Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What makes Obama tick?

In his recent book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” Dinesh D’Souza proposes a theory that explains Barack Obama’s often perplexing behaviour. Based on Obama’s own words as published in his books, mainly “Dreams from My Father”, and his public speeches as well as the writings of his father and mentors, D’Souza concludes that what drives Obama is an anti-colonial ideology derived from his socialist, anti-colonial Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr.

...Think about what this means. The most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s ...
D’Souza shows how Obama’s anti-colonialism accounts for his many apologies for America’s past foreign policies, his Muslim outreach, his bowing and scraping before Saudi royalty, his rudeness towards allies like Britain and France, his deference to America haters like Hugo Chavez, and ........

Mr. D’Souza argues that on balance colonialism has benefitted the world, particularly British colonialism. Furthermore, contrary to Obama’s apparent beliefs, anti-colonialism solves nothing and worse, it is counterproductive - it has been a near complete disaster for most African nations that are indulging in it.

He maintains that Obama, driven by his anti-colonial mentality, is intent on weakening America as a world power and that if he succeeds, America and the world will be much the worse for it:
... I understand Obama, but I don’t sympathize with him. In fact his warped ideology really scares me. His vision for America may be therapeutic for his psyche, but it is a ridiculous one for America in the twenty-first century. The dream of the two Obamas .... is actually an American nightmare.
It’s a highly compelling read.


dizzy said...

The Economist has a take on this --

How D'Souza thinks
In other words, while I don't have any trouble understanding how Barack Obama thinks, I have a lot of trouble understanding how Dinesh D'Souza thinks. And if I were to try to understand his thinking using the same methods he uses to interpret Mr Obama, I might look to his Indian background, which is where he says he gained his insight into anti-colonialism.
Well, here's an explanation modeled on the one Mr D'Souza provides for Mr Obama's views:
“If Mr D'Souza grew up amongst a tiny hereditary elite desperately trying to protect its privileged status in a huge and bitterly poor third-world country, that would explain why he wants to make sure disadvantaged children are denied the educational opportunities his daughter receives.”

JR said...

Typical. When you can't critique the message attack the messenger.

"... he wants to make sure disadvantaged children are denied the educational opportunities his daughter receives."

Bollocks. D'Souza (and anyone with half a clue) knows that the best chance for those disadvantaged children is a free market economy. It's happening in India and China right now. Millions are being rescued from poverty. An anti-colonial approach, especially a socialst one, would guarantee they remain poor.

dizzy said...

// When you can't critique the message //
You must be joking. The Economist simply applies the same bogus technique of 'reasoning" to him as he applied to Obama.
Here are a couple of links from genuine conservatives, who are not joining the fulminating spazz-fest that has erupted since Obama's election.

Daily Capitalist
He also says that the President’s father was a womanizer, polygamist, wife-beater, and a drunk. Nice touch.
There is one problem with D’Souza’s theory: it’s bunkum.
The Ground Zero mosque? Get a life. It’s private property and the government shouldn’t be telling people what to do with their property; this is a well established conservative principle. This is nothing but a populist Republican wedge issue trying to exploit anti-Muslim sentiment for their political goals. This is actually counterproductive to US interests; it just reinforces the Muslim world’s view that we Americans are waging war on Islam, not terrorists.
If I wanted I could read a few books by D’Souza and conclude he was some kind of right wing fanatical fundamentalist Christian who is seeking to politically establish his radical moral vision through populist tracts to deprive me of my personal liberties. But that would be grossly unfair to him.
The American Conservative
Dinesh D’Souza has authored what may possibly be the most ridiculous piece of Obama analysis yet written. He takes a number of decisions Obama has made on a grab-bag of issues, declares that they are “odd,” and then proceeds to explain the “oddness” he has perceived by cooking up a bizarre thesis that Obama is a die-hard anticolonialist dedicated to his father’s anticolonialist legacy. That must be why he aspired to become President of the world’s remaining superpower and military hegemon–because he secretly loathes the exercise of Western power and wants to rein it in! It must be his deeply-held anticolonialist beliefs that have led him to escalate the U.S. role in Afghanistan, launch numerous drone strikes on Pakistan, and authorize the assassination of U.S. citizens in the name of antiterrorism. Yes, zealous anticolonialism is the obvious answer. Even for D’Souza, whose last book was a strange exercise in blaming Western moral decadence for Islamic terrorism, this is simply stupid. Perhaps most painful of all is D’Souza’s condescending claim that ignorant Americans aren’t familiar with anticolonialism, and that because he is an Indian he can educate all of us about it.

JR said...

From the Daily Capitalist link:

He also says that the President’s father was a womanizer, polygamist, wife-beater, and a drunk. Nice touch.
[But true.]

... I haven’t read the book ...
[Really! And we're supposed to take anything he says seriously? Bet he hasn't read Obama's books either.]

... If one looks at Obama’s education, work experience, the people he has surrounded himself with, he’s no different than any other “MoveOn” Progressive in America. ... most Progressives in my experience (almost everyone else but me here in Santa Barbara) are anti-capitalists, anti-business, anti-American imperialist foreign policy, and believe that most folks are racists, anti-feminists, anti-Earth, and are fundamentalist Christians.
[So, Obama's all that and anticolonial too! Wonderful! But arguably many/most MoveOn progressives also subscribe to Obama's BS anti-colonial ideology - almost certainly many of the ones he surrounds himself with. And those that don't, either don't know Obama or are too power obsessed to care. I don't think D'Souza would disagree with much of this.]

Dizzy, D'Souza's book really is a compelling read. You should read it yourself.

dizzy said...

// Nice touch. [But true.] //
But irrelevant.
He read D'Sousa's Forbes article, in which one can assume that the essence of his nonsense is preserved.
Remember, this is a guy on the same side doing the analysis --
// D’Souza is doing a disservice to his fellow Conservatives by failing to see the obvious simple explanation of Obama’s behavior. Instead of properly criticizing the President head-on for his Progressivism which is widely shared in the Democratic Party, he takes a detour into some anti-colonialism fantasy he has concocted. //

A concoction of imputations. Typical opinion journalism. But if the actions don't fit the imputed motives, you have nothing.

// compelling reading //
Your verict. Twice. I hear that Dan Brown's books re compelling reading. But no thanks.Happy New Year.