Dinesh D'Souza appeared on Fox News' Glenn Beck to discuss how his “anti-colonialist” theory explains the motivations behind President Obama's policy decisions. While doing so, D'Souza invented some facts and mangled others in order to peddle the ridiculous notion that President Obama is “a captive of the ideology of a Luo tribesman from the 1950s.”
D'Souza's highbrow birtherism attributes Obama's policy decisions to his African heritage
D'Souza: Obama is “a captive of the ideology of a Luo tribesman from the 1950s.” On the September 30 edition of Glenn Beck, after making a variety of false, misleading, or bizarre assertions about President Obama, D'Souza claimed:
Obama is not anti-American in that he wishes ill on America. He wants what's best for America. He thinks it's really bad for us to be a colonial power. And therefore, in his view, he is doing right for America by pulling us out, by knocking us off our pedestal, by in a sense taking us from being the world's arrogant superpower. He wants us to share the wealth. He thinks he's gonna get a better America. The problem is, he's stuck in this theory, he's frozen in this time machine. In a sense, he's a captive of the ideology of a Luo tribesman from the 1950s. It's an incredible idea.
D'Souza myth: Obama returned Churchill bust to Britain to lash out at Chuchill's colonial policies
D'Souza Claim: Obama returned Churchill bust due to hatred of Churchill's colonialist policies. D'Souza claimed that Obama's “anti-colonialism explains” the return of a bust of Winston Churchill to the British government when Obama took office “very well,” saying that Obama had returned the bust because of his opposition to Churchill's colonialist actions during his tenure as prime minister.
D'Souza said that the torture of Obama's grandfather and arrest of his father during the British response to the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya gave Obama “good reason” to hate Churchill.
Fact: Obama never met paternal grandfather, bust was scheduled for return. As Media Matters has noted when Beck has advanced the same theory, D'Souza's explanation is undermined by the facts that Obama never met his paternal grandfather, the bust was scheduled for return to the British prior to Obama's presidency, and other British-based artifacts and gifts remain in the Oval Office during Obama's presidency.
D'Souza myth: Obama administration was “okay” with release of Lockerbie bomber
D'Souza Claim: Letter was sent to the Scottish government saying release of the Lockerbie bomber was “okay.” D'Souza said that a letter was sent to the government of Scotland from the Obama administration explaining that the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, would be “okay.” D'Souza said Obama's supposed anti-colonialist point of view justified this release because from that perspective, “America is the rogue element, invading other countries,” so “Muslims who strike out against America are 'freedom fighters', they are resisters of American imperialism.” D'Souza claimed that Obama saw “a fellow anti-colonialist” in the Lockerbie bomber, and would think, “This guy's like my dad, he's striking against the Western -- the American oppressor.”
Fact: Obama administration opposed the release of Lockerbie bomber. On July 26, the State Department released the letter sent from the U.S. government to the Scottish Ministry of Justice regarding the proposed release of Al Megrahi, which made clear that Obama administration supported keeping al-Megrahi imprisoned, but that in the event he was released, they preferred to release him in Scotland rather than send him to Libya. The letter stated:
The United States is not prepared to support Megrahi's release on compassionate release or bail. We understand that Scottish authorities are ensuring that Megrahi receives quality medical treatment, including palliative care, while incarcerated. The United States maintains its view that in light of the scope of Megrahi's crime, its heinous nature, and its continued and devastating impact on the victims and their families, it would be most appropriate for Megrahi to remain imprisoned for the entirety of his sentence. This was the understanding and expectation at the time arrangements were made for his trial in Scottish Court in the Netherlands, were he or his confederate to be convicted and their appeals upheld.
D'Souza myth: Obama administration goal is “to get out” of Afghanistan, as evidenced by him not using word “victory”
D'Souza Claim: Obama's goal in Afghanistan is “to get out” because anti-colonialists view it as a war “of colonial occupation,” Obama “defines success with withdrawal.” D'Souza said that President Obama's goal in Afghanistan was “to get out” because anti-colonialists view the conflict as one “of colonial occupation.” D'Souza cited as evidence that Obama “defines success as getting out” that he “doesn't like to use the word 'victory.'” He added, “I don't think he cares if the Taliban comes in; that's secondary to him. The main issue is: we've got to get out.”
Fact: Obama has stated goals in Afghanistan include the elimination of a safe haven for Al Qaeda, opposing the Taliban, and training Afghan security forces. From Obama's remarks at West Point on May 22:
We face a tough fight in Afghanistan. Any insurgency that is confronted with a direct challenge will turn to new tactics. And from Marja to Kandahar, that is what the Taliban has done through assassination and indiscriminate killing and intimidation. Moreover, any country that has known decades of war will be tested in finding political solutions to its problems, and providing governance that can sustain progress and serve the needs of its people.
So this war has changed over the last nine years, but it's no less important than it was in those days after 9/11. We toppled the Taliban regime -- now we must break the momentum of a Taliban insurgency and train Afghan security forces. We have supported the election of a sovereign government -- now we must strengthen its capacities. We've brought hope to the Afghan people -- now we must see that their country does not fall prey to our common enemies. Cadets, there will be difficult days ahead. We will adapt, we will persist, and I have no doubt that together with our Afghan and international partners, we will succeed in Afghanistan.
From “What's New In the Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan” , released March 27, 2009 by the Obama administration:
On March 27, 2009, the President announced a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan that is the culmination of a careful 60-day, interagency strategic review. During the review process, we consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, partners and NATO allies, other donors, international organizations and members of Congress. The strategy starts with a clear, concise, attainable goal: disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its safe havens. The President's new approach will be flexible and adoptive and include frequent evaluations of the progress being made.
Military experts including Petraeus agree that a “decisive military victory” in Afghanistan is unlikely. Many military leaders, including commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus, have said that Afghanistan is not a war “you win.” A September 22 Washington Post article quoted Petraeus discussing Afghanistan with reporter Bob Woodward: “You have to recognize also that I don't think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. It's a little bit like Iraq, actually. ... Yes, there has been enormous progress in Iraq. But there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, and you have to stay vigilant. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we're in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives.”
D'Souza myth: Moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf is to “decrease U.S. energy consumption” so that “previously colonized countries have more”
D'Souza Claim: Obama supports moratorium on oil drilling in order “to decrease U.S. energy consumption so that we have less and previously colonized countries have more.” D'Souza claimed that President Obama's support for a moratorium on oil drilling is due to his desire to “decrease U.S. energy consumption so that we have less so that previously colonized countries have more.” D'Souza also said that this justified Obama “subsidiz[ing] oil drilling in Brazil,” which Brazil sells to China.
Fact: Obama administration supports moratorium due to environmental safety concerns after the BP spill. A May 28 memorandum issued by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to the director of the Minerals Management Service said that in the wake of “the recent blow-out and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” “I find at this time and under current conditions that offshore drilling of new deepwater wells poses an unacceptable threat of serious and irreparable harm to wildlife and the marine, coastal, and human environment” and that "[t]herefore, I am directing a six month suspension of all pending, current, or approved offshore drilling operations of new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific regions."
A June 16 Washington Post article explained that “the same tiny Texas subcontractor” authored the Gulf spill response plans for BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Shell Oil, and ExxonMobil, The same article also indicated that those companies “listed the phone number for the same University of Miami marine science expert, Peter Lutz, who died in 2005” in their spill response plans.