Wild about Harry

What are prisoners reading at Guantanamo Bay? Harry Potter books top the request list for Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, says the camp librarian. Agatha Christie mysteries are next in popularity. Presumably that doesn’t count the Koran.

According a report on a tour of the Guantanamo camp, not all prisoners are wild about Harry.

In another (session), a female interrogator took an unusual approach to wear down a detainee, reading a Harry Potter book aloud for hours. He turned his back and put his hands over his ears.

Maybe she planned to stop at an exciting place and refuse to go on unless he cooperated.

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Comments

  1. SuperSub says:

    I’ve long said the best way to dampen violence in the Middle East is to air-drop Baywatch videos, soap opera tapes, alcohol, and other items associated with our “corrupt” Western culture. Also, set up Hooters restaurants every 10 miles.
    Theres a reason that the Islamic authorities are so terrified of Western culture… the “vices” can be powerful and addictive when combined with liberty. You won’t have many insurgents bombing or gunning down our troops if they’re busy shooting Jack Daniels and slipping dollar bills into G-strings.

  2. Ross the Heartless Conservative says:

    SuperSub,
    Long term you might be right but short term the evidence is that it would not do any good. The September 11 murderers frequented bars, strip clubs, and other fine American establishments. I suspect they also watched their share of Baywatch type shows and it would not even greatly surprise me if they read Cosmo every now and then.

    Most of the suicide/murder types are psychologically weak neurotics who have underlying mental illnesses. (Ok, Ok, that is opinion) That is true whether you are talking terrorists or school shootings. The enabling problem is when the mentally feeble get into an environment where their pathos is celebrated. In the US that is available over the Internet in chat rooms and such. Unfortunately, in many countries in the Middle East that is the prevailing culture.

  3. I’d agree tht it wouldn’t have a significant effect short term…but this essentially a clash of cultures. Young Muslims are being brought up with a crappy life thinking that the US is to blame for all their problems. We’re the devil and are stealing all their wealth and prosperity. In the end we need to share that wealth and prosperity, otherwise this will never end.

  4. “In the end we need to share that wealth and prosperity, otherwise this will never end.”

    I hope SuperSub is being ironic. It always strikes me how naive people are that prescribe economic solutions to the problem of Muslim terrorism. Such people ascribe their own secular and acquisitive world view to terrorists, who are motivated not by economics but by religion. The view that religion could never be a motivator for brutal acts of random violence may reflect the diminished or non-existent role religion plays in their own lives. This view is essentially Marxist: class struggle, dialectical materialism, and the belief that all wars are fought for economic reasons. It’s a rehash of the old “poverty causes crime” principle.

  5. Supersub wrote:

    In the end we need to share that wealth and prosperity, otherwise this will never end.

    We already do. It’s called free trade and if you happen to be mullah or a dictator free trade runs a close second, in terms of threat, to a Marine expeditionary force cruising up and down their coast. They can’t do much about the latter but they sure can do something about the former.

    The U.S. can’t be held responsible for dictators acting to preserve their rule.

  6. SuperSub says:

    Badabing-
    Didn’t intend a reference to a class struggle… more just mentioning the placating effects of material wealth. The religion has been hijacked by idiots who blame the US for all their society’s ills, the fact that they aren’t dominant in the world (as their religion dictates they should be). A lap dance or two would go a long way to distract them from their pain 😛
    Allen-
    I agree warfare is necessary to break the hold of the established governments, but the only way to break the hold of the zealous clerics will be to to “convert”(or at least expose) the Middle East to Western culture.

  7. Didn’t intend a reference to a class struggle… more just mentioning the placating effects of material wealth.

    Material wealth never did much to placate the Arab-Muslim world. For the regions with oil wealth, the money just made the ruling class more corrupt and imperious, and the fanatics more fanatical. The money never trickled down the way it does here. Remember, the 9-11 terrorists were hardly poor.

    The religion has been hijacked by idiots who blame the US for all their society’s ills, the fact that they aren’t dominant in the world (as their religion dictates they should be).

    And these idiots now pulling the strings of Islam want power and revenge, not money.

  8. Most of the suicide/murder types are psychologically weak neurotics who have underlying mental illnesses. (Ok, Ok, that is opinion) That is true whether you are talking terrorists or school shootings.

    I realize this is your opinion, and you’re entitled to it. And in many cases, you are right. But consider, that public schooling does break some people more than others, and it’s often the intelligent and sensitive ones, the ones that society claims to cherish so much, that suffer the most. Talk about being “left behind”.

    If mental illness exists in children, then remedy it as best as possible, and don’t leave the child to fend for himself, or treat him like a criminal or heretic. Or allow others to treat him such.

    I’ll say it a million times if I have to. End the compulsion in public schooling. The disruptive types, the sensitive types, mixtures of both – better off elsewhere, where they can find educational alternatives more to their need.

    The enabling problem is when the mentally feeble get into an environment where their pathos is celebrated. In the US that is available over the Internet in chat rooms and such.

    I wouldn’t blame the Internet and chat rooms. Abusive school “socialization” fills them with anger and hatred, and some of them need the sort of genuine diasporic social contact difficult to find outside the Net.

    Unfortunately, in many countries in the Middle East that is the prevailing culture.

    It might be better to compare the medieval cruelties of the Middle East to “Lord of the Flies” public schools. And the right kind of leader is needed to start a murderous cult. And some people have, or feel they have, nothing to lose.

    There is a crucial difference. The Middle Eastern ruling classes are aware of this murderous discontent, and deliberately steer it away from themselves and toward a designated enemy such as America and Israel.

  9. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    The trouble with radical Islam is not economic, as badabing correctly points out. The trouble with Islam is in the jihadist ideology that has been continuing for hundreds of years. The latest incarnation of this ideology is in the many Muslim countries who cannot tolerate their non-Muslim citizens or neighbors, in at least 15 areas of the world (Israel, Christian Arab populations in the middle east, Western Europe, Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Russia, Nigeria, Sudan, etc.) On 9/11, the son of a Saudi billionaire ordered the incineration of thousands of Americans in New York and Washington DC, a mission carried out by 19 sons of middle class and wealthy Muslims. The jihadists want the entire human race under Sharia (Islamic Law) and if the non-believers do not convert, they must be killed. Therefore, there is no negotiating with this element of the Muslim world (about 15% of over a billion people). Just as with the Nazis and Japanese fascists, it is kill them or be killed. The jihadists will not hesitate to use nukes once they can. The debunked Marxist world view of rich vs. poor doesn’t apply to Islamofascism–wealthy, oil-rich Muslim countries have produced these monsters. Marxism doesn’t explain why the numerous poor peoples of Africa, the poor Tibetans persecuted by China, the poor peoples of Latin America, and the poor people in the U.S don’t suicide bomb, like the jihadists do–why? Because it’s not economics, stupid. It’s the values, stupid. It’s ideology. And even scarier, it’s a twisted, morally confused religious ideology that says that slaughtering non-Muslims who refuse to convert is a good thing to do, to honor Allah. The 85% of ‘moderate’ Muslims essentially do nothing to stop this. The Religion of Peace is dysfunctional and morally bankrupt. It can only be saved and reformed from within. Meanwhile the non-Muslim West must take preemptive action–or suffer the consequences.