Dinesh D'Souza, 9/11, & the Failure of the Media

"Anti-Americanism from abroad would not be such a problem if Americans were united in standing up for their own country. But in this country itself, there are those who blame America for most of the evils in the world."
- Dinesh D'Souza, 2003.

"In this book I make a claim that will seem startling at the outset. The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11."
- Dinesh D'Souza, 2007.


Conservative author Dinesh D'Souza has a new book out, "The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11". D'Souza's thesis may come as some surprise to you. Perhaps you thought that "Islamofascists" were responsible for 9/11, or maybe you hold the somewhat contrarian view that 9/11 was a case of "blowback", and America's foreign policy is to blame. Could be that you view 9/11 as an obvious PsyOp, directed at the American people to catalyze public opinion into supporting the WAR ON TERROR!

Well, turns out we're all wrong. In this new polemic, D'Souza pins the crime of 9/11 ultimately on the "cultural left" of the United States, one of the most starkly anti-American positions to be publicly taken by a pundit of the Left or Right in this country.

The fact that D'Souza's overall thesis is wrong on its face should not dissuade clever critics on the Left from showering his book with scorn, and so far that has indeed been the case. The first volley was lobbed from blogger Michael Bérubé, then James Wolcott of Vanity Fair, followed by a short burst from Mark Warren posted at Powell's. These were mere drops, and now an online search reveals a host of criticism directed at D'Souza's latest. To date, the best face-to-face mocking of D'Souza was delivered on The Colbert Report.

And, of course, the world would not be perfect without a sycophantic/hagiographic lavishing of praise for D'Souza from the typically worthless NewsMax.com. (Ok, I admit it, the NewsMax review isn't TOTALLY sycophantic.)

Although the inevitable exchanges of rhetoric being generated due to the publishing of this volume are sure to make entertaining reading, (and watching), the audience taking in this futile fusillade is merely watching a dumb show without a program, and will be left none the wiser for the next act.

Bukkaked With Stupid

The evidence before the court is incontrovertible
There's no need for the jury to retire!

- Pink Floyd, The Trial.

What the intrepid D'Souza and his scurrilous detractors rob their audience of is a comprehensive, holistic examination of actual causitive forces behind 9/11. Instead, what we get on the one hand is a shameful shilling from D'Souza, and on the other, the familiar lobbing of feces from the offended party in defensive mode. (In this case, the "cultural left".)

The end result is a Punch and Judy play, but with a worse script. Slapstick with no humor. A blindfolded boxing match. Ice hockey with no skates.

This moderately entertaining distraction does not serve the public in any meaningful way. The back and forth jousting between ideologically lobotomized intellectuals will not lead to any realizations that haven't already been bouncing around the mainstream or alternative media portals for years now.

What this binary, phoney jockeying does is exacerbate social differences that have no causal link to 9/11, and leads to abortive manifestations of repressed resentment, like the overtly opportunistic venture undertaken by Orson Scott Card: "Empire". (BTW, it's not just a book.)

As otherwise bright brains tilt at windmills (and each other) serious, thoughtful discussion about 9/11 is removed from public discourse in one of the most accessible venues around; the media-spanning blame-game known in the United States as the two-party system.

Pin the Terror on the Donkey

If D'Souza was serious about identifying elements of the left that bear culpability for 9/11 he would start in 1979 with the initiation of the program that resulted in the Petri dish of covert operations in Afghanistan.

Necessarily, we have to discard the coy label "cultural left" and get down to brass tacks, by invoking the Donkey; the Democratic administration of President Jimmy Carter.

In 1979, Carter authorized the CIA to begin facilitating the mujahideen, six months prior to the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan. This rewrites the chronolgy of events commonly understood by most Westerners. Most citizens of Western countries see the facilitation of the mujihadeen following the invasion of Afghanistan, certainly not preceding and possibly provoking the invasion. Evidently, he wasn't such a befuddled Georgia peanut farmer after all.

Another common popular misconception about the Afghan situation is that once the Cold War more or less ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, so did American involvement with the mujahideen. This is not true. Overt and covert connections well-entrenched during 12 years of Republican rule under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush were kept alive to grease the skids for geopolitical strategy rolled out under President Clinton.

In the book, "Dollars for Terror", author Richard Labévière relates how one anonymous CIA analyst saw the situation;

The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia. (1)

Anonymous CIA agents will say anything! So let's look at a couple of other sources. First, Peter Dale Scott, a longtime student of covert operations conducted by government agencies like the CIA, but also an analyst of the role of oil companies in geopolitical arrangements and the largely hidden role of drug trafficking as an undercurrent to many disturbing overtly political events;

The American people have been seriously misled about the origins of the al Qaeda movement blamed for the 9/11 attacks, just as they have been seriously misled about the reasons for America’s invasion of Iraq.

The truth is that for at least two decades the United States has engaged in energetic covert programs to secure U.S. control over the Persian Gulf, and also to open up Central Asia for development by U.S. oil companies. Americans were eager to gain access to the petroleum reserves of the Caspian Basin, which at that time were still estimated to be “the largest known reserves of unexploited fuel in the planet.”

To this end, time after time, U.S. covert operations in the region have used so-called “Arab Afghan” warriors as assets, the jihadis whom we loosely link with the name and leadership of al Qaeda. In country after country these “Arab Afghans” have been involved in trafficking Afghan heroin.

America’s sponsorship of drug-trafficking Muslim warriors, including those now in Al Qaeda, dates back to the Afghan War of 1979-89, sponsored in part by the CIA’s links to the drug-laundering Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). It was part of CIA Director Casey’s strategy for launching covert operations over and above those approved and financed by a Democratic-controlled Congress.

Republicans have had their say as well, but they knew that making political hay out of Clinton's covert policy in the Balkans, specifically Bosnia, would only open-up rich veins of Black-Ops that led back to the no-holds-barred approach that the CIA undertook under the Reagan and Bush aministrations throught the 1980's. They settled for one report, which was damning enough;

Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission -- and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia -- is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), "played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia." Further, according to the Times, in September 1996 National Security Agency analysts contradicted Clinton Administration claims of declining Iranian influence, insisting instead that "Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel remain active throughout Bosnia." Likewise, "CIA analysts noted that the Iranian presence was expanding last fall," with some ostensible cultural and humanitarian activities "known to be fronts" for the Revolutionary Guard and Iran's intelligence service, known as VEVAK, the Islamic revolutionary successor to the Shah's SAVAK. [LAT, 12/31/96] At a time when there is evidence of increased willingness by pro-Iranian Islamic militants to target American assets abroad -- as illustrated by the June 1996 car-bombing at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 American airmen, in which the Iranian government or pro-Iranian terrorist organizations are suspected ["U.S. Focuses Bomb Probe on Iran, Saudi Dissident," Chicago Tribune, 11/4/96] -- it is irresponsible in the extreme for the Clinton Administration to gloss over the extent to which its policies have put American personnel in an increasingly vulnerable position while performing an increasingly questionable mission...

...To understand how the Clinton green light would lead to this degree of Iranian influence, it is necessary to remember that the policy was adopted in the context of extensive and growing radical Islamic activity in Bosnia. That is, the Iranians and other Muslim militants had long been active in Bosnia; the American green light was an important political signal to both Sarajevo and the militants that the United States was unable or unwilling to present an obstacle to those activities -- and, to a certain extent, was willing to cooperate with them. In short, the Clinton Administration's policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an ongoing international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network involves not only Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities.

For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. ["How Bosnia's Muslims Dodged Arms Embargo: Relief Agency Brokered Aid From Nations, Radical Groups," Washington Post, 9/22/96; see also "Saudis Funded Weapons For Bosnia, Official Says: $300 Million Program Had U.S. 'Stealth Cooperation'," Washington Post, 2/2/96] TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Binladen, a wealthy Saudi emigre believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [WP, 9/22/96] (Sheik Rahman, a native of Egypt, is currently in prison in the United States; letter bombs addressed to targets in Washington and London, apparently from Alexandria, Egypt, are believed connected with his case. Binladen was a resident in Khartoum, Sudan, until last year; he is now believed to be in Afghanistan, "where he has issued statements calling for attacks on U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf." [WP, 9/22/96])

Speaking of Republicans...

Look Out! Rogue Elephant!

You could say that Carter punted the real responsiblity for the escalation of the Afghan involvement into the Reagan presidency, and boy did the Gipper run with it. Robert Gates reveals in his memoir "From the Shadows" (1996);

...it was during this period [1985] that we began to learn of a significant increase in the number of Arab nationals from other countries who had traveled to Afghanistan to fight in the Holy War against the Soviets. They came from Syria, Iraq, Algeria, and elsewhere, and most fought with the Islamic fundamentalist Muj groups, particularly that headed by Abdul Resaul Sayyaf. We examined ways to increase their participation, perhaps in the form of some sort of ‘international brigade,’ but nothing came of it. Years later, these fundamentalist fighters trained by the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan would begin to show up around the world, from the Middle East to New York City, still fighting their Holy War – only now including the United States among their enemies. Our mission was to push the Soviets out of Afghanistan. We expected a post-Soviet Afghanistan to be ugly, but never considered that it would become a haven for terrorists operating worldwide.

Hmm... now let's consider author Ahmed Rashid's numbers on the international recruiting drive of the mujahideen... it was a "significant increase", that's for sure;

Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan mujahideen. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslim radicals came to study in the hundreds of new madrassas [religious schools] that Zia’s military government began to fund in Pakistan and along the Afghan border. Eventually more than 100,000 Muslim radicals were to have direct contact with Pakistan and Afghanistan and be influenced by the jihad [against the USSR].

In camps near Peshawar and in Afghanistan, these radicals met each other for the first time and studied trained and fought together. It was the first opportunity for most of them to learn about Islamic movements in other countries, and they forged tactical and ideological links that would serve them well in the future. The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism.

Now, ex-CIA analyst Mel Goodman paints a less sterile picture of the CIA's involvement;

In his memoirs, former secretary of state George Shultz demonstrated that CIA involvement in a policy of covert action tainted its intelligence. His memoirs remind us that when operations and analysis get mixed up, "the president gets bum dope." Shultz demonstrated how this happened in the 1980s in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, all contributign to the strife we face today in Southwest Asia. CIA director William Casey and his deputy Robert Gates covered up important intelligence regarding Pakistani nuclear developments in order to protect the covert action program supporting the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, and they exaggerated the role of the Stingers against Soviet forces in order to trumpet clandestine deliveries of surface-to-air weapons. When I challenged the operational director of the deliveries about providing weapons to the most reactionary members of the mujahedeen long after the Soviet withdrawal, he responded "we merely delivered the weapons to Pakistan and let God sort it out." This is the mentality that provided weapons and influence to Bin Laden and other anti-western fanatics.

So it went throughout the 1980s and early 90s, with people at various levels of "need-to-know" watching the increase of CIA involvement with the mujahideen and fledgling Al Qaeda network. All under tacit knowledge of the CIA, and the CIA under conscious control of the Republican administration(s) in power.

The question of tacit awareness starts to blur when you consider what leading Republicans were up to in the summer of 1979, while Carter was polishing the keystone for the establishment of the mujahideen in Afghanistan and ultimately the nascent network of Al Qaeda.

This is described in detail by author Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed;

In the summer of 1979, a group of powerful elites from various countries gathered at an international conference in Jerusalem to promote and exploit the idea of “international terrorism.” The forum, officially known as the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism (JCIT), was organized by Benjamin Netanyahu...

...Over two decades ago, the JCIT established the ideological foundations for the “War on Terror.” The JCIT’s defining theme was that international terrorism constituted an organized political movement whose ultimate origin was in the Soviet Union. All terrorist groups were ultimately products of, and could be traced back to, this single source, which—according to the JCIT—provided financial, military, and logistical assistance to disparate terrorist movements around the globe. The mortal danger to Western security and democracy posed by the worldwide scope of this international terrorist movement required an appropriate worldwide anti-terrorism offensive, consisting of the mutual coordination of Western military intelligence services. The JCIT’s findings served as the basis of the worldwide publication of hundreds of newspaper, think-tank and academic accounts of Soviet involvement in orchestrating an international terrorist network.

But as Philip Paull documents extensively in his Masters thesis at San Francisco State University, the JCIT’s own literature and use of source documentation was profoundly flawed. It heavily cited, for instance, statistics purporting to demonstrate a drastic ten-fold increase in incidents of international terrorism between 1968-78—but as Paull shows, these figures were deliberately concocted and inflated, contradicting original CIA data illustrating a decline in terrorist incidents for the same period. It also routinely relied on techniques of blatant disinformation, misquoting and misrepresenting Western intelligence reports, as well as recycling governmentsponsored disinformation published in the mainstream media. Paull thus concludes that the 1979 JCIT was:

“… a successful propaganda operation… the entire notion of ‘international terrorism’ as promoted by the Jerusalem Conference rests on a faulty, dishonest, and ultimately corrupt information base…. The issue of international terrorism has little to do with fact, or with any objective legal definition of international terrorism. The issue, as promoted by the Jerusalem Conference and used by the Reagan administration, is an ideological and instrumental issue. It is the ideology, rather than the reality that dominates US foreign policy today.”

The new ideology of “international terrorism” justified the Reagan administration’s shift to “a renewed interventionist foreign policy,” and legitimized a “new alliance between right-wing dictatorships everywhere” and the government. “These military dictatorships and repressive governments have long used the word ‘terrorist’ to characterize the opposition to their rule.” Thus, the administration had moved to “legitimate their politics of state terrorism and repression,” while also alleviating pressure for the reform of the intelligence community and opening the door for “aggressive and sometimes illegal intelligence action,” in the course of fighting the international terrorist threat.

The primary architects of the JCIT’s “international terrorism” project were, reports Paull, “present and former members of the Israeli and United States governments, new right politicians, high-ranking former United States and Israeli intelligence officers, the anti-détente, pro-cold war group associated with the policies of Senator Henry M. Jackson, a group of neoconservative journalists and intellectuals…, and reactionary British and French politicians and publicists.” Individuals who participated included:


* Richard Pipes, a professor and Russian expert in President Reagan’s National Security Council

* Ray S. Cline, former Deputy Director for Intelligence at the CIA

* Maj. Gen. George J. Keegan, former US Air Force Intelligence chief

* George Bush Sr., former CIA Director and then Presidential candidate who later became President.

It is perhaps no coincidence that Bush Sr.’s son, President George W. Bush, has most effectively overseen the enforcement of an entire domestic and international American political program based principally on the ideology of “international terrorism.” Noting the instrumental influence of the JCIT on US policy during the Reagan administration, re-emerging with the Bush Jnr. Administration, Diana Ralph rightly concludes that the new “War on Terror” is “modelled on Islamophobic myths, policies, and political structures developed by the Israeli Likkud in 1979, to inspire popular support for US world conquest initiatives”. (2)

Whew. Believe me, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The Mixdown

Look, it's all great fun to hurl insults at each other on the printed page and blame vague, malleable constructs like "the cultural left" for 9/11. However, it's a load of bollocks, with no more intellectual nutritive value than a Harlequin Romance novel. Actually, wait a second, you could probably derive a comprehensive thesis about 'sexual archetypes in popular fiction' from Harlequin novels, but... you cannot derive a comprehensive thesis about 9/11 by analyzing "the cultural left"... so I take that back.

The sources I copy and paste from above are not unified by a theory about 9/11, nor are they ideologically similar. The Republican House report from the Clinton years is distinctly partisan. However, they are unified by the direction in which these pieces of information consistently lead; to covert operations whose nature has very little to do with the daily lives of American citizens.

Threaded in with the covert operations are the very real and documentable wants and needs of powerful oil conglomerates. When you overlay the drug trafficking that unites Afghan warlords, international organized crime syndicates, and government agencies that provide cover for them, you do not wind up with a Gore Vidal novel. Indeed, you do not wind up with any cultural artifacts that have "the cultural left" stamped on them.

Not only are we presented with an unrealistic paradigm in D'Souza's latest, we are robbed of discourse on the national (and international level) about the real causes and effects of "international terrorism".



1. Richard Labévière, Dollars for Terror: The United States and Islam (New York: Algora Publishing, 2000), Prologue.  

2. You can download Ahmed's entire report "Subverting Terrorism" for free from the Perdana Global Peace Forum website. You can view an HTML version here.

this book is an abomination.

this book is an abomination. and of course, the media is having this guy on all over the place, from the Daily Show to CNN and everywhere in between.

Whew, what a complicated blog.

For us simple folk how about going back to the speech that Woodrow Wilson gave to Congress in January 1918 before the end of the War to end all Wars.

The Introduction to the 14 point speech is as follows:
"In January 1918, ten months before the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson appeared before a joint session of Congress and made this address suggesting possible peace terms to end the four-year-old conflict in which soldiers from England, France, Germany, Russia and many other nations had died by the millions. The United States under Wilson had remained out of the war until 1917. The Fourteen Points outlined in this speech served as both the basis for peace and the hopeful establishment of a better post-war world at the conclusion of "the culminating and final war for human liberty." "

Although the speech was made almost 90 years ago there is much to be learned by it. The first of the 14 points I have copied below. It is the most important in my opinion.

"1. Open covenants of peace must be arrived at, after which there will surely be no private international action or rulings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. "



We are where we are because things started happening behind closed doors.
Cover-ups wouldn't be necessary without dishonesty.

This book's a bleeding joke!

    But I also think it's a sign of desparation. It's like Ann Coulter without "Ann"--one shrill tirade about how liberals are at fault for vague and undefined reasons.

    I was sort of stunned when I first saw it while doing a little research on Ms. Coulter for CrossBall. Amazon has it grouped with "Godless" and other "masterpeices of literature". If someone had told be about it I wouldn't have believed them without seeing it:

"For you consideration: a blog, much like other blogs, a group of persons sharing an affinity of outlook and goals. But little do they know, as they surf the internet, they are about to log on to "The Twilight Zone".

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

Nice review, but "bukkake"?

This is the second time I have read this word on a 9/11 blog. The word is disgusting and degrading to women.
There must be a better way to say that.


Yep, it's disgusting.

So is D'Souza's theory, and the left/right media circus accompanying the book.

The audience of this spectacle is being "bukkaked" with stupid.

"It's all the Liberals fault!"

"It's all the Conservatives fault!"

It's disgusting.

Wikipedia entry on "bukkake"

Article: "Bukkake: When Did It Get to This?"

Thank you for the wiki link

Thank you for the wiki link on that--somehow I missed that one.

As a person born with ovaries, while this is NOT MY THING, I would say it is only demeaning if it isn't consensual--ahem, that is if it is sexual assult.

The only thing demeaning is someone being FORCED to do this. Come on, we can think straighter than this, people. It is not the act that is the problem, it is whether there is equal power in the relationship(s)and consent.

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

I see your point but...

I had not actually known anything about this phenomenon and really wish I had not just learned, as a result of your post. Yuck!


for ruining my next bowl of udon. :-)

I made my point. Nice review.