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Chris Hedges Tells Dinesh D’Souza That His Obama Film Is 'Void of Facts, Reality, Intellectual Depth'

In a debate with D’Souza, Hedges argues the film "shows how impoverished our intellectual life has become in a kind of national level."

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So my point is, Obama’s book does have deception in it. He mentions Frank, but he doesn’t say that’s Frank Marshall Davis, the former communist. So, what I do is, I dig into who this so-called Frank is, and I look at his FBI files, and I talk about the fact that, wow, we’ve got a president of the United States who for seven years was in effect mentored by a card-carrying member of the communist party. Isn’t that significant? Isn’t it odd that you haven’t read that in the New York Times? Or seen it on the CBS evening news? If Mitt Romney had had that kind of a background, don’t you think it would be everywhere?

SK: And what about Chris’s point that you omitted all of the various attacks on American constitutional rights that Obama has indeed been responsible for?

DD: Okay, so Chris should make his own film on his own critiques, but here’s my point about Chris: that the reason that we have this junction, is because Obama is not a conventional liberal. People like Chris want him to do the conventional progressive thing, and Obama doesn’t do it, and that supports my point. Obama has a global agenda. He doesn’t particularly care about inner cities, or he doesn’t particularly care about race, you know, the hate crimes bill, and he doesn’t particularly care about the kinds of things that the ACLU cares about. What he wants to do is downsize the American economy, transfer large amounts of wealth from America to other countries, reduce America’s consumption of energy, reduce America’s footprint in the Middle East, slash our nuclear weapons. These are the things he’s actually been doing.

Now they don’t all fit the progressive, left-right framework. I mean, typically when Democrats look at America, they talk about the 1 percent, the 99 percent. They think that Obama’s only redistributing domestically. And my argument is, no. He is a domestic redistributor, yes, but he’s also a global redistributor. Obama sees America, the whole country, as the 1 percent. There are 99 hungry nations encircling America, who want our standard of living, our affluence, our wealth, our power, and Obama is also redistributing on that scale. And if union guys knew about that, and retirement guys knew about that, they would be very worried, because they don’t want to see wealth drained out of America.

CH: Well, first of all Edward Said was a friend of mine and it’s just patently untrue that he was close to Obama.

DD: How do you know that, Chris?

CH: Because I’ve spoke to Edward about it before he died and he was not close to Obama at all. That’s just not true, Dinesh. I don’t know where you got it from. He hardly knew Obama. As far as this idea that Obama is serving the interest of, I assume you mean, developing countries in the third world, it just doesn’t play out in Obama policies. We have uprisings throughout the Muslim world because of the expanded occupation and reign of terror that has been visited upon Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed in Iraq, millions displaced in Afghanistan and Iraq, the drone strikes in Pakistan, the cross-border raids are disintegrating Pakistan as a country. The inability on the part of the Obama administration to do anything to alter the Israeli policies towards the Palestinians in particular in Gaza, the largest open-air prison in the world. The facts don’t lay it out. I mean, what people’s rhetoric are, and I don’t trust Obama’s rhetoric anymore than I trust Romney or any other politician’s rhetoric.

We have to look at what they do and what Obama does is serve the centers of power, I think one could argue, in many ways more efficiently than Bush. You talk about energy and Obama has expanded drilling. He has supported half of the XL pipeline and I have a pretty good suspicion that once he’s elected, he’ll build the other half. The jobs bill, you talk about redistributing wealth. The jobs bill went nowhere. They cut unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans. We now have 47 million Americans who live in poverty. Tens of millions who live in a category called near-poverty. The Obama administration has done nothing to address the foreclosures, the bank repossessions. Obamacare is a cooked-up version of Romneycare, which came out of the Heritage Foundation: $447 billion in subsidies to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. If you’re talking about redistributing wealth, Obama’s done what Bush does, which is the largest transference of wealth upwards in American history. I mean, those are the facts.

SK: Dinesh D’souza, how do you respond to that?

DD: Well I think part of this is, I actually agree with some of the points that Chris just made, but a part of it is, we’re talking about two different things. I mean, if you look for example at the Middle East, the things that jump out at me, and these are facts just as much as any of the facts that Chris Hedges just mentioned; number one – Obama was almost vigilant in using force in Libya, when a very small number of people, about 250, had been killed after the Benghazi uprising. And that got rid of Gaddafi, a guy who was actually doing business with America. Asad, our deadly enemy, has been killing tens of thousands of people in Syria. Obama refuses to use force. So why are we concerned about stopping genocide in Libya, but not in Syria. Are Libyan lives worth more than Syrian lives?

Similarly, a similar double-standard; Obama intervenes, admittedly not right away, but he still intervenes to push out our ally, Mubarak in Egypt. You can say, "Oh that’s why Obama loves democracy. He’s a champion of democracy." Well, wait a minute, a year and a half earlier, there were massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Iran. Obama refused to get involved. What’s the main difference between Iran and Egypt? Egypt was our friend. Iran is our deadly enemy. So, why is Obama acting in a peculiar way to undermine our own allies and the people who are doing business with us? He seems to be rough on Mubarak, on Gaddafi, on Israel, and he seems weirdly sympathetic to Muslim Jihadis.

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