Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Idiocy on the Right and the Left

First off, right-wing extremist Dinesh D'Souza has written a book in which he lays much of the blame for 9/11 on American liberals, or more specifically, "the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world." This mirrors exactly comments made in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, two men still highly respected by the Republican right. D'Souza clearly does not know (or, in Bushite style, prefers not to know), that the leading grievances against the United States by citizens of the Islamic world pertain to US foreign policy. Unfortunately, these grievances have been exacerbated by the current administration's actions in Iraq, and by its gravely immoral detainee policy (including the use of torture). These are the people D'Souza needs to blame, but I don't see that happening.

And now to the left. Case in point: the cynical moral relativism that affects so many on the left. Martin Amis points to a clear case when asked what depressed him the most about the United Kingdom since his return. He opined:
"The most depressing thing was the sight of middle-class white demonstrators, last August, waddling around under placards saying, We Are All Hizbollah Now. Well, make the most of being Hizbollah while you can. As its leader, Hasan Nasrallah, famously advised the West: "We don't want anything from you. We just want to eliminate you." Similarly, when I went on Question Time the other week, a woman in the audience, her voice quavering with self-righteousness, presented the following argument: since it was America that supported Osama bin Laden when he was fighting the Russians, the US armed forces, in response to September 11, "should be dropping bombs on themselves!" And the audience applauded. It is quite an achievement. People of liberal sympathies, stupefied by relativism, have become the apologists for a creedal wave that is racist, misogynist, homophobic, imperialist, and genocidal. To put it another way, they are up the arse of those that want them dead."
This is what happens when religious faith is simply discarded. When Mao destroyed the last vestiges of traditional China during the Cultural Revolution, the modern China was born without spiritual values, and wedded to crass materialism. In much of secular Europe, the basic norms of humanism are being grotesquely distorted, given the lack of belief in objective truth. And meanwhile, the exact same thing happens on the Bushite right, as facts and truth are sacrificed to ideology. Idiots all round!

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