Friday, September 21, 2007

House of Wisdom, Room 101

As a Christian, I know how I am expected to react to an item like this one, headlined: U.S. Working to Reshape Iraqi Detainees / Moderate Muslims Enlisted to Steer Adults and Children Away From Insurgency. I should whine a little about how my gummint gets a ludicrous case of the First Amendment vapors over a Bible sitting mutely on a schoolteacher's desk, and then turns around and expends those Public Dollars to teach the approved version of Islam. Why doesn't my government show as much respect for the majority religion in the U.S. as it does for this outlandish heathen suicide-bombing cult, oh woe is me, we're persecuted, blah blah blah.

That's more or less what I feel programmed to write. But today there'll be a small change to our regularly-scheduled programming.

Actually, as I read the news item, I feel sorry for the Muslims, not for myself. They're the ones getting an endorsement from the Imperial minions. Does a boarding kennel regard it as a happy thing to have Michael Vick endorse its services?

Let's read a little:
The U.S. military has introduced "religious enlightenment" and other education programs for Iraqi detainees, some of whom are as young as 11, Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, the commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, said yesterday.

Stone said such efforts, aimed mainly at Iraqis who have been held for more than a year, are intended to "bend them back to our will" and are part of waging war in what he called "the battlefield of the mind." Most of the younger detainees are held in a facility that the military calls the "House of Wisdom."

The religious courses are led by Muslim clerics who "teach out of a moderate doctrine," Stone said, according to the transcript of a conference call he held from Baghdad with a group of defense bloggers. Such schooling "tears apart" the arguments of al-Qaeda, such as "Let's kill innocents," and helps to "bring some of the edge off" the detainees, he said.
Re-education camps: this used to be -- and maybe still is -- common verbal shorthand for the totalitarian nightmare. Ditto for brainwashing, as redolent of North Korea as fermented-cabbage fumes. But here we are, bending them to our will on the battlefield of the mind, in the "House of Wisdom."

Why didn't they go all the way, and call it the "Minstry of Love?"

But who am I to quibble? To borrow the exultant cry of the Minster of the Interior from A Clockwork Orange, "It works!" See here:
Stone described a sort of religious insurgency that occurred at one detention facility on Sept. 2. "We had a compound of moderates for the first time overtake . . . extremists. It's never happened before. Found them, identified them, threw them up against the fence and shaved their frickin' beards off of them. . . . I mean, that is historic."
Ah, yes: frickin' historic.

Ladies and gentlemen: your tax dollars, at work. Don't it just make you proud to be an Amur'kin?

4 comments:

Randal Graves said...

Then they came for the Muslims, but I was not a Muslim so I did not speak out. And when they came for the DFH...I better shave!

But defense bloggers? Must be newspeak for William the Bloody and his cronies.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Well, if I can say one thing in defense of this strategy (I can't believe I actually thought of one):

If the gub'mint can reprogram the detainees into soft, weak-stomached, no-willed sloths like they have effectively done to many of the destitute and disenfranchised in our midst, then perhaps the idea will work. Instill in them the apathy and blissful ignorance that plagues the U.S. and let the cancer spread abroad...

RedHeadedGal :-) said...

Hi OHB! It's me. Hope you're feeling better, and now to read your muslim note :-)

Bartleby said...

Hi, RHG! Great to see you. I left you a note over at WDC. Email me!