Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hanson-D'Souza: Steel Cage Match

Here is Victor Davis Hanson systematically dismantling Dinesh D'Souza, if you have any interest in such things. Two moments I liked in particular:
In this regard, remember the constant qualifiers in D’Souza’s book such as “Yes,” “Although,” “But” and “I am not objecting to,” as in the following: “Although 9/11 is routinely described as a terrorist attack, can anyone seriously maintain that the Pentagon was not a military target?”

Or: “So I am not objecting to the characterization of 9/11 as terrorism.”

Or: “Yes, there were civilians on the planes but the purpose of hijacking planes was not to kill civilians on board but to use the winged juggernauts as flaming projectiles to destroy the intended symbolic targets.”

That list of exculpation could be expanded, but what we see in these asides is an insidious effort somehow to downplay the savagery of al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks—as if they were not really aimed at butchering innocents in airliners, ordinary people at work, and civilian and military officials in a peacetime Pentagon, but rather legitimate collective cries of the heart from conservative Muslims forced to watch one too many Sean Penn movies or read one too many novels of the “insurgent” Kurt Vonnegut.
In this regard, (D'Souza) sums up:
We must give up on leftists in America and Europe who will never join our side and instead find common cause with the traditional Muslims who share many of our values and can actually help us defeat radical Islam.
What does “give up on” really mean? I am no big fan of a Russ Feingold or a Howard Dean, but as fellow Americans I find more resonance with them than with conservative Muslims abroad who, at least currently, do not approve of religious tolerance, or an equality of women, or freedom of speech and expression. Personally in this war I prefer to make “common cause” with the atheist leftist Christopher Hitchens or Al Gore’s former running mate, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, or a liberal Tom Lantos (also named as a “domestic insurgent” on the D’Souza list) than with someone abroad who embraces sharia law.
(Via Andrew Sullivan)


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