Fanboys of Jihad
note: Recently, a friend sent me a variety of links to the
growing phenomenon of "milblogs," journals written
by soldiers in Iraq. Regardless of your personal politics
(or theirs), these blogs make interesting reading from the
frontlines. Then someone sent me this one, by a soldier
stationed in Iraq who posts under the pseudonym Odysseus.
I laughed ruefully. Then I contacted Odysseus and asked
his permission to reprint this blog entry here.
The real deal.
sure to stir up a little controversy among our readers.
And I make no stance here politically myself -- the opinions
expressed here are those of Odysseus. But they made me think.
I hope they make you think, too.
Odysseus. May it not take you twenty years to get home.
a rather gross generalization of the demographics of suicide
bombers. They tend to be single males, young adults, who
live with their families and lack sexual experience. Throw
in the profuse facial hair and the fanatic devotion to a
single idea and you have a group that's remarkably similar
to Star Trek and Comic Book fans.
I suspect that one of the reasons that there are so few
female suicide bombers is that they are promised 72 male
virgins in paradise. You can imagine the shock on a female
suicide bomber's face when she wakes up and discovers that
she has to spend the afterlife at the San Diego Comic Con.
Anyone who's been to a comic book convention knows that
the ratio of one female to 72 male virgins is about right.
Needless to say, it's not every woman's idea of paradise.
it does make you think. Given the similarities in the demographics,
is it possible that we are dealing with Islamic fanboys?
Could a Star Trek con at the Baghdad Hilton defuse some
of the tensions in the region? Imagine the contribution
to the stability of the region that could
be made if we could get William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy
given that the hotel would be in the Green Zone, with its
own bar, we wouldn't have to work to get the press to attend.
The potential distraction and rechanneling of the energies
of insurgents would be a tremendous boon to Iraqi democracy,
and all it would take is a couple of photo ops with cast
members, the opening of a few comic book shops and an airdrop
of collectible action figures.
the progress that will be made when Jihadi fanboys begin
quoting Buffy dialogue instead of the Qur'an. The day that
the Green Lantern oath is translated into Arabic is the
day that the insurgency begins to collapse under its own
weight (and the weight of middle-aged male virgins who've
been scarfing down happy meals for the collectible Star
Of course, feeding the different types of fantasy fandom
might not diffuse tensions, but increase them by exacerbating
the schisms between the different insurgent factions, but
even this could work to our advantage, as Ba'athists who
favor the Next Generation series would be pitted against
Sunni fundamentalists who would fight to the death for the
original series, although the risk of them teaming up to
destroy a burgeoning Iraqi women's movement could lead to
the unfortunate viewing of Voyager episodes, but no one
said that war is anything but a terrible
be a tough fight, but the opportunity to pit local insurgents
against foreign fighters should not be discounted, or to
put it another way, "1,000 Quatloos on the newcomers."
you like Odysseus' writing, more can be found here.
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