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Friday, January 26, 2007
Making D'Souza Look Sane
Topic: Horowitz

You know Dinesh D'Souza's new book "The Enemy at Home" is way out there when the David Horowitz crew is attcking it. Two columnists at Horowitz's have launched attacks on it thus far. D'Souza has also been the subject of an interview with FrontPageMag managing editor Jamie Glazov over the book.

Normally known for tossing softballs at his interview subjects -- i.e., David Limbaugh -- Glazov, after a first softball-laden segment, gets aggressive with D'Souza and attempts the feat of attacking him from the right. This leads to inevitable results, like making D'Souza look reasonable by comparison. At one point, Glazov essentially defends Abu Ghraib because we didn't treat the prisoners as bad as Saddam would have (and reveals a slight obsession with women's underwear):

The real significance of Abu Ghraib was that what happened there was a Sunday school class compared to what happened under Saddam Hussein -- and all Iraqis and Arab Muslims know it. What happened at Abu Ghraib was a frat party compared to a history of peoples’ live bodies being passed through human shredders, lowered into boiling baths of acid, people having their kids raped in front of them, and humans having their body parts mutilated while they are alive.

In terms of the torture that is perpetrated by ruthless regimes around the world, any sane human being would only dream of being a prisoner in an American Abu Ghraib.


Personally, I can say with full certainty that I would prefer a woman’s underwear to be placed over my head any day to having my eye sockets cut out, my head crushed in a vice and my limbs mutilated, or my body being torn apart in a meat shredder.


The key significance here is that the horror that exists in the Muslim world over a pair of woman’s underwear being placed on a man’s head is a reflection of that culture’s immorality, not ours. I am obviously not saying that a pair of woman’s underwear on a man’s head should represent a cultural norm. Obviously the guards were engaging in sadistic and juvenile behavior and they should be reprimanded or punished for their conduct accordingly. But there is a larger context here. And that is that the nightmarish dread with which the underwear scene was greeted in the Arab Muslim world reflected the hatred of women and of their sexuality in these societies. It exposed the terror that males experience when confronted with the notion of a woman having power over them, let alone even being an equal. That reality for a male is considered a virtual hell. This reveals the vile misogyny that exists in the Islamic world – and that should be the primary subject of our moral indignation.

After D'Souza calls Glazov on it, pointing out that You cannot defend one kind of wrong by pointing to another kind of wrong, Glazov gets more indignant:

I also don’t understand why you keep saying that I am “defending” Abu Ghraib. It’s easier arguing with straw men I guess. I clearly stated in my last comment that the American guards at Abu Ghraib were engaging in sadistic and juvenile behavior and that they should be punished accordingly.

You accuse me of having a “disgracefully cavalier attitude” about the underwear-on-the-head episode. It’s not the first time in my life I’ve been accused of being cavalier about something and it won’t be the last. But let me tell you something that I don’t have a “disgraceful” cavalier attitude about:

Glazov digresses into a long spiel about how he is "the child of Soviet dissidents" and how his family was terrorized by the Soviet NKVD, which purportedly shows his sensitivity to the issue of torture. Eventally he gets back on point:

The point is that we never stooped to Saddam's level and we don't stoop to Saddam’s level. And it’s hypocritical for Muslims, and anyone else, to suddenly cry foul about our disrespect for the Muslim “shame” culture when no comparable outrage was on display throughout Saddam's reign of terror. And if you can’t grasp that when a bestial and ferocious fury occurs in response to a woman’s pair of underwear being placed on a man’s head, it is connected to a society’s misogyny -- where a terrifying dread exists in the notion of a woman’s equality to a man -- I don’t know what to say.

Later, Glazov launches into an anti-liberal screed:

You stated in our interview, Mr. D’Souza, that the Left loves America in its own way. I would have to disagree. The Left wants to destroy America -- as well as its democratic-capitalist foundations. The America they love will be the one they yearn to build on the ashes of the one that exists, and the one they yearn to destroy. And the one they will build will have no resemblance to the one that exists and to the one whose freedoms they exploit in their effort to destroy it. It will resemble Mao’s China and Stalinist Russia and Castro’s Cuba, and that’s why the Left venerated those tyrannies throughout the 20th Century and offered them its own personal solidarity and affection.


I stand by my statement that the only America that the Left loves is the one that it yearns to build on the ashes on the existing America that is seeks to destroy.

Was making D'Souza look sane the point of Glazov's ranting?

(UPDATE: Edits made for clarity and formatting.) 

Posted by Terry K. at 4:40 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 26, 2007 10:17 PM EST

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