January 21, 2007

Dinesh's New Book -- Trashed

Noted conservative Dartmouth alum Dinesh D'Souza's new book, The Enemy at Home, has received the kind of dismissive reviews that a liberal Dartmouth student could only dream of seeing.

The New York Times features a review written by Alan Wolfe—a scholar with very legit credentials—which sums up D'Souza's argument thus:
We should stand with conservative Muslims in protest against the publication of the Danish cartoons that depicted the Prophet Muhammad rather than rallying to the liberal ideal of free speech. We should drop our alliance with decadent Europe and “should openly ally” with “governments that reflect Muslim interests, not ... Israeli interests.” And, most important of all, conservative religious believers in America should join forces with conservative religious believers in the Islamic world to combat their common enemy: the cultural left.
Hold on there, I thought conservatives believed that it was the cultural left that was cozying up to radical Islam, with our arguments that imperialism doesn't make people happy and that wars of aggression tend to end badly. Now D'Souza wants to replace the left as the Islamists' patsies? This is all far too confusing.

This part of the review might clear it up, however:
Lest one think that D’Souza exaggerates the danger the cultural left presents to America, he has an ace in the hole to back him up: Osama bin Laden himself. Bin Laden, it seems, has taken pains to identify his natural allies within the United States and regularly engages in “signaling” them through videotapes in “an effort to establish a broader political alliance.” In particular, his fall 2004 tape, generally believed to have helped George W. Bush defeat John F. Kerry, contained a secret message to the cultural left that D’Souza, and D’Souza alone, has decoded. “Whichever state does not encroach upon our security thereby ensures its own,” bin Laden declared. Anyone who thinks bin Laden used the term “state” to mean “country” — common usage in Europe and the Middle East — is wrong. He was actually telling residents of New York and Massachusetts that if they voted for the Democrats, he would refrain from killing them...
Not to push the point too far, I'll quote the ending of the review:
let this “decent” liberal make perfectly clear how thoroughly indecent Dinesh D’Souza is. Like his hero Joe McCarthy, he has no sense of shame. He is a childish thinker and writer tackling subjects about which he knows little to make arguments that reek of political extremism. His book is a national disgrace, a sorry example of a publishing culture more concerned with the sensational than the sensible. People on the left, especially those who have been subjects of D’Souza’s previous books, will shrug their shoulders at his latest screed. I look forward to the reaction from decent conservatives and Republicans who will, if they have any sense of honor, distance themselves, quickly and cleanly, from the Rishwain research scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
In my opinion, even indecent conservatives should distance themselves quickly from Dinesh: Jeffrey Hart, your thoughts? Laura Ingraham? Peter Robinson? Dartmouth Review?


  1. D'Souza on Colbert: http://www.youtube.com/v/XqO05zp72tc

  2. Anything the NY Times hates so much must be worth a look.