Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blaming ourselves?

An original but predictable take (via Michael Berube) on the question of who was to blame for September 11 by Dinesh D'Souza whose work guides many Australian 'liberal' intellectuals such as Barry Maley. D'Souza gave us Illiberal Education the guidebook of the campus culture warriors on how political correctness is destroying allegiance to the achievements of western civilisation. In his new The Enemy at Home D'Souza shows how:
<> In THE ENEMY AT HOME, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza makes the startling claim that the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist acts around the world can be directly traced to the ideas and attitudes perpetrated by America’s cultural left. D’Souza shows that liberals—people like Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Bill Moyers, and Michael Moore—are responsible for fostering a culture that angers and repulses not just Muslim countries but also traditional and religious societies around the world. Their outspoken opposition to American foreign policy—including the way the Bush administration is conducting the war on terror—contributes to the growing hostility, encouraging people both at home and abroad to blame America for the problems of the world. He argues that it is not our exercise of freedom that enrages our enemies, but our abuse of that freedom—from the sexual liberty of women to the support of gay marriage, birth control, and no-fault divorce, to the aggressive exportation of our vulgar, licentious popular culture. The cultural wars at home and the global war on terror are usually viewed as separate problems. In this groundbreaking book, D’Souza shows that they are one and the same. It is only by curtailing the left’s attacks on religion, family, and traditional values that we can persuade moderate Muslims and others around the world to cooperate with us and begin to shun the extremists in their own countries.
As Osama Bin Laden said in his statement after 9/11:
We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with interest.
Why is this crackpot politics so influential on the American right? Timothy Noah has an explanation:
the main driving force is the bankruptcy of contemporary conservatism as represented by the Bush administration. An aggressively interventionist foreign policy has stumbled badly; a sharp cutback in taxes has failed to bring prosperity to the middle class; and, since Hurricane Katrina leveled New Orleans, citizens have come to regard governmental incompetence less as a reason to vote Republican than as a reason to hold Republicans responsible for indifferent stewardship. Things have gotten so bad that the GOP may conceivably lose control of both the House and the Senate in the coming midterm congressional elections. When you don't have anything new to say, and what you've been saying in the past no longer has much plausibility, you have three choices. You can shut up. For conservative commentators, this is inconceivable, not to mention financially ruinous. You can re-examine your premises. This is not the conservative style. Or you can pump up the volume.
In Australia there those, such as Jason Briant, who want to see an American-style 'conservative movement'. For the time being Australian conservatives can ride on Howard's coat tails, how might they respond to a change of the political climate?


At 6:15 AM, Blogger Jim Belshaw said...

Geoff, for some reason the link to Jason Briant did not work. I had not previously seen Michael Berube's blog. It's very impressive and thoughtful in content terms.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Geoff Robinson said...

The link does now seem dead, which given the quality of the piece is perhaps deserved!

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Jim Belshaw said...

Geoff, then maybe for the best, although you have aroused my curiosity!


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