Hillary Clinton and Michael Moore are in absolutely no way responsible for the attacks of 9/11. Now just wait. We`ll check back tomorrow. I`ll show you the letters. Because about 10 percent of the viewers just translated that into Glenn Beck says liberals caused the trade — World Trade Centers to fall, which is clearly a view I don`t have. But my next guest does.
So let`s just see if there`s anybody there on the extreme left or the extreme right who will actually listen to the differences in our views or if they`re all just too busy right now blogging and logging onto their blog sites.
Dinesh D`Souza, he is the author of “The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and It`s Responsibility for 9/11”.
Dinesh, I have to tell you, I`m — I`m disappointed in this book. I`m a fan. I read your book — I believe it was called “What`s so Great About America” — and I found it inspiring. This book, or at least the premise – – I haven`t read it — the premise is divisive and I believe untrue. Please explain your premise.
DINESH D`SOUZA, AUTHOR, “THE ENEMY AT HOME”: Well, remember, after 9/11 there was a kind of gorgeous moment of national unity. And I think my earlier book, “What`s So Great About America”, reflects that.
But the truth is, Glenn, we live in a divided country. I mean, look, one half of the people in this country seem to want to fight a war on terror, and there`s an organized camp in this country that seems to want Bush to lose the war on terror.
BECK: That`s not the same, Dinesh, as causing 9/11.
D`SOUZA: No, no. I agree with that. But what I`m saying is five years after 9/11, it`s not a bad idea to take a cold, critical look and see what are the roots of 9/11.
Take a simple example. The radical Muslims have been around since the 1920s. They first got a major stake when they captured Iran. Khomeini was the first guy to cal America the great Satan, who instigated Muslims to have martyrdom and jihad against us.
And how did we get Khomeini? Because Jimmy Carter came into office. He said, “I`m a virtuous man. I believe in human rights. We support the shah. The shah is a tyrant.” So America pulls the Persian rug out from under the shah. And in trying to get rid of the bad guy, we get the worst guy.
So here`s a concrete way in which we put a major state into the hands of radical Islam.
This is a far cry, of course, from the actual thesis of D’Souza’s book, which isn’t about Jimmy Carter’s short-sighted miscalucalations. In his book, he says flatly that “the cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11” (that’s right on page one) — through immorality, not through Jimmy Carter. So Beck tries to get D’Souza back on point:
BECK: I can`t believe — why would you put me in this situation? I mean, I`m a conservative. Why are you take — putting me into this situation where I have to just now tear you to shreds?
What are you talking about, 1979 is the first time this reared its ugly head? Jimmy Carter caused this stuff? Are you crazy?
In 1950, the Muslim Brotherhood, in fact if I can give this guy`s name, Sayyid Qutb. He`s a guy who moved over to the United States in the 1940s. I mean, it took me a while to look this us, but I knew I had read this someplace before.
He moves over to the United States. He leaves. In about 1950, he goes back to Egypt, because he says America is just a decadent place.
And let me quote some of the things that he said. “The poor hair cuts in America, the enthusiasm for sports, the animal-like mixing of the sexes.” This predates Jimmy Carter just by a few years.
D`SOUZA: I know. But see, Qutb was one of the thinkers of radical Islam. I`m talking about the radical Muslims moving from the theoretical phase to the phase of actually capturing a major state and making it a beachhead for launching the Khomeini revolution.
D`SOUZA: … you`ve done five minutes of Internet research but I`ve been researching this for four years. I look at all these thinkers. I look at their impact on action.
D’Souza here is just pulling rank on Beck. But the argument from authority is the weakest of all arguments. We should believe D’Souza because he has studied this for four years? Tell me another.
Now look, let me give you another example. After the Cold War the radical Muslims went back to their own countries. Bin Laden went back to Saudi Arabia. Al Zawahiri went back to Egypt. They were fighting the near enemy, their own governments.
But then they decided to shift strategy and attack the far enemy, which is us, the United States. Why? Because Bin Laden said, “I have come to the view that the United States, the far enemy, is more cowardly, is more vulnerable than the near enemy.”
And how did he decide that? Because the radical Muslims launched a bunch of strikes, the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers attack, the embassy attacks, the bombing of the Cole. And Bill Clinton did absolutely nothing. So this emboldened bin Laden, by his own account, was emboldened to strike at 9/11.
Here again, D’Souza still is not dealing with his book’s main thrust, that American immorality caused 9/11. He is right that the perception of Bill Clinton’s cowardice emboldened the jihadists. But from his book, we should expect D’Souza to be saying that drugs, pornography and abortion made the jihadists decide to focus on the United States. He can’t say that, however, because it is patently false, as is his entire thesis, and so in defending it he resorts to irrelevancy.
BECK: Boy, you`ve done — you`ve done a great job of mixing some fact with some fiction. You`re exactly right; that did embolden Osama bin Laden. But your point — and please correct me if I have this wrong — is that the liberals in America are the root of the problem.
I am a conservative, sir, who is telling you the nut jobs over in the Middle East have used the fertilizer of things like Hollywood and liberalism, or the idea here of, you know, Bill Clinton emboldening them or even, dare I say it, Ronald Reagan doing the same thing in Beirut. Yes, that`s fertilizer. That`s not the root, Dinesh.
D`SOUZA: No, true. But I agree with this. But you have to realize that the radical Muslims, while they are exploiting these things, are striking a resonant chord among traditional Muslims. And the traditional Muslims are the recruiting pool of radical Islam.
So we will not be able to drive a wedge between traditional Islam and radical Islam if we cannot effectively answer the charge that we are trying to impose secularism, family breakdown and moral decadence of Islamic society. Simply snorting about it isn`t going to solve the problem.
Nonsense. These are pretexts used to stir up anger against us. That’s certainly true. But ultimately the jihad imperative rests on the words of the Qur’an, the teachings of Muhammad, and the rulings of the Islamic schools of law. All agree that Muslims must wage war against non-Muslims in order to establish Islamic law over the world. They must do this whether or not the non-Muslims are immoral. And as D’Souza himself points out here, the modern resurgance of the jihad is based on the perception that America is weak, not on the perception that America is immoral.
BECK: Simply separating ourselves and saying that anyone beside those hijackers flew those planes into those buildings, those are the people responsible.
Yes. As always with this sort of thing, much more needs to be said. But Beck did a good job within a short timeframe.