There’s been a lot of talk about the release by the Director of National Intelligence of a list of Osama bin Laden’s reading material. You can find it at a website entitled “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf” here: http://www.odni.gov/index.php/resources/bin-laden-bookshelf?start=3
It’s actually a pretty boring list. Some commentators are making a big deal of his affinity for writers like William Blum and Noam Chomsky who make a living shouting about how terrible the US is. What’s the surprise? The Idler feels they’re exactly the kind of authors that the late unlamented would love. The weird thing about these guys is that they like to compare us unfavorably with places like North Korea. You may have read about how the Norks’ pudgy, sawed-off dictator, Kim Jong Un, recently had a guy executed by anti-aircraft fire for falling asleep at a meeting. Talk about catching some flak. Well this is where we personally get off because any place where they blow you to bits for snoozing is no place for an Idler.But we digress.
We just happen to have gained access to a secret intelligence cache – we’re not saying it’s Hillary’s “deleted” e-mails and we’re not saying it isn’t – that has given us a, let’s say, more comprehensive picture of the O-man’s collection. Let’s face it, even the most scholarly or technically-minded reader will work some lighter material into his rotation. For example, there were a number of volumes the big guy must have selected from the “inspirational” and “self-help” sections of the Abbotabad Barnes & Noble:
Thirty Days To A Less Scraggly Beard – Featuring grooming tips tailored to the more mature terrorist mastermind, together with inventive methods to create hair and skin care products where the commercial options are limited. For example, microscopic amounts of plastic explosive mixed with camel droppings and yak milk can make an excellent depilatory as well as a tasty dessert topping.
The One Habit of Highly Effective Suicide Bombers – This is actually a rather slim volume with, understandably, hardly any first person endorsements.
I’m OK, You’re an Infidel Dog – For the mujahideen with low self-esteem. It’s not easy waging global jihad, and even the most bloodthirsty extremist needs some encouragement from time to time.
Men Are From Mars, Goats Are From Pakistan – It’s important for a fugitive leader of a clandestine international insurgency to stay abreast of modern times and mores, and also to know where to find the best livestock.
How To Win Friends And Behead People – Being a warrior for Allah doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life or take the time to get off a few killer jokes in between mass executions.
There were also reports that Bin Laden enjoyed versions of Children’s books, edited to reflect his cultural leanings, with titles like, Green Eggs And Hummus, Clifford, The Big Red Camel and The Very Hungry Shiite.
Also missing from the official release was any indication of Bin Laden’s taste in music. Once again, the Idler has acquired exclusive intelligence on the content of his music shelf and IPod playlists. He apparently approved of Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs and had “Midnight at the Oasis” on a repeat playback loop, but was considering issuing a fatwah on Ray Stevens over “Ahab the Arab.” Also, he enjoyed cover versions of classic Western hits, altered, of course, to reflect local customs, including the Miracles’, “Get Hijab”, Andy Kim’s “You Mecca Me Feel Like Dancing” and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Fatima.” “Mahmoud the Knife” was found in LP format on his personal stereo system. Rumors that he enjoyed a lilting Irish melody retitled, “How Are Things in Tora Bora?” have not yet been confirmed.
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