According to Dean Barnett, D’Souza states his thesis for The Enemy at Home thus:
I am saying that 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.
At first this sounds remotely plausible to a conservative ear. After all, these same people are responsible for the “volcano of anger” of Middle Americans that is directed at these institutions. It might stand to reason that Muslims, with their even stricter and more restrictive codes of behaviour, would react even more angrily against these same things. There is also probably enough truth to it for most people to be willing to hear D’Souza out as he attempts to prove his thesis.
But why does D’Souza write this book, and why does he write it now? D’Souza is a well-known flack for the war in Iraq. In The Enemy at Home, according to Tom’s review, D’Souza attempts to stick an apologia for Bush’s Near East policy into his culture war/alliance with Muslims book. As Tom notes, the combination doesn’t really work as a single book. However, the apologia was essential, because I believe that it is to save the reputation of interventionism that D’Souza cooked up this overblown claim about the cultural left’s responsibility for 9/11. Whatever responsibility for anti-American sentiment the cultural left does bear, it is indeed a huge leap to claim that this lead to 9/11. 9/11 was the hideous work of people who hated America because of the presence of our soldiers in Saudi Arabia and, according to their public claims, our sanctions on Iraq and our support for Israel. U.S. foreign policy was a major cause of, and in some large degree did provoke, the attacks of 9/11. Those who support interventionist foreign policy generally and especially those who support its most aggressive, neoconservative form in the invasion of Iraq have a great deal at stake in ensuring that conservatives do not become disillusioned with this failed kind of foreign policy. It is necessary to distract them with their elemental resentments against cultural liberalism and civilisational decline and, if at all possible, tie in support for the current brand of reckless foreign policy with the defense of our culture and morals. From what I understand of it, D’Souza’s clunky tripartite book actually seems to be Joseph Bottum’s “new fusionism” in action: a foreign policy guided by “moral” purpose hitched to a cultural conservatism at home. But this is an expanded “new fusionism” in which intervention in the Islamic world is somehow integrally tied to forming an anti-leftist alliance with Muslims–we are no longer invading other countries simply to topple “evil regimes” but to somehow also counteract the spread of cultural liberalism that allegedly is the real cause of anti-American violence. It seems likely that the main reason why D’Souza concocts this unwieldy argument in the first place is that the Iraq war is failing and public support even on the right is fading, so, for the sake of the survival of interventionism, it is vital to shift the blame for 9/11 from the interventionism he and others like him support to the broadly acceptable target of the cultural left. If Barnett’s comments are any guide, the mainstreamers aren’t buying what he’s selling.