Among the many questions that continue to baffle me in life is why is conservative “intellectual” Dinesh D’Souza ever take seriously by anyone? And after viewing the man again on Piers Morgan’s CNN show as well as on HBO’s Real Team with Bill Maher, I’m still left baffled as to why anyone bothers talking to this guy (although to be fair, Bill Maher took the man far less seriously than most interviewers).
Throughout the years I’ve seen his TV appearances, video-taped lectures, and read a few of his books. Whether he was arguing for an alliance between American conservatives and Islamists or blaming the “cultural left” for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, D’Souza always came off to a nutjob to me, plain and simple. Yet the man continues to reappear as a public intellectual and respected (to an extent) writer.
Most recently, the former Reagan administration advisor has been on a ludicrous campaign to “educate” the public about President Barack Obama’s alleged affinity for an anti-colonialist ideology, inspired by his Kenyan father whom the President barely knew, that calls for the drastic downsizing of American power worldwide. This ideology, according to D’Souza, also emphasizes the interests of former colonies over the United States. D’Souza promotes these views through his book Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream and his recent movie 2016: Obama’s America. And much to my chagrin, the nutty ideologue has actually received decent press for these widely conspiratorial pieces.
To fully deconstruct D’Souza’s points in these works would take more space than I care to write here. However, there are some key points about President Obama’s foreign policy that D’Souza remains flat out delusional about.
As mentioned earlier, D’Souza claims that the President desires to scale down America’s imperial reach (which is somehow always a bad thing?), aspiring to support anti-Americanism within the Arab Spring. Yet this “intellectual” seems ignorant or amnesiac to the Obama administration’s current policies in places like Yemen or Bahrain, where the U.S. has been hesitant to embrace anti-regime elements for varying legitimate (fear of Islamist influence and/or anarchy) and illegitimate (fears of Iranian influence among the opposition and subservience to Saudi policy in the region) reasons.
D’Souza also ridiculously asserts that President Obama wholeheartedly gave support to the Egyptian revolution and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. As any half-conscious observer will recall, including Obama critic Niall Ferguson, the administration’s response to these events were disjointed and failed to involve any type of actual anti-regime assistance beyond vocal support once the outcome of the mass protests was clear.
The buffoon then goes on to chide President Obama for failing to be as active with Iran’s anti-regime protests. This ignores, of course, that not only were the anti-regime forces in the Persian country weaker to enact revolution than was Egypt’s mass movement but also that any type of American vocal support for the protests would have been either irrelevant or counterproductive to the protesters’ goals. Dinesh even claims that the President has been too soft on Iran, ignoring the numerous sanctions the administration has leveled against the theocratic tyranny.
On the issues of Libya and Syria, D’Souza completely contradicts his earlier arguments, stating that the President has failed to act in the latter (this is ignoring of course the administration’s limited covert support to the Syrian rebels) yet decided to in the former because of this aforementioned alleged commitment to anti-colonialist policies. Yet, if President Obama is truly an anti-colonialist who supported the resistance groups in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, why would he turn a blind eye to the Syria rebels? The obvious answers are numerous: less international support for the cause (namely China and Russia), fears of empowering Al Qaeda-linked jihadi groups, reluctance to accentuate sectarian violence (similar to post-war Iraq).
Now, those are the reasonable answers for one grounded in the real world. But for one grounded only in ideological conspiracy theories, the answer somehow is that President Obama’s actions merely support his anti-colonialist thought, in some convoluted way.
And yet D’Souza continues to get invited on mainstream TV programs to babble on like the pseudo-intellectual he is. Even interviewers who scoff at his overall ideas still act as if he has some valid points to make. But, to the detriment of our public discourse, he doesn’t.