Culture War = War on Terror?

Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and its Responsibility for 9/11, seems to be getting negative reviews. One such review comes from Warren Bass:

In other words, D’Souza’s answer to the famous post-9/11 question of “Why do they hate us?” is that it all depends on the meaning of the word “us.” In arguing that it’s liberals who have brought al-Qaeda’s wrath down upon the United States, he vents his indignation largely at his fellow Americans, not the fanatics who’ve declared it a holy duty to murder us all — civilians and soldiers alike. Obsessed with a “near enemy” of his own, D’Souza endorses much of the jihadist critique of American society and gives at least a partial moral pass to al-Qaeda and the perpetrators of 9/11. It should go without saying that bin Laden’s self-styled fatwas make no distinction between liberals and conservatives. There was a time when Americans at war did not do so either.

As someone who has generally enjoyed D’Souza’s books, I can’t say I’m impressed that he would blame 9/11 on the “cultural left.” It is true that the moral decadence from Hollywood, for example, fuels some anti-Americanism among traditionalist Muslims. But so what? Such decadence is a symptom of freedom. Perhaps we could curtail freedoms, outlawing skin flicks, homosexuality, provocative clothing, and rights for women. Perhaps this would cause radical Muslims to hate us less. Sorry, but no thanks. I’d rather have freedom and take the chances that come with it.

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