Politics

D’Souza: F.D.R. ‘Indirectly Responsible’ For September 11

Prominent conservative intellectual Dinesh D’Souza has released a book titled “The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11.”

Last night on The Colbert Report, D’Souza repeated the right-wing attack that President Bill Clinton “did absolutely nothing” to fight global terrorists. Stephen Colbert jokingly asked, “Doesn’t some of it lie at FDR’s doorstep? Doesn’t things like Social Security and Medicare and LBJ’s Great Society, doesn’t some of that send the wrong message to our enemies?”

D’Souza answered, “Indirectly, yes,” explaining that “FDR gave away Eastern Europe through Yalta, and then the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the Muslims had to fight back and that’s where bin Laden got his start.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/01/desouza.320.240.flv]

D’Souza’s inflammatory book is being embraced by the conservative establishment. D’Souza currently has a feature interview in the National Review, and the Heritage Foundation will host a book event for him tomorrow.

PoliticsTV has video of the rest of Colbert’s show last night.

UPDATE: Steve Benen notes that Colbert was also able to get D’Souza to acknowledge that he agrees with some of Osama bin Laden’s critiques of the “liberal” elements of American culture.

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Full transcript:

COLBERT: This book is a revelation to me. Okay, It’s called “The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11.” Okay, I’ve been trying to figure this one out for a while. Walk me through it. How did the liberals plan 9/11? Go.

D’SOUZA: Well, first of all, the liberals convinced Jimmy Carter to withdraw American support for a valuable ally, the Shah of Iran. The United States pulled the Persian rug out from under the Shah, and who did we get — Khomeini? In trying to get back at the bad guy, we got the worst guy.

COLBERT: But Reagan got back at those bastards by selling them those Hawk missiles in the 80s, right? He showed them a thing or two about American muscle by giving them some —

D’SOUZA: Well, he also sent some, he sent missiles to Khadafi, which put him out of the terrorism trade. Here’s the second point. In the 1990s, the radical Muslims launched a bunch of attacks — the Khobar Towers, the embassies, the USS Cole. President Clinton did absolutely nothing, and bin Laden said, you know what, the United States is a bunch of cowards. That’s why, he says, he was emboldened to strike on 9/11.

COLBERT: But is all the responsibility Carter and Clinton’s? Doesn’t some of it lie at FDR’s doorstep? Doesn’t things like Social Security and Medicare and LBJ’s Great Society, doesn’t some of that send the wrong message to our enemies, that America cares about domestic issues and not just about foreign policy?

D’SOUZA: Indirectly, yes, here’s why.

COLBERT: I can’t wait. Can I guess? We never got to see him standing up, and, therefore, America doesn’t stand up for its principles?

D’SOUZA: No, FDR gave away Eastern Europe through Yalta, and then the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the Muslims had to fight back and that’s where bin Laden got his start.