction and should be ignored. A book is dangerous only if it exposes something in the culture that some people are eager to keep hidden.
You know, the people who still promote The Protocols of the Seven Elders of Zion also believe that it exposes "something in the culture that some people are eager to keep hidden." Like D'Souza, they conveniently overlook the fact that their text attracts critics because it is a grotesque hoax, based on a lie and riddled with them, and its entire purpose is only to foment bigotry against a hated minority. Unfortunately, neither of them can be ignored, because a lot of stupid and gullible people will buy it and believe that it's true.
But then, it's obvious that this Hoover scholar lacks either the integrity or the intellect to acknowledge that sometimes, ferocious criticism is fully and deeply earned.